LEMON SHRIMP COCKTAIL – nothing small about the taste

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.

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

  1. It looks easy and delicious. I can see why it is a favorite. I plan to make it here and in Florida. Thanks.

    • 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😳

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

  3. 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 😋

  4. 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! 🙂

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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