Old Bay Peel ‘N Eat Shrimp + Cocktail Sauce

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Have you ever wanted something really bad and not been able to have it? Well, my husband did, and what he wanted was these shrimp.

Old Bay Peel N Eat Shrimp from www.everydaymaven.com

See, at his 16th birthday party,  he found out that he was allergic to shellfish, not mildly, but anaphylaxis-carry-an-EPI-pen-emergency-hospital-admission type of allergic. Now that I am a parent, I cringe to think of the horror that my mother-in-law had to endure when she saw her son start to have trouble breathing and not understand why. Yikes right!?!

Fast forward to many years of avoiding shellfish at all costs while still being a good-enough sport to sit through clam bakes, crab-eating trips to Baltimore and a road trip through coastal Maine where someone made said person who is allergic to shellfish stop at every roadside stand in view for real clam chowder. All the while, all he wanted was a big bowl of Old Bay Shrimp.  To sit and eat them, dirty fingers and all, in peace, with some spicy cocktail sauce.

After we had our son, our son’s pediatrician suggested that my husband get re-tested for his shellfish allergy, because apparently you can “out-grow” your allergy.  Who knew?

Yep, you guessed it – Mr. EverydayMaven (LOL!) is no longer allergic to shellfish or any food for that matter.  We found this out about a year ago and I am embarrassed to admit I just finally got around to making this for him.

And, yes, he loved it.  And ate one pound by himself in peace, dirty fingers and all.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Old Bay Peel 'N Eat Shrimp + Cocktail Sauce
6 Points Plus Per Serving -- Recipe Serves 4 -- Individual Serving is ½ lb of cooked shrimp (5 PP) + 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of Cocktail Sauce (1 PP)
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (or beer)
  • 8 cups water
  • ⅓ cup Old Bay seasoning + 1.5 tablespoons for tossing
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 to 6 whole peppercorns
  • 2 pounds medium to large shrimp
  • 1 cup natural ketchup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons horseradish (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch salt
  1. Combine vinegar, water, ⅓ cup Old Bay, garlic and peppercorns in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. When water is rapidly boiling, add shrimp, cover and cook 2 to 4 minutes (until shrimp are just pink).
  3. Immediately drain shrimp and toss with remaining 1.5 tablespoons Old Bay.
  4. Place uncovered in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. I use 3 tablespoons of horseradish to 1 cup of ketchup but I like my cocktail sauce to have a kick. Start with 2 tablespoons and slowly adjust to taste and spice level. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Serve with plenty of napkins and Enjoy!


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  1. Cathy Todd says

    I made this last night.Wow, wonderful. I am a seafood snob and this reminded me of the Jersey shore, newspapers, and licking fingers. Thank you so much!

  2. Chiefan13 says

    Just got back from Galveston, TX with #20 of fresh shrimp of various sizes. This is the first thing we’ve done with them and it’s hard to beat. Thanks!!!!

  3. Beth says

    I’m doing this shrimp thing as part of a surprise birthday party for my husband (and his 6 best friends). A total “boy food” event…you know, messy wings, meatballs and these delicious sounding shrimp. Can’t wait! And, yes, newspapers all over the table on the porch and paper plates. And a roll of paper towels. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Sara S. says

    Made this recipe last weekend and we LOVED it! I think I could’ve eaten all two pounds myself! haha :) That was some serious self control…

  5. Jonny Hackett says

    Plan on making this for my wife tomorrow since she’s never had peel and eat shrimp. My mother used to make this for us as kids and I loved it. Did you both with de-veining the shrimp? I can’t remember if we did or not. Thanks!

  6. Linda says

    I am curious as to the purpose of the vinegar in the mixture? I make Old Bay shrimp, but have never added vinegar. I like the idea of adding some Old Bay at the end of the cooking time to increase the flavor–haven’t tried that either, but I’m going to!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Linda, The vinegar helps the shrimp peel easier and enhances the flavor. Definitely toss them with some extra Old Bay – it’s the best!

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