Homemade Cocktail Sauce recipe is quick and simple to make with just a handful of pantry staples. Fresh and easy, this homemade cocktail sauce is fantastic for all your parties. The best dip, spread or sauce for your favorite seafood.

Homemade cocktail sauce in a white bowl with a blue and white spoon

Homemade Cocktail Sauce

I have one of the easiest recipes ever that’s the best side kick for your favorite seafood. This easy Cocktail Sauce recipe is not only fabulous for the ever popular shrimp cocktail but we put this on our oysters, fried fish and those frozen fish sticks my kids love so much.

It’s a great condiment for all kinds of seafood (crab legs, anyone?) and can be made in advance for parties and holiday gatherings.

Homemade Cocktail sauce with shrimp on a blue and white plate with wine on a white background

What is Cocktail Sauce?

Cocktail Sauce is a cold sauce made of ketchup, horseradish, chili sauce and lemon that’s generally served with cold seafood like shrimp, lump crabmeat, oysters or clams. I also LOVE to serve this sauce with fish sticks as an alternative to tartar sauce on busy weeknights.

Shrimp being dipped into homemade cocktail sauce

How to Make Cocktail Sauce

Cocktail Sauce is made simply by mixing together a few pantry ingredients. For this recipe I whisked together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, horseradish, hot sauce (my favorite is Tabasco!) and my secret ingredient….Chili Garlic Sauce.

The traditional sauce recipe calls for chili sauce but I like the kick of the garlic. If you prefer, you can just substitute the chili garlic sauce with the regular variety of chili sauce.

Ingredients for Homemade Cocktail Sauce on a white background

Is Cocktail Sauce gluten-free?

While you’ll have to check the labels of the ingredients you’re using from your own kitchen, MOST cocktail sauce is naturally gluten-free. You can also leave out any ingredients that you don’t particularly love, some readers prefer to skip the horseradish and that’s totally ok with me. 🙂

Glass bowl with ingredients for homemade cocktail sauce

What To Serve It With Cocktail Sauce

The Very Best Cocktail Sauce is fantastic with just about any fish or shellfish. My favorite way to serve it is with this Garlic Roasted Shrimp Cocktail but it’s also fabulous served alongside these Classic Crab Cakes. It’s also a staple at many oyster houses as it adds a great sweet heat to the brininess of the oysters.

We also love dipping into it with this crispy Coconut Shrimp!

Overhead shot of homemade cocktail sauce and a pile of shrimp in a blue and white plate

How to Make In Advance

What I love most about this easy Cocktail Sauce recipe is that you can double or triple the recipe and keep it in the fridge. I love to snack on shrimp cocktail as a healthy snack during the week and this sauce is totally light on calories.

It’s a great make ahead option for parties, too! Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to party. It’s a fantastic centerpiece for a seafood tower or alongside this super popular Cheesy Crab dip!

Blue and white spoon with homemade cocktail sauce and a pile of shrimp on a blue and white plate

Sooooo…..for your next summer party you already have one no cook item on your menu with the very BEST Cocktail Sauce. And that secret ingredient will have all your guests wondering what you did to make it totally over the top. But your secret is safe with me.

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Shrimp being dipped into homemade cocktail sauce

Get the Recipe: The Best Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Quick and easy, the very BEST Cocktail Sauce recipe is fantastic for all your fish and shellfish. A great addition to any party.
4.86 from 7 votes


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce


  • 1 mixing bowl


  • Add the ketchup, chili garlic sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce in a bowl. 
  • Whisk together the ingredients until combined.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


YouTube video


The Very Best Cocktail Sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Calories: 13kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 0g, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 315mg, Potassium: 30mg, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 25IU, Vitamin C: 1.4mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 0.1mg