The Very Best Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Homemade Cocktail Sauce 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 from

Hey guys!  I’m back…it’s Monday and I’m kicking off the week with a case of summer fever.  I just got back from the Jersey shore where I subsisted on a steady diet of seafood and donuts. Pretty much…all day every day. Gotta keep that beach body in check, am I right? But are you as ready as I am for summer, seafood, grilling and all the cocktails?  If not, 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.

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

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 from

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 from

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 from

What should you serve 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.

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

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 like the one I shared over on my Instastories last week 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 from

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.

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

The Very Best Cocktail Sauce Recipe

Kellie from The Suburban Soapbox
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
Prep Time 1 min
Total Time 1 min
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 13 kcal


  • 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


  • 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.


The Very Best Cocktail Sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.


Calories: 13kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 315mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 0gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



13 comments on “The Very Best Cocktail Sauce Recipe”

  1. Hi…proud to be on your mailing List..most of your recipes are saved and posted to my my social media accounts…The cocktail Sauce recipe is awesome but it is made of ready made Ingredients…I wish if possible to have similar recipe but to use fresh Ingredients and make it at Home…

    • Hi! I actually linked to my homemade ketchup recipe so that you could use that if you want it completely from scratch. Not everyone is that adventurous in the kitchen but I totally recommend it if you’re up for the time involvement. 🙂

  2. I could eat this with shrimp all day every day!

  3. Yes! Because i never have the store bought stuff when I need it. This is perfect and so much better!

  4. My kids adore shrimp…I need to try your sauce sometime for them!

  5. Oops meant to give it a rating too!

  6. Homemade is always better! This is super easy and looks delicious!

  7. Oh wow , there is so much variety , really need to try this one too ..Thanks for sharing !!

  8. I played with the amounts a little bit, this recipe is amazing. I’m planning on serving this at a birthday party this weekend. I can’t wait for everyone to taste it!

  9. haven’t tried it yet…but where did you get that FABULOUS serving spoon for the sauce. I want one !

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