Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

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Roasted Shrimp Cocktail is the easy summer appetizer recipe you need to keep on hand!
Fresh garlic and herbs are roasted with shrimp to dip in a homemade cocktail sauce. Just delicious!

roasted garlic and herb shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe

Growing up, my parents hosted lots of gatherings throughout the year. Mainly at Christmas, where they would host back to back gatherings for their different groups of people. Mom would host her office party with a nice catered dinner and lively ornament exchange. Dad would host his scout troop leaders and wives for an unforgettable cocktail party, complete with a white elephant gift exchange. What I remember most about these parties are the HUGE platters of shrimp cocktail that would appear. It never appealed to me… the shrimp draped over the plastic container, all lined up, who knows how long they had been frozen. And the cocktail sauce kind of jiggled when you would open it. Y’all, I cannot! 

So, let’s talk about this appetizer…

It was the most popular hors d’œuvres in Great Britain and the United States from 1960 to 1980 and it’s still a favorite today! It can either be incredibly well done or not so well. The not so well version is usually because they over boil the shrimp, instead of letting it poach in a well-seasoned broth for only a few minutes. This recipe from Bon Appetit for BA’s Best Shrimp Cocktail is delicious if you’re going the poached route. 

Items used for Poached Shrimp Cocktail:

Bruschetta Bar Grazing Board idea

Now we can chat about Roasted Shrimp Cocktail,
and why it has a few more pros than cons. 

  1. It’s easier than poaching shrimp. You toss it all on a sheet pan, roast in the oven, and you’re done!
  2. FLAVORTOWN. Seriously! The blend of fresh garlic and herbs takes an incredibly bland dish to extremely flavor-filled.
  3. You can make this the day before, along with the cocktail sauce, and all you need to do is add to a bowl of ice!


Shrimp cocktail recipe using garlic and herbs with a homemade cocktail sauce

Roasted shrimp cocktail is the perfect appetizer idea for a low carb snack, for an appetizer, a summertime gathering, a picnic, or a big cocktail party. It’s a great option to serve on a buffet — people just help themselves! The best part? You can make everything the day before, and assemble the day of your gathering. 

Here is what you will need to make Roasted Shrimp:

We do need to have a discussion on buying shrimp.

There are two kinds you’ll want to consider: Fresh and Frozen. Let’s talk Frozen first…

Frozen shrimp need to be frozen when purchased… this may sound funny, but it’s true! Some shrimp are frozen and then thawed. If possible, do not buy this kind. Who knows when that shrimp was thawed! You want to purchase frozen shrimp that have tails on, preferably with the shell intact. Yes, it is a LOT of work to peel and devein shrimp. But, those shells pack flavor!

Fresh shrimp are best if you are close to the ocean. I live in the mountains, so frozen is my go to! 

For either kind, you’ll want to get something like 21/25 or 16/20 — this is how many shrimps are in a pound. Definitely, don’t get the colossal or the baby, that’s just gross!

If you are bringing home frozen shrimp, you can thaw in a colander in the sink. If you’re pressed for time, run some cool water overtop and they will thaw in no time! You can use scissors and snip along the back end, and then just pull the vein out with a paper towel. Be sure to leave the tails on, so you and your peeps have something to hold on to for maximum dipping. It’s all about that dip!

This is the same method you use for fresh shrimp — all though, most seafood markets will sell you peeled and deveined fresh shrimp for a price. (It’s worth it if you are making Shrimp Cocktail for a crowd of 80+!)

roasted garlic and herb shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe

Yield: 8-10 servings

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp cocktail recipe using garlic and herbs with a homemade cocktail sauce

Simply delicious roasted shrimp cocktail is nothing short on flavor and wow factor with homemade cocktail sauce!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 2 pounds 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I grate with a microplane!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cocktail Sauce:
  • 1 cup good ketchup, such as Heinz
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, prepared horseradish
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425˚
  2. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel, and dump into large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, thyme, salt, and pepper on top of shrimp and mix well to evenly coat.
  4. Place in a single layer on half sheet pan, and roast in oven for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Prepare cocktail sauce.
  6. In a small bowl, mix all Cocktail Sauce ingredients. Allow to chill for half an hour before serving.
  7. To serve Shrimp Cocktail, place shrimp on a bed of crushed ice along with the bowl of cocktail sauce, and lemons for garnish.


Shrimp and sauce can be made the day before. This keeps well for a few days, but no longer. You don't want that fishy smell in your fridge! Bleck!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 688mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Be sure to save this recipe to your favorite appetizer board!

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail is an easy summer appetizer recipe! Garlic and herbs coat the shrimp that are quickly roasted, and served with a homemade cocktail sauce.

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  1. Wow these shrimp look so flavorful my mouth is watering! I love your shrimp platter with all the spreads and sauces, looks so inviting! Would love to know what are all these spreads?

    1. Sure thing! Just below the pin at the bottom of the post is a list of the items on the grazing board, all hyperlinked! Thanks for stopping by, Cathy!

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