How to Make Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Why buy cocktail sauce for your shrimp cocktail when it’s just as easy to make? This easy homemade cocktail sauce will take you just a few minutes.

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We have shrimp a lot at our house.  It’s so quick, easy and pretty inexpensive AND you can do a ton of different things with it.  

My kids love cocktail sauce and I try to keep it in the house, but I’m not always on top of that! :/  Yes, you can make cocktail sauce easily with ingredients that you probably already have in your house.

small white bowl with homemade cocktail sauce with hand dipping a shrimp in it

Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce Recipe

You’ll want to make this homemade cocktail sauce with horseradish. It’s so much better than store-bought and your shrimp cocktail will be a winner.

There are several different kinds of sauce that go with cooked shrimp, but this is a classic version that’s easy and only a few ingredients.

How long will homemade shrimp cocktail sauce last?

Your homemade shrimp cocktail sauce should last a couple of weeks in an airtight container when stored in the refrigerator. I don’t think you’ll have any left though!

You can make this ahead of time if you know you’ll have a busy week or you’re having a party.

white bowl with cocktail sauce and a hand that dipped a shrimp in

Ingredients for homemade cocktail sauce

  • Ketchup
  • Horseradish- Fresh or prepared horseradish (in a jar) will work. Just make sure that the only ingredient in the prepared horseradish is horseradish.  Sometimes they add mayonaise. If fresh, it will need to be grated.  This is a great tool you can use for a lot of different things around the kitchen and it’s perfect to grate your horseradish.
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Hot sauce- I normally buy Tabasco sauce and it’s always in my refrigerator.

How to make homemade cocktail sauce for shrimp?

Prep time for this is super short and the directions are just as short!

  • Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until they are well combined.

This is the perfect amount for about a pound of shrimp, not fried.  If you are having fried shrimp, you’ll probably need more.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can add more horseradish if you like it with a little more spice.  It’s also great because you can make two separate batches, one for kids and one for adults.

Do you want more shrimp recipes?

Easy Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Why buy cocktail sauce for your shrimp cocktail when it's just as easy to make? This easy homemade cocktail sauce will take you just a few minutes from start to finish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword condiment, shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly- Keeping Life Sane


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or jarred horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • dash of salt
  • dash of hot sauce


  • Mix all the ingredients until they are well combined.


Tip: If you use fresh horseradish, it will need to be grated. 

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