Homemade Steak Sauce (Peter Luger Sauce)

Have you ever been to Peter Luger’s? Chances are many people haven’t seeing there are only two locations, one in Brooklyn and the other Great Neck on Long Island.

garlic butter steak dipping into steak sauce


I am here to tell you that even if you haven’t been, you will LOVE Peter Luger Steak Sauce.

The best homemade steak sauce is my Copycat Peter Luger Steak Sauce. Sweet and spicy, rich and decadent, it complements even the best piece of meat and even chicken!

It is true that good steaks, cooked perfectly, shouldn’t need sauce. However it is also true that the best steakhouses in the country offer house-made steak sauces to accompany their wonderfully aged meat.

overhead of whisking together sauce for steak

Peter Luger Steak Sauce

This sauce was modeled after the tangy, yet sweet, Peter Luger’s  steak sauce. It is magical. Things will happen in your mouth that you didn’t know were possible. 

Truth be told, I’ve only been to Peter Luger’s once. It was in high school and my boyfriend at the time had a friend who was opening up a new location. We were invited to come for the friends and family night.

 And twenty (something) years later, the sauce is still a highlight. Well, the whole experience. Did you know you can’t use a credit card at Peter Luger? Nope! Only cash or the coveted Peter Luger credit card for the most VIP customers.

Even though none of their locations are in the big food cities (Brooklyn, kinda) it is still one of the most famous steak joints in the whole world. This was before there were even a plethora of “the best food you ever ate” shows on TV. You know it must be good!

angle view of steak sauce in a bowl

Nowadays you can actually buy premade Peter Luger steak sauce at the grocery store. In fact, that is what I used to taste test against my version seeing I didn’t remember the exact flavor profile um-teen years later.

But it is expensive, so you can make your own for a fraction of the cost and still have a restaurant worthy meal.

What You’ll Need

The one ingredient that the original has, but we have left out is anchovy paste, which in addition to the horseradish, is what gives the sauce a kick. Stop turning your nose up. I bet you anchovy paste is in SOOOO many things you love and enjoy and you don’t even know it. But some foodie friends found it hard to find, so we’ve made it optional.

  • Ketchup– Standard ketchup is best. I try to use one with sugar because this is a sweet and spicy sauce, however if you don’t like sweet, then opt for a sugar-free ketchup.
  • Worcestershire sauce– Adds great depth and sophistication to any sauce. A little goes a long way! Soy sauce is the closest swap.
  • Dark brown sugar– The original uses dark, which means it has more molasses, but most folks only have light brown sugar in their pantry. If this is the case, use the same omit of light brown sugar, but add 1 teaspoon of molasses to the mix.
  • Hot sauce- A standard vinegar based sauce works great, such as Texas Pete or Franks, not like buffalo wing sauce.
  • Dijon mustard– Use a smooth mustard or swap it for spicy brown mustard if you are aiming for even more of a little kick.
  • Apple cider vinegar– Adds tang and zing. White wine vinegar, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar are great options for customizing.
  • Prepared horseradish– For the quick spice and heat. This is one of the ingredients that makes it unique. Like a cocktail sauce, it uses horseradish.
  • Anchovy Paste- A little spicy, it is the unique taste of things like Caesar dressing. It is the secret ingredient. Of course, it can be omitted, but will truly make your steak sauce one-of-a-kind.
  • Couple shakes of salt and pepper to taste.

Variations to make this recipe your own include adding a grated garlic cloves or a few shakes of garlic powder, a little bit of lemon zest or fresh lemon juice or a hint of chili powder or cayenne pepper.

steak dipping into homemade sauce

Make It!

Many include heating and food processors, but this recipe just needs a whisk or spoon to stir, stir, stir. Letting it sit is really where the flavor develops.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, whisking well. If you don’t have dark brown sugar, use light brown sugar and a teaspoon of molasses.
  2. Taste and then add fine sea salt and pepper to taste. Salt helps to enhance all of the natural flavors.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 1 week. This is paramount to letting the flavors marry.
  4. The best way to serve it is by stirring well and then leave out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to take the chill off.
step-by-step images of how to make steak sauce

How to Serve

This homemade steak sauce is perfect for steak dinners, but it doesn’t stop there. Whether you are serving a pan-fried steak with this sauce and crumbly blue cheese sauce or roasted chicken thighs, it will pair perfectly.

Even use it as a sandwich slather on roast beef or French dip sandwiches. Or a dipping sauce for French fries.

Can I use steak sauce on others things? Yes! Serve it with anything you think needs a little spicing up or sauce. Chicken, fish, seafood, veggies- anything you’d like! 

Storage & Freezing

Can I freeze steak sauce? There aren’t any components that you can’t freeze, but I’ve never tried it either. If you do, let us know how it went! 

How long does it last? Steak sauce, when kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container, should last up to a week. It tastes great made ahead of time!

homemade steak sauce recipe for pinterest

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angle view of steak sauce in a bowl

Homemade Steak Sauce Recipe (Peter Luger Steak Sauce)

4.59 from 103 votes
The best homemade steak sauce is my Copycat Peter Luger Steak Sauce! Sweet and spicy, rich and decadent, it complements even the best piece of meat and even chicken! 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce dark brown sugar, mustard,vinegar, hot sauce, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, horseradish and anchovy paste in a small bowl.
  • Mix well, taste and then add fine sea salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 1 week. 
  • Serve with steak or chicken. It also tastes great on sandwiches! 
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how you liked it in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 73 kcal, Carbohydrates: 16 g, Protein: 1 g, Cholesterol: 1 mg, Sodium: 528 mg, Potassium: 196 mg, Sugar: 13 g, Vitamin A: 155 IU, Vitamin C: 4 mg, Calcium: 27 mg, Iron: 0.9 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 73
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade steak sauce, peter luger steak sauce
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome, very close to the real deal and it’s so quick and easy to make. A definite a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad you love it! It’s hard to nail it down exactly (especially if you aren’t using anchovy paste), but it is darn good- we actually served it with my tenderloin too!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband was a New Yorker before moving to Ohio …big change ..we were delighted when we found the Peter Lugar steakhouse copycat steak sauce recipe !! ! The recipe is perfect !!! Thank you !!

  3. 5 stars
    I use this for Portobello Mushroom stacks for a vegetarian diet. Marinate the de0gilled caps in the steak sauce mixed with a bit of Avocado oil for at least 30 minutes. Grill on barbeque until done. Stack with tomatoes slices, grilled eggplant, marinated yellow peppers and fresh mozzarella. Yikes! who needs steak… just the sauce!

  4. I have tried this sauce and it is wonderful!
    I’ve been to Peter Luger last year, and the sauce is almost same 🙂
    As you said, horseradish and anchovy paste are the kicks!!!!!

    I have a question.
    At Peter Luger, the sauce is served warm in the curry pot(?)
    Is this sauce supposed to be served warm or cold?
    If I want to serve this sauce warm, how can I warm the sauce?
    and how can I store them warm?

    If is is ok to be served cold, can I store this at refrigerator and use it whenever I want?

    THank you so much for sharing this gorgeous recipe 🙂

    1. Hi MJ,

      It is served warm at the restaurant, but I generally serve it room temperature. You can heat it or serve it cold too. It doesn’t really store warm, you’ll need to store it in the fridge and then reheat it. I caution against making it too hot though because then the sugars start to caramelize and it gets sticky instead of saucy. So very low heat in a saucepan. The microwave is an option, but do it at 30 second intervals at 50% power. And yes, store it in the fridge and use it when you want it 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    They don’t sell Peter Luger’s near us in VT and we make a leftover steak sandwich with the sauce & Brie cheese. This is an excellent substitute and we will definitely make it again

    1. Fabulous! Thanks you for coming back to let us know, Stephanie. Funny, I was just talking about this sauce last night saying I wanted to make it again soon. So tasty!

  6. Don’t Boo me but I just mix baby Ray’s honey BBQ sauce and bottled shredded horshraddish. Easy peasy and yummy.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this on 6/10/17 and I must say my guy and I LOVED it. Although I didn’t have Peter Luger’s on hand to do a side by side taste comparison, I will say that it definitely reminds me of it because it too is like the “cocktail” sauces of steak sauces. I marinated chicken breasts in it before grilling them and then served extra sauce on the side. Delish! Thank you for an awesome recipe that I can whip up anytime because I always have all the ingredients on hand.

    1. That sounds fantastic! I’ve never uses it as a marinade, but I’ll have to try. It is a favorite in our house as well.

  8. Not bad , but no cigar. Not even really close to Peter Luger sauce. I buy the original stuff from my local Publics, or order it on the Peter Luger site. So I tried this recipie and although it has a good taste it isn’t a good copycat…the real stuff is served with Tomato salad at the PL steakhouse.