LEMON SHRIMP COCKTAIL – nothing small about the taste

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When some people look at a shrimp, they think, “Hmm. Delicious.” When I look at a shrimp, I think, “You’re a miracle, absolutely incredible. Your ancestors have gone back hundreds of millions of years.” And to develop a thing as simple as a shrimp cocktail, you have to calculate the hundreds of millions of years that have preceded that moment where you’re sitting there with your sauce and fork poised. — Sylvia Earle

Hi there,

I have finally gotten back into the swing of cooking for my friends. It has been a long hiatus because of my surgery and my wonderful second honeymoon.

This roasted lemon shrimp cocktail has become my go-to appetizer this summer. Besides the fact that it is incredibly tasty, it earned its way into the repertoire because it is very easy and can be prepared in advance of my guests’ arrival.

I serve it with two dipping sauces. One sauce is the traditional cocktail sauce, and the other is Ina Garten’s Louis sauce.


  • 2 lb bag of 16-20 shrimp
  • 2 lemons sliced very thin
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of EVOO mixed with 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning mix
  • aleppo pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • slice the lemons very thin and arrange on a sheet pan
  • mix the shrimp with the seasoned EVOO
  • place the shrimp on top of the lemons
  • sprinkle the lemon zest and aleppo pepper liberally on the shrimp
  • bake for 15 to 20 minutes
  • serve at room temperature

Louis Sauce – Ina Garten

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended: Heinz)

1/2 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)

For the sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

WARNING: Don’t hope for any leftovers. Every time I serve this dish, I end up with an empty plate.

28 responses to “LEMON SHRIMP COCKTAIL – nothing small about the taste”

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Looks wonderful Bernie! It does indeed look like one of those dishes you make extra the next time for planned leftovers, only the plan doesn’t quite work that way!

  2. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    Chef Mimi says:

    Love this shrimp! I’ve never heard of Louis sauce! At least you know if you have no leftovers that your guests were happy!

    • Mimi, I married into an Italian family whose motto is if there aren’t leftovers you didn’t make enough food! I have felt uneasy since my first dinner party as a married woman about the issue of leftovers😳

  3. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats – NY, NY – Private chef, cookbook author, food journalist and translator. I love traveling and love to find out more about food wherever I go.
    Ronit says:

    I also grew up with leftover as a necessary part of the meal! I actually love it.
    Shrimp and lemon is the perfect combination.:)

  4. Even tho’ I’m not one of your “early birds”, I look forward to all your posts and indeed do try at least most of them..this one in particular! Thanks, Bern, for helping with my dinner choices 😋

  5. Well, this sounds perfect. I’m all in favor of a delicious dish that I can make ahead when company’s coming. And I love that you made two dipping sauce options! No wonder there were no leftovers. 🙂

      • Les and I were hoping to make a quick drive-away trip up your way over Labor Day weekend but we couldn’t make it work because our pet sitter is not available. We don’t leave our sweet, aging dog with just anyone, but we will make our way that direction eventually and I’ll for sure let you know! 🙂

  6. I could eat this once a week! This is my kind of meal.

  7. Shrimp are my favourite, Bernadette. This looks yummy.

  8. D. Wallace Peach – 30 Miles beyond the edge of civilization, Oregon – I'm an adventurer in writing, peering under rocks in my garden for secret magic. I can't stop writing. My stories want to explode from my head. They demand my attention and surge from my fingertips faster than I can put them to paper. I love what I do.
    D. Wallace Peach says:

    Looks just wonderful, Bernadette. Almost makes me want shrimp for breakfast with my coffee! Happy Sunday, my friend. <3

  9. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    Yum! I love the warning – that would be true at our place as well!

  10. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    Jenna says:

    Beautiful! A perfect example of simple is best!

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