Classic Prawn Cocktail | Easy Shrimp Cocktail Recipe

Classic Prawn Cocktail

This classic prawn cocktail recipe combines succulent Atlantic prawns with a homemade Marie Rose sauce and more. Shell-on prawns are the best variety to use for both texture and flavor.

Classic Prawn Cocktail: Tips for the Prawns

You can make a nice risotto stock from the shells after peeling them too. Most Atlantic prawns are sold cooked and frozen and the best way to defrost them is to leave the in the fridge for several hours.

Don’t defrost them in water because they will lose some of their flavor.

When you peel them, you should split them almost in half through their backs and remove the bitter dark vein running through them. This is optional but it does improve their taste.

A classic prawn cocktail is best served fresh so make it just before serving if you can. Feel free to make any adjustments to this recipe for prawn cocktail if you want to.

You can use tomato concentrate (tomato puree in UK English) instead of tomato chutney, for example, substitute iceberg lettuce for the Little Gem (baby romaine) lettuce, or leave out the Tabasco sauce if you don’t want the spicy hint.

The whole wheat (wholemeal) bread can be swapped for white bread too, if that is what you prefer.

Ideal Starter Recipes for Christmas Dinner

A juicy classic prawn cocktail makes a brilliant starter recipe (appetizer) at Christmas and you can also serve it on other special occasions.

The succulent prawns and seafood sauce top the crisp lettuce and the cherry tomatoes and wholemeal or whole grain bread complement the appearance and flavor of this easy starter recipe. If you are going to serve a prawn cocktail recipe, the following one is guaranteed to be delicious.


How to Make Prawn Cocktail

This fabulous dish has been around forever, or at least it seems that way, but rather than being a remnant from the 1970s this recipe has been updated and given a modern twist. Yum – prawns!

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: British


  • 500g (1 lb) cooked Atlantic prawns with the shells on
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tablespoons tomato chutney
  • 4 Little Gem lettuces (or baby Romaine)
  • Few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 4 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 slices wholemeal bread
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Peel all the prawns except 8 of them.
  2. Wash and trim the lettuces and break them up into separate leaves.
  3. Divide the leaves between 4 serving dishes.
  4. Arrange the peeled prawns over the lettuce and grind some black pepper over them.
  5. Combine the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish and tomato chutney.
  6. Season this mixture with the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon this sauce over the prawns and sprinkle the paprika over the top.
  8. Garnish each prawn cocktail with a sprig of fresh dill, 2 cherry tomatoes and a lemon wedge.
  9. Butter the bread and cut each slice in half.
  10. Garnish the prawn cocktails with the buttered bread and 2 unpeeled prawns on the side.
  11. Serve immediately.

This delicious classic prawn cocktail recipe is easy to make and is the perfect delectable and interesting starter recipe for almost any occasion. This is a colorful and classic starter recipe.

Prawn cocktail is not difficult to make and once you have defrosted the prawns, it is just a question of combining the ingredients and arranging the prawn cocktail attractively in the serving dishes.

There are different recipes for prawn cocktail but if you want to learn how to make classic prawn cocktail which looks elegant and tastes divine, this recipe will not disappoint.