Cocktail Sauce

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Cocktail Sauce is made in just 2 minutes and tastes amazing and nothing like the bottled variety. The perfect dipping sauce to wow  your party guests.

Cocktail Sauce is an easy sauce recipe to keep in your back pocket like Sweet and Sour Sauce, Blue Cheese Dressing and A1 Steak Sauce (Copycat). The homemade versions always taste better than the bottled variety.

Cocktail Sauce
 Cocktail Sauce

This recipe seems almost too easy to post. But as we’re heading into the holidays I promise you’re going to want this for your shrimp cocktail platter (shrimp cocktail recipe coming tomorrow!).

The difference in flavor from a bottled cocktail sauce and the fresh variety cannot be stressed enough. The bottled variety is like slightly spicy ketchup with chunks. This fresh version with horseradish and lemon just POPS.

I’ve been serving this recipe with shrimp cocktail at client events for almost 10 years and I can tell you that when you see people taste it for the first time they will either immediately ask you for the recipe of they just walk over to get more.

What is cocktail sauce made of?

Plus, it’s so incredibly easy to make. The magic is just in the freshness of the ingredients and the mixture. Yes, you’re using a pre-made ketchup but the Worcestershire sauce and the lemon add depth of flavor and a bright acidic punch. The horseradish brings out all the classic flavors of cocktail sauce.

Just make sure (this is the only important thing to be careful about), that you’re letting the mixture sit before serving. If you serve it right away the flavors will not have had time to come together and taste like cocktail sauce. It will taste like spicy ketchup.

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What to serve with cocktail sauce?

Along with the classic shrimp cocktail, cocktail sauce is often served with other shellfish and seafood including crab, oyster and even salmon. If you want to temper the flavors of it to make a glaze or a dipping sauce add some mayonnaise and serve it with fried mushrooms, or calamari. You can also use the glaze as a topping for meatloaf or add it with some tomato juice as a bloody mary starter.

Easy Fresh Cocktail Sauce

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Cocktail Sauce

5 from 8 votes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Course: Dip, Sauce
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Cocktail Sauce is made in just 2 minutes and tastes amazing and nothing like the bottled variety. The perfect dipping sauce to wow  your party guests.


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate at least 60 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12 servings, Amount per serving: 26 calories, Calories: 26g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 83mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 103g, Vitamin C: 3g, Calcium: 7g, Iron: 1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: Cocktail Sauce, horseradish, shrimp

Cocktail Sauce collage

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  1. Great recipe! You can adjust the ingredients to make it as spicy or mild as you like. Most of my family likes it with a kick so I add a little more horseradish and for mild a little less. Thank you so much.

  2. I have made mine like this for year and love.I have a tip sometimes I like it a little,more hot add lemon.When you buy horseradish it is not that hot.

  3. I love how simple and delicious this cocktail sauce is! Shrimp cocktail is always the first thing gone – and this cocktail sauce is so delicious!

  4. You have all the best sauces! I’ve never seen such a pretty cocktail sauce or thought of making my own, but you make it so easy!

  5. I like the ingredients you used. In mine, I don’t use the Tabasco sauce or Worcestershire sauce. I add chilli sauce. When I made mine and it was for a major hotel in the city where I live.

    I will give your recipe try at the next family gathering. Love your recipes. Even though I don’t comment very I love your recipes. Except for pasta ones as I am not a great fan of it. Have a great day and keep on cooking.