This amazing Shrimp Cocktail recipe features two different dipping sauces. I'm giving you a homemade classic cocktail sauce and a fresh creamy lemon dill sauce to add a little something extra special to your next shrimp platter.
Easy Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
Shrimp cocktail sounds so very fancy doesn't it? Yet, it's so simple to put together. This recipe shows you how to poach the shrimp in a flavorful stock that's seasoned with black peppercorns, lemon, onion, bay leaves and garlic. After infusing the water with those flavors, the shell on shrimp are dropped into the water and cooked for a few minutes until they're bright pink. At this point they need to be immediately dropped in cold water to stop the cooking and chilled thoroughly until you're ready to serve.
How to Make the Best Shrimp Cocktail Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Shrimp Cocktail: 2 pounds extra large deveined shrimp, shells and tails on, garlic, black peppercorns, seafood seasoning, bay leaf, onion, fresh tarragon and lemons.
- To make the homemade cocktail sauce you'll need: Ketchup, chili sauce, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, hot sauce, lemon zest and Worcestershire sauce.
- To make the homemade lemon dill sauce you'll need: Mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, fresh chopped parsley, fresh dill, garlic salt and seafood seasoning. Taste and adjust the salt to your taste as this could vary depending on the brand of seafood seasoning used.
- You can use peeled shrimp for this recipe but please note they may cook more quickly. Adjust the cooking time so you don't end up with rubbery overcooked shrimp.
- If you plan to assemble the shrimp cocktail platter and eat it immediately, ice may not be necessary. If you're serving it as an appetizer at an event or gathering, keep the shrimp on ice to maintain the temperature. Consider the amount of time it will be on the table. Typically, when serving indoors in a cool space it should be fine for up to two hours. If you're serving it outside, keep it well iced and stick to one hour to be safe.
- The cocktail sauce and the lemon dill sauce can be made one day in advance and chilled until you're ready to assemble the shrimp cocktail platter.
- You can also make the shrimp in advance and chill in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 days ahead of time.
- Homemade Shrimp Cocktail will keep for 3-4 days total when kept well chilled.
More Southern Style Appetizer Recipes to Make
More small bites and appetizer recipes you may like to try:
- Smoked Salmon Dip is another make-ahead seafood starter that people love.
- Serve my Southern Pimento Cheese recipe with crackers, vegetables or bread rounds.
- These two-bite Sweet Corn Crab Puffs are impossible to resist.
- Enjoy my recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Dip with waffle fries for dipping.
- EASY Million Dollar Dip is a retro dip that's always a hit.
- You may also like these Shrimp Fritters from Rasa Malaysia.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 3 quarts cold water
- 2 lbs extra large peel on shrimp deveined with tails
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning
- 1 medium bay leaf
- 1 medium onion cut into wedges
- 1 medium lemon cut into wedges
- 2 large sprigs fresh tarragon
- Cocktail Sauce:
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup chili sauce i.e. Heinz or similar
- 1-2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon hot sauce or sriracha hot sauce adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- Lemon Dill Sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- ½ teaspoon Seafood seasoning, Creole OR Cajun seasoning adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- To Make Shrimp: Bring water to a rolling boil in a deep pot. Add peppercorns, seafood seasoning, bay leaf, onion wedges, lemon wedges and tarragon. Lower heat to medium high and boil for 15 minutes to infuse the water with flavor.
- Add shrimp, return to a boil, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes or just until the shrimp begins to curl and turn bright pink. Once done, immediately immerse in ice water to stop cooking. Once cooled, peel and chill until serving.
- Cocktail sauce: In a small bowl whisk together ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Chill until serving.
- Lemon Dill Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest, parsley, dill and seasoning. (You can use Seafood, Cajun OR Creole seasoning) Chill until serving.
- To serve, arrange shrimp on platter with sauces and lemon wedges garnished with fresh parsley.