This simple recipe is easy to whisk together and simply delicious to enjoy! Bright and tangy with just a little horseradish kick, this is the best homemade cocktail sauce for shrimp, fish and seafood.  Who knew this classic sauce can be made in just seconds from everyday pantry ingredients!


A shrimp cocktail platter with homemade cocktail sauce

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce scripture- Ecc. 9:10



What You Need To Make A Delicious Cocktail Sauce

  • ketchup
  • prepared horseradish
  • lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ground mustard
  • garlic


Ingredients for homemade cocktail sauce


Cocktail sauce and shrimp cocktail is one of those elegant dishes that shines because of its simplicity.  When served, it’s always the star of any party, shower, or even as an lovely appetizer before a special dinner.  But the carefully guarded secret is that this is one of the easiest appetizers you will ever have the honor of serving. 


The classic, or traditional, version of cocktail sauce is basically ketchup and prepared horseradish.  Worcestershire sauce gives it a nice savory boost, while lemon keeps everything bright and tasty.  A sprinkle of garlic and ground mustard and you’re good to go!  If you like a bit more kick, add a few red pepper flakes for a nice zing.


Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce Upclose


Notes & Tips For Serving a Shrimp Cocktail Platter

You can serve this sauce as a dip/condiment for your shrimp, fried fish and seafood dinners.  But if you want to make shrimp cocktail as an appetizer, here are my tips.

  • Use a fairly large deveined, no shell, tail-on precooked shrimp.  I usually stick to a medium large to extra large or jumbo size.
  • Shrimp is normally sold with number sizes, like 31/35 or 26/30.  This number indicates the number of shrimp per pound you will receive.  The lower the number, the larger the shrimp.
  • If you get your shrimp at the butcher counter, it shouldn’t have a strong smell.  Maybe a little salty, but that’s it.  If it smells, it’s not fresh.
  • If you can’t get fresh shrimp, it’s ok.  There are a lot of good frozen shrimp available.  To thaw it, let it sit in its package in the fridge overnight.  
  • I don’t recommend force thawing shrimp by putting it in a bowl of cold or warm water because it can make the shrimp soggy.  If you do need to force thaw it, keep the shrimp in its plastic wrap instead of putting it directly in the water.


More Tips

  • Serve your shrimp and cocktail sauce on a bed of ice to keep it fresh for your guest.  Just cover the bottom of a platter with ice, then top with your shrimp.  Or if you have a double bowl (like the one I recommend below), that works too!
  • Include a few lemon slices.  Lemon is delicious with seafood and cocktail sauce, and it looks pretty too!
  • Don’t forget to set out a pair of tongs or shrimp forks so guests can easily grab their shrimp.


Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce

This simple recipe is easy to whisk together! Bright and tangy with just a little horseradish kick, this is the best cocktail sauce for shrimp, fish and seafood!
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: party, seafood
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 1 C ketchup
  • 3 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • In a small bowl, whisk ingredients together. Serve immediately or cover and chill.


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This simple recipe is easy to whisk together and delicious to enjoy!  Bright and tangy with just a little horseradish, kick this is the best cocktail sauce for shrimp, fish and seafood!  #classic #southern #lemon