Marie Rose Sauce: the delicious easy recipe for shrimp cocktail dressing

Difficulty: Low
By Cookist
1/2 cup
1 tbsp
salt to taste
optional ingredients
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp
Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp
Hot sauce
1/4 tsp
cayenne pepper to taste

When it comes to making the perfect shrimp cocktail, many people will agree that nothing beats homemade Marie Rose sauce. Marie Rose sauce is also known as English cocktail sauce or seafood sauce, and it's the go-to dressing for making shrimp cocktails in the UK.

This tangy, creamy, velvety sauce became popular during the 1960s, thanks to chef Fanny Cradock. It's similar to American cocktail sauce, with a few key differences. Marie Rose sauce is super easy to make and is a fantastic sauce you can use with a wide variety of seafood dishes.

Marie Rose Sauce Ingredients

At its most basic, Marie Rose sauce is made from ketchup, mayonnaise, and salt. However, if you want to make a memorable seafood dressing, there are a few ways you can just up your Marie Rose sauce.

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce to give it more of a kick.

For extra tanginess, squeeze in some lemon juice. Lemon juice's bright, acidic flavor is perfect for all types of seafood.

For a complex savoriness, you can mix in a little Worcestershire sauce.

Finally, you can mix in a little brandy or whisky to give it more flavor and help the sauce to last longer.

Marie Rose Sauce vs American Cocktail Sauce

American cocktail sauce (also known as seafood sauce) tends to be spicier and contains more flavorful ingredients than basic Marie Rose sauce. Where many versions of Marie Rose only call for ketchup, mayo, and salt, American cocktail sauce is made from horseradish, lemon juice, hot sauce, and ketchup.

Marie Rose is creamier than American seafood sauce, thanks to the addition of mayonnaise. It has a milder, slightly sweeter taste that's more similar to American Thousand Islands dressing, which is typically used in sandwiches and salads.

Tips for the Best English Cocktail Sauce

While Marie Rose sauce is traditionally used for shrimp cocktails, it is delicious will all types of seafood. It's also fantastic as a spread for sandwiches and burgers, as a dip for battered and deep-fried vegetables, and more.

You can make vegan Marie Rose sauce by using vegan mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise.

For a lower calorie version, use reduced-fat mayonnaise.

How to Store Marie Rose Sauce

Keep your Marie Rose sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

How to Make Marie Rose Sauce

In a bowl, place mayonnaise, ketchup, salt and optional ingredients like lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and pepper.

Stir to combine.

Taste and make any necessary adjustments.

Serve and enjoy!


Make sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice to make your Marie Rose sauce. It'll give your dressing the best flavor.

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