How to Make Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail sauce is a perfect accompaniment to boiled or fried shrimp, but did you know it can be made at home? Homemade cocktail sauces are really simple and quick with ingredients that may already be in your pantry. I am going to show you how easy my best seafood cocktail recipe is! I know this recipe will soon become of your favorite cocktail sauce recipes.

shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce in a martini glass

There is something magical about the zesty taste of this sauce when paired with cold shrimp. This appetizer is perfect for summer, my zesty homemade recipe makes this dish so versatile- you’ll be able to use it as an app or dip for tons of more great recipes!

Different uses for cocktail sauce

  • shrimp cocktail – Shrimp cocktail is one of everyone’s favorite appetizers. You can make a shrimp cocktail by boiling some shrimp and serve it in an attractive dish with your own homemade cocktail sauce.
  • cheese sticks – it’s the perfect zesty dip for cheese sticks.
  • fried fish – your own cocktail sauce is ideal!
  • oysters – this works well for fried or raw oysters
  • crab cakes – this seafood sauce adds the right amount of zing to your favorite crab cakes.
  • add as a burger topping in place of ketchup
  • use as a sauce when you make ceviche

Why make homemade cocktail sauce?

When you make your own seafood cocktail sauce you can use high-quality ingredients, your homemade version will not have high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, and xantham gum. Then natural flavors will shine through, and I know you will think this rich cocktail sauce is better than those bottles of cocktail sauce you buy at the grocery store. This classic cocktail sauce is perfect for beginner cooks. You can make a flavorful sauce in no time at all.

Cocktail sauce ingredients

Before you make your best cocktail sauce, you need to get your ingredients together. Here is what you will need.

  • Ketchup – I like to use good quality ketchup here, I like some of the natural versions that brands like Heinz.
  • Chili sauce – this condiment offers zip and zing of this sauce. Learn more about chili sauce.
  • Horseradish – I buy fresh horseradish in jars at the grocery store. You can typically find fresh horseradish in the grocery store either in the deli or the dairy section. Horseradish is what gives you zesty cocktail sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce – My favorite brand is Lea and Perrins!
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best! Fresh lemon juice gives your sauce a bright taste, and helps to bring out the natural flavor of whatever you serve it with.
  • Tobasco – if you like a little heat, add a couple of shakes, and you will have just the right amount of heat.
  • Black pepper – this is optional, but if you like your cocktail sauce with a bit of heat, this is exactly what you want to add.

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

Before you make your best cocktail sauce, you need to get your ingredients together. Here is what you will need.

  • Ketchup – I like to use good quality ketchup here, I like some of the natural versions that brands like Heinz.
  • Chili sauce – this condiment offers zip and zing of this sauce. Learn more about chili sauce.
  • Horseradish – I buy fresh horseradish in jars at the grocery store. You can typically find fresh horseradish in the grocery store either in the deli or the dairy section. Horseradish is what gives you zesty cocktail sauce.
  • Worcestershire sauce – My favorite brand is Lea and Perrins!
  • Lemon juice – freshly squeezed is best! Fresh lemon juice gives your sauce a bright taste, and helps to bring out the natural flavor of whatever you serve it with.
  • Tobasco – if you like a little heat, add a couple of shakes, and you will have just the right amount of heat.
  • Black pepper – this is optional, but if you like your cocktail sauce with a bit of heat, this is exactly what you want to add.
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 spicier 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 a shrimp cocktail.

cooked shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce in a martini glass

Favorite Dipping Sauce 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 CopyKat.com!

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
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 58kcal

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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

About Stephanie Manley

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Ron Seitz

    I was taught how to make by my brother in law in Pensacola FL (lots of Gulf shrimp right off the boats). Start with your favorite catsup adding horseradish till it starts showing some white, couple of dashes of worsteshite sauce, some lemon zest and some juice to taste. And that’s all it is! Enjoy!

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