Ultimate prawn cocktail recipe

(127 ratings)

Prawn cocktail is so easy to make yourself and despite its retro credentials, it's absolutely delicious. This recipe is ready in just 15 minutes...

Preparation Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Cost RangeCheap

The sweet and sour combination of spicy Tabasco, brandy, tomato ketchup and mayonnaise works so well with juicy prawns and crisp lettuce. 

You can serve this prawn cocktail recipe up in individual portions or make one large sharing dish for friends or family members to dig into and help themselves. You can make the sauce up ahead of when you need it so this is a good pre-pre recipe for when you're busy. 

Just pop it in a jar in the fridge and it'll be ok for up to a week.


  • 350g prawns
  • 200g iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 4 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the cocktail sauce:

  • Small jar mayonnaise, or about a cup full of home-made
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Splash of whisky or brandy
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper




  1. Mix the lettuce with the spring onions, avocado, a little salt and pepper, a pinch of cayenne and a squeeze of lime.
  2. Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together, adding a little more or less of everything to suit your taste. Reserving one spoonful of the cocktail sauce and a few juicy prawns for the top, stir the remaining prawns in the cocktail sauce.
  3. In two ice cream sundae style glasses, layer the salad mix and then the prawn mix in five layers to the top and finish with a spoonful of the cocktail sauce topped with a few juicy prawns.

Top tips for making prawn cocktail recipe 

When it's time to serve your prawn cocktail simply take your sauce from the fridge, arrange your extras, and portion up some delicious bread and butter to mop up all the tasty sauce. It's as easy as that.

What drink goes well with prawn cocktail?

Prawn cocktail is a great starter that can be served with a variety of drinks including Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco. 

How long will prawn cocktail keep in the fridge?

Once made, the prawn cocktail will last up to two days in the fridge. Like most seafood dishes, it's best to serve a prawn cocktail on the day it's made for the freshest flavour, look, and texture.

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