Ridiculously Easy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Forget poaching and try this easy roasted shrimp cocktail. Instead of poaching the shrimp, we quickly roast shrimp in a hot oven until sweet and tender. Jump to the Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

For The Best Shrimp Cocktail, Roast The Shrimp

This is the only way we cook shrimp for a shrimp cocktail. Instead of poaching, we quickly roast shrimp with salt, pepper, and lemon in a hot oven until sweet and tender. It’s perfection and so simple.

Roasting shrimp is quick, easy, and makes the shrimp ultra tender and flavorful.

For The Best Shrimp Cocktail, Roast The Shrimp

This is a classic recipe with just the right amount of spin to make it exciting again. Not to mention you can customize it however you like.

We love to use lots of lemon and pepper, but a mixture of chili powder, cumin and spice would completely transform it into something deliciously different. These chile butter shrimp are an example of that. Other possible variations are to toss the shrimp with a little Sriracha and honey before roasting. You could also use your favorite spice blend — old bay and garam masala are perfect. It’s all up to you.

This Recipe Has Three Easy Steps

  • Toss peeled and deveined shrimp (nice big shrimp are best) with the tails left on with some olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon zest.
  • Line them up on a baking sheet with some space between them.
  • Roast for 5 to 10 minutes or until the shrimp are pink, firm and cooked through.
For the most flavorful shrimp cocktail, we toss shrimp with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil.
For the most flavorful shrimp cocktail, we toss shrimp with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and olive oil.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve the shrimp however you like — we’re partial to serving with extra lemon wedges, cocktail sauce that’s been spiced up a little with extra horseradish, and this easy homemade tartar sauce. Warm, room temperature and cold all work — so making this ahead of time is a perfectly fine thing to do.

One note, if you plan on serving this at a party, you really don’t want to leave the shrimp out for more than 4 hours for safety so think about serving it in batches. Serve half in the beginning and keep the rest in the fridge.

A Note About Grilling

If you’re not in the mood to turn on your oven, try grilling the shrimp instead. Threading the shrimp onto skewers that have been soaked in water for a few minutes makes this extra easy.

More Easy Appetizer Recipes

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our Roasted Red Pepper Hummus from Scratch and our Maryland-Style Crab Cakes (make them into mini balls for an appetizer).

More Easy Shrimp Recipes

For more ways to use shrimp, check out our Shrimp Soba Noodles with Pesto and Cucumber, our Easy Chile Butter Shrimp Tacos (utterly delicious), these Spicy Maple Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, and if you love fresh flavor, try our Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, review it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #inspiredtaste on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Ridiculously Easy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

  • PREP
  • COOK

Roasted shrimp cocktail is an absolute classic with just the right amount of spin to make it exciting again. Not to mention you can customize it however you like. Here we’ve used lots of lemon and pepper, but you could customize in a number of ways. Try using old bay, garam masala or other spice blend in place or in addition to the lemon.

Makes approximately 4 servings

You Will Need

1 pound extra-large shrimp, shelled with tails left on

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

Cocktail sauce, for serving

Tartar sauce, for serving, see our homemade tartar sauce recipe


    Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    Toss the shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the lemon zest. Tumble shrimp onto the baking sheet and spread into one layer. (If you are doubling this recipe, you may need two baking sheets. Try to leave some space between each shrimp).

    Roast the shrimp for 5 to 10 minutes until pink, firm, and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce, and tartar sauce on the side.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Grilled Shrimp Cocktail: If you’re not feeling like turning on the oven, try grilling the shrimp instead of roasting. Skewers make this extra easy. First, soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes or so then thread the shrimp on to them. Grill over medium heat until pink, firm and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
  • We use kosher salt. If you don’t have it on hand, keep this in mind: 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt = about 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We did not include cocktail sauce.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 110 / Protein 15 g / Carbohydrate 1 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 5 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 141 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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8 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Margaret November 26, 2019, 1:22 pm

    Should the shrimp be served warm, room temperature or cold?

    • Joanne November 26, 2019, 2:00 pm

      We like both warm and cold. It’s up to you.

  • Diane April 3, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Hi, Can you use thawed frozen shrimp?

    • Joanne April 4, 2014, 11:33 am


  • Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste January 2, 2014, 8:46 am

    This looks so simply and DELICIOUS! Love the idea of roasting the shrimp with all that fresh citrus. Yum!

    • Joanne May 22, 2019, 5:39 pm

      Thanks, Kelly. The lemon does add so much extra flavor.

  • Rachel December 20, 2013, 10:17 am

    Roasting is a fabulous way to cook shrimp. Love this recipe!

    • Joanne May 22, 2019, 5:38 pm

      Thanks Rachel! We totally agree. Roasting brings out so much flavor.


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