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+ servings
Three critical ingredients come together to make a really good cocktail sauce. Horseradish, pure chile powder and fresh lemon juice. Don't use supermarket chili powder - it's a mix of random ingredients.
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4 from 4 votes

classic cocktail sauce

Making classic cocktail sauce is super easy. And it's better than anything you can buy. Just like they serve at those fancy steak houses.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: side
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup


  • 1 cup good tomato ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish - get a new bottle. That old bottle in the back of the fridge will kill this recipe...
  • 1 tsp pure chili powder - e.g New Mexican Red or Ancho
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or more to taste


  • Combine all ingredients and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Fresh prepared horseradish makes all the difference in this cocktail sauce. It's worth buying a new jar if the one at hand has been in the refrigerator for a while.