Jumbo shrimp are roasted until tender with fresh lemon zest & spices then chilled & served with a zesty homemade cocktail sauce! This roasted shrimp cocktail is the perfect party appetizer!
Skip the store-bought shrimp cocktail and try this easy lemon roasted shrimp cocktail at home instead! Shrimp cocktail is one of my favorite appetizers to serve for a party. It’s quick and easy, everyone loves it and it always looks so fancy too! So we’re kicking this appetizer up a notch by making our own! This version is tasty, vibrant, full of bold flavors AND so ridicuously easy to make too! (I bet you’ll have everything you need on hand already!) It’s become our go-to appetizer for every occasion and we’re always asked to share the recipe! Trust me loves, this cocktail sauce is a winner!
Ingredients For Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
- Raw shrimp: Use jumbo shrimp for the best results. (21-25 count)
- Ketchup: The base of your cocktail sauce! (We prefer using a no sugar added ketchup but feel free to use your favorite brand.)
- Prepared horseradish: This is what gives that quintessential “bite” to every cocktail sauce. (You can usually find it in the condiment section of most grocery stores. This is the one we use: Morehouse Horseradish)
- Lemons: We’ll be using the zest and juice of your lemons so make sure your lemons have a bright and vibrant rind with no bad spots.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds more flavor and a hint of sweetness to your cocktail sauce.
- Hot sauce: I strongly suggest using tabasco sauce for this recipe. (Not a fan of tobasco? No worries, we’re only using about 1 teaspoon so you won’t even taste it after adding the rest of your ingredients! Don’t skip it though!)
- Spices: Salt & black pepper are all you need for this easy cocktail sauce recipe!
How To Make Lemon Roasted Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- Preheat your oven. Turn your oven on to 400 degrees and line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
- Prepare your shrimp. If using frozen shrimp, thaw your shrimp completely then add them to a large bowl. Next spray your shrimp with cooking spray or toss them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they’re completely coated. Then add your salt, pepper and lemon zest and toss again.
- Roast. Spread your shrimp out on your prepared pan so that none are over lapping. Then place the pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the shrimp turn opaque and are cooked all the way through.
- Chill your shrimp. Once the shrimp are done cooking, transfer them to a bowl, cover it and let them chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight.
- Make your cocktail sauce. When you’re ready to serve, mix your ketchup, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper together. Then taste and adjust your seasonings if needed.
- Serve! Arrange your chilled shrimp on a tray next to your cocktail sauce and serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.
Roasting Shrimp vs. Store-Bought Cooked Shrimp
I know, I know, it’s soo easy to simply pick up a bag of cooked shrimp from the store to pair with your cocktail sauce. (Which is still totally fine too!) BUT have you ever noticed that most store bought cooked shrimp tends to be a little watery and bland? Yeahhh…that’s why cooking and chilling the shrimp yourself is 100x better! By roasting the shrimp with lemon zest and spices we’re actuallly infusing them with flavor so every bite is super delicious flavorful!
- How do I know when my shrimp is done cooking? Your shrimp will turn opqaue in color and curl to form a “C”. If your shrimp curls too much to form an “O” they’re overdone. (It’s ok if most of the shrimp is opaque with just a few “gray” spots. Your shrimp will continue to cook for a few minutes after they’ve been taken out of the oven. You also don’t want to overcook them or they’ll become tough or rubbery after they’ve chilled.)
- I don’t like tabasco! Is there something else I can use? Absolutely! You can use any type of hot sauce you want for this recipe! (Franks Red Hot would be another great substitute. Chipotle tabasco would give it a fun “Mexican” flare to your sauce too!)
- Do I serve my shrimp warm, cold or at room temperature? We personally prefer serving our shrimp chilled. (More like traditional shrimp cocktail.) But you can always serve it warm or at room temperature if you prefer too.
Why you’ll love this homemade shrimp cocktail sauce recipe
- Easy to customize! Not a fan of horseradish? Add a little less! Prefer more lemon flavor? Add another squeeze of lemon juice! This recipe is so easy to tailor to your own tastes & preferences!
- Better than store bought! Most store bought cocktail sauces have additives in them that can muddle their flavor. Not this one! We’re using simple every day ingredients to bring big bold flavors that are much better for you!
- Perfect appetizer for a large group! This shrimp cocktial recipe is so easy to double or triple if you have a large group to serve. Plus the shrimp and cocktail sauce can both be made beforehand too!
More shrimp recipes you might like:
- The Best Shrimp Ceviche
- Avocado Salsa Shrimp Salad
- Crispy Shrimp & Poblano Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce
- Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Sauce
- Spicy Shrimp, Mango & Avocado Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]
Lemon Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
For the lemon roasted shrimp:
- 1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp (21-25 count), peeled & deveined with tail left on
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Cooking spray or 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the cocktail sauce:
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1-2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp hot sauce (I use tobasco sauce)
- ¼ tsp salt
To make the cocktail sauce:
- Mix your cocktail sauce ingredients together in a bowl then taste and adjust your seasonings if needed. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. (I would suggest starting with 1 tablespoon of horseradish and tasting it before adding the second tablespoon.)
To make the roasted shrimp:
- Turn your oven on to 400 degrees and line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
- Next (if using frozen shrimp) thaw your shrimp completely and add them to a large bowl. Then spray your shrimp with cooking spray or toss them in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they're completely coated. Add your salt, pepper and lemon zest and toss again.
- Then spread your shrimp out on your prepared pan and make sure none are overlapping. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the shrimp turn opaque and are cooked all the way through.
- Once the shrimp are done cooking, transfer them to a bowl, cover it and let them chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight.
- When you're ready to serve, arrange your chilled shrimp on a tray next to your cocktail sauce and serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.