Lemon Roasted Shrimp w/Homemade Cocktail Sauce


Alright dudes and dudettes, today we have my all-time favorite appetizer to hate: shrimp cocktail. This app–made famous by hotels and cruise ships alike–can most commonly be found hanging on for dear life to a martini glass filled to the brim with gross cocktail sauce.

Shrimp cocktail usually reminds me of tacky, cheap chandeliers and women wearing too much costume jewelry and big ships that aren’t yachts. Yeah. It totally reminds me of cruise ships…and South Florida.

But honestly, every time I’ve found myself on one of those “party 12-hour cruise ships”–thats sole purpose is to just go into the middle of the ocean and that’s it!–I get super pumped at the sight of shrimp cocktail. And yeah, every single time–no fail–the shrimp is overly cooked and rubbery. And the cocktail sauce is predictably too sweet and just tastes like straight-up ketchup. But I usually think, whatever, so what, who cares…I’M ON A BOAT!

Right now though, I’m not on a boat (and most likely, you aren’t either), so putting in a little work to get awesome shrimp cocktail is important. Let’s make it right!

This 15-minute dinner–or in my case a 1:30pm snack–starts with making a little olive oil/lemon mixture. It’s as simple as it sounds. Just 1/2 of a lemon, its zest and olive oil.

Pour the olive oil/lemon mixture over the shrimp and then stick them in the oven for 10 minutes. That’s it!

While they’re cooking, you mix together the cocktail sauce. I personally enjoy the combination of chili sauce and ketchup. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

If you have Worschestire sauce in your fridge, add it–if you don’t, leave it out. No need to spend $5 for a dash, you know? Condiments can be expensive, but they’re so important!

I mixed together the exact recipe you see below, loved it, and then went back and added an extra teaspoon of horseradish. It was a bit too much, but I looooved it. This is because I like spicy.

If you do too, then add more horseradish to taste. Beware though, if you add too much, horseradish has that ability to make your nose feel like it’s going to fall off.

It’ll feel like when you were a kid, playing in the pool and you sniffed water by accident; you sort of wanted to cry, but didn’t because the other kids were watching you and that would’ve been embarrassing. Eating too much horseradish is exactly like that! So painful and awkward!

Lemon Roasted Shrimp w/Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Print this recipe!

1/4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)
1 lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined and peeled–with tails attached
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cocktail Sauce:
1/4 cup chili sauce – done
1/4 cup ketchup – done
1 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Texas Pete – shout-out to NC!)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Lay shrimp on a parchment lined baking sheet, in one layer. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour olive oil mixture atop the shrimp and mix. Transfer to oven to cook for 10 minutes, until shrimp is thoroughly cooked.

2. In a small bowl, mix together chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, worcestershire and hot sauce. Transfer to refrigerator to cool. Serve alongside shrimp.

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Christin June 27, 2012 at 6:11 am

    You are so right! I HATE the cocktail sauce they always serve! I ran across the chili/ketchup combo once at my parents a long time ago when we had no cocktail sauce. It is the best. Totally going to be making those lemon roasted shrimpies.

  • Reply Carrie | acookgrowsinbrooklyn June 27, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Seriously, the two things I loathe most in life {well, in food} are rubbery, overcooked shrimp and soft, limp, droopy asparagus. The asparagus is just a rant and neither here nor there, but my point is that I’d much rather have lemon roasted shrimp cocktail!

  • Reply Allyn June 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

    When I think of shrimp cocktail, I think of Jennifer Garner in 13 going on 30, eat them and throwing the tails over her head at the party. Makes me laugh every time.
    We usually cook our shrimp like this: http://lollingabout.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/foodie-friday-swamp-shrimp/
    but next time at the very least I’ll have to make your cocktail sauce!

    • Reply Adrianna June 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      HAHAH! YES! I love this reference!

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks June 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Frickin’ dream come TRUE.

  • Reply John Dertinger June 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Good and simple for the shrimp. The tails are built in thermometers and tells you everything. over-cooking shrimp is a sin!
    The cocktail sauce is a good recipe. The jarred sauces in the stores are (as a last resort) better when some lemon juice and/ or lemon zest is stirred in. Depending on the taste out of the jar, other goodies can be added too to your own liking: worcestershire, horseradish, tabasco, etc.

  • Reply Margherita June 27, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I’m going to make this Saturday when I have some friends over for dinner…it’s going to be a huge success!

  • Reply Diana June 27, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Looks yummy, I’m going to try this soon! Here’s a link to my go to shrimp recipe: http://community.cookinglight.com/showthread.php?t=50041 it’s quite delicious too!

  • Reply Liz @ Tip Top Shape June 27, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Shrimp cocktails remind me of Vegas! A lot of the casinos in the older part serve them for super cheap. Great recipe! It looks delicious!!

    • Reply Adrianna June 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      HA! Yes, I’ve had it in Vegas too. So bad!

  • Reply DessertForTwo June 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I refuse to eat shrimp cocktail (except at a nice place), because I know I can make it delicious at home! Love seeing your recipe 🙂

  • Reply erin @WELLinLA June 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

    So easy and simple. Love this for a quick dinner with a salad & grains on a weeknight.

  • Reply Jenn June 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I can’t wait to try this one. Sounds wonderful!

  • Reply Megan Q. June 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I have been craving shrimp so thanks, perfect timing! Also, I like the idea of mixing oil and lemon – I will be trying this out very soon!

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island June 27, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Such a simple yet perfect shrimp recipe, and your photography is gorgeous—the little spiraling shrimp remind of of ‘Starry Night’!

  • Reply Eileen June 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    This…this sounds like what I want for lunch now. Right now. Today. Maybe with some salad greens. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Adrianna June 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      With a salad! Good idea!

  • Reply Foodloveandhappiness June 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Love it! Always a great result with shrimps 🙂

  • Reply Suzanne Perazzini June 27, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I so love prawns cooked in all sorts of ways but for me the best is just with lemon, olive oil and a little garlic. You don’t want to drown them in flavors because they are so delicate.

  • Reply Stacey June 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    This is amazing. I’m having it for dinner. Giant Gulf shrimpies de-veined for $4.97/lb right now! I’m super jazzed!

    • Reply Adrianna June 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      HOLLER! #perfect

  • Reply Sarah June 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    favorite line — “…can most commonly be found hanging on for dear life to a martini glass”! my dog just gave me the weird side-eye when I laughed out loud at myself. a great recipe AND a blog that makes me laugh? I love it!

  • Reply Ariel June 28, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I actually am on a boat (in the Navy), but when I get home I am definitely going to try this out!

    • Reply Adrianna June 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

      HAHAH! AWWW. Best comment EVER! Hope you’re home soon!

  • Reply Amber @ The Cook's Sister June 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

    What a fantastic shrimp cocktail! I associate shrimp cocktails with Christmas (my grandmother always hosts a seafood dinner on Christmas Eve). Love the added spiciness from the hot sauce! Did you use a mild or a spicy horseradish for this recipe?

  • Reply Channing @channingosity June 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

    HA! I did go on a dinner cruise (uhm, total groupon situation) and the app was shrimp cocktail with basically ketchup. Hilarious.

    This recipe looks amazing, fast and delish! I have been dying to use my new seafood scissors from WS – curved for perfect deveining of shrimp! 🙂

  • Reply Riley June 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Wow, this looks super simple! And delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Tina P June 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    That first line is sooo funny! This shrimp cocktail looks amazing.

  • Reply Lisa June 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I always hate shrimp cocktail but this looks amazing.

  • Reply Brittany June 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    THANK YOU for helping to make right all the oh so very wrong shrimp cocktails out there… What’s the deal?! I always hated them until I tried a recipe very much like this one. So delicious!

    I also like horseradish in ridiculous amounts. Makes you stronger. 🙂

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake June 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    i’ve been craving these since you told me about them!

  • Reply Monique July 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Shrimp cocktail! When it’s good its gooood. And when it’s bad it’s still pretty good! I’m one of those people with no shame who hops in a buffet line and picks up two plates and piles them high with mountains of shrimp. Or sometimes I’ll ask my mom to hold my second plate so I don’t get looks of horror from nearby patrons.

  • Reply Mandy July 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    stupid question, I am sure. Are you serving your shrimp hot? Or chilled?

    • Reply Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

      Oh I served them right out of the oven. But if you wanted to cool them down, that’d work too!

  • Reply Alice July 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    My daughter loves shrimp – this looks great! But is there a reason you wouldn’t just toss the shrimp in a bowl with the lemon olive oil, rather than trying to drizzle? I’m not a shrimp lover, myself, so I don’t have a lot of experience working with it.

    • Reply Adrianna July 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

      I just did it so I wouldn’t have to clean a big bowl. So scientific reason or anything, other than me wanting to avoid unnecessary dishes!

      • Reply Alice July 10, 2012 at 8:38 am

        Perfect explanation. 🙂

  • Reply Lorna July 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

    look really simple to make!