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Perfect Pairings: 8 Best Side Dishes for Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp Cocktail is a dish that originated in the United States.

It consists of shrimp, cocktail sauce, and lemon juice.

Shrimp Cocktail is a favorite appetizer that is served in well-known restaurants and bars.

It is usually prepared with peeled shrimps or prawns and served with ketchup or chili sauce, horseradish, and spices.

Some other ingredients, such as tomato juice and Tabasco sauce, are also occasionally used.

This cocktail is usually prepared as an appetizer, and its flavors vary depending on the restaurant where it will be served.

The flavor of the shrimp cocktail varies from mild to spicy.

Sweet shrimp cocktail tastes deliciously sweet.

The other variation is a tart shrimp cocktail that offers a sour taste.

Delicious spicy shrimp cocktail offers both sweet and spicy flavors.

It is usually served with saltine crackers or Melba toast.

If you want to add extra flavor, serve it with sliced lemon wedges and cocktail sauce.

Some people prefer eating a shrimp cocktail without dipping the shrimp into the sauce because it tastes delicious on its own.

In this article, we will list the eight best side dishes that you can serve with Shrimp Cocktail.

Your guests will surely enjoy both the shrimp cocktail and the accompanying side dish by serving these side dishes.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Shrimp Cocktail?

why consider serving side dishes for shrimp cocktail

As mentioned, a shrimp cocktail is a popular appetizer.

And side dishes should be considered to add to the flavor of this appetizer; however, it can be challenging to find one that fits well with shrimp.

The best way to do this is to think about what flavors would match well together.

Many foods can work as side dishes for shrimp cocktail, and they all come with their flavors and textures.

It’s essential to match the flavors of foods as well as their textures.

The best side dishes will complement the shrimp and not overpower it with solid flavors.

With the right pairing, your guests will enjoy a great addition to an already delicious appetizer.

Another thing to consider when choosing side dishes for shrimp cocktail is the season.

This can be a subtle change that makes a big difference.

If you’re hosting during the summer, it’s likely that many sides, such as fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, will be your best option because they are in season and much more affordable than other times of the year.

What to Serve with Shrimp Cocktail- 8 BEST Side Dishes

what to serve with shrimp cocktail best side dishes

Once you’ve considered these tips and tricks, you’ll be ready to whip up your perfect shrimp cocktail side dishes.

Here are 8 of the best side dishes to serve with shrimp cocktail.

1 – Potato Salad

potato salad

Potato salad is a classic for tailgating or family gatherings.

And when you pair it with a shrimp cocktail, it becomes even better.

The creamy potatoes are light and flavorful enough not to overpower the shrimp but bring out its flavor in a new way that everyone will love.

The best part of this pairing is that there are endless ingredients you can add to your potato salad so you can experiment and make it your own.

There’s a lot of room for creativity from eggs to relish, which makes this side dish perfect for serving with any shrimp cocktail recipe.

2 – Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

roasted asparagus with parmesan

This is an unexpected side dish that will leave your guests asking for the recipe.

If you’re looking to break away from the classic pairing, try this asparagus and Parmesan combination.

It’s a bit more challenging than other shrimp cocktail side dishes, but it’s well worth it.

To roast asparagus, all you need to do is season it with salt and pepper before placing it on a baking sheet.

Then bake the spears at 450 degrees for 10-18 minutes; keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.

To finish this dish, remove the asparagus from the oven and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

3 – Polenta with Spicy Marinara Sauce

polenta with spicy marinara sauce

Polenta takes a bit of time, but the results are well worth it.

The creamy texture pairs perfectly with spicy marinara sauce and shrimp for a delicious appetizer dish.

To make it, pour your favorite marinara sauce into a medium-sized baking dish and break up the polenta on top of the sauce.

Then bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes and serve.

This dish is great because it’s easy to make but also impressive enough for any party.

4 – Watermelon and Feta Salad

watermelon and feta salad

Watermelon and feta are great ingredients to serve together because they both have the same freshness and tanginess.

These intense flavors can hold their own against spicy shrimp and help balance it out with a sweet flavor.

Cut the watermelon into cubes or slices to make this dish, then top with feta cheese and mint leaves.

Then drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette to finish it off.

You can serve this dish alone or with crackers for a more substantial snack.

5 – Grilled Mushrooms

grilled mushrooms

Many mushrooms go great with a shrimp cocktail, but one of the easiest is button mushrooms.

You can grill them whole or slice them up and place them on skewers with other ingredients to make mushroom kebabs.

Season with salt and pepper to grill mushrooms, then grill each side for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the size.

If you make mushroom skewers, skewer them in an alternating pattern with shrimp or other ingredients to bring out their flavor even more.

6 – Green Bean Salad

green bean salad

Green beans are another classic side dish that will pair perfectly with a shrimp cocktail.

It’s such a simple side dish to make, and its freshness pairs well with spicy shrimp.

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then drain it to make this dish.

Then mix with your favorite vinaigrette or dressing to complete the salad.

You can also add other veggies like tomatoes or corn kernels to have more variety.

The salad is great because you can make it before serving, making it great for parties.

7 – Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

prosciuttowrapped asparagus with balsamic reduction

This is a great appetizer to make when you want something impressive and tasty.

Wrapping the asparagus in prosciutto adds another level of flavor and saltiness that goes perfectly with shrimp.

To make this dish:

  • Blanch the asparagus, then wrap each in prosciutto.
  • Add the wrapped spears to a baking dish, then bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • Top it off with balsamic reduction afterward and serve.

8 – Parmesan Zucchini Fries

parmesan zucchini fries

This side dish is great because it’s easy, fast, and, most importantly, delicious.

It only takes 10-15 minutes to make this dish, and it goes perfectly with any main course.

To make these fries, slice zucchini into strips, then mix with salt and pepper.

Next, coat them in a mixture of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs before baking at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

You can serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or by itself.


In conclusion, a shrimp cocktail is an excellent appetizer for any party because of its simplicity and how it can be paired with many different side dishes.

The dishes listed are some of the best side dishes that go great with shrimp cocktail, but there are countless other options out there.

Be creative and have fun with it.

what to serve with shrimp cocktail

What to Serve with Shrimp Cocktail? 8 BEST Side Dishes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Potato Salad
  • Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan
  • Polenta with Spicy Marinara Sauce
  • Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • Grilled Mushrooms
  • Green Bean Salad
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction
  • Parmesan Zucchini Fries


  • Choose your favorite recipe from the list of options.
  • Organize all required ingredients and prepare a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!
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