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Shrimp Cocktail

A classic that is cooked in anything but a boring pot of water. The shrimp are cooked in a flavorful broth with their shells on. Cooled and served with a spicy cocktails sauce, they are the perfect appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Starter
Cuisine General
Servings 4 Served
Calories 80 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 10 Cups Cold water
  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 5 Sprigs fresh thyme, oregano, parsley or any fresh herbs you have on hand
  • 2 Stalks of celery cut in large pieces
  • 2 Carrots cut in large pieces
  • 1/2 Onion cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp. Black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp. Zatarain’s crab boil mix (or any seafood seasoning or crab boil mix)


  • 1 Lb. Large shrimp (15-20 per pound), in the shell, rinsed
  • Cocktail Sauce, recipe follows
  • Lemon wedges


  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 Lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 4 Tsps. Prepared horseradish, or to taste, drained
  • 1/4 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce


  • Put the water, lemon, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaves in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 30 minutes.
  • Drop the shrimp into the liquid and turn off the heat. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they curl and turn pink, about 3 minutes for this size. Drain and place on a plate or baking sheet and put in the refrigerator to chill (about 30 minutes). Peel the shrimp and remove the vein along the curve of the shrimp – if your shrimp has the vein.  If you purchased shell on and already deveined, you can skip this step.  Refrigerate if not serving right away.
  • When it is time to serve, select the serving vessel of your choice, plate and present to your guests.  Enjoy!


  • Combine the ketchup, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Mix well, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Yields: 1 1/2 cups


Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 550mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 352IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg
Keyword appetizer, healthier choice, shellfish, shrimp, starter, valentines day
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