Shrimp cocktail can be made with so much more than plain cocktail sauce! This cranberry basil shrimp cocktail is made with the BEST homemade cocktail sauce! It’s a refreshing and healthy appetizer that’s gluten free, paleo, low carb and easy to make.
So here we are. End of the year almost new year! This is one of my most FAVORITE appetizer recipes using leftover cranberries and herbs. And it requires no cooking if you buy the shrimp pre cooked. Just thaw and serve for a festive Cranberry Shrimp Cocktail platter! Yep yep, easy as 1-2-3, Do-Re-Mi!
Okay putting the recipe talk and Jackson 5 song lyrics aside for a moment. You see, personally, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can finally break from a very FULL (fulfilling) year and get my thoughts and personal goals organized for the New Year! Tell me you know that feeling? When you give yourself a break from trying to EXCEED at everything and just focus on the one thing that makes you your best.
For some reason, the odd off times between holidays and new years leaves me more refreshed, despite the fact it’s suppose to be the craziest time of year.
Which leads me here. Refreshing old content that is what made me (Cotter Crunch), me! The recipes that are near and dear to my heart, despite how old they are. Like whoa… this shrimp cocktail was first made in 2014 – gasp! But I digress.
Point being, I’m inviting you to sit and eat at my table as we ponder the end of year! Whatever that may look like. Yes, corny, but that’s me.
Now, about that recipe… it’s unique and SIMPLE to a T! And some might ask…
How do you make the best shrimp cocktail sauce?
To that I would say, you make it semi homemade! Fresh Cranberries blended with cocktail sauce (my homemade is in the recipe notes OR we love this premade brand), fresh herbs, lemon or lime juice, salt/pepper, and a touch of honey! BAM!
I use fresh basil in the cranberry basil shrimp cocktail because it can bring in the medicinal properties we all need during and after a holiday season of eating.
There are several types of basil plants, all which contain essential oils and phytochemicals. Plus it has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-microbial properties, which can help remedy headaches, fever, anxiety, nausea and more. I’ll cheers to that after a month of holidays!
Easy Cranberry Basil Shrimp Cocktail with the best homemade cocktail sauce. Paleo and low carb!
- 1 pound medium wild caught shrimp (preferably peeled). See notes for no cook option
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 bunch basil leaves chopped
- 1/2 to 2/3 c Gluten free cocktail sauce (We love this brand) or you can make your own, see notes.
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp Lemon or lime juice juice
- 1 tsp of honey or agave
- 1 tbsp olive oil (optional for more creaminess)
- Pinch of black pepper and/or peppercorns for garnishing.
- Note: want is spicy? add in 1 tbsp fresh tabasco or chili sauce.
- First, boil your shrimp. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until they turn pink, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for medium shrimp, 3 minutes for large ones. Drain the water and then cool the shrimp to room temperature. Devien and place in ice.
- Next make your sauce. In blender, combine your, cranberries, basil, and cocktail sauce. Blend then add in 1- 2 tsp of lemon juice, sea salt, and optional honey. Blend until smooth. If it’s not creamy enough for your liking, blend on low and slow add in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil..For extra spicy, mix in 1-2 tsp tabasco sauce.
- Spoon sauce into bowl and garnish pepper, extra cranberries, and herbs.
- Place shrimp and veggies around the bowl and garnish platter with extra basil. Squeeze fresh lemon on top of shrimp before serving.
- Make sure to keep your shrimp on ice to keep cold. Shrimp are safe at room temperature for 2 hours but need ice to maintain freshness if left out longer.
- See notes for other uses of sauce!
- If you don’t want to cook the shrimp for shrimp cocktail, simply buy frozen precooked shrimp and thaw in bowl in refrigerator overnight. Squeeze fresh lemon on top before serving.
- For QUICK HOMEMADE COCKTAIL SAUCE simply mix together 1/2 cup of corn syrup free ketchup, 2 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish, gluten free Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp lemon juice, pinch of sea salt and black pepper each.
- I also like serving this cocktail sauce with cheese platters and gluten free crackers or veggie platter.
- Nutrition below included shrimp and sauce (2 tbsp)
Keywords: cocktail sauce, cranberry, paleo, appetizer, shrimp, healthy appetizer
Oh and one last corny but true recipe fact. because, why not?!
Did you know that this cranberry basil shrimp cocktail is a LUCKY recipe? So it’s perfect for the New Year too! Fruit and Fish (or Seafood) are supposedly eaten at the first of the year to bring “abundance” and luck. Winning!!
Alright friends, tell me how are you enjoying this Holiday season? Are you striving to take better care of yourself? Maybe you should entertain friends and family and reflect on the ABUNDANCE of sweet moments from this past year. While you’re at it, dish up this cranberry shrimp cocktail … just sayin.
More refresher recipes to come!