This Easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Recipe is not only simple to make, but it’s also low in fat and calories. It’s elegant enough for more formal gatherings, but also a favorite at casual parties or for game day.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read our full disclosure policy.
If you are looking for an incredibly quick and easy party appetizer, this is one of the easiest. You will only need a few things and it also gets bonus points because it’s low in calories and low in fat.
There is a couple tips to making this Quick & Easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer recipe.
First, you’ll want small glasses that are perfectly sized for your shrimp. We recommend using small glasses that hold about 1 1/2 ounces – which is your typical “shot glass” size. The shooter-style glasses you see in our photos work great for jumbo sized shrimp, plus they work great for other mini appetizers (like veggies with dip) or mini desserts.
Second, you’ll want to use jumbo sized shrimp for a great presentation. To be sure that you are truly getting jumbo size shrimp, you should only get about 11-15 jumbo shrimp per pound. They fill the glasses nicely, leaving plenty of the tail to hang over the edge, giving your guests plenty of shrimp to dip into the cocktail sauce.
Another great thing about using a jumbo shrimp is that you will only need one per glass, per person.
Assuming that you are starting with uncooked shrimp, you’ll likely need to devein your shrimp. To make this process as quick as possible, I highly recommend using a Shrimp Deveiner & Cleaner.
Lastly, for ultimate ease, use a pre-made cocktail sauce. For this Quick & Easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer recipe, we used a jarred cocktail sauce, which you can buy online or in the condiment aisle of your grocery store. You can also check near the seafood counter.
Quick & Easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Recipe
Here’s the full instructions for making your own easy Shrimp Cocktail appetizers. If you aren’t ready to make this yet, be sure to pin this recipe to one of your Pinterest boards for safekeeping.
Easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Recipe
- 12 small shooter-style glasses
- 12 jumbo uncooked shrimp
- 1 in lemon cut quarters
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups cocktail sauce
- 4 slices of lemon - cut in quarters
If using frozen shrimp, first thaw shrimp by placing shrimp in a strainer and running under cold water. Peel shells from shrimp, leaving tail intact and devein shrimp. Rinse.
Fill a large pot with about 2 quarts of water. Add lemon quarters, bay leaf, and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque in color and slightly firmed (about 2 minutes). Be careful not to overcook.
Remove from heat immediately and run cooked shrimp under cold water until cooled. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble your shrimp cocktails (cooking the shrimp can be done up to a day ahead).
Fill each glass halfway with cocktail sauce. Place one shrimp in each glass with the tail hanging out over edge of glass. Place a quarter of a lemon slice on the rim of each glass, for garnish. Serve immediately.
Recipe NotesIf you prefer to use pre-cooked shrimp, skip the cooking process. After peeling and deveining, rinse shrimp and place in a bowl. Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon over shrimp and toss to coat. Assemble shrimp cocktails in the same manner.