Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Quick Cocktail Sauce

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail in Martini glass with cocktail sauce and lemon wedge with more shrimp in background, on red and white napkin
Posted On: April 5, 2022
Last updated: May 8th, 2024

Call me old-fashioned, but I love shrimp cocktail. It’s a classic appetizer that has stood the test of time. The first time I ever I saw shrimp cocktail was at my first job as a young teen. I worked as a “bus girl” in a lakeside restaurant in my small town in Upstate NY. Besides bussing tables, I had the task of cleaning and deveining loads of shrimp for shrimp cocktails at this semi-upscale restaurant. It took me a bit to muster up the nerves to try the prepared shrimp appetizer. Once I finally did, I was hooked. Shrimp cocktail was my very first taste of shrimp and I was instantly hooked. Shrimp cocktail is such an easy appetizer to make, you really don’t need to order it in a restaurant. You can surprise your loved ones with this roasted shrimp cocktail at home any day of the week!

Big plate of roasted shrimp and cocktail sauce of shrimp cocktail

How to Make Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

This recipe is especially easy for making shrimp cocktail. Some recipes call for boiling the shrimp in a large pot of water, but I prefer baking the shrimp.  Simply dry the defrosted shrimp with some paper towel, add shrimp to a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with some salt & pepper, stir them up and roast shrimp 6-7 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and just cooked through.   Then transfer the shrimp to the refrigerator to fully chill for at least 45 mins.  Then when you dip it into the quick and easy cocktail sauce and you have a double dose of flavors.

Steps to Make Shrimp Cocktail in a Coallge

Types of Shrimp/Baking Times

This recipe was inspired by the fabulous Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, but I wanted to use slightly smaller shrimp and give others the choice of what size shrimp they prefer.  Also, I felt the oven should be a tad hotter.  I usually buy the 21-25 count shrimp which is more of a standard sized Large shrimp. This is the size I make for my family.

I would not recommend a smaller size than this for your shrimp cocktail.  If I were to make this roasted shrimp cocktail for a dinner party, I’d probably make this recipe with the Extra Large 16-20 count shrimp. Use this size if you prefer larger shrimp for a more appropriate cocktail appetizer.

Shrimp Baking Times for Varying Sizes- ***Watch Shrimp Closely while Baking, don’t run off and start a new chore, it’s only a few minutes. =) ***

(Please keep in mind baking times many vary slightly due to differing oven and accurate oven temps)

21-25 Count (Large sized shrimp)- 6-7 mins

16-20 Count (X-Large sized shrimp) 7-8 mins

12-15 Count (Jumbo sized shrimp) 8-9 mins

Up close shot of of shrimp hanging off glass with cocktail sauce and lemon in background

How to Serve Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail can be served in simple smallish dessert bowl with cocktail sauce in the middle and the shrimp and lemon wedge hanging off the sides. If you’re making shrimp cocktail for a party, putting the shrimp on ice chips can look classy and keep the shrimp cold which is ideal. If you’re serving it for just a small dinner party martini glasses filled about 1/3 full of cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge and shrimp hanging off the edge in a row looks great! Don’t forget your lemon wedges no matter how you decide to serve your cocktail shrimp. Most everyone likes to drizzle a little lemon over their shrimp before enjoying their shrimp cocktail.

How to Make Quick Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail sauce is one of the easiest sauces you can make in a hurry, of course pending you have all the ingredients on hand. If you don’t have chili sauce on hand I’d recommend adding the equivalent amount of ketchup along with about a tsp of apple cider vinegar, tsp of brown sugar and a dash of allspice. It won’t be quite the same, but it’ll be close enough to make due.

Up close shot of shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce above a glass of cocktail shrimp

Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients

Shrimp Cocktail Ingredients
  • Shrimp– I use the raw Kirkland 21/25 Ct shrimp for this recipe often. It’s just a good size to serve my family, not too big, not too small. I prefer wild caught when it’s feasible, but it’s not always available and the cost can be quite high. Also, I use the kind without the preservative solution added which Kirkland now sells.
  • Olive Oil (Not Pictured)- I just suggest using your best olive oil for flavor and you’re only using a Tablespoon so it’s not much
  • Cooking Oil Spray– I always have my favorite Avocado Oil Cooking spray on and for any non stick spraying needs. It’s my Go To. Costco also always sells it less than regular grocery stores.
  • Salt & Pepper– You can measure it out or do it freestyle, just sprinkle enough to hit all the shrimp.
  • Cocktail Sauce
    • Ketchup– I always prefer to use organic Ketchup with minimal ingredients & No HFCS.
    • Chili Sauce– Same as ketchup. I try to stay away from the kind with HFCS, so I’ve found Red Gold Chili Sauce to be a great one to use. Most grocery stores carry it.
    • Lemon Juice– fresh squeezed is always ideal if you have lemons on hand, but if not, bottled is great. I love the Organic Lemon Juice that Costco sells. (The link is just to show you the type. It’s way cheaper at Costco.)
    • Horseradish– I LOVE horseradish! I think it’s my Slavic blood…I would love to put horseradish in almost anything if I could. In this case, I like a straight Hot Prepared horseradish like “Meyer’s” or “Brucken” that most grocery store carry.
    • Worcestershire– This sauce always adds an element of depth and slight complexity to sauces such as this one.
    • Hot Sauce– Use your favorite red hot sauce. My kitchen is littered with different hot sauces, but a standard one like Red’s or Cholula will do fine.

What goes with Shrimp Cocktail?

The beauty of shrimp cocktail is that it can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a small meal or a side dish? My 11 year old ordered it as his meal when we went to a Gordon Ramsey restaurant in Vegas. Although he somehow thought mine was better, but we’ll keep that quiet. Ha!

I usually serve it as an appetizer on special nights when I want to impress my family. I also like it as an entrée with some rice, corn dishes like a corn casserole or just a hearty salad. Soup also goes well, maybe a corn chowder or some spicy cauliflower.

If you like this Roasted Shrimp Cocktail you might like these Recipes as well!

Up close shot of of shrimp hanging off glass with cocktail sauce and lemon in background

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail & Quick Cocktail Sauce

Roast shrimp next time you make a shrimp cocktail, you'll be amazed by the amazing texture and flavor. Make a zesty perfect cocktail sauce to dip into and enjoy immediately!
This recipe is written for 21-25 Count Shrimp, but I also have directions for 16-20 and 12-15 Count Shrimp in Instructions.  This recipe feeds a small family just a few shrimp as an appetizer, but you can easily double the recipe for feeding more people or a party.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Chilling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 2 minutes
Course Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 138 kcal



  • 1 lb raw tail-on shrimp 21-25 Count peeled & deveined (If shrimp were frozen make sure they are thoroughly thawed)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Quick Cocktail Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2-3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 -1 tsp hot sauce


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Dry shrimp, pat dry with paper towels
  • Spray baking sheet with cooking oil just to make sure nothing with stick.  Add shrimp to baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Use your hands to spread shrimp around, making sure all of them a covered with olive oil
  • Sprinkle or use shakers to salt & pepper shrimp, stir shrimp around sheet to combine, then arrange shrimp on a single layer, giving them a little space between each shrimp
  • Place baking sheet in oven and bake 6-7 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and just cooked through.  Do not let them over-cook so stay close during baking.            ***If using 16-20 count-bake 7-8 mins, 12-15 count-bake for 8-9 mins***
  • Immediately transfer shrimp to your serving dish or plate for them to cool completely.  Do not leave on baking sheet or they will over-cook.
  • Transfer shrimp to the refrigerator to fully chill for at least 45 mins.  You can let them chill longer or over-night if need be.

Make Cocktail Sauce

  • Simply mix all cocktail sauce ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk and chill in the refrigerator till ready to serve. 
  • After the shrimp complete their “chill time” you can start serving up and enjoying those shrimp cocktails with some lemon slices and/or a little lemon zest on top! Dip in! 


The shrimp can be made a day ahead and chilled in the refrigerator if need be.  The cocktail sauce can be made a couple days ahead and enjoyed up a week refrigerated.

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Calories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 13gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 1108mgPotassium: 290mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 388IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizer, cocktail sauce, cold app, gluten free, Holiday, low carb, seafood, shrimp
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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