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Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own homemade shrimp cocktail sauce. I have not purchased cocktail sauce from the store for decades. Use ingredients from your pantry to quickly whip this up.

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Cleaned and Cooked Shrimp
Cleaned and Cooked Shrimp

New Year’s Even Appetizer

Our tradition every New Year’s Eve is to make a huge buffet of appetizers and shrimp cocktail is always on the list. Usually, there is a large platter of shrimp. Serve it with this homemade sauce and enjoy. It is amazing how fast this appetizer disappears.

Preparing Frozen Shrimp for the Appetizer

Generally, we purchase our shrimp ahead of our party; therefore, it is necessary to thaw the frozen shrimp. Do this by placing the bag in the refrigerator overnight or run warm water over the bag in the sink. I like to rinse the shrimp before use and soak up the water with paper towels. That’s it. Serve this with the shrimp cocktail sauce and your are all set. This is a super fast and delicious appetizer.

Fried Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce

Fried Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

This cocktail sauce is not just for cold shrimp. Every time we have fried shrimp, we serve it with this sauce. Today, this was coconut shrimp that I purchased from the freezer section at the store. I quickly fried the shrimp in oil, drained it on paper towel and served it with my homemade sauce.

Cold Shrimp Cocktail

A nice way to serve cold shrimp for a gathering is to arrange it on a platter around the cocktail sauce. If you purchase large shrimp, they fill the space nicely and your guests will thank you. However, medium or small shrimp will also work and are often cheaper to purchase. I like to remove the shell and leave just the tail portion on. It makes it much easier for your guests to enjoy the appetizer.

If you really want to get fancy, serve mini individual containers of the shrimp sauce and shrimp. So delicious and elegant looking.

Shrimp Cocktail in a Fancy Glass
Shrimp Cocktail in a Fancy Glass

What do you Need to Make Shrimp Cocktail Sauce?

There are only three ingredients needed for delicious and simple shrimp cocktail sauce;

  1. Ketchup. Use your favorite brand.
  2. Lemon juice. While fresh squeezed lemon juice is best, but bottled will work.
  3. Prepared horseradish. Horseradish can be purchased in creamed or prepared form in the grocery store.

Optional Recipe Additions

While I enjoy my cocktail sauce as it, some folks enjoy their cocktail sauce a bit more spicy. If that is you, add a few drops of Tabasco. Others might want a bit of a beefy type flavor. The addition of Worcestershire sauce will tick your boxes.

3 Ingredient Shrimp Cocktail

Making Shrimp Cocktail is So Easy

  1. Combine ingredients. Add ketchup, lemon juice, and prepared horseradish to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  2. Taste. Adjust to your preference add or decrease the ingredients based on your taste. Add more horseradish if you like more spice. Want more tomato flavor? increase the ketchup. .
Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce
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Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Three ingredient homemade shrimp cocktail sauce is delicious and made in just minutes. Serve this at your next party.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Gravy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, cocktail sauce, Sauce, Shrimp
Servings: 1 Cup
Calories: 272kcal


  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Tsp. Prepared Horseradish
  • 1/2 Tsp. Lemon


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  • Taste and adjust to your preference

Your Own Private Notes


The sauce can be made and refrigerated for several days in advance.
The nutrition facts are for 1 cup of the sauce.


Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2198mg | Potassium: 756mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 1231IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made! @patternprincess1 or tag #Patternprincess!

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Did you know that this recipe is also on the Best Appetizers List? You can find this recipe there along with other appetizers that are sure to please.

I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.

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