This zesty Homemade Cocktail Sauce is so much better than store-bought and prepared with staple ingredients. You’ll never want bottled sauce again!
Why buy cocktail sauce when you probably have everything you need to make it from scratch? This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and can be easily adjusted to your personal taste.
Ingredients for Cocktail Sauce
- Hot Sauce – Feel free to adjust the amount of hot sauce to your personal taste.
- Prepared horseradish – Typically found in the grocery store’s refrigerated section (by the seafood or near the refrigerated dips). To flavor this sauce with more of a “kick,” increase the horseradish to your liking.
- Black pepper – Freshly ground, if possible.
- Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed, if possible.
Prepared horseradish, black pepper, hot sauce, ketchup and lemon juice.
Simply stir the ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce, lemon juice, and pepper together in a small bowl. It can be served immediately, but is best when covered and refrigerated for at least one hour before serving.
I typically enjoy this sauce within a couple of days of preparing, but it normally keeps for up to one week when stored properly (in an airtight container or jar) in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before serving, as some separation may occur when stored.
How long it can be stored also depends on the expiration dates of your ingredients used, so use your best judgement when storing.
5 Star ReviewOf all the recipes I found and tried, yours had what was missing for me. Black pepper. It really was the difference. Great, easy, memorable. Thank you. ~ Leta
- Give your cocktail sauce a little smoky flavor by adding ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce or a dash of liquid smoke.
- Make it creamy by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise (this will also give it a milder flavor).
- Spice it up by adding Old Bay Seasoning, cajun seasoning, or a dash of cayenne pepper.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
- Prepare in advance (if possible) to allow the flavors to develop. Make it an hour in advance or even the day before you plan to serve it.
- Don’t be afraid to tweak the recipe to your personal taste! Add more horseradish for extra spiciness, more lemon juice for extra tanginess, and/or more hot sauce for added heat.
More Delicious Condiments
Homemade Cocktail Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl until combined.
- Place in a container and cover. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your personal taste!
- Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not re-use sauce that shrimp (or other foods) have been dipped into. This is best served within 2 days of preparing.
- This recipe yields approximately 1 cup.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.
Originally published September 2016. Updated with new photographs, helpful tips and republished August 2023.