Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp cocktail sauce is one of those amazing sauces that just perfect. I don’t know who first thought of this sauce and created, but I want to say a big THANK YOU!

This seafood sauce is the ideal dipping condiment for shrimp cocktail. I remember as a kid, always wanting to order shrimp cocktail, anytime we would go out to a restaurant. They were always pricy, but those big plump shrimp resting on the edge of the cup full of sauce – man that was one great appetizer.

As a kid, it seemed so fancy and so high class!

Well, I have never stopped loving shrimp or this amazing cocktail sauce! I often have a jar of it either in the fridge or the pantry. But, there is no need to buy the sauce because it is very easy to make and you likely have all the ingredients already in your kitchen!

For instructions to make peel and eat shrimp that is perfect for this cocktail sauce, check out this recipe – Peel and Eat Shrimp

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

Lately, I have been making my own homemade cocktail sauce for the shrimp and my family have been preferring it to the store-bought versions.

This sauce can be made in just a few minutes and all that is required is to whisk all the ingredients until they are well combined and the sauce is smooth in consistency.

It can’t get any easier than that, right??

If you are looking for cocktail sauce at the supermarket, sometimes you may come across regular and hot/zesty versions. The main difference between these two is the amount of horseradish.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

The beautiful thing about making your own cocktail sauce is that you can adjust the ingredients to match your taste preference. Use this recipe as a guide and tweak it to the way that you like it.

If you like it on the zesty side, add a little more horseradish. If you prefer a milder sauce, decrease it. If you like lots of tang, add more lemon juice.

I like mine with lots of zip, so I add a little extra horseradish. YUM!

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

I boil my own shrimp because I prefer the texture and taste of freshly boiled shrimp. But, you can purchase a bag of frozen shrimp, that has already been deveined, cooked and are ready to eat. Just thaw and serve them with this sauce.

It is such a simple appetizer!

If you are going to boil your own shrimp, make sure the raw shrimp is fresh or thawed. I don’t throw them in the water frozen. I like to boil them with the shell on and peel them once cooked. If they are deveined or butterflied, that is fine, just make sure they are not completely peeled prior to boiling.

Bring water, and any spices you want, to a boil in a big pot. Throw in the shrimp and once they are pink and float to the top they are done.

Once the shrimp float to the top of the boiling water, use a metal strainer to remove the cooked shrimp. Chill the shrimp in the fridge of toss them in a large bowl full of ice cubes.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic

I find the amount of sauce that this recipe yields is enough for about 2 pounds of shrimp. Some lemon wedges go well with the shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Most times, I serve the shrimp with the peel still on and we do ‘peel and eat’ shrimp. Sometimes, and as shown in these photos, I peel all the shrimp ahead of time. This is nice when you are serving the shrimp at a party or event.

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe - Easy Classic Seafood Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic
4.89 out of 5
71 reviews
How to make cocktail sauce for shrimp with this easy recipe. Homemade and copycat to the Heinz seafood cocktail sauce. Ketchup, horseradish and lemon for dipping.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 tablespoons


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp horseradish (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  • Whisk all the ingredients together until well mixed.
  • Serve with cooked shrimp.


Per serving:

Calories: 13kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 116mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

Nutrition Disclaimer

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe Seafood Easy Classic


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Wow! This was my first time making cocktail sauce. It is so good, I will never need to buy a jar of cocktail sauce at the store again.

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoy the cocktail sauce. This is our go-to sauce as well.

  • What kind of hot sauce do you use?

    • Reply
    • Typcally, I use Frank’s. But I have used many different Louisiana style hot sauces and they work well.

  • 5 stars
    It was easy and delicious. Great with shrimp. Thank you for sharing! And it was great because I had all the ingredients on hand. I’ll never buy store bought again!

    • Reply
    • Happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe. And yes, I always have all these ingredients on hand so it so quick to make and easier than getting at the store.

  • 5 stars
    I’ll have to leave out the hot sauce but glad to see Worcestershire being used.
    Serving shrimp cocktail next week.
    Thanks for the recipe 🍤

    • Reply
  • Amazingly delightful and delicious!! Super ecasy too!!

    • Reply
  • just made it…..very good—-yum……….

    • Reply
  • 3 stars
    I tweaked it a little

    2 Bottles Heinz Chili Sauce
    1 TBSP Lemon Juice
    1/2 TSP Worshishire Sauce
    1/4 TSP Pepper
    1/4 TSP Salt
    2 TBSP Horseradish

    • Reply
    • Try adding 1 tbls of Garlic!

      • Reply
  • Tried this recipe.It was awesome!
    Much better than store bought.
    I also got comments from my son and husband.They usually don’t say much but they said this one is a keeper.Thanks

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Do not ever buy Shrimp Cocktail sauce again!
    Fast, simple and on point!
    Thanks Steve

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    This was so easy and taste is great, better than jar and homemade 👍

    • Reply
    • I have made this cocktail sauce more than once and it was a big hit! Thanks for posting it.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Great recipe. Easy, quick, and tasty. I used low-sugar ketsup. Since I didn’t have a lemon, I used a lime. Very good.

    • Reply
    • I bet it would be tasty with lime juice as well!

  • Love this shrimp cocktail sauce.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    wonderful tangy sauce

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. It is now my favorite cocktail sauce. Easy to make at home and tastes great on hotdogs and hamburgers minus the horseradish. I made mine with Sriracha hot sauce. Yummy!

    • Reply
    • I hadn’t thought of using it on hotdogs or hamburgers—even with the horseradish.

      • Reply

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