Killer Shrimp Cocktail

A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

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Who doesn’t love a memorable appetizer? Presenting even the most basic dishes in a fun way can totally take them to the next level and impress your dinner guests without much extra effort on your part.

Killer Shrimp Cocktail: A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

I have a mild obsession with shrimp cocktail (and Halloween – especially Beetlejuice!). Throw in a homemade cocktail sauce and I.am.all.in.

Full disclosure: I’ve been known to order shrimp cocktail and 1 or 2 other appetizers as my meal when my family goes out to dinner.

There’s just something about it that’s so much fun. It’s light, cool, and refreshing.

One of my favorite Supper Club themes to date was Movie Foods. I jumped at the opportunity to to pay tribute to one of my favorite movie scenes of all time – the dinner party scene from Beetlejuice. Who could forget that shrimp cocktail coming to life and grabbing everyone’s faces?

Typically, cocktail sauce is made with jazzed up store-bought ingredients. I decided to challenge myself by making homemade slow cooker ketchup as the base for my sauce, and flavoring it with lemon juice and zest, some horseradish for spice, Worcestershire sauce and a bit of hot sauce.

Killer Shrimp Cocktail: A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

Feel free to use whatever ketchup you have in your pantry here. The homemade ketchup was a fun touch, but by no means necessary.

I also made a flavorful shrimp boil instead of buying pre-cooked shrimp, which worked out really well. It imparted such a nice flavor to the shrimp, and was simple to put together.

This turned out phenomenally – it was totally worth the effort I put into making it. Plus, I had to present it in a manner worthy of one of my favorite childhood movies. I must say, it looked killer!

One of the best parts about this recipe is that you can make all of the components in advance. When dinner is about to be served, just pop them on a fancy martini glass (I like using one that has a little ice holder underneath to keep the cocktail sauce extra cold) and serve!

Killer Shrimp Cocktail: A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

I just realized I said “Beetlejuice” more than 3 times in this post and Michael Keaton hasn’t shown up! He must be stuck in Sandworm Land…

What are your favorite dinner party appetizers? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

Looking for more shrimp recipes? Check out some of our favorites:

Killer Shrimp Cocktail

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Makes 4-6 Servings

Killer Shrimp Cocktail

A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

Ingredients

For the Shrimp:
1 lemon, quartered
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
1 small white onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the Cocktail Sauce:
1 1/4 cup ketchup (I used homemade)
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Instructions

  1. For the Shrimp: Place the lemon, peppercorns, bay leaf, onion and garlic in a large stock pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  2. Add shrimp to the water and cook until pink and slightly firm, about 3 minutes. Plunge the shrimp into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain shrimp and chill until ready to use.
  3. For the Cocktail Sauce: Combine ketchup, horseradish, lemon zest and juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce in a bowl Chill until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, arrange shrimp on a serving platter. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the shrimp and serve with extra lemon wedges and cocktail sauce for dipping. To make it more Beetlejuice-esque, pour a little cocktail sauce into a martini glass and line the rim of the glass with shrimp and lemon wedges.

Notes

Original Recipe by Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli

https://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/killer-shrimp-cocktail/

Killer Shrimp Cocktail: A flavorful shrimp boil and homemade cocktail sauce bring this Beetlejuice-inspired appetizer to life! Perfect for dinner parties and Halloween festivities!

Note: This post includes affiliate links for items that I genuinely enjoy. Big Flavors will receive a tiny commission from purchases made through affiliate links on this site at no added cost to you. This allows us to cover site-related expenses and helps to keep us cooking up a storm!

  • I LOVE homemade shrimp cocktail. It’s always so much cheaper to have at home plus I love making my own flavor packed cocktail sauce.

  • I love making my own cocktail sauce! It always tastes better homemade!

  • Dominique Fasano

    I’ve always wanted to make my own cocktail sauce, it’s one of my favorites. This recipe looks just scrumptious and perfect for the holidays!

  • Dishes Delish

    Hehe, loved the Beetlejuice reference. I also have been known to order a few appetizers for my meal and I LOVE shrimp cocktail!! Can’t wait to make your recipe!

  • Analida’s Ethnic Spoon

    I have to say shrimp cocktail is one of my all time favorite appetizers and we have it at our family gatherings. I can’t wait to try your shrimp boil! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alicia Taylor

    I have that same Ravenscroft crystal glass and I love it for serving ice cream. I also have been known to order a shrimp coctail and a salad as my meal. Looks great.

    • I’m not sure if the Ravenscroft one is the same as the one I have – I got it from a local bar that closed down a few years back. But good to know you love it if I ever need to buy another! Yay for shrimp cocktail!

      • Alicia Taylor

        I got mine on Amazon. It’s actually a martini chiller, but works great for cold food and desserts

  • I TOTALLY order shrimp cocktails as my entire meal sometimes – you’re not alone! 😉

  • You make the sauce exactly how we do. Love the touch of horseradish in it. And we use enough of it to clear all sinuses. Shrimp cocktail is one of our favorite appetizers.

    • I’m always down for more horseradish! Love the sinus clearing aspect – great for the cooler weather, right? Ha!

  • Love a good plate o shrimp

  • I’m with you on having several appetizers as dinner. I frequently find myself doing that too. Btw. . .I’m super impressed that you went all out and made ketchup from scratch. I recall my husband doing this when we were strictly low carb (probably for cocktail sauce too). . .but I’ve never really attempted myself. The shrimp cocktail looks fab.

    • It’s the best way to get a little bit of everything! Homemade ketchup is fun, but definitely not something I’d do often (in fact, I’ve only done it once ever). Definitely a good way to cut down on added sugar!

  • Such a great classic and it looks super yummy!

  • Amanda

    Shrimp cocktail is one of my favorite appetizers! (I also sometimes order it for lunch by itself when I’m out with friends.) You’ve also reminded me that it’s been way too long since I’ve watched Beetlejuice. Such a fun movie.

  • Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery

    I love ordering multiple appetizers instead of an entree for dinner! I think I just get bored quickly of eating the same thing, haha.