Shrimp cocktail is one of those appetizers that if done right is delicious but if done wrong, can be realllllly off-putting. This recipe is so easy and so good. Roasting shrimp in a really hot oven for a short amount of time lightly crisps up the edges of the shrimp and brings out all the natural sweetness, without overcooking it. In my opinion, it’s the way to go and beats steaming or boiling.
I can not tell you how many shrimp I roasted like this when I was catering… let’s just say that people that host fancy cocktail parties love shrimp! I get it, a good shrimp cocktail is like the little black dress of party food. Switch up the sauce, or the way you plate it and you have a quick and easy appetizer that lends itself well to many different party styles.
This recipe works beautifully every time, and besides the fact that I loathe cleaning and pealing shrimp, it really is worth the effort. If you don’t mind spending the extra money, buy pre-peeled and deveined shrimp but I don’t recommend sacrificing that price difference for a smaller shrimp. I prep my own, despite the flashbacks of nights peeling pounds and pounds because the larger/higher quality shrimp are really the way to go here.
Tip: You can line your sheet pan with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up.
I have served this shrimp cocktail in individual portions with a single shrimp sitting on a tiny hors d’oeuvre plate with a dollop of sauce under it. I’ve served it with shrimp hanging over the side of a martini glass with a great gazpacho filling the glass or with the shrimp sitting inside a sauce dish for a fancy presentation. Shrimp also looks beautiful topping a pretty bowl filled with ice and lemon slices to keep it super cold. Pick a sauce that compliments the rest of your meal and go from there!
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
- 2.5 lbs shrimp – U/15 or 16/20 peeled and deveined, tail on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt Maldon is my preference
- 1 tsp black pepper fresh cracked
- 3 small lemons cut into wedges
- Preheat oven to 425*.
- If you did not purchase peeled and deveined shrimp use the time while your oven preheats to clean your shrimp, leaving the tail on.
- Rinse shrimp in cold water and completely dry with paper towels. It is important the shrimp are completely dry or they will steam instead of roast.
- Mix the olive oil, garlic powder, and fresh cracked pepper in a small bowl.
- Spread the shrimp on your sheet pan and drizzle the shrimp with the oil mixture. Toss the shrimp to coat the shrimp in oil and spices. Spread the shrimp out in an even layer, making sure to leave a little room between each shrimp. If your sheet pan seems crowded, divide the shrimp and use two sheet pans to avoid steaming the shrimp.
- Sprinkle the salt over the shrimp and roast for 7-8 minutes until pink, firm and just beginning to crisp up on the edges.
- Remove from the oven, let cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve cold with lemon wedges.
- Remoulade sauce with fresh chopped chives and lemon wedges
- Good old fashioned cocktail sauce with bunches of fresh parsley and lemon wedges
- Coconut peanut sauce with fresh chopped green onions and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- Placed on top of a dollop of great lemon-y garlic aioli, dusted with fresh lemon zest
- Chili, garlic and lime drawn butter with lime wedges and small diced jalapeno
I love seeing photos when you make my recipes! Make sure to tag me @katyscookin on Instagram when you make this Easy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. Thanks for stopping by!