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What To Serve With Shrimp Cocktail – 20 Best Side Dishes

This article was updated on the 12th of September 2023 for clarity and freshness.

If you’re wondering what to serve with your shrimp cocktail, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 20 of the most popular side dishes for shrimp cocktail.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

The best dishes to serve with shrimp cocktail are cheese straws, mango habanero salad, hushpuppies, and tortilla chips. For party food, you can serve it with lumpia, steak bites, and honey brie crostini. Try panzanella salad, pineapple salsa, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus for healthier choices.

For each side dish, I’ve provided alternative options to cater to various diets and lifestyles, including vegan, quick and easy, and health-conscious options.

Crunchy Snacks

These treats are either baked or fried until perfectly golden and crunchy, offering a satisfying contrast to your juicy shrimp.

Cheese Straws

4.3 ⭐️ (14 ratings) | 1 hour

These cheese straws are a must-have accompaniment if you plan to serve a shrimp cocktail at your next party.

They’re buttery, flaky, and oh-so-crispy, the perfect contrast to your juicy shrimp. But the best part about them is they’re extra cheesy, thanks to the combination of parmesan and gruyere cheese.

These are so good on their own, but I like dipping them in the cocktail sauce for an added zesty kick. Yum!

What the chef says…

“If you are planning on making these ahead of time, let the straws cool completely before placing in an airtight container. They will keep well for 2 days at room temperature. After a couple of days, they will start to soften, but will still be delicious. To make them crispy again, simply place them on a baking sheet and reheat for a few minutes at 425F.”

🤩 Parmesan Crisps
🌱 Dairy-Free Cheese Straws

Tortilla Chips

5.0 ⭐️ (4 ratings) | 25 mins

Making Mexican-style shrimp cocktail? It’s a must to have tortilla chips on the side!

You can go the deep-frying route with your chips, but I like to take the easy route by baking them. This allows you to whip up a batch in a flash and you don’t have to deal with piping-hot oil. Plus, they’re healthier that way too.

Platings and Pairings seasons these chips with chili powder, cumin, and lime zest, but I usually stick with regular sea salt when serving with shrimp cocktail because the sauce is already flavorful.

What readers are saying…

These chips look pretty and flavorful!

Beautiful chips! I always bake my own since it’s safer with my food allergies!

“These are perfect! They would be so good for a summer bbq with a big bowl of guac 🙂”

🌾 Seeded Crackers
😇 Keto Tortilla Chips

Onion Rings

4.7 ⭐️ (13 ratings) | 45 mins

Sometimes, all you need to round out your meal is a generous helping of onion rings (or maybe that’s just me?).

The great thing about these onion rings is that they’re made in the air fryer. You’ll still get that same crispiness, but with fewer calories and less mess to clean up. Now that’s a win-win.

Onion rings are always better with a dipping sauce, but you can skip making one when serving with a shrimp cocktail — dunk them straight into that sauce!

What readers are saying…

“This makes the most delicious onion rings! I had a very happy husband!! I loved them too!!”

“These were great! I will definitely be making these again. Thanks for the recipe!”

“I’ve been looking for more air fryer recipes and I’m so glad I found this recipe. It came out so crispy and perfect!”

😻 Copycat French’s Fried Onions
🧅 Onion Petals

Air Fryer Potato Chips

4.5 ⭐️ (14 ratings) | 45 mins

Shrimp cocktail is typically seen as an appetizer, but it’s also great for a light snack. Throw a couple of potato chips on the side to add a delicious contrasting element and you’re set.

But if you have more time, ditch the bagged potato chips and make them yourself – it’s easier than you think, especially with this recipe. It uses less oil, but thanks to the air fryer, you’ll still get that crunchy bite we all know and love.

The only caveat is you’ll have to slice the spuds as thinly as you can. I used a mandolin for this, but you can always use a sharp knife. Just be extra careful!

What readers are saying…

Thanks for all the details. terrific ideas and helpful hints as well as leading to other recipes.”

“Will try. So well explained. Wiill be good.”

🍠 Air Fryer Sweet Potato Chips
🧘‍♀️ Baked Zucchini Chips

Crab Rangoon

4.5 ⭐️ (4 ratings) | 50 mins

Keep the seafood theme going and whip up a platter of crab rangoon to go with your shrimp cocktail.

Underneath the crunchy wonton wrapper, these fusion dumplings feature a creamy crab mixture that makes them addictive. This cheesy filling also tastes fabulous when paired with the zesty cocktail sauce.

Foodstasia provides different methods of cooking the dumplings, but I prefer deep-frying them!

What readers are saying…

“The fried is my favorite. I just love lush and creamy crab and cream cheese filling in a crispy wonton. I can eat that everyday.”

I love crab rangoons! I would definitely go for the deep-fried ones.”

“These are delicious, and perfect blend of flavors. Thanks for the recipe and even more thanks for pics showing the steps!”

🌱 Dairy-free Crab Rangoons
💃 Mini Crab Puff Pastry Quiches

Fruity and Tangy Sides

Tame shrimp cocktail’s zesty notes with these fruity sides. And as a bonus, they bring a vibrant splash of colors to your spread.

Mango Habanero Salad

Total Time: 24 mins

Shrimp cocktail is usually served as an appetizer, but if you want to make it a complete meal, serve it alongside this mango habanero salad. 

The kale and frisee add a fresh bite and loads of vitamins and nutrients, while the seared scallops bring an extra dose of protein. Everything is tied together with a spicy and zesty habanero garlic citrus dressing balanced by sweet mangoes and creamy queso fresco.

What readers are saying…

We had this for dinner last night! It was really good—well, my husband hates kale, but I thought it was good!

“I am really into this mango habanero kombucha and this combination in your salad is what I am craving lately.”

The sear on your scallops is amazing! i love that sugar trick; it seems like a great way to make sure they caramelize no matter what.

🥬 Mango Kale Chopped Salad
🍉 Jalapeno Watermelon Salad

Honey Brie Crostini

5.0 ⭐️ (12 ratings) | 20 mins

Looking for some more finger food to go with your shrimp cocktail? You can’t go wrong with making a batch of this honey and brie crostini

Brie and honey are a classic combo, giving your crunchy crostini a creamy, cheesy bite with a touch of sweetness. Your Homebased Mom finishes these crostini off with a sprinkle of fresh thyme for a pop of color and extra flavor, but I’ve also made these with rosemary and they tasted superb too!

Psst… not a fan of brie? Use Camembert or goat cheese.

What readers are saying…

“These are so easy and so delicious! We had had a similar one at a fabulous restaurant, and it was fun to replicate it.”

“Love brie… love bread.. sounds like a winning combination. Thanks for all the great recipes!”

“YUM! YUM! Thanks for taking us out of our usual comfort zones and encouraging us to try new tastes…”

🍎 Smoked Gouda & Apple Crostini
🤩 Caramelized Fig and Ricotta Crostini

Pineapple Salsa

5.0 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 20 mins

Add a refreshing bite to your shrimp cocktail with this pineapple salsa. 

Don’t worry about this being too sweet. The acidity from the tomatoes and lime, plus the sharpness of onions and heat from the jalapenos offset the sweetness of the pineapples. I also like adding cubes of avocado in the mix for a creamy bite.

Serve this salsa alongside a handful of tortilla chips and your shrimp cocktail for the perfect snack or appetizer.

What readers are saying…

“Gave this a try for an afternoon snack and it was delicious! Looking forward to trying it with some grilled chicken for dinner tonight!”

WOW! This pineapple salsa looks so fresh and incredibly delicious!!

“YUM! YUM! Thanks for taking us out of our usual comfort zones and encouraging us to try new tastes…”

🥭 Mango Salsa
🇲🇽 Classic Pico de Gallo

Melon Caprese Skewers

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 15 mins

These melon skewers are the perfect addition to your shrimp cocktail.

The sweet, juicy melon balls and creamy mozzarella are an excellent palate cleanser to the zesty bite you’d get from the cocktail sauce. And the prosciutto offers a meaty, salty kick that’ll tickle your taste buds.

Recipe creator Gaby uses a medley of cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew to make these gorgeous skewers, but you can always use one melon variety if you prefer.

What readers are saying…

“Simple yet a crowd-pleaser!!”

“It was an absolute hit and everyone asked for the recipe. I plan on making it on a regular basis in the summer time, even my kids loved it!”

“So colorful and full of flavor! The perfect summer appetizer!”

🇮🇹 Caprese Skewers
🍓 Strawberry Bocconcini Skewers

Hearty Bites

These tasty treats are a must-have if you need to make your shrimp cocktail course a bit more substantial but not too filling.

Cheddar Cheese Hush Puppies

5.0 ⭐️ (3 ratings) | 15 mins

Bring a Southern flair to your shrimp cocktail with a side of these gorgeous hushpuppies. 

Regular hushpuppies are already great, but this recipe jazzes them up by adding jalapenos and cheddar cheese. These additions give the hushpuppies an irresistible cheesy, smoky twist that’ll have your guests coming back for more. Don’t be surprised if a whole batch gets wiped out in minutes!

Recipe creator Karen includes a finger-licking honey dipping sauce with these golden morsels, but you can simply dunk them straight into the cocktail sauce.

What readers are saying…

“This is the perfect snack and/or appetizer…”

I live in the south and it took me years to know what a hushpuppy was myself. But once I found out—yum!!

Oooh, these look ridiculously awesome.

🍂 Squash Puppies
😇 Okra Hush Puppies

Baked Crab Balls

5.0 ⭐️ (1 rating) | 15 mins

Want to add more seafood to your party spread? Look no further than these crab cake balls.

They’re like crab cakes — tender, meaty, and packed with mildly sweet crab meat, just in a bite-sized form. They’re also baked instead of fried, so you can easily get a batch ready in about 30 minutes. 

These morsels are superb with cocktail sauce, but you can also whip up a Sriracha mayo dip (thank me later) for a creamy twist.

What readers are saying…

“I make crab cakes pretty often, but this came together very quickly. I know I changed several things, but I really did use the base, and they were great.

“Oh my goodness! I cannot wait to make these!!!”

Oooh, these look ridiculously awesome.

🥒 Crab Cucumber Bites
🧀 LobsterMac and Cheese Bites

Chimichurri Steak Bites

5.0 ⭐️ (23 ratings) | 15 mins

Serve shrimp cocktail with these steak bites for a fun surf-and-turf party spread. 

These bite-sized treats are everything you love in a steak – a caramelized peppery crust with juicy and pink insides. And the chimichurri sauce adds a bright, zesty flavor that makes each bite a delight.

The Endless Meal recommends using thick-cut steaks for these appetizers. Avoid using flank steak — they’re not as thick and you won’t be able to get a good sear on them.

What readers are saying…

“I’ll be making this for summer parties on the deck this summer.”

OMG Kristen these steak bites look AMAZING!

“This looks so simple but delicious. I never thought of making it into party food either.”

🧅 Caramelized Onion & Gorgonzola Steak Bites
🥩 Burrata and Steak Crostini

Pork Lumpia

5.0 ⭐️ (4 ratings) | 15 mins

Beef up your party table with a platter of pork lumpia. This classic Filipino dish resembles your regular egg rolls, but smaller. They’re filled with a flavorful pork and vegetable filling and deep-fried until golden and crunchy.

I guarantee you’ll have a difficult time finding someone who wouldn’t love these treats! So don’t be surprised if your guests end up demolishing an entire platter.

Lumpia is traditionally paired with a chili dipping sauce, but they taste superb with the shrimp cocktail’s sauce too.

What readers are saying…

“Big fan of this pork lumpia, it has a good balance of and vegetables and the end results are worth it. My tummy is satisfied…”

“Not only are they good, but I could also make them into kid size treats!”

“Served this at a family gathering and everyone stuffed their faces with it!”

🥕 Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls
🧀 Wonton Mozzarella Sticks

Jalapeno Poppers

5.0 ⭐️ (26 ratings) | 50 mins

Bring a touch of heat to your shrimp cocktail with these jalapeno poppers.

Traditional recipes involve deep-frying the coated peppers, but this recipe bakes them instead. The key is to drizzle the stuffed and breaded peppers with melted butter. This simple step helps them look and taste like you deep-fried them.

Pro-tip: Use gloves when handling the peppers!

What readers are saying…

These sound so good and I love the idea of baking rather than frying. I can’t believe I’ve never made them before.

Love this lighter (and less messy!) twist on this classic appetizer! Talk about crowd pleasing game day fare.

I LOVE jalapeño poppers! What a great recipe! Thanks for all the extra tips and information!

🫑 Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers
🍄 Creamy Mushroom Poppers

Mini Cornbread Muffins

5.0 ⭐️ (5 ratings) | 25 mins

These mini cornbread muffins are a fun and tasty addition to your party spread.

They’re light and fluffy, with a mildly sweet flavor that won’t overpower your shrimp cocktail.

What I love about this recipe is that it leaves room for customization. You can add diced jalapenos or whole corn kernels to beef up these muffins. I personally love adding cheddar cheese.

What readers are saying…

“Perfect recipe for our next chili cook off. Always looking for little nibbles to add to our party snacks and these are just the right size. Love it.”

“This is a great little side for any meal. I think this is a perfect side to go along side my BBQ chicken!”

“Truly appreciate the way you made this wonderful recipe. Everything is so nicely described that really helped me.”

🇺🇸 Southern Cornbread
🥓 Loaded Cornbread

Unique Sides

These dishes aren’t normally paired with shrimp cocktails, but where’s the fun in keeping with traditions?

Creamy Lemon and Zucchini Pasta

4.5 ⭐️ (625 ratings) | 25 mins

Are you planning to have a shrimp cocktail as a main dish? Make it a well-rounded meal with a serving of this lemon and zucchini pasta. 

This pasta dish is simple but doesn’t skimp on flavor. It features a creamy, citrusy lemon and ricotta-based sauce that helps cut through the residual heat of your cocktail sauce. 

Another thing I love about this dish is how easy it is to make. Most of the ingredients required are pantry staples, and everything comes together in one pot, pasta included. And one-pot dishes mean one thing — fewer dishes to clean up!

What readers are saying…

“So simple yet complex in flavor and super delicious.”

“We have a very picky 6 year old, who ate this! She was suspicious, but this is the most adventurous thing we’ve gotten her to eat.”

“Excellent recipe! Very fresh and delish!! I used ricotta and sharp cheddar and the sauce was perfect. Did not change anything else. A keeper for sure.”

🍅 Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta
💵 Zucchini Noodles Alfredo

Cornbread Panzanella Salad

Total Time: 25 mins

Classic Panzanella salad gets a delicious Tex-Mex makeover with this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod!

Instead of crusty bread, the croutons are made with jalapeno cornbread, giving them a lightly spicy kick. The recipe also calls for avocado cubes, charred sweet corn, and peppers, making for a heartier salad. And everything is tied together with a light and bright cilantro lime dressing.

Enjoy this jazzed-up salad alongside your shrimp cocktail for a light and tasty lunch.

What readers are saying…

“I made this a few nights ago and it was fantastic! All the flavors were great together and I was definitely glad I made the cornbread from scratch.”

“I made this salad recently and loved it! Thanks for the great recipe.”

“What a great way to shake up panzanella salad!”

🥖 Classic Panzanella Salad
🥬 Italian Salad

Corn Ribs

5.0 ⭐️ (33 ratings) | 20 mins

Corn on the cob is a classic partner to shrimp, but you have to admit — it’s not the easiest thing to eat. And that’s why these corn ribs are a great alternative. They’re cut into bite-sized pieces that are super convenient to eat, allowing you to enjoy them with less mess.

And the great thing about these is you can season them however you want. Alpha Foodie goes with a blend of garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. But I like using an Italian seasoning blend and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Alpha Foodie provides three methods for making these corn ribs, and my go-to is the air fryer for convenience.

What readers are saying…

“Very delicious.”

Really loved it! I need to eat low fodmap so I changed the garlic powder for garlic infused oil. My boys enjoyed it, and so did I.

“These are so delicious. My fussy kids loved them. I baked them and they curled just nicely. They are bound to become a regular in our household.”

🤩 Corn Nuggets
🧀 Cheesy Corn Fritters

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Total Time: 20 mins

These prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears are a great addition to your party table.

The prosciutto has a delectable sweet-salty flavor that masks the slight earthiness of the asparagus spears. I usually serve them with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, but you can also dip them in your cocktail sauce.

And the best part? They’re super easy to make. You only need two ingredients and there’s zero hands-on cooking involved. The oven does the cooking for you!

What readers are saying…

“These are so fantastic Kevin! They may actually be able to get my son to eat asparagus!”

“Omg, these should be the standard way to eat asparagus!!”

“Yum! This makes asparagus way more exciting and this looks like the perfect brunch food 🙂”

🧘‍♀️ Parmesan Asparagus Fries
😋 Asparagus Tempura

Parmesan Crusted Smashed Potatoes

5.0 ⭐️ (33 ratings) | 20 mins

Getting tired of the usual potato fries? Switch things up with these smashed potatoes!

They’re more labor intensive because you have to boil the spuds before smashing and roasting them, but I promise they’re worth it. The spuds are also coated with a butter and parmesan mixture, which helps them crisp up even further.

You can dip these cheesy spuds in the cocktail sauce, but this recipe also includes a phenomenal yogurt dip for a creamy bite.

What readers are saying…

Not much to say other than this turned out fantastic! The cheese that was left on the parchment under the potatoes made this lovely crisp that was next level.

Tried this today. AWESOME Loved it. This will be a keeper!!!!!!!

I made these a week ago for my daughter and family and everyone raved about how amazing they were. I made them again tonight and they were even better than the last time.

🍠 Smashed Sweet Potatoes
🧄 Garlic Baked Potato Wedges

What To Serve With Shrimp Cocktail

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your shrimp cocktail.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shrimp cocktail side dishes, what to serve with shrimp cocktail
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 85kcal


  • 1 portion shrimp cocktail


  • Prepare your shrimp cocktail according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: cheese straws, mango habanero salad, cheddar cheese hushpuppies, tortilla chips, honey brie crostini, creamy lemon and zucchini pasta, baked crab cake balls, onion rings, cornbread panzanella salad, corn ribs, air fryer potato chips, pork lumpia, steak bites, pineapple salsa, and prosciutto wrapped asparagus.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 85kcal

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