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Need a quick keto appetizer? this low carb rendition packs all the bold flavor of classic cocktail sauce without the unwanted sugar.

Keep it Classy and Keto at the same time

Shrimp Cocktail is probably one of the most classic appetizers of the 60’s and 70’s. It was said to have started in Great Britain and the first Recipe was created by restaurant critic and cook Fanny Cradock. Though shrimp Cocktail is an incredibly simple dish proper preparation of the shrimp is key. Under cooked shrimp can have a slimy unpleasant mouth feel and over cooked shrimp can be hard to peel and have a rubbery texture.

Cocktail Sauce itself can be as simple as two ingredients, ketchup and horseradish but adding some additional ingredients can provide a much more flavorful sauce.

Horseradish is not a toy

The amount of horseradish used is completely up to you. If you want to shed a tear feel free to add a few extra tablespoons and if you’re really brave you can even add extra Tabasco. If you want the sauce to me milder I would recommend omitting the hot sauce and even cutting the amount of horseradish in half. I grow fresh horseradish in my garden and love the intense spic but be warned when you grate fresh horseradish you’ll need to open a window and have any kids leave the room. You will be sobbing uncontrollably as if you had just watched the end of Old Yeller. after harvesting fresh horseradish peel the roots and store anything that you don’t intend to use in a week in the freezer. you can grate the root while frozen using a microplane and i think it helps with the eye irritation.Prepared horseradish can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and tends to be milder.

Shrimp Cocktail with Keto Cocktail Sauce

There’s a lot of shrimp in the sea

When buying shrimp there are many different varieties. To me it’s hard to beat gulf shrimp but Carolina also has some fantastic shellfish. When buying shrimp you’ll see different classifications of size like jumbo, large or medium. This can be very misleading, look for numbers like 21/25 or 16/20. This refers to the number of shrimp it takes to weight out to a pound. Always remember the bigger the number, the smaller the shrimp. You may also see numbers like U-10 or U-15, this just means that it’s a specific number of shrimp per pound. I recommend 16/20 for shrimp cocktail because it’s not to big and not to small. If you want to really be fancy grab yourself some U-10 shrimp and your guests will be very impressed but your wallet may be mad at you. 21/25 is as small as I would recommend for shrimp cocktail anything smaller than that I would only use for salads and stir fry.

Shrimp Preparation

Shrimp Preparation: Place 2 pounds of shrimp in a pot and fill with cold water about an inch above the shrimp so they are fully submerged. Squeeze one lemon and add the juice as well as the lemon itself to the pot along with 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Turn the stove to medium high stirring the shrimp every few minutes As soon as the the shrimp has reached a rolling simmer check the shrimp to make sure that the color has changed to a bright red/orange color from its original blue or brown color. Immediately transfer the the shrimp to a bowl of ice and run under cold water until ice has melted. Place shrimp in a sealed container and chill for one hour To serve shrimp remove all of the shell except for the last section connected to the tail. Run a knife down the spine of the shrimp and remove the vein of a discoloring and rinse so the shrimp is a clean white color. Hang shrimp over the edge of a glass or bowl and serve with cocktail sauce and a lemon slice.

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Keto Cocktail Sauce

Course Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword cocktail, sauce, shrimp
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Shrimp 30 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 118kcal
Author Culinary Lion



  • Place shrimp in a pot and cover with cold water. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of old bay. Bring shrimp to a boil.
  • Once shrimp has reached a boil, stir for 15-20 seconds before removing shrimp and shocking in an ice bath to stop the cooking process
  • after shrimp are completly chilled peel of the shell leaving the tail then make a cut across the top of the shrimp and remove the orange vein runing along the top, rinse shrimp again and chill until time to serve
  • Whisk ingredients together and chill in fridge.
  • Note* sometimes cocktail sauce will congeal after a few days in the fridge, just add a tablespoon of water and an extra dash of ketchup and whisk again and it will return to its original texture.


Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 115mg | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 2.6mg
Nutrition Facts
Shrimp Cocktail w/ Keto Cocktail Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 285mg95%
Sodium 944mg41%
Potassium 115mg3%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin C 6.9mg8%
Calcium 170mg17%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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