Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

So easy, guys! Just toss together a few common pantry ingredients and you've got a creamy-spicy cocktail sauce for shrimp, veggies and more and maybe just maybe, an instant party. Better still? Make it to taste, make only as much as you need!

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.

Quick Cocktail Sauce, Made from Scratch. Just Five Minutes & Six Ingredients. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly. Easy DIY. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free.

Easy Summer Recipes ♥, a seasonal collection of easy-to-remember and memorable recipes especially for summer. Less cookin'. More livin'. It's the summer's motto!
This recipe is so quick and easy
that I'm adding it to a special collection of easy summer recipes
published every summer since 2009.
Watch for new "summer easy" recipes all summer long!
With a free e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


A few years back, food celebrity Michael Ruhlman threw down a BLT challenge. Make your own bread. Cure your own bacon. Grow your own lettuce and tomato. And yes, definitely make your own Homemade Mayonnaise for BLTs.

A few folks not only accepted the challenge but went still further, growing their own wheat, raising their own pig, raising chickens for the mayo's egg. Over achievers?! Maybe but wow, I do salute them.

But is it my idea of summer fun? your idea of summer fun? No way, not when such great results are so close at hand.

This DIY shrimp cocktail sauce definitely falls in the "semi-homemade" camp, relying on just six ingredients I'm willing to bet may already be in your fridge.

I love that it's seasoned to taste and sized to need.

Many nights, we like a small bite before dinner. How much cocktail sauce do you need for maybe three shrimp? or five? Not much.

With homemade cocktail sauce, make only what you need for now: no more jar of cocktail sauce hanging out on the refrigerator door getting crusty for months and months.

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.

About This Recipe

  • Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce is one of those "extras" that somehow just gives an appetizer like shrimp cocktail a special bit of oomph.
  • Every ingredient is distinctive and there are just six of them!
  • Ingredient List = ketchup + mayonnaise + onion + horseradish + Worcestershire + lemon juice + optional hot sauce
  • Allow about five minutes to mix the Cocktail Sauce. It's ready-to-eat straight away but if you have time, refrigerate it for a few hours, allowing the flavors to meld and ripen.
  • The color is a pretty pale red, the grated onion gives it a nubbly texture.
  • As written, the recipe yields a single cup of Cocktail Sauce but it's easy to scale up or down, depending on what you need.
Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • What about skipping the onion? Yes but ... Grated onion gives the cocktail sauce a certain special sharpness that is just so good. If you're onion-averse, maybe start with a single tablespoon and give it a taste. Add more as you see fit ...

  • Would low-fat mayonnaise work? You bet. I don't recommend non-fat mayo, however.
Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ingredients ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most illuminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

Mix in Two Steps Mix the thicker ingredients (ketchup, mayo, onion and horseradish) really well before stirring in the liquid ingredients (Worcestershire, lemon juice, hot sauce). It's a small thing, but it's easier to avoid lumpy bits of mayo this way.

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce with veggies ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for homemade cocktail sauce hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time-to-table: 5 minutes but flavors do meld over 24 hours
Makes about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup (135g) ketchup
  • 1/4 cup (56g) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (40g) grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • Hot sauce, optional & to taste

With a small whisk or a fork, stir together the ketchup, mayonnaise, onion and horseradish until it's completely mixed. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.

Transfer to a storage container (glass is perhaps best since it won't stain) and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Can be made a day or two ahead of time, should be used up with about a week.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Cocktail Sauce Only, Per Tablespoon: 35 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 2mg Cholesterol; 119mg Sodium; 3g Carb; 0g Fiber; 2g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 1 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1 & & future WW points

Roasting shrimp really intensifies shrimp flavor, it works especially well for shrimp cocktail and Shrimp Salad.

HOW TO ROAST SHRIMP Just remove the shells from shrimp, leaving the tails on if you like, removing if you prefer. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast at 400F/200C for 6-8 minutes (for the smaller 21/25 shrimp) and 7-9 minutes (for the larger 16/20 size shrimp). Let cool a bit, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Many thanks to my friend Sally Denton who first introduced me to roasted shrimp way back in 2008! She's the author of very-readable non-fiction and has a new book coming out this month, The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land (affiliate link), an investigation into the 2019 killings of nine women and children in Northern Mexico and an examination of the strange, little-understood world of a polygamist Mormon outpost. My copy is on pre-order!

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See

More DIY Condiments Worth Making

~ Little Extras That Make All the Difference ~
Homemade Finnish Mustard ♥, homemade mustard Finnish-style, a creamy, spicy mustard just like the amazing mustards in Finland.

Lime Crema ♥, a simple way to upgrade tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.

Green Chile Sauce (Salsa Verde) for Green Chile Burgers ♥ Budget Friendly Meal Prep. Vegan. Low Fat. Low Carb.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ recipes with ketchup ~
~ mayonnaise ~
~ lemon recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.