A Simple and Delicious Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

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Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

This shrimp cocktail recipe is delicious and easy to make. Of course, you can make it for a family dinner but it really shines as an appetizer for parties.

Shrimp Cocktail

Doesn’t just about everyone love shrimp? You can use them in so many different delicious recipes. One of my favorites is this simple shrimp cocktail. It goes great for the holiday parties or just an appetizer to keep the family at bay while finishing up dinner.

Use Raw Shrimp!

While it’s easiest to buy precooked shrimp (you know, that infamous ring with a cup of cocktail sauce in the middle) it just isn’t the same as using raw shrimp. More importantly, using raw shrimp is simple to do. And as always, the best part is that you know what goes into the dish. I am lucky to have a great local place for fresh shrimp here in town, so I know how they are sourced.

Cooking the Shrimp Cocktail

So, I have been cooking my shrimp cocktail wrong all of these years.

There I said it, I was wrong! My friend Sam pointed out my errant ways and at first, I was skeptical. However, I have seen the light. I used to boil my raw shrimp and set aside. I thought it tasted great, but once I cooked them as Sam said, rubbery shrimp was a thing of the past. Poached shrimp is the way to keep the most flavors in and that rubbery texture out.

Lastly, be sure to do this shrimp cocktail justice by serving it with homemade cocktail sauce.

Note: learn how to peel and devein shrimp.

Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Easy Shrimp Cocktail

This shrimp cocktail recipe is delicious and easy to make. Of course, you can make it for a family dinner but it really shines as an appetizer for parties.

Prep Time
20 minutes
Active Time
3 minutes
Cooling Time
3 minutes
Total Time
26 minutes
8 people
Estimated Cost


  • 1 lb raw shrimp (16-20 peeled and deveined shrimp, tail on)
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • ice cubes


  1. Begin making your shrimp cocktail by preparing an ice and water bath in a medium-size bowl ahead of time.

  2. If not already done, peel and devein the shrimp.

  3. In a medium-sized pot add 1-quart water, peppercorns, Old Bay, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a low boil and boil for a couple of minutes.

  4. Remove from heat, add the shrimp, cover, and cook until firm and opaque. Only takes about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook them!

  5. Remove shrimp and place in the ice/water bath to stop the cooking.

  6. Serve your shrimp cocktail with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.


If you prefer to cook and serve your shrimp with the shell on, then do that.


Serving: 2shrimp | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 588mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg
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Farmed Vs Wild-Caught Shrimp

This is one of those areas where we leave it up to you, the reader. It’s your shrimp cocktail dish, so use what you like.

If you have an issue with farm-raised shrimp, then purchase wild-caught. Perhaps you have a shrimp farm that raises them in a way you’re comfortable with; then use them. If you don’t care, then just go get whatever.

I know Matt and Betsy prefer wild-caught, but I have a great local shrimp farmer that is raising them right, so that’s what I use.

Have you ever made a shrimp cocktail, or will this recipe be your first time? Let us know!



About Frederick Schramm

Fred was born someplace, a while back. During his childhood, Fred enjoyed spending his time doing stuff. During high school, he developed a passion for this one thing and continues to pursue it to this day. Upon graduation, Fred matriculated at some illustrious University where he majored in a subject. When not at work, Fred spends time with others engaged in activities. Oh, and he's a joker!

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