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Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

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This festive and easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites recipe takes only minutes to make, but they look like you slaved for hours. Plus they’re cheap and cheerful which makes them perfect for this (or any) holiday gathering.

A vertical collage for showcasing Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites in festive colors with a title text overlay graphic

What makes these easy shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe so enticing (besides how festive they look) is that you can pop an entire appetizer into your mouth leaving no mess behind.

That said, what makes this shrimp cocktail appetizer so dangerous is that you can pop an entire appetizer into your mouth, followed by a second, and then a third…(I’m sure you get my gist). 😉

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making festive Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites is available near the end of this post. OR Click on the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the printable recipe.


A closeup vertical photo of a hand holding a shrimp cocktail bite with parsley and chopped shrimp.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

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Why this shrimp cocktail appetizer bites recipe works:

If you’ve never purchased the little phyllo cups in the market before, I strongly urge you to look for them.

They’re especially great during the holiday season when appetizers and party foods seem to be where everyone’s focus is when it comes to entertaining.

Or maybe that’s just me. I LOVE a good appetizer!!

Since the phyllo cups are already baked and flaky, all you need to do is fill them with whatever your heart desires.

Within minutes you’re ready to impress your guests without having spent very much time or effort!

How’s that for a great holiday gift?!!

Festive Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites with Homemade Cocktail Sauce | Kudos Kitchen by Renee

Why you’ll love this recipe:

Another thing you’ll love about these easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizers is that they’re relatively inexpensive to make.

Since there are 15 phyllo cups per box, you’ll only need (approximately) 5 medium to large shrimp (chopped), and approximately ½ cup of cocktail sauce.

Of course, if you’re making more than 15 you’ll need to increase the amount of shrimp and sauce accordingly.

Making your own homemade cocktail sauce is easy!

For the recipe I’m sharing today, I’ve made a homemade cocktail sauce.

However, please feel free to use your favorite variety of store-bought cocktail sauce if that is your preference.

Having said that, there are only three ingredients in my homemade cocktail sauce;

  • Ketchup
  • Prepared Horseradish (add as much or as little as you like)
  • Smoked Paprika

Save money and make your own at home. You’ll be glad you did!

A festive holiday plate with phyllo cups stuffed with shrimp, cream cheese, and cocktail sauce.

The easy instructions:

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the room temperature cream cheese, mayonnaise, black pepper, and Old Bay seafood seasonings.
  • Add in the lemon zest and set aside.

How to make Festive Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

  • Remove the tails from the pre-cooked shrimp and chop.
  • To make the cocktail sauce stir together the ketchup, horseradish and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

  • Place the phyllo cups on a tray or platter.
  • Add the cream cheese mixture to a sandwich-sized zip-top bag and work the mixture into the corner.
  • Use scissors to snip off the top of the bag and pipe about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into each phyllo cup.

  • Add a dollop of the cocktail sauce on top of each of the cream cheese mixture, and top each with a small mound of the chopped shrimp.
  • Garnish each with a bit of fresh parsley. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Relax and enjoy!

Vertical title text image of a closeup image of Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

Additional appetizer recipes:

With a savory filling of pumpkin, cream cheese, bacon, and sage, these pumpkin crescent pinwheel appetizers are always a hit when it’s time to party.

A vertical image of an orange plate filled with pumpkin sage pinwheel appetizers.

“This Goat Cheese Christmas Wreath with Dried Cherries and Pistachios is as festive looking as it is delicious.”

Vertical closeup image of a cherry pistachio goat cheese Christmas wreath appetizer.

With a few simple ingredients and some easy instructions, you can warm the hearts of your family and friends with this gloriously easy to make realistic looking Grinch Guacamole.” 

Overhead vertical photo of the Grinch made out of guacamole with cauliflower trim, and a broccoli nose.
  • SHRIMP COCKTAIL APPETIZER BITES (pictured below) This is the place!
Vertical title text closeup image of  easy shrimp cocktail appetizer bites.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s super fast and easy seafood appetizer.

If you’ve made this recipe, or are excited to make this recipe, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a moment to leave it a star rating in the recipe card, along with a comment if you’re so inclined. Thank you. 🙂

A plate filled with shrimp cocktail appetizer bites with cocktail sauce and parsley.

Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
These festive Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites take only minutes to make, but they look like you slaved for hours. Plus they cheap and cheerful which makes them perfect for this, or any, holiday gathering.
4.37 from 52 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 15
Calories 43 kcal


  • 1 box phyllo cups 15 per box
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4-5 large pre-cooked shrimp peeled, tails off, deveined, and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the homemade cocktail sauce;

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish or according to your taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, black pepper, Old Bay, and lemon zest.
  • Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a corner of a sandwich size zip top bag.
  • Use scissors to snip off a small corner of the plastic bag.
  • Pipe approximately ½ tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into each phyllo cup.
  • To make the cocktail sauce;
  • Stir together all the cocktail sauce ingredient in a small bowl.
  • Top each cream cheese stuffed phyllo cup with a dollop of cocktail sauce and some of the cooked and chopped shrimp.
  • Sprinkle the chopped, fresh parsley over top and serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy!



Tools and equipment:
1 medium bowl, 1 small bowl, measuring spoons, measuring cups, chef’s knife, and cutting board, microplane grater, whisk or spoons, sandwich size zip-top bag, scissors


Serving: 1gramsCalories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 115mgSugar: 1g
Keyword shrimp cocktail, shrimp cocktail appetizer bites
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen! 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe for easy Shrimp Cocktail Appetizer Bites as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you.

Overhead photo of a holiday plate with red and green accents filled with shrimp cocktail appetizer bites.

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

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**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 15th of December 2021


Can I make these ahead of time?


Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Hi, Maggie! You can, but I wouldn't do them too early on. Maybe just a day, and then cover them well and refrigerate. Any longer and I'd be worried that the phyllo cups would get soggy bottoms. I don't know this for a fact, but I wouldn't want to chance it. I hope this helps. Happy Holidays, Renee

Nancy Tetterton

Wednesday 17th of November 2021

These are delicious. I am taking them to 2 Thanksgiving celebrations. And easy!


Thursday 18th of November 2021

Wonderful to hear, Nancy! Thanks for letting me know and also for the 5-star review! Have a deliciously festive holiday season, Renee

Pamela Carley

Monday 13th of January 2020

I'm about an hour away from a grocery store and I love this idea as an appetizer... just trying to figure out how to put it together on crackers? Any suggestions?


Monday 13th of January 2020

Hi, Pamela! I think this recipe will work just fine on crackers. Spread a dollop of the cream cheese mixture onto the crackers, top with the shrimp (mincing them might be better so they stay on the crackers better), and then top them with the sauce, and the fresh parsley. It's really the same thing except for it won't be in a little cup, it will be on a cracker. I think it's a great idea. Let me know how it works for you. Take care, Renee


Tuesday 29th of October 2019

This was so goooood. I used the block cheese softened, we really enjoyed this. I will not only make it again I will email it to my sister, I know that they will enjoy this as well. Thanks. This is a recipe worth keeping.


Monday 4th of November 2019

Thanks so much, Lori! It's such a delicious and easy appetizer. I know your sister will love it as well. Thanks for sharing it! Enjoy! Renee


Tuesday 29th of October 2019

I made this recipe for a football party at my home and the guys LOVED them.


Monday 4th of November 2019

Awesome, Beks! Thanks for letting me know! Renee