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Kalyn's Kitchen

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce is wonderful for an appetizer or game-day eats, and when you make your own cocktail sauce you can control the carbs. Use Appetizers to find more recipes like this one.

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I’m a huge fan of shrimp cocktail, and it’s something I’d never get tired of eating whether it was for an appetizer or as something to nibble on at a party. But traditional cocktail sauce has a fair amount of sugar for anyone who’s trying to pay attention the amount of carbs they are eating. That’s why I was happy when Reduced-Sugar Ketchup started showing up in grocery stores about 10 years ago. And now sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link) and reduced-sugar ketchup are both easy to find.

And using ketchup with less sugar to make your own cocktail sauce couldn’t be easier and you can control what goes into it so you know exactly how many carbs you’re consuming. And of course shrimp has barely any carbs, making Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce a treat you can enjoy often!


Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce original photo

What Are the Options for Sugar-Free and Low-Sugar Ketchup?

Traditional Ketchup has 5 carbs per tablespoon, so you definitely don’t want to eat that if you’re watching your carbs. I love the tomatoey flavor in G. Hughes Sugar-Free Ketchup (affiliate link) which has only 1 carb in a tablespoon, and that’s what I used for this recipe. Many grocery stores carry Heinz Reduced-Sugar Ketchup or Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup (affiliate link) both of which also have only 1 carb per tablespoon. However, both G. Hughes and Heinz Reduced Sugar  and No Sugar Added ketchups (and others this low in carbs) contain Splenda.

I did find several options for low-sugar ketchups without artificial sweetener (affiliate link) if you’d prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners and don’t mind one (or sometimes two) more carbs per tablespoon. I also found a variety of natural ketchups without added sugar (affiliate link) which were also slightly higher in carbs. Any of these products will let you make cocktail sauce with considerably less sugar than if you used a traditional ketchup.

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce process shots collage

How to Make Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Thaw shrimp over night in the refrigerator, (or inside the bag in lukewarm water will work in a pinch.)
  2. When they are thawed, let shrimp drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix together ketchup and tomato paste. (Tomato paste is the highest carb ingredient, so use half the amount if you prefer.)
  4. Add lemon juice and horseradish, stir to combine, then taste to see if you want to add more lemon or horseradish. (I like it pretty sour and spicy, but some people may think the amount in the recipe is tangy enough.)
  5. Serve shrimp and cocktail sauce chilled.

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce close-up photo

More Tasty Appetizers with Shrimp:

Low-Carb Shrimp Salad Cabbage Cups
Easy Low-Carb Shrimp Ceviche
Sheila’s Low-Carb Shrimp Dip
Shrimp Cocktail Lettuce Cups
Shrimp Cocktail with Creamy Sriracha Cocktail Sauce

(This recipe was first posted in 2008; latest update was in January 2020)

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce is wonderful for game-day eats or as an appetizer for a nice meal, and when you make your own cocktail sauce you can control the amount of sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp, thawed (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (see notes)
  • 2 T tomato paste (see notes)
  • 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tsp. cream-style horseradish (or more, to taste)

Instructions

  1. Do yourself a favor and buy large pre-cooked frozen shrimp for this recipe. (The ones at Costco are great.)
  2. Thaw shrimp over night in the refrigerator, (or inside the bag in lukewarm water will work in a pinch.)
  3. When they are thawed let shrimp drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.
  4. To make the easy low-sugar cocktail sauce, first mix together ketchup and tomato paste. (Tomato paste is the highest carb ingredient, so use half the amount if you don't mind a paler sauce with slightly less tomato flavor.)
  5. Add smaller amounts of lemon juice and horseradish, stir to combine, then taste to see if you want to add more lemon or horseradish. (I like it pretty sour and spicy, but some people may think the amount in the recipe is tangy enough.)
  6. Serve shrimp and cocktail sauce chilled.
  7. You can also make a traditional shrimp cocktail by layering chopped lettuce under diced shrimp mixed with cocktail sauce.

Notes

I used 31-40 size shrimp, so for the 6 servings this recipe makes that's about 5-6 shrimp per person. Use sugar-free ketchup, reduced-sugar ketchup, no-sugar added ketchup, or natural ketchup without artificial sweetener to make a cocktail sauce that's low in sugar. Even though it's used in small amounts, tomato paste (affiliate link) has seven carbs in one tablespoon. You may want to use only one tablespoon in this recipe if you don't mind a cocktail sauce that's slightly lighter in color and not as strongly tomato-flavored.

This recipe is one I came up with many years ago and it's dedicated to the memory of my wonderful father, who loved shrimp more than any other food! I made this regularly for dad when I went to cook for him.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 905mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 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.

I'd love to see your pictures if you make this recipe. Share on social media with the hashtag #kalynskitchen so I can see how it turned out for you!


Shrimp on a platter with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce thumbnail photo

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce is a great dish for low-carb diet plans, and for any phase of the South Beach Diet. If you’re really limiting carbs, use some portion control on the sauce.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    22 Comments on “Shrimp with Low-Sugar Cocktail Sauce”

  1. Hidy, hi! Thanks for leaving this recipe up. My sister will be here next weekend and I'm putting together tapas in the Keto vein, cool items cuz it's hot in Texas. This is so great and horseradish is so very healthy for us. Thanks again, I won't be a stranger.

    Elaine