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prawn cocktail recipes

Recipe: Classic Prawn Cocktails

As we count down the weeks until Christmas, the UnserHaus team are sharing their Christmas family food traditions. Here’s Sara’s Classic Prawn Cocktails, a simple recipe she holds very close to her heart.

I am more than a little embarrassed to be sharing this “recipe” as it is more a collection of ingredients, however it evokes such strong memories of family Christmas’ in the UK it was the clear winner.

As a family we were not one’s for the “traditional” Christmas dinner, nobody liked turkey (and Mum and Dad didn’t like cooking) – so we preferred more of a buffet style affair, quick and easy to assemble was the key.

Every Christmas Feast would begin with the iconic prawn cocktail – saved for the most special occasions as prawns were very expensive. This was usually followed by ham/beef sandwiches (the beef with gravy – I am from the North after all) sausages rolls, sausages on sticks, salads and crisps – with a Sara Lee Cheesecake and/or homemade Trifle – possibly the only homemade thing on the table to finish.

The Prawn Cocktail is a super star and the only ingredient I have ever changed since leaving the UK is a daring transition from Hellmans Mayo to Kewpie.

The cos lettuce is there only to give a nod towards healthy – most of the time it would be still left in the bowl at the end. You can add brown bread (only Hovis) if inclined.

Serves: As many or as few as you like
Difficulty Level: Super Easy – Nothing too it
Ready In: Five mins to prepare and zero to cook – it’s all in the shopping!
Appliance/cookware used: None – fingers and forks


Pre-cooked prawns
Kewpie Mayo
Heinz Ketchup
Cos Lettuce


  1. Chop the lettuce (or don’t!)
  2. Mix 2/3 mayo to 1/3 ketchup until you have a light pink colour (cheats thousand island!)
  3. Chop most of the prawns – keep a couple back for the 70’s decoration
  4. Find an ornate vessel for serving
  5. Assemble!
  6. Sprinkle with paprika to be “posh”

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