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Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Recipe

This shrimp cocktail sauce recipe couldn’t be easier, and it’s absolutely delicious! You can also serve it with any type of seafood you like.

Bowl of shrimp cocktail sauce on a plate with shrimp and a bed of lettuce

Store-Bought vs. Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Every single time I go to the seafood counter at any of my favorite grocery stores, I see a row of a huge variety of cocktail sauces.

I can’t say I’ve never bought it, but I feel as though I’m throwing money away. After all, it costs a fraction to make, and it’s super easy.

But, of course, there are times when you’re in a hurry and just need something fast. So you pick up a bottle or jar of sauce at the store.

Although I usually make it, I do have a couple of favorite store-bought varieties. However, mine is still my favorite because I put exactly what I like in it.

Shrimp and cocktail sauce on a plate

And I can control the amount of each ingredient, which you can’t do with store-bought cocktail sauce.

Usually, I’m in the mood for extra spicy. But if we have a dinner guest who likes milder food, I can tone it down.

Or I can make 2 versions, which I’ve done many times. For some reason, that seems to impress people.

Really, though, it doesn’t take more than about 10 seconds to have a couple of choices.

And don’t forget about sides to serve with shrimp cocktail. That takes the experience to a much higher level of deliciousness!

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce Ingredients

If you’re anything like me, you always have the ingredients for shrimp cocktail sauce in the fridge and pantry.

You’ll need ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and mustard.

Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, ketchup, tabasco, and mustard

An optional ingredient is Old Bay Seasoning.

Old Bay Seasoning

I also normally add lemon juice, but for some reason, I didn’t have any this time. It actually didn’t make any difference.

If you have lime juice, you can use that instead of lemon. I didn’t have that either.

There are other things you can add, such as sriracha sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or even honey. Try different things to learn what you like.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

How to Make Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Okay, now you’re coming to the most difficult part of the whole process—putting everything together. And that’s about as easy as it can be.

Ketchup, mustard, Old Bay Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, horseradish, and mixture in a bowl

All you need to do is mix the ketchup with all the other ingredients. Stir it well so the flavors are blended.

This recipe is actually so easy you can do it with one eye closed and one hand tied behind your back.

You can serve this cocktail sauce right away. Or even better, you can put it in the fridge and let the flavors meld even more.

Another thing you can do is put the ingredients out for each person at the table to make their own.

If you’re serving your family, you can give them a quick lesson, and then they’ll know what to do in the future.

However, if you have dinner guests, you’ll need to give instructions any time there’s a new person at the table. But that’s okay because most people will enjoy learning something new.

Dining Out

Both of my parents were originally from South Mississippi where there are seafood restaurants on every corner.

I’ll never forget the times when we went for all-you-can-eat catfish or platters of boiled shrimp.

Most of the time, the restaurants had all of the ingredients out on the table so customers could make their own sauce. That way, you could have it the way you like it.

My mother didn’t care for horseradish, but my dad and I both did … and I still do. I love this cocktail sauce on fried catfish, oysters, and of course, shrimp.

I haven’t seen this kind of setup in restaurants in years. Maybe that’s because they think people wouldn’t know how to make their own cocktail sauce.

But it’s so easy. I think it would go over really well.

By the way, this recipe is pretty much the way I made cocktail sauce back then. And I like it just as much now!

Bowl of shrimp cocktail sauce on a plate with shrimp

More Recipes

I’ve always enjoyed all types of seafood. That’s why I take another favorite food (grits) and make this delicious shrimp and grits dish.

Another yummy seafood dish I like is this pecan-crusted fish, which I typically serve with this creamy tartar sauce.

Shrimp cocktail sauce is delicious on this fried catfish from Southern Plate.

My grandpa had a catfish pond, so there was a never-ending supply of one of my favorite foods ever!

For side dishes, we like rice or potatoes with fish. Or you can just have a side salad if you don’t want the carbs.

This onion-seasoned rice is good with seafood, and it’s super easy to make.

Or if you prefer potatoes, try these twice-baked potatoes that are also easy to make but take a little bit longer.

To start the meal, we enjoy this chickpea salad. It’s packed with nutrients, plus it is absolutely delicious.

And then there’s the traditional creamy coleslaw that always goes well with seafood.

See this recipe shared at Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, and Full Plate Thursday.

Yield: 4 servings

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Bowl of shrimp cocktail sauce

Make shrimp cocktail sauce to go with shrimp, oysters, or any other seafood.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice (optional)


    1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
    2. Stir well, until everything is mixed together.
    3. Transfer the mixture to serving bowls, making sure there’s some within reach of everyone at the table.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 38Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 408mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 0g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

That sounds so simple to make! Shrimp cocktail is not something I ever really think of serving but I do love to make most of my recipes from scratch so thank you for this. Pinned.


Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Hi Joanne! I use this shrimp cocktail sauce on all kinds of seafood! We like it on salmon cakes, crab cakes, and fish.

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