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Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish

This Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish is only 4 ingredients so it’s easy to throw together. You’ll never need another homemade cocktail sauce recipe!

a bowl of cocktail sauce on a plate of steamed shrimp

Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish

People either love or hate cocktail sauce. I’m personally a huge fan for it’s bold flavors and perfect pairing with seafood.

Shrimp and cocktail sauce is my favorite combination … maybe consider adding some Garlic Butter Mussels to the mix too!

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bowls of ketchup, prepared horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice

Why is it called cocktail sauce?

Rumor has it that cocktail sauce got its name from when and how it was originally served.

Shrimp cocktail was served in cocktail glasses during the Prohibition era since alcohol wasn’t being served as a “cocktail” appetizer.

What is cocktail sauce made of?

Cocktail sauce is generally made up of just a few key ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll find:

  • Ketchup
  • Prepared horseradish
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice

Some other recipes call for garlic, hot sauce, or even chili sauce as a substitute for ketchup. It is super versatile so you can adjust the ingredients to make it fit what you’re looking for!

If making it isn’t in the cards, you can always use buy bottled cocktail sauce from the grocery store. You can even doctor up the store bought cocktail sauce with extra horseradish to make it spicy!

an overhead shot of cocktail sauce in a bowl

What is horseradish?

Horseradish is a root vegetable that is in the mustard family. It’s known for it’s spicy flavor; think of a wasabi kind of heat!

You’ll often hear recipes call for prepared horseradish which you can find jarred at the grocery store, or you can learn how to make prepared horseradish yourself!

Prepared horseradish is just grated horseradish with vinegar, salt, and sugar which makes it easier to work with and find.

Try out this Horseradish Aioli if you’re into the spicy kick of horseradish!

Does this taste like St. Elmo’s cocktail sauce?

I wish! The Shrimp Cocktail from St. Elmo’s Steak House in Indianapolis, Indiana is hands-down the best cocktail sauce I’ve ever had. When they say that it’s hot, it’s HOT.

St. Elmo’s supposedly uses some cider vinegar in their recipe to add even more tang to the sauce.

If you want spicy cocktail sauce, add an additional tablespoon or two of your prepared horseradish and that’ll bring the heat!

a small bowl of cocktail sauce on a plate of steamed shrimp and lemons

What can I serve cocktail sauce with?

If you have any extra cocktail sauce, be sure to try it with some:

  • Old Bay Steamed Shrimp
  • Crab cakes
  • Bloody Mary’s
  • Add it to your favorite meatloaf recipe
  • Fries
  • Add it to cream cheese and make a creamy dip
  • Add some to greek yogurt to make a remoulade sauce for a Skinny Shrimp Po Boy
a bowl of cocktail sauce on a plate of squeezed lemons and steamed shrimp

How to Make Cocktail Sauce

Making cocktail sauce is simple! You’ll just want to use a small bowl to mix together the ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. It’s ready to serve right then or chill it to enjoy later.

Be sure to store the cocktail sauce in an airtight container. It’ll hold up for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator for you to enjoy!

a bowl of cocktail sauce on a plate of steamed shrimp

Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish

Yield: 1/2 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This Cocktail Sauce with Horseradish is only 4 ingredients so it's easy to throw together. You'll never need another homemade cocktail sauce recipe!


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. horseradish
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice


  1. In a small container, mix together ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.
  2. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2-3 weeks.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Nutrition provided is only an estimate.

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Sam Ellis

Hey there! I'm Sam and if there are two things I love most in this world, it's food and travel... and my dog, Tucker. I'm using my little corner of the internet to explore everything I love and I'd love for you to join me!


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