Balsamic Cocktail Sauce

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  • Looking for an alternative to classic cocktail sauce? This version with one simple swap will give you a sweet and spicy dipping sauce perfect for steamed shrimp, crab cakes and anything else that begs for a little tang.

    close up bowl of cocktail sauce with fresh herbs and shrimp

    Shrimp Dipping Sauce

    This balsamic cocktail sauce recipe came about after I got with regular old cocktail sauce. Which really isn’t all that old and tired… my homemade version is actually quite nice. But I just wanted something new!

    So I used leftover homemade balsamic reduction, horseradish and ketchup. The deal was sealed. Balsamic cocktail sauce was quickly added to the regular rotation and even makes an appearance with our shrimp cocktail now.

    shrimp dipping into cocktail sauce

    What to Serve It With

    Cocktail sauce can be served chilled for at room temperature, up to you. It doesn’t contain any ingredients that really spoil. It can really be served with anything you would serve cocktail sauce with including:

    overhead of balsamic cocktail sauce with a whisk

    How to Make It

    Making it is simple, but there are two steps you don’t want to miss to ensure you get maximum impact.

    1. Mix together all the ingredients, BUT before you add the horseradish, make sure to drain it well. Place it in a small mesh sieve and press it down with the back of a spoon to get out all the moisture. Getting rid of the extra liquid will help keep your sauce super creamy and thick.
    2. The second is to let it sit a while. As with many sauces, allowing the flavors to marry will give the sauce more sophistication and depth. Just an hour in the fridge will do the trick.
    ingredients for balsamic cocktail sauce recipe

    If you want to take it up a notch further, consider adding a drop or two of hot sauce or worcestershire sauce.


    This homemade cocktail sauce can be made 1-2 days ahead of time and can be stored, covered and chilled, for up to a week.

    It can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours.

    balsamic cocktail sauce recipe for pinterest

    More Dipping Sauce Recipes:

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    If you'Garlic Butter Sauce in a white bowl with a pizza slice dipping in itve ever wondered how to make garlic butter sauce, wonder no more. This recipe is just like the Papa John's dipping sauce for pizza or breadsticks! #garlicbuttersauce #howtomakegarlicbuttersauce #papajohnsdippingsauce
    If you've ever wondered how to make garlic butter sauce for pizza, wonder no more. This recipe is just like the Papa John's dipping sauce for pizza or breadsticks!
    Easy Pomodoro Sauce
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    A quick and easy tomato sauce made from coarsely chopped tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil. Perfect for pasta and dipping.
    Mustard Aioli Sauce
    mustard aioli sauce with tater tots
    This zesty Mustard Aioli comes together in less than 5 minutes and is the perfect dipping sauce and sandwich topper for any meal or BBQ.
    close up of shrimp dipping sauce

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    balsamic cocktail sauce with srhimp
    Print Recipe
    4.25 from 4 votes

    Balsamic Cocktail Sauce

    A sweet and spicy twist on classic cocktail sauce. Perfect for shrimp and anything else you'd need a zesty dipping sauce for.
    Prep Time5 mins
    Total Time5 mins
    Course: Condiment
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: cocktail sauce
    Servings: 1 cup
    Calories: 303kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Mix the ketchup, horseradish and balsamic reduction sauce in a small bowl.
    • Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.


    Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 3g | Sodium: 2184mg | Potassium: 832mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 2065IU | Vitamin C: 11.4mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1.2mg


    hand dipping shrimp in sauce
    image of jessica formicola

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  • Meleah H wrote:
    • Jessica at Savory Experiments wrote: