• Prep Time: 15 MINUTES
  • Cooking Time: 3 MINUTES
  • Serves: 15 LARGE SHRIM

Easy Shrimp Cocktail

  • Recipe Submitted by on

 Ingredients List

  • about 2 quarts water
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves
  • 10 to 15 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste (1 tablespoon salt to 1 pound of shrimp cooked in 2 quarts of water is a good ratio)
  • one pound of 12-15 count (16-20 count okay) raw shrimp, deveined and peeled with tails left on
  • icebath
  • cocktail sauce, for serving (storebought or homemade, see blog post for recipe links)


Fill a large pot with water (about 2 quarts for 1 pound shrimp) and add the lemon, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow water to boil for 5 to 10 minutes (while you’re cleaning the shrimp) to allow the flavors to develop.
Add the shrimp to the water (no need to remove lemon, bay leaves, or peppercorns) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until done. Pull shrimp when they’ve firmed up and just turned pink. Overcooked shrimp are rubbery, tough, and not good.
Add shrimp to an icebath to stop the cooking and allow to remain in icebath for about 5 minutes, or until chilled. Serve immediately with cocktail sauce or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 24 hours before serving.

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