Easy Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce Recipe

Easy prawn cocktail with lobster

You honestly can’t beat a prawn cocktail. This classic starter or entrée is a firm favourite of mine, especially at Christmas. Who can say no to this 70s retro classic, with succulent prawns drenched in a creamy and subtly spicy Marie Rose sauce on a bed of crispy lettuce with a wedge of lemon on the side? An iconic British dish served in pubs and restaurants across the country, the Prawn Cocktail is just as popular today as when it was first created.

And in Australia, it’s just as popular, especially when you can get your hands on some super juicy and fresh prawns, straight from the Sydney Fish Market. In fact, since moving to Sydney I can’t get enough of the fresh, meaty prawns which have plenty of flavour and are far more enjoyable than the tiddly little prawns I used to get back in the UK.

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When to eat a prawn cocktail?

Prawn cocktails aren’t just for Christmas though. Enjoy this delicious dish all year round. Serve as part of a three-course meal at the weekend, for a romantic dinner or when you’re throwing a dinner party.

What to serve a prawn cocktail in?

Typically, prawn cocktails are served in tall wine glasses, however, I like to serve mine in a small bowl. You could consider the following:

  • Wine glass
  • Martini glass
  • Small tumblers
  • Ramekins
  • Small bowl
  • Deconstructed on a plate
  • On a lettuce leaf

What else can you use prawn cocktail sauce for?

The prawn cocktail sauce (Marie Rose sauce) is the absolute hero of the dish (along with the succulent prawns). I recommend making extra sauce which you can use with:

  • Smoked salmon baguette
  • BBQ prawns
  • As a salad dressing
  • Prawn Cocktail crisps (a flavour you can’t actually get in Australia) – or any other crisps (chips)
  • Mop up with a slice of bread or French stick

How to make a prawn cocktail?

Prawn cocktails are super easy and quick to make. You can either prep them before and leave them in the fridge or make them to serve straight away. Just try to make sure the prawns are as fresh as possible and kept cool beforehand.

Easy Prawn Cocktail with Marie Rose Sauce Recipe | Serves 2 | Easy | 30 Minutes

Main Ingredients:

  • 10 Cooked Extra Large King Prawns
  • Cooked lobster meat from the legs of a WA Rock Lobster (optional)
  • 8 leaves of Baby Gem Lettuce, washed and roughly chopped (you can use Iceberg lettuce)
  • 1 Truss Tomato, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  • Finely chopped parsley

Marie Rose Sauce Ingredients:

  • 50ml Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp Tartare sauce
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. If you’ve bought whole prawns, twist off the heads and peel off the shell, leaving the tail for presentation. Remember to devein the prawns. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, tartare sauce, cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice. Mix together to combine and taste test to your liking. Add the Smoked paprika for colour.
  3. Place the lettuce leaves in a bowl and add the tomato and capers. Place the prawns around the edge of the bowl. Dollop the Marie Rose Sauce in the centre of the bowl and top with the lobster meat, chopped parsley with lemon wedges on the side. Serve immediately or place in the fridge.

Fresh extra large King Prawns

Marie Rose Sauce

Easy prawn cocktail recipe

Easy prawn cocktail