Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ This Recipe Has Moved

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce ♥ An easy DIY, just six ingredients, mixed to taste, sized to use.
So easy, guys! Just toss together a few common pantry ingredients and you've got a creamy-spicy cocktail sauce for shrimp, veggies and more and maybe just maybe, an instant party. Better still? Make it to taste, make only as much as you need!

But the recipe has moved to a new location,
please see

Five-Minute Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

at Kitchen Parade, my food column.

"Dear Heinz Ketchup,

Please, will you make my life easier?

You see, I take a lot of guff for your regular appearance on my table. You’re the stuff of my childhood and I really don’t want to give you up. Eggs, macaroni and cheese, hashed browns and of course burgers and ‘ dogs, they’re just not the same without your cute little red squiggle. And I might get away with it, truly, if you were just a retro indulgence.

But please, I can’t defend the fact that your third ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. You make this public, why not make it go away?!!

And oh yes, I’m well aware that not everyone believes that high fructose corn syrup is a trouble-maker. But the thing is, I work really hard to eat low on the food chain. If you’d just please return to the ketchup basics (you know, tomatoes, vinegar, plus a tiny touch of sweetness and those special Heinz ketchup spices) then I could proudly make room for you on my table, rather than sneaking in a squirt or two during the dead of night.

Your faithful ketchup lover,

Alanna, the ketchup veggie evangelist"

Okay, that's done, my imaginary letter to Heinz is written.

But I'm sticking with ketchup, if only because it makes this very tasty homemade cocktail sauce, saving both money for my pocket and space in my fridge. This sauce practically threw itself together and was as good as any I've had in forever. On Day One it was perfect as a fresh veggie dip, on Day Two, we used it as shrimp cocktail sauce.

So I'll never buy cocktail sauce again and -- except for that ketchup thing -- neither should anyone else!

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2009 & 2022 (retired)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. That is SO easy and quick! And you f'got french fries...they are SO not the same w/o ketchup :)

  2. Sounds good, I'll have to try it. I make a similar, if simplified, concoction for dipping boiled crawfish --> one part ketchup, three-fourths part mayo, Tabasco sauce to taste. Of course, crawfish aren't strictly considered vegetables . . . not so much.

  3. And I just bought some cocktail sauce from Trader JOe's. I'll have to check the ingredients and see what it's sweetened with. But I'm bookmarking this!

  4. Alanna I am in total agreement with you on the Heinze issue. I love the stuff but loath it at the same time maybe we should start a petion for
    Oh the recipe is going to be made today, thank you for getting me off the hook for going to the grocery.

  5. this sounds yummy! I'm never fully satisfied with the bottled stuff so I'd like to try this at our next cocktail party.

  6. I tried an organic ketchup from Whole Foods recently I think it was their 365 brand. Usually I don't care for any ketchup unless its Heinz or Hunts but this was soooo good! I could just drink it(well I didn't but I could've). The big plus was no high fructose corn syrup

  7. Sadly, you'd have to pry my Heinz ketchup out of my hand, too. But I think we can start a movement here to get the HFCS out of our favorite ketchup. Well, Heinz, how about it?

  8. grammie2maddieApril 22, 2009

    love, love, love cocktail sauce!! on just about anything!!

  9. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. A and N ~ I sure did! Cept I'm half Canadian and so my favorite thing for French fries is ... malt vinegar!

    Wess ~ Didn't think the recipe could be simpler but yours sure is!

    Cyndi ~ Let us know. Maybe if Heinz doesn't get its act together.

    Marie ~ Ha, yes, let's get organized! Glad to save you the trip.

    Crazy4 ~ "Our next cocktail party." Aii, what a life!

    Ronda ~ Great tip, I'll check next visit.

    Lydia ~ Yay, another fan. We can't be the FIRST bloggers to talk about this, can we?

    Grammie ~ REALLY? Give us some hints!

    Simon ~ You're welcome, thanks for visiting!

  11. I love using cocktail sauce with raw cauliflower..I will try this recipe it sounds great!

  12. I never have cocktail sauce in the fridge when I need it. I never thought about making my own. I can't wait to try it.

  13. this sounds great and is easily veganizable! How interesting that you found a great party cookbook from the 70's. I'm always looking for make ahead recipes.

  14. fake shrimp?? i've never had it.

  15. Long time reader, first time commenter :-) I have to tell you that the Heinz Organic is HFCS free and tastes just like you think ketchup should taste. None of the other HFCS free brands were any good but this stuff is GREAT. Woo!

  16. Heinz has an "organic" ketchup which does not have HFC in it, only the basics like it should be. Yeah, it costs more than the regular, but is worth it and I think it tastes better.

  17. I am a BIG fan of home made cocktail sauce, BUT, where is the minced or grated onion w/onion juice in the recipe???????

    We always put that in along with the catsup, horseradish, sometimes lemon juice if on hand. If not on hand, we use the powdered True Lemon packets to substitute.

    Interesting on the different regions and the adaptions we make to food.

    Try it the next time with grated onion juice and add minced onion along with the grated onion. Just that little kick of onion and the small bits of crunch make such an improvement.

    I like crunch in my sandwiches also. Got to have romaine lettuce (more nutrition than the plain iceberg which is just a tummy filler), onions sprouts and pickles, the whole schmeer. I started putting sliced cucumbers on my sandwiches after getting some gourmet sandwiches at our local coffee shoppe made that way, YUMM.

    I also love the Subway Cucumber/Turkey subs. Everything goes on except lettuce, jalapenos, shredded cheese and black olives. Cucumbers are just the best. One of our local C store/gas stations has a cucumber mac salad in the spring and summer. Talk about comfort food, elbow macaroni with mayo (Kraft, because it is not sweet) and sliced, seeded cucumbers. Nummmmm, I have all the ingredients in the fridge and think I will make some this weekend. Hubby will not be home for dinner in the next few days, so will not make it BECAUSE I WILL EAT IT.

  18. I am always out of sauces and don't feel like going to the's good to know I can just whip this up myself if need be! Thanks!

  19. I do so love cocktail sauce, but I only ever have the pre-packaged stuff with the thawed shrimp at family get-togethers. Never thought of using it as a vegetable dip! What are other ways to use it?

  20. Talk to me about horseradish . . . never bought it, don't know where to start.

  21. Hi. You should try this recipe for ketchup. It's super easy and cheap. Some people don't even cook it. They just throw it in the blender.

  22. Su ~ This would be great with cauliflower, for sure!

    Travel Girl ~ We learn something when we 'travel', yes?!

    Lisa ~ This book is full of make-ahead, don't think it's particularly vegan, however.

    VV ~ Fake shrimp? Hello?!

    Ms Jones ~ Thanks for coming out of lurk-dom! Your tip is excellent, will watch for it as soon as my jumbo bottle of regular ketchup is gone. I'm wondering what the price premium is, for no HFCS?

    Anonymous ~ You and Ms Jones commented at exactly the same time! Thanks for the tip!

    Cait ~ Onion sounds like a great addition, especially since the tip comes from you!

    D n D ~ That's just what I was thinking!

    Tatiana ~ Maybe as a steak sauce? Maybe for marinating pork chops? Or using as a sandwich spread? Or, anyone?

    Kirsten ~ Great question. Horseradish comes in a small jar in the refrigerator section, it's white and wet. I've actually made fresh horseradish from some plants of my mom's at home (Rass harvests them most years) but it wasn't so great. It's 'hot' though not like Tabasco hot, more hot-sharp, I guess. It keeps for a long time in the fridge, I always keep it on hand to add a bit of dash to one thing or another.

    Anonymous ~ Aha, homemade ketchup for homemade cocktail sauce, a double homer. Ha.

  23. I use ketchup for cocktail sauce also - the only other ingredient I use is prepared horseradish. How spicy I make it depends on who will be eating it since some like less spice and some like more. About 1 tbsp horseradish for 1 cup ketchup or so though is a good place to start. Just taste after mixing and see and realize it will intensify after you refrigerate for at least an hour.

  24. I am so happy I found this blog. I am a weight watcher and my boyfriend likes veggie food predominantly.. and this looks like the perfect place for us.

    I am trying this cocktail sauce today!

  25. Try UNSWEETENED KETCHUP (available at whole-food-type grocery stores), and you will NEVER go back to Heinz, Hunt's etc. GUARANTEED!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna