10 Delicious Prawn Cocktail Variations

All of us love a good seafood dish, especially a prawn cocktail. But we often get bored with the same old recipe. Many variations will spice up your next party!

This blog post will cover 10 delicious prawn cocktail variations to add some variety to your cooking repertoire.

What Is Prawn Cocktail?

prawn cocktail variations
Prawn cocktails in a champagne glass. Credit: canva


Prawn cocktail, also known as shrimp dishes, is a dish that consists of cooked prawns in either Marie Rose sauce or cocktail sauce. It was famously known as a dish in cocktail glasses, in an ice-cool savory sauce. Although nowadays, people do not always use glass for this dish.

It was the most popular appetizer in Great Britain and the United States from the 1960s to the late 1980s.

It is typically made with mayonnaise and ketchup, although some variations use other ingredients such as mustard. The cookbook Le Cordon Bleu at Home offers recipes for different types of the sauce.

Alternative Names

Several alternative names include :

  • Shrimp dishes
  • Prawn salad
  • Shrimp cocktail

What’s Inside?

A simple recipe for shrimp is cooked shrimp. You can also put mayonnaise or tartar sauce on it. And you need to add salt and pepper to taste.

It is a dish served cold with sauce. It is made with tomatoes and mustard, or mayonnaise.

Where Did Prawn Cocktail Originate from?

The dish was popular in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Some say it began during Prohibition in the 1920s; the bartenders needed to find something to put in those unused gin glasses.

Another historical version occurs in San Francisco, where a gold prospector “ordered a plate of oysters and dipped them in ketchup.”

Some people in the United Kingdom say that the invention happened in 1960. It is often credited to British television chef Fanny Cradock. However, it is more likely that Mrs. Cradock popularized her recipe for British food, which was not well known to most of Britain then.

Prawn Cocktail Sauces

The sauce usually goes by the name “cocktail sauce,” and it is essentially ketchup plus mayonnaise in countries of the Commonwealth. In the United States, it just has ketchup and horseradish.

What is Marie Rose Sauce?

The basic and most common sauce often used is known as Marie Rose sauce.

Marie Rose sauce is a tangy sauce generally made with mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and some seasoning.

The flavors are creamy, tangy, and aromatic.

Over time, there have been variations to spice up the flavors. Most commonly now, Marie Rose sauce will include Tabasco sauce to add a little extra heat.

10 Delicious Prawn Cocktail Variations

prawn cocktail
Prawn cocktail buffet. Credit: canva

There are many variations to spice up your next party. You can use pre-cooked prawns or self-cooked prawns for your perfect dishes.

Here we’ll go over some of the most common ones!

Classic prawn cocktail recipe with Marie Rose sauce


  • pre-cooked prawns
  • baby gem lettuce
  • Marie Rose sauce (mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and Cayenne Pepper)


  1. Put mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  2. On a plate or in a cocktail glass, spread one tablespoon of the sauce on the bottom.
  3. Layer gem lettuce leaves on top of the sauce.
  4. Scatter prawns on top of lettuce leaves and sauce.

With Marie Rose sauce Jamie Oliver

Recipe for this prawn cocktail sauce Jamie Oliver:


  • olive oil
  • ½ a clove of garlic
  • cayenne pepper
  • 8 unpeeled, large, raw tiger prawns
  • ¼ of an iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ of a cucumber
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • 1 small punnet of salad cress
  • 50 g peeled little prawns
  • 100 g mixed white and brown crabmeat
  • 50 g brown shrimps, optional
  • 1 lemon

Jamie Oliver Marie Rose Sauce

  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 swig of brandy
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons free-range mayonnaise


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the crushed garlic and sauté until light brown, stirring often. Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper for extra spice, then add tiger prawns (you can butterfly them first if you like).
  2. Cook the prawns for 3 to 4 minutes (until cooked through). Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. For the Marie rose sauce: combine the lemon juice with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Shred the lettuce, dice the cucumber, and slice the tomato. Then layer in bowls or jars.
  5. Add peeled and cooked prawns to your dish. Then add some Marie rose sauce on top. Finish with crabmeat, shrimps (if using), and cress.
  6. Add a little cayenne pepper and hang a hot prawn off the side of the bowl or jar. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Source: www.jamieoliver.com

Mary Berry Prawn Cocktail with Avocado

For this prawn cocktail recipe Mary Berry:


  • 300g cooked peeled North Atlantic prawns, drained and dried
  • 2 ripe medium avocados
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 x 85g bag mixed crisp lettuce leaves
  • 6 large shell-on cooked king prawns
  • 1 lemon cut into 6 wedges
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cocktail Sauce

  • 8 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 6 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish
  • 1½ tsp tomato purée
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • a dash of sugar


  1. To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the peeled prawns.
  2. Peel the avocados and cut them into small cubes or squares. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.
  3. Put the lettuce in 6 glasses. Put avocado on top of the lettuce. Put the prawn mixture on top of the avocado and garnish each glass with a large prawn.
  4. Serve with a small lemon wedge and brown bread and butter.

Source: www.maryberry.co.uk

Marie Rose Sauce Mary Berry

For Marie Rose sauce recipe Marry Berry:

  1. Mix the mayo, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
  2. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of brandy (if using), then have a taste.
  3. Season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.

Source: www.maryberry.co.uk

Grilled prawns with cocktail sauce and tomatoes (Matt Moran)


  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 24 fresh prawns (green king prawns), heads removed, butterflied, deveined
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 100g mixed salad leaves (we used rocket and watercress)
  • 2 avocados, quartered lengthways, peeled
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (pimento)

Cocktail Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (150g) whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C. Grease a baking tray and put parchment paper on it. Put tomatoes cut side up on the tray and in the oven for 45 minutes. Leave them in there until they are slightly dehydrated (not wet). Let them cool completely when they are done cooking.
  2. For the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven grill to high.
  4. Lay the prawns with the flesh-side up. Drizzle a bit of oil over them to cook them better. Grill the prawns for 4 minutes until they are cooked and slightly charred.
  5. Put salad leaves on a big plate. Put the tomatoes and avocado on top of them, and then put the grilled prawns.
  6. Sprinkle your dish with lemon zest. Sprinkle on paprika and drizzle on some oil to make it look nice. Serve with some cocktail sauce sprinkled with paprika.

Prawn cocktail with avocado and tomato salsa

prawn cocktail


  • 400g cooked peeled North Atlantic-sized prawns, drained and dried
  • ½ an avocado, chopped into small cubes (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For the Salsa:

  • 150ml tomato passata or puree of your choice – we use Harry’s Red Pulp
  • ½ a red onion, finely chopped
  • A few coriander leaves and some parsley to finish off – we use much more than this!
  • 1 Tsp lime (to taste)
  • Salt to taste.

Cocktail Sauce:

  • 100g mayonnaise or plain natural yogurt mixed with 50ml lime juice
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce, or to taste

Coriander leaves for decoration.


  1. To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients and season with salt to taste – we use much more lime too! Cover in clingfilm until ready to serve. You can buy shop-bought salsa for a quicker method and just give it a good mix!
  2. To make the cocktail sauce, combine the ingredients in a bowl. Chill until needed.
  3. Place prawns on an oven tray lined with kitchen paper and cook for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
  4. To assemble, divide the prawns between four glass bowls and top with a spoonful of salsa (if you want), then add about five cubes of avocado if using.
  5. Spoon over some cocktail sauce, sprinkle with coriander leaves, and serve immediately with brown bread on the side for dipping!

Other variations include:

  • Combination with crab meat, shrimp, and cucumber
  • Smoked salmon and dill
  • Mango variations
  • Cocktail with chili and lime
  • Tropical variations

What to Eat with Prawn Cocktail?

prawn cocktail

What goes with a prawn cocktail? It goes well with a variety of dishes, including:

  • Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
  • Pea and Broad Bean Risotto
  • Grilled Fish on a Bed of Rice
  • Fried Chicken Tenders with Fries and Coleslaw.
  • Aioli
  • Baguettes or crusty bread to dip in the sauce
  • Potato crisps
  • Nachos and sour cream.


What is prawn cocktail sauce made of?

Prawn cocktail is a dish that has a sauce called Mary Rose. You can put mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in the sauce.

Is Marie Rose sauce the same as Thousand Island?

Marie Rose Sauce is a type of Thousand Island Dressing. It is usually made from a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise. Marie Rose Sauce is often used with prawns/shrimp, and Thousand Island Dressing is often used with Reuben sandwiches. You can try to make it lighter by adding plain yogurt to the mayonnaise.

What do you drink with a prawn cocktail?

Garlic loves sauvignon blanc. But you can also make it with Rueda, unoaked white Rioja, Godello, southern Italian whites like Fiano and Falanghina, or English Bacchus. These wines are nice. Try manzanilla or fino sherry

What do you eat after a prawn cocktail?

After the shrimp cocktails, we can have potatoes. They will be perfect. We can also have steak with crumbed calamari rings and scallops for dinner or use prawns to make a sauce for the steak.

What are Prawn Cocktail Crisps?

The flavor crisps are one of the most popular kinds of this snack food. They were the second most popular in the UK in 2004, with 16% of the market share. You can find the tasty twists on any vending machine all over the country.

See also: Lamb Leg Roast Cooking Time: The Complete Guide

Related Questions

Is Shrimp Cocktail Raw or Cooked?

The shrimp cocktail is cooked and ready to eat. It is usually served with your favorite sauce and a side of coleslaw. But you can also make it yourself by adding fresh herbs and lemon juice to the shellfish mixture.

What Goes Well with Shrimp Cocktail?

A shrimp cocktail goes well with any seafood, especially oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, lobster, crab, and fish. If you want to serve something different, try serving a grilled steak or chicken breast instead of seafood.

What is Mcdonald’s Big Mac Sauce Made of?

The McDonald’s Big Mac sauce consists of ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and mayonnaise.

What is Ketchup and Mayo Mixed Called?

The name for ketchup and mayonnaise mixed is “mayochup.”

What Sauces Go with Seafood?

The best sauces for seafood include butter, garlic, tartar sauce, lemon juice, soy sauce, and white wine. These ingredients work well together because they complement each other’s flavors.

Is Thousand Island the Same as Russian Dressing?

The main difference between Thousand Island dressing and Russian salad dressing is the addition of pickle juice, which gives Thousand Island dressing more sweetness and texture. Russian dressing has a spicier flavor because it contains chili sauce and prepared hors­eradish.

Can You Reheat Cooked Prawns Twice?

No, you are not recommended to reheat cooked prawns twice. Aside from the safety concerns, reheating them will affect the taste and texture of your dish.

It’s best to serve prawns when they’re freshly cooked. If you repeatedly reheat them, they become tough and inedible.

Can You Eat Cooked Prawns 2 Days Out of Date?

Yes, you can eat cooked prawns two days out of date. However, they should be stored in the refrigerator for three days after cooking.

Are Prawns Inflammatory?

No, prawns are not inflammatory; they are anti-inflammatory. Prawns contain antioxidants like astaxanthin, which reduces inflammation and oxidative damage.

What is the Difference Between Ceviche and Shrimp Cocktail?

The difference between ceviche and shrimp cocktail is that ceviche uses raw fish instead of cooked meat. 

The shrimp cocktail starts with cooked shrimp. Add a spicy, tangy tomato sauce and a generous helping of fresh diced veggies. Ceviche, on the other hand, always starts with raw fish or seafood.

What Goes With Peel and Eat Shrimp?

A shrimp cocktail! This delicious appetizer consists of cooked, peeled shrimp served with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

What is Prawn Cocktail Sauce Made of?

The sauce, also known as Marie Rose Sauce, is made of mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, with optional horseradish.

How Long Can You Keep Prawn Cocktail in the Fridge?

It should be kept refrigerated until ready to serve. Once opened, prawns will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Is Marie Rose Sauce the Same as Thousand Island?

Marie Rose sauce is similar to Thousand Island dressing but has more ingredients. It consists of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and hot sauce.

Thousand island dressing contains only mayo, ketchup, relishes, sugar, vinegar, and salt.

Is Cocktail Sauce the Same as Seafood Sauce?

Cocktail sauce is the same as seafood sauce. It consists of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and hot sauce.

Was this article helpful?