Horseradish-free Cocktail Sauce

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | February 20th, 2012 | Recipes, Spreads & Sauces

For Valentine’s Day, my husband and I enjoyed a candlelight dinner at home.  Our meal began with Wrapped & Stuffed Dates and shrimp cocktail.  When shopping for the meal, I had assumed that we had cocktail sauce at home.  As we all know well, one should never assume. . . As I began prepping for the meal, I discovered that I didn’t have any in the fridge or pantry.  Thus, it was time to make my own.

Typically, cocktail sauce contains horseradish, which gives the sauce its spiciness.  Unfortunately, we also were out of prepared horseradish, which meant it was time to create a new recipe.  It seemed that chili powder would make a fine replacement for the bite of horseradish and lemon juice would add brightness to the sauce.  Making it a couple hours before dinner began, I hoped the ingredients would have time to meld and develop their flavor.

I was curious as to how the sauce would be received.  For me, having a horseradish-free sauce wasn’t problematic, as it is one of my less favored condiments.  My husband, however, enjoys horseradish.  Seeing him liberally dunk his shrimp into the sauce assured me that the last minute fix seemed to work.

If you’re looking for a more elegant shrimp recipe, this Shrimp & Avocado Cocktail is a great choice.


Horseradish-free Cocktail Sauce


  1. 1/4 cup ketchup
  2. 2 tsp. lemon juice
  3. 2 tsp. chili powder
  4. 1 tsp. brown sugar
  5. salt & pepper
  1. Combine ketchup, lemon juice, chili powder, and brown sugar in a small bowl, stirring well.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Think Tasty

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