If you’ve ever wondered what to do with an opened bottle of cocktail sauce—or you’re simply looking for a new, delicious path from oven to table—this sheet-pan dinner is for you. Inspired by my love of shrimp cocktail, this speedy meal combines roasted shrimp, broccoli, and caramelized lemon together on a sheet pan. But the best part, the reason I’ve been making this dinner on repeat? The crazy good, crazy simple sauce (thickened right on the sheet pan!) made from butter, garlic, lemon zest, chicken stock, and (you guessed it!) cocktail sauce. Serve with crusty bread, or pile on top of pasta or rice, to sop up every last bit of the sauce.
A few notes and tips: Reach for your favorite prepared cocktail sauce when making this dinner, or feel free to mix up your own. If the spicy bite of horseradish in prepared cocktail sauce isn’t to your (or your dining companions’) taste, the butter and stock in the pan sauce nicely mellow it out. (My own two kids, for example, don’t like cocktail sauce, but they happily gobble up this dinner!) What’s great is how easy it is to adjust the flavors. Want a kickier, spicier sauce? Add more cocktail sauce. Want a tamer one? Start with a lesser amount of cocktail sauce, and add more, a little at a time, to taste. —EmilyC
large or 3 small crowns of broccoli (1 1/2 to 2 pounds in total)
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
freshly ground black pepper
uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined); purchased fresh or thawed from frozen
garlic cloves, minced
chicken or seafood stock
cocktail sauce, or to taste (see author note)
Heat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicon baking mat, or lightly oil it.
Zest the lemon directly into a small saucepan; set aside for making the sauce in Step 5. Cut the lemon in half.
Cut broccoli into bite-sized florets and add to the sheet pan. Toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and half the salt and pepper, and distribute in a single, even layer. Add the lemon halves, cut-side down, to the sheet pan. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the broccoli is starting to brown around the edges.
While the broccoli is roasting, toss the shrimp in 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining salt and pepper; set aside.
To make the sauce: In the small saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, lemon zest, and garlic. Let the garlic cook, without browning, for a minute or two, then whisk in the broth and cocktail sauce. Taste, adding a little more cocktail sauce for extra kick, if desired, and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Keep the sauce warm over the lowest heat setting until ready to use.
Remove sheet pan from the oven, and nestle the shrimp amongst the broccoli florets. Roast for 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp is mostly cooked through and turning pink (the time will depend on the size of the shrimp).
Remove sheet pan again, and add the sauce, pouring directly onto the pan. Carefully tilt the pan back and forth a few times to evenly distribute the sauce. It may not entirely cover the pan—that’s okay!
Return the pan to the oven for 2 more minutes, or just until sauce is starting to bubble again. Serve warm—either on its own or with crusty bread, rice, or pasta for sopping up the sauce.