This shrimp cocktail platter with my favorite 5-ingredient homemade cocktail sauce is one of my secrets for an quick and easy appetizer to throw together on the fly.
This recipe is brought to you by Kroger
One of my favorite memories of going to Las Vegas and hitting the casinos wasn’t gambling, showgirls, or watching the synchronized fountains become performers all upon themselves. Nope. My Las Vegas goal was always to find at least one old school casino $1 shrimp cocktail to snack and savor. Today’s Las Vegas makes them harder to find, but that doesn’t mean I am willing to go without.
Those vacation shrimp cocktails are the inspiration for one of my favorite easy appetizers that fits any season and every appetite. They also make a healthy, low-fat snack or paired with a simple salad they’re the perfect take-to-work lunch or fast supper.
But whether I’m making this shrimp cocktail as a before dinner bites from my list of favorite appetizer recipes or impressive addition to the potluck party, my platter presentation is simple but elegant, without all the fuss.
The Best Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail
Having a few staple ingredients on hand is the secret to making quick and easy appetizers, fast healthful dinners, and on the fly lunches.
All you need for this recipe is:
- Frozen shrimp
- My homemade cocktail sauce
- Crushed ice
Nothing makes a fast appetizer even faster than having a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.
This shrimp cocktail recipe starts with a bag of Kroger’s extra large frozen Simple Truth Organic Peeled and Deveined Cooked Large Shrimp that you’ll find in my freezer at all times. The shrimp are cooked in their shells to seal in their flavor, then peeled and deveined making them easy to serve.
The Simple Truth line of organic products are all USDA certified organic, meaning they are:
- Produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, sewage sludge or irradiation.
- No artificial preservatives, antibiotics, and no added hormones.
- Produced by organic growers and handlers that are certified by third-party agencies, state or private, or other organizations that are accredited by the USDA.
For these organic shrimp, all the work has been done to make the low-fat, high protein shrimp easy to serve. There’s no peeling or slicing, and they’re flash frozen at harvest to ensure freshness.
How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp
I use the same method to thaw frozen cooked shrimp as for frozen uncooked shrimp.
The best way to thaw shrimp is to thaw the bag of frozen shrimp in the refrigerator overnight or for about 8-10 hours. I usually place mine in a bowl to catch any drips if they occur. Then, rinse with cold water and chill until ready to serve.
To quick thaw your shrimp, dump the shrimp from the package into a bowl and submerge in cool water for 15-20 minutes, changing the water once or twice and breaking the shrimp apart as they thaw. Drain the water and refrigerate until ready to use.
How to Cook Frozen Shrimp for Shrimp Cocktail
If you only have uncooked shrimp on hand you can quickly cook before serving. Private Selection’s Wild Caught Key West Pink Jumbo Pink Shrimp are one of my favorites for uncooked shrimp. You can quickly cook in boiling water or use my cooking method below for adding a touch more flavor to the little crustaceans.
To cook frozen shrimp for shrimp cocktail:
- Thaw the shrimp as directed above then fill a large pot with water.
- Add a bay leaf, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns and bring to a boil then reduce to a rolling simmer.
- Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, about 3-4 minutes, then drain the shrimp and run cold water over the shrimp to cool. Chill until ready to serve.
How to Make Perfect Shrimp Cocktail
For shrimp cocktail, it’s all about the presentation, and my favorite way to share this app is simple and straightforward so they’re easy to nibble and nosh while sipping and socializing.
For presentation I always serve the shrimp on my platter with the tails on. Set a small dish to the side for discarding the tails.
Crushed ice makes the base of the platter. I get mine from the meat and seafood department at my Smith’s aka Kroger where the butcher bags it up for me. Or, if you have an ice crusher, you can always do it yourself at home. Don’t crush the ice too fine as it melts really quickly.
see more: 31 Healthy Shrimp Recipes To Make Now
If your shrimp will be sitting out at a buffet or party for a while, consider serving them by filling a bowl with the ice then submerging another bowl on top of the ice so the ice insulates and chills the bowl filled with shrimp. No mess, no fuss, all yum.
My favorite homemade cocktail sauce and a few wedges of lemon are all that’s needed to finish this easy app.
My Favorite Cocktail Sauce
With just 5 ingredients, this cocktail sauce is super easy to make and serve on the side for the classic spicy tomato bite.
Here’s what makes this cocktail sauce rock:
- Instead of ketchup, I use Kroger’s Chili Sauce for a milder tomato taste with a bit of extra spice.
- The chili sauce is doctored with horseradish and dry mustard for that classic bite of cocktail sauce heat
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce adds that savory umami flavor.
- And a squeeze of lemon juice adds fresh citrus note that seals the saucy deal.
And with that, all that’s left is the dipping.
More Easy Shrimp Appetizer Ideas
- Peel ‘N Eat Beer Steamed Shrimp
- Saucy Greek Baked Shrimp
- Pesto And Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta Recipe
- Stuffed Artichokes With Thai Shrimp Salad
- Grilled Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats
Peeled and deveined shrimp make this fast appetizer even faster to prepare for dipping in my 5-ingredient homemade cocktail sauce.
- 1 pound Simple Truth Extra Large Peeled and Deveined Cooked Shrimp
- 1/2 cup Kroger Chili Sauce
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons prepared hot horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Thaw the shrimp in the refrigerator overnight and rinse with cold water, then set aside. Or, quick thaw the shrimp by placing them in a bowl then rinsing with cold water for 15-20 minutes, and drain. Chill until ready to serve.
In a small bowl, mix the chili sauce with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, the horseradish, worcestershire sauce and ground mustard. Slice the rest of the lemon into wedges.
Top a platter with crushed ice cubes and top with the shrimp and lemon wedges. Serve cold with the cocktail sauce on the side.
The cocktail sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of serving.
More Healthy Shrimp Recipes You’ll Want to Make Too
- Shrimp Tacos With Garlic Avocado Crema
- Shrimp In Thai Coconut Sauce
- Arugula Salad With Pesto Shrimp, Parmesan And White Beans
- Citrus Shrimp And Avocado Salad
- Linguine And Zucchini Noodles With Shrimp
- Pan-Seared Citrus Shrimp Recipe
This recipe is sponsored by Kroger. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
We send good emails. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and have each post plus exclusive content only for our subscribers delivered straight to your e-mail box.
Subscribe and have every FoodieCrush post delivered straight to your e-mail inbox