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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail With Homemade Cocktail Sauce

This Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Homemade Cocktail Sauce is a quick, easy, and extra-delicious twist on the classic appetizer that’s always a hit and perfect for any occasion!

So, after last week’s sweet treats, I’m definitely ready to get back to some savory dishes. First up is my most favorite appetizer of all time (and I don’t think I’m alone on this one)…shrimp cocktail!

In my opinion, if you really want to serve a great shrimp cocktail, you’ve got to make it yourself, sauce and all. It’s super quick and easy, and I promise you that it will be so much better than any pre-packaged shrimp ring!

Most often, shrimp cocktail is made with boiled or poached shrimp. It’s fabulous, and I made it this way for a long time.

Then I saw Ina Garten make a roasted shrimp cocktail, and I knew that I had to try it. That was a long time ago, but I think I actually ran right out to the grocery store to get some shrimp so I could make it that very night.

It was so, so good! The shrimp were tender, sweet, and full of flavor. It was the best shrimp cocktail I ever had, and I’ve been a devoted shrimp roaster ever since!

I love to serve this immediately while it’s still just a little warm from the oven (it’s awesome this way!), or you can chill it and serve it cold (the more traditional way).

For my favorite homemade cocktail sauce, you just mix together a few simple ingredients, and you’re good to go. The flavor is outstanding and better than any cocktail sauce I’ve ever had from a bottle!

roasted shrimp on a baking sheet

Ingredients you need:

  • Raw shrimp (26/30 count or larger)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Prepared horseradish

Here’s a look at how to make Roasted Shrimp Cocktail With Homemade Cocktail Sauce:

two images showing the steps to make roasted shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce
two images showing the steps to make roasted shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce
two images showing how to make roasted shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce
two images showing how to make roasted shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Add as much or as little horseradish to the cocktail sauce as you like (some brands are hotter than others!).
  • No chili sauce? Just use all ketchup instead.
  • I always use thawed frozen shrimp because that’s all I can get where I live. Of course, if you’re lucky enough live by the ocean and can get fresh shrimp, use them!
  • I say do yourself a favor and get the easy-peel deveined shrimp. They might cost a little more, but for me, it is totally worth it to have the shells slip right off and to not have to deal with that vein (’cause you know what it is, right?).
  • Pat your shrimp dry with paper towels. If there is too much water on them, they will steam rather than roast.
  • The shrimp are done when the body turns pink and the tails turn reddish, they curl into a loose C shape, and they are firm and an opaque whitish color.
    • You need to be sure your shrimp are cooked though, of course, but you also don’t want to overcook them because they can become chewy or rubbery. Probably the best way to tell if your shrimp are overcooked is if they have gone from a loose C shape to a tight O shape.
  • Whether you serve the shrimp immediately or chilled, remember not to leave it out at room temperature for too long (definitely never longer than two hours, and only one hour if it’s very warm).
  • This recipe serves 4 people and is easily doubled if you need more. I would use two baking sheets so the shrimp don’t get too crowded together.
shrimp being dipped into a bowl of cocktail sauce

Regardless of whatever else I’m making, this is always part of my Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus. And this year will be no different!

I hope you try this recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail With Homemade Cocktail Sauce

This Roasted Shrimp Cocktail with Homemade Cocktail Sauce is a quick, easy, and extra-delicious twist on the classic appetizer that's always a hit and perfect for any occasion!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4
Estimated Calories: 149

Ingredients

For the Cocktail Sauce:

  • ¼ cup chili sauce, I use Heinz
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, add more or less to taste

For the Roasted Shrimp:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, 26/30 count or larger, peeled and deveined, tails left on, thawed if frozen
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon pepper

Instructions

Make the Cocktail Sauce:

  • Combine the chili sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and horseradish in a bowl. Stir until well-combined.

Roast the Shrimp:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels to remove any excess water (too much water will cause the shrimp to steam rather than roast).
  • In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the olive oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Transfer the shrimp to a large baking sheet. Keep them in a single layer and spread them out as much as possible.
  • Roast for 6 to 10 minutes or just until the shrimp is cooked through.
    The time needed will depend on the size of your shrimp. In my oven, it takes about 7 minutes to cook 26/30-count shrimp. Keep a close eye on them…they cook fast!
    The shrimp are done when the body turns pink and the tails turn reddish, they curl into a loose C shape, and they are firm and an opaque whitish color. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as they can become chewy or rubbery (if they've curled into an O shape, they are likely overcooked).
  • Immediately remove the shrimp from the pan to a serving plate. Serve with the cocktail sauce for dipping.
    If you would like to serve the shrimp chilled, once they have cooled off, cover and place them in the refrigerator along with the cocktail sauce until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Add as much or as little horseradish to the cocktail sauce for the heat level that you’d like.
  • If you don’t have any chili sauce, you can use all ketchup instead (so ½ cup total), and the cocktail sauce is still super delicious!
  • For food safety reasons, don’t leave the cooked shrimp out at room temperature for too long (definitely never longer than two hours, and only an hour if it’s very warm).
  • Store cooked shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • This recipe is easily doubled if you need more. Use two baking sheets so the shrimp don’t get too crowded together.
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