Kalyn's Kitchen

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups

I absolutely love shrimp cocktail, and these Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups are a delicious low-carb idea for an appetizer or a light meal.

PIN Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups to try them later!

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups close-up photo

I grew up with a wonderful dad who thought shrimp was about the best possible food, which might explain my own fondness for all things shrimp. Another flavor I love is horseradish, the ingredient that gives that spicy kick to my low-sugar cocktail sauce. This fun new recipe for Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups combines those ingredients in lettuce cups that would be a healthy treat for anyone who’s watching their carbs.

When I tested out this recipe with Jake, we first mixed the cocktail sauce with the shrimp, celery, and green onion, but that watered down the sauce and we liked the lettuce wraps best with a dollop of sauce on top. I know shrimp isn’t especially a budget-friendly ingredient, but I can’t say enough about how delicious this was, so I hope you’ll splurge on it sometime when you’re in need of a low-carb treat!

How can you make Cocktail Sauce that’s low in carbs?

Now that sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link) is widely available, it’s perfect to use to make low-sugar cocktail sauce. If you prefer ketchup without artificial sweetener, look for one low-sugar ketchups without artificial sweetener (affiliate link) which will add another one or two carbs per serving.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link)
  • mayo (or more)
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • cream-style horseradish
  • frozen cooked shrimp, thawed overnight in the fridge and drained well
  • celery
  • green onion
  • iceberg lettuce

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups process shots collage

How to make Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Whisk together the sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link), mayo, lemon juice, and horseradish to make the cocktail sauce. 
  2. Cut up one pound of cooked shrimp into pieces.
  3. Slice celery and chop green onions; then combine them with the shrimp in a bowl. 
  4. Cut a head of iceberg lettuce in half and make “cups” by peeling off 2-3 pieces of lettuce. (I confess, I trim the edges with kitchen scissors to make nice-looking cups, but you don’t need to do that!)
  5. Fill the lettuce cup with desired amount of the shrimp/celery/onion mixture.
  6. Top with a generous spoonful of sauce and enjoy. Seriously, I could eat this at least once a week and I’d never get tired of it!

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups square image

More Lettuce Wraps or Cups:

Low-Carb Lettuce Wraps ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Turkey Picadillo Lettuce Wraps ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Instant Pot Lettuce Wraps ~ Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Sriracha-Beef Lettuce Wraps ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups close-up photo

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups

Yield 6 lettuce cups
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups are a delicious appetizer, or make this for a light meal any time of year.


Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Sugar-Free Ketchup
  • 1 T mayo (or more)
  • 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons cream-style horseradish, or more (start with a smaller amount and taste to see how hot you want it)

Lettuce Cup Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp, thawed overnight in the fridge and drained well
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce


  1. Remove shrimp from the refrigerator and let drain in a colander placed in the sink.
  2. Whisk together the sugar-free ketchup, 1 T mayo, lemon juice, and 2 tsp. horseradish.
  3. Then taste the cocktail sauce to see if you want more mayo (to make it creamier) or more horseradish (to make it spicier.) Add more as desired until it’s as creamy/spicy as you like it.
  4. When shrimp have drained well, pat them dry with paper towels.
  5. Depending on what size shrimp you use, cut them into pieces as desired.  (I used 31-40 size shrimp and cut each one into three pieces.)
  6. Slice the celery into thin pieces and thinly chop enough green onion to make about 1/4 cup.
  7. Combine the shrimp, celery, and green onion in a bowl.
  8. Cut the iceberg lettuce in half, cut out the core, and discard any wilted or damaged outer leaves.
  9. Then peel off 2-3 pieces of lettuce at a time to form a “cup.”  (I sometimes use kitchen scissors to trim the lettuce if I can’t get a nicely-shaped cup.)
  10. You may have to use two heads of lettuce to get enough cups to eat this much shrimp if your lettuce is small or doesn't separate well.
  11. Scoop desired amount of the shrimp mixture into each lettuce cup and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the cocktail sauce.
  12. Eat right away. You can keep the ingredients refrigerated separately if this makes more than you’ll eat at one time.


I would use sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link) or low-sugar ketchup (affiliate link) for this recipe, but you can look for natural ketchup without added sugar if you don't want artificial sweetener. I love having fresh-frozen lemon juice for recipes like this.

This recipe created by Kalyn to satisfy her addiction to shrimp with cocktail sauce.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 886mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
It’s important to use Sugar-free ketchup, low-sugar ketchup, or no-sugar added ketchup if you’re making Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups for the original South Beach Diet or you want it to be a Low-Carb dish. With that caution, this would be approved for any phase of South Beach or any other type of low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Lettuce Wraps to see more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups

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    8 Comments on “Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups”

  1. Looks good Kalyn. Love horseradish-A wonderful way o kick up the flavor.


  2. Yes, I could eat this once a week, too. I love anything with shrimp!

  3. My mouth is watering just looking at this. Another great idea yet again!

    – Anne

  4. Thanks, hope you enjoy!

  5. This looks great! Thanks for sharing!