Make Your Own Cocktail Sauce for your Fresh Shrimp Cocktail

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You’ll Never Buy Cocktail Sauce Again.

Cocktail Sauce Made Easy at Home

Shrimp Cocktail is always a special treat. It used to be a required appetizer at any restaurant we visited near the ocean. The two go together so well. My husband first made this sauce for me. It became an instant favorite that I’ve used many times over the years. The easy ingredients mean I can have it ready in minutes anytime.

Since it’s homemade, I can add as much horseradish as sounds good. I do like the bite that comes with a little bit more. Start with less though, then add to your taste. That’s another benefit of making your own. You know just what you are putting in it. Sometimes I’ll use low fat or low calorie ketchup too. You can’t taste the difference, but it’s even lower calorie.

Fresh cocktail sauce is tangy and wonderful on any fish, though shrimp cocktail or fish fries are my favorites for it. The celery tastes wonderful and crunchy in the cocktail sauce too.

It’s a perfect appetizer, satisfying and so tasty. But it also makes a great lunch, like it is pictured here. You can add as many shrimp as you wish, and either dip or mix the sauce.

Combine shrimp and crab into a cocktail if you enjoy both. Even using imitation crab it tastes wonderful. Want one more suggestion? Try it in a lettuce wrap for a very tasty lunch!

Shrimp Cocktail with Homemade Cocktail Sauce


Serves: 4

  • ½ pound cooked shrimp, large or jumbo
  • 3 to 4 stalks celery, cut in diagonally in ½ inch slices
  • 1 to 2 green onion, chopped for garnish
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Mix the ingredients for the cocktail sauce and refrigerate until use.
  2. If using frozen, cooked shrimp, thaw in bowl of cold water.
  3. Clean and remove the tail from the shrimp. If you prefer you can leave the tail on.
  4. Combine the shrimp and celery in a serving bowl.
  5. You can either pour the sauce over the shrimp and celery, or pour mix into a bowl for dipping.

Stainless Shrimp Cocktail Bowl

Here you have the ideal dish in which to serve Shrimp cocktail. You can use this over and over for any cold dish. So often when we are serving appetizers the dish sits out for a time, whether an hour or an afternoon. Protect the food and keep it safe for eating by serving in an iced dish. This one is so handy and will hold plenty. It has the band around it to hold the shrimp too. It makes a lovely serving dish.

Browne-Halco 795B Stainless Steel Supreme Bowl, Mirror

Want Even Spicier Cocktail Sauce?

If you are a fan of the wasabi or sriracha flavors, you are probably always looking for ways to use it more often. Wasabi is one of my favorites to add to dips, so I understand the feeling. Here are two other options you might enjoy trying. Both can be as spicy as you like, and tasty scrumptious with shrimp. Use the sauces to dip or stir in with the shrimp. Delicious.

Wasabi Cocktail Sauce

Another version of Cocktail sauce is made with wasabi paste instead of horseradish. It calls for a half cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon wasabi, 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice, Add as much wasabi as you like, but start slow, then add more.

Sriracha Cocktail Sauce

If you like sriracha, you will love it in cocktail sauce. For this recipe use 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 teaspoon horseradish, 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice, 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce. Mix them all together, then if you want more sriracha add another teaspoon. Make it as hot as you like!

The Artisan Stainless Steel 2-Section Party Bowl

If you are serving a larger group, this is an excellent choice for shrimp cocktail or any other dish that needs to be kept chilled.  The inner bowl lifts out.  Place ice in the bottom then put the inner bowl on top.  Icy cold shrimp is wonderful!  It’s perfect for potato salad too.

Artisan 2 Piece Stainless Steel Insulated Party Bowl with 2-Section Top


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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