How to Make Cocktail Sauce

You might have made some fried shrimp, or even have made some simple boiled shrimp. You may wonder how to make cocktail sauce. It is very easy to prepare your own homemade sauce, you really don’t need to buy this from the store.

shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce in a martini glass

Everyone loves shrimp cocktail. You might have prepared some simple boiled shrimp or even some fried shrimp, and now you are wondering how to make shrimp cocktail sauce. It’s actually very easy to create your own tasty homemade cocktail sauce; there’s no need to go to the store to buy it. You can also save money by making many common store products at home.

One of my long-standing objectives with copykat recipes is to make as many things from scratch as I can. For instance, I love to make my own taco seasoning. This easy, quick recipe for zesty, zippy cocktail sauce requires only a few ingredients and can easily be adjusted to your liking. You’ll never want to settle for jarred cocktail sauce from the store again!

When I bought some wonderful Texas Gulf shrimp, I naturally wanted some cocktail sauce to go with them. Making homemade shrimp cocktail sauce is very easy to do. You only need a few simple ingredients – ketchup, prepared horseradish, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and some lemon juice. If you are not familiar with chili sauce, it’s a tomato-based sauce that is usually located in the grocery store near to the cocktail sauce.

Chili Sauce is great in 5-way chili and also in cocktail sauce. It doesn’t provide a lot of heat, but what it does add is some sweet, slightly spicy flavor. If you haven’t tried this, I would definitely recommend you giving it a try in this recipe. Chili sauce adds just the right amount of punch to this cocktail sauce recipe. If you like, you can make your shrimp cocktail sauce more spicy by adding a little more horseradish.

  • Tip from a Reader: For a sneaky trick, you could also add a splash of either cayenne or tabasco hot sauce.

How long can you keep homemade cocktail sauce? This sauce will stay fresh in your refrigerator for about a week. You can also freeze cocktail sauce in an airtight container for up to six months.

What can I use instead of cocktail sauce? Here are some links for some other copycat dipping sauces for dipping your shrimp.

Cocktail sauce Ingredients

Making homemade cocktail sauce is very easy to do. You only need a few simple ingredients:

  • Ketchup
  • Chili sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice
ingredients for homemade cocktail sauce

Ingredient Notes

Some folks ask me what chili sauce is, it is a tomato-based sauce. You can find this in the grocery store right next to the cocktail sauce.

I like to use Chili Sauce in chili, it is great for 5-way chili and cranberry chipotle meatballs. It doesn’t add a lot of heat, but what it does add is some sweet, slightly spicy flavor. If you haven’t tried chili sauce, I would definitely recommend you giving this recipe a try.

How do you make cocktail sauce from scratch?

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl.
    cocktail sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Allow the sauce to set for at least an hour before serving.

If you like you can make this more spicy by adding a bit of horseradish. This is a great way to get a bit more heat. So if you like it a bit hotter be sure to add a little more horseradish.

I hope you enjoy making this homemade cocktail sauce the next time you want to serve shrimp cocktail.

cooked shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce in a martini glass

Favorite Dipping Sauce Recipes

Popular DIY Product Recipes

Be sure to check out copycat pantry favorites. You can save money by making many common products at home.

Find the best party dips and my famous copycat recipes right here on!

shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce in a martini glass

How to Make Cocktail Sauce

Make cocktail sauce in no time at all.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktail sauce, How to Make Cocktail Sauce
Servings: 10
Calories: 58kcal


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Allow the flavors to marry for about an hour before serving. This will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week.



Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Judy

    My favorite for 50 years was Hoffman sauce. I don’t like seafood but boiled shrimp with 1 T salt,1 T dill,1 T caraway was the ONLY way I could eat shrimp. Haven’t had any since I ran out of HH.

  2. LJay

    Your recipe wasn’t as sweet, thick or as red as Hoffman house. I had a bottle of Hoffman House and the ingredient label fell off. This is a copy from their old website:
    Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Tomato Paste, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Horseradish, Salt, Food Starch-Modified, Contains Less Than 2% of The Following: Mustard, Dehydrated Onion, Whey Powder, Molasses, Beet Powder (Color), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Dehydrated Garlic, Dehydrated Red Bell Peppers, Spices, Red Pepper, Soy Sauce, Oleoresin Paprika, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium Edta Added to Protect Flavor, Hydrolyzed Corn, Wheat and Soy Protein, Anchovies.
    Lots of ingredients but we can try to get it close proportionally. But it’s a try with the food items on the list!

  3. Terry

    BIG BIG MISTAKE that Hoffman House Shrimp Cocktail Sauce is no longer available. It was #1 in the world just check the reviews !

  4. Sue

    I’ve used Hoffman House for 50 years and am so bummed that it is no longer made. I want to try this recipe and get it as close to HH as possible. BUT, what kind of horseradish should I use? Prepared red (hard to find), prepared white )not the sauce) or something else?

  5. Debbie L Arvio

    I love Hoffmann’s shrimp sauce. Is this anything like it?
    If not do you have a copy cat of it?
    Thank you,

      • Sally Inglett

        Me too, just realized that I can’t get it in stores. I was still able to find it earlier this year and had I known I would have just bought it all up.

  6. Dale Guthrie

    Is this recipe comparable to Ken’s Cocktail Sauce? It is the ONLY sauce my guests enjoy and is for some reason no longer available. My annual party is coming up & I an at a total loss as to wether to skip the shrimp or try making my own. Thanks

  7. Jeff

    I am trying to find a recipet for cocktail sauce you get in most chinese restaurants. They are something a little different

  8. Shawn Roberts

    I had a general idea on how to make cocktail sauce but you gave me the one ingredient I was missing the chilli sauce thanks a lot taste great.

  9. Tatyana

    I would like to try this cocktail sauce and I want to print out,
    but for some reason it would not let me do it.
    Does anyone knows why?

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