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Shrimp Cocktail w/ Keto Cocktail Sauce

January 5, 2019
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Need a quick keto appetizer? this low carb rendition packs all the bold flavor of classic cocktail sauce without the unwanted sugar. Keto Shrimp Cocktail is the perfect appetizer for any Holiday Party or Family gathering

Keep it Classy and Keto at the same time

Shrimp Cocktail is probably one of the most classic appetizers of the 60’s and 70’s. It was said to have started in Great Britain and the first Recipe was created by restaurant critic and cook Fanny Cradock. Though shrimp Cocktail is an incredibly simple dish proper preparation of the shrimp is key. Under cooked shrimp can have a slimy unpleasant mouth feel and over cooked shrimp can be hard to peel and have a rubbery texture. Be sure to keep reading for the Quick Pickled Shrimp bonus recipe below.

Cocktail Sauce itself can be as simple as two ingredients, ketchup and horseradish. Adding some additional ingredients can provide a much more flavorful sauce.

Horseradish is not a toy

The amount of horseradish used is completely up to you. If you want to shed a tear feel free to add a few extra tablespoons of horseradish. If you’re really brave you can even add extra Tabasco. For milder sauce I would recommend omitting the hot sauce and even cutting the amount of horseradish in half.

I grow fresh horseradish in my garden and love the intense spicy Flavor. Be warned when you grate fresh horseradish you'll need to open a window and have any kids leave the room. You will be sobbing uncontrollably as if you had just watched the end of Old Yeller. After harvesting fresh horseradish peel the roots and store anything that you don't intend to use in a week in the freezer. you can grate the root while frozen using a microplane and i think it helps with the eye irritation.Prepared horseradish can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and tends to be milder.

Shrimp Cocktail with Keto Cocktail Sauce

There's a lot of shrimp in the sea

When buying shrimp there are many different varieties. To me it’s hard to beat gulf shrimp but Carolina also has some fantastic shellfish. When buying shrimp you’ll see different classifications of size like jumbo, large or medium. This can be very misleading, look for numbers like 21/25 or 16/20. This refers to the number of shrimp it takes to weight out to a pound. Always remember the bigger the number, the smaller the shrimp.

You may also see numbers like U-10 or U-15 on the shrimp packaging. This just means that it’s a specific number of shrimp per pound. I recommend 16/20 for shrimp cocktail because it’s not to big and not to small. If you want to really be fancy grab yourself some U-10 shrimp and your guests will be very impressed but your wallet not so much. 21/25 is as small as I would recommend for shrimp cocktail anything smaller than that I would only use for salads and stir fry. Ive got a Tequila Lime Shrimp Fajita Recipe that's worth checking out as well

Shrimp Preparation for Keto Shrimp Cocktail

Place 2 pounds of shrimp in a pot and fill with cold water about an inch above the shrimp so they are fully submerged. Squeeze one lemon and add the juice as well as the lemon itself to the pot along with 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Turn the stove to medium high stirring the shrimp every few minutes As soon as the the shrimp has reached a rolling simmer check the shrimp to make sure that the color has changed to a bright red/orange color from its original blue or brown color. Immediately transfer the the shrimp to a bowl of ice and run under cold water until ice has melted.

Place shrimp in a sealed container and chill for one hour to serve shrimp remove all of the shell except for the last section connected to the tail. Run a knife down the spine of the shrimp and remove the vein. Then rinse so the shrimp is a clean white color. Hang shrimp over the edge of a glass or bowl and serve with cocktail sauce and a lemon slice.

Bonus Recipe: Quick Pickled Shrimp w/ Marie Rose Sauce

Im in the spirit of giving so I wanted to offer another similar recipe that would also work for appetizers. Marie Rose sauce is a creamy cocktail sauce found more commonly in the UK and I thought it would be perfect for my ketogenic diet with the lower carbs and high fat. Shrimp are quickly poached and chilled to perfection so that you’ll have great firm texture every time. The lemon and pickle juice give the shrimp a light tangy freshness while the old bay rounds out the brine to give it a spicy kick. Ive Linked the Recipes and youtube video Below.

Quick Pickled Shrimp

Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pickled Shrimp
Servings: 4
Author: Culinary Lion


  • 1 lb 16/20 Shrimp
  • 1/4 cup Pickle Juice
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Old Bay


  • Place shrimp in a saucepan the add enough water to fully submerge the shrimp.
  • Add pickle juice, lemon and old bay them bring shrimp to a boil.
  • As soon as shrimp reaches a boil, turn off heat and stir shrimp for just a second before transferring shrimp to a bowl of ice.
  • Toss shrimp in the ice then add cold water. Let chill for 10 minutes before draining.
  • Toss shrimp in 3 tablespoon of pickle juice and one tablespoon of old bay. Let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

Marie Rose Sauce

Print Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail
Servings: 8
Calories: 31kcal
Author: Culinary Lion



  • Simply whisk all ingredients until smooth. Keep Refridgerated


Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Shrimp Cocktail with Keto Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp Cocktail w/ Keto Cocktail Sauce

Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktail, sauce, shrimp
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Shrimp: 30 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 118kcal
Author: Culinary Lion



  • Place shrimp in a pot and cover with cold water. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of old bay. Bring shrimp to a boil.
  • Once shrimp has reached a boil, stir for 15-20 seconds before removing shrimp and shocking in an ice bath to stop the cooking process
  • after shrimp are completly chilled peel of the shell leaving the tail then make a cut across the top of the shrimp and remove the orange vein runing along the top, rinse shrimp again and chill until time to serve
  • Whisk ingredients together and chill in fridge.
  • Note* sometimes cocktail sauce will congeal after a few days in the fridge, just add a tablespoon of water and an extra dash of ketchup and whisk again and it will return to its original texture.


Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 285mg | Sodium: 944mg | Potassium: 115mg | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 2.6mg
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