This sauce is low in ingredients (and naturally low in carbs as well!) but big in flavor. It makes a great accompaniment to — seafood, of course — but also for warm vegetable dishes, fish, and meat. You can easily adjust the sharpness to your liking. Make this condiment really tongue-tickling or mellow. The choice is yours!
How to prepare the 1-Minute Sugar-Free Sharp Cocktail Sauce
Like the title suggests, this is a very easy recipe to throw together. Just mix well all ingredients and enjoy! However, I’ll give some tips so that you can get the best out of the recipe and ensure a perfect sauce.
For a really quick sauce, you can use prepared horseradish that you can just grab from the jar and throw in. However, since those products usually contain food additives and preservatives — sometimes even sugar — I don’t really recommend using prepared horseradish. Not in this recipe, and not in general. Only if you are in a real hurry or don’t have fresh horseradish available, use prepared horseradish.
The flavor of freshly-grated horseradish is far superior to any preserved product. And yes, that one-minute preparation time includes grating fresh horseradish — it’s done in half a minute. Then you still have a half a minute for adding other ingredients and mixing the sauce! Mixing actually takes just about ten seconds.
One more note about horseradish: it is said to have some health benefits (which doesn’t hurt in these times!), but if you have a sensitive stomach, it’s a good idea to go easy on horseradish. So, instead of two tablespoons, you might want to use just one tablespoon or even less. By the way, did you know that horseradish is also a cruciferous vegetable, like cauliflower or broccoli?
If you have time, refrigerate the sauce for a few hours or overnight. The flavors get deeper. This is highly recommended!
But, let’s take a look at how to prepare this simple yet super-flavorful sauce:
Take a small to medium bowl and add 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) sugar-free ketchup. You can use commercial ketchup if you find stevia-sweetened or erythritol-sweetened one. You can also use my Ready-in-a-Snap Low-Carb Ketchup to get certainly food-additive-free ketchup — or my favorite sugar-free ketchup, the recipe for which you’ll find on my Low Sugar, So Simple book.
Add 2 tablespoons grated horseradish…
…1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (freshly-squeezed is naturally the best)…
…1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated black pepper…
…and to taste sugar-free hot sauce like Tabasco. I prefer to add 10-15 drops to my sauce.
Then just mix properly…
…ready! You can still adjust the taste to your liking by adding more pepper, hot sauce, or lemon juice.
For the best taste, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
I never can resist the temptation to stretch the plastic wrap as tight as drumhead. It makes some nice sounds when struck with fingers!
How I came up with the 1-Minute Sugar-Free Sharp Cocktail Sauce
Cocktail sauce is an old-time favorite condiment, especially with seafood. In this classic sauce, ketchup or chili sauce is mixed with horseradish. Usually, you use prepared horseradish and naturally sugar-filled ketchup if you prepare the traditional sauce at home. The commercial versions are naturally sugar-filled and contain lots of food additives as well. Therefore, there is a need for a better and healthier sauce – and this sugar-free and food-additive free recipe is designed to fit the bill!
Actually, this is a very old recipe of mine. I developed this sauce and posted the recipe on my Facebook page about six years ago. But since it’s quite impossible to find that recipe now on my Facebook page, I decided to post it here on my blog as well. Anyway, I make this sauce relatively often, especially when I fancy some hot and piquant accompaniment with fish or shrimp — or when regular sugar-free ketchup is not enough to please my palate.
When starting to develop this recipe several years ago, I took the basic ingredients: my homemade sugar-free ketchup and freshly grated horseradish instead of prepared horseradish. To give the sauce enough heat and piquant taste, I decided to add Tabasco that I usually always have in my pantry (but often just forget to use it!).
The traditional cocktail sauce often uses Worcestershire sauce. However, since Worcestershire sauce contains gluten (and other nasty stuff!), it doesn’t belong to my pantry. Anyway, this didn’t disturb me, as I could very well make my sugar-free (and gluten-free) cocktail sauce without Worcestershire sauce.
After some pondering, I decided to add black pepper for more piquant flavor and a little bit of lemon juice for a slight tang. Now, I just had to think of measures. It didn’t take too long to find out the best ratios for the ingredients. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper do have their place in this recipe even the amounts might seem minuscule!
For some of my experiments, I used just pure tomato sauce (i.e., pureed tomatoes from a can) with some sweetener — powdered erythritol — added, but the result was so much better with ketchup that I decided to use sugar-free ketchup in the final recipe.
And instead of lemon juice, I tried raw apple cider vinegar in some of my experiments. However, the vinegar lent a too bitter flavor, in my opinion, so I decided to go with the fresh-flavored lemon juice that lent just the right tang.
But without further ado, here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 1 1/2 cups = 350 ml sugar-free ketchup
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 10-15 drops (or to taste) Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.
- If you have time, refrigerate overnight to let the flavors mingle.
|Nutrition information||In total||Per tablespoon|
|Protein||7.2 g||0.3 g|
|Fat||0.9 g||trace g|
|Net carbs||23.1 g||0.9 g|
|kcal||129 kcal||5 kcal|
Approximate nutritional values if homemade sugar-free ketchup is used (the values naturally differ if you use some other ketchup)
How to vary the Sugar-Free Sharp Cocktail Sauce
You can naturally tweak the sauce to please your palate. Maybe you like the tang of the raw apple cider vinegar anyway, and want to swap the lemon juice to it?
Instead of Tabasco, you can use any hot sauce that is free from sugar — and preferably free from food additives as well. Louisiana Hot Sauce is a good example. Both Tabasco and Louisiana Hot Sauce use only pepper, vinegar, and salt. Not bad!
The recipe for cocktail sauce varies around the world. Different countries prefer their own versions. For a richer, European-style version, add some mayonnaise to the sauce. For a boozy, Belgian-style version, you can add some whisky.
Like for everybody else, also for me, things are far away from being normal. Luckily people around me have stayed healthy, also my elderly parents. But according to my plans, I should be currently in sunny and warm Greece, editing my upcoming keto book — but since the borders are closed, I didn’t dare to travel anywhere. Sure, I could have flown to Greece before they closed the borders — but how to get back to Finland might have become an issue. On the other hand, Greece wouldn’t be too bad of a place to get stuck! But seriously, it would have felt too irresponsible to travel now under these circumstances. So, it’s better to stay home writing, cooking, and smiling.
Since schools are closed, my son is here at homeschool now. On the other hand, it’s very rewarding to teach the kid. I was seriously considering homeschooling some years ago but then decided to put my son to a regular school. The main reason to put him to a regular school (or actually he is in a special class due to his special needs…) was that since he doesn’t have any siblings, he would lack important social relationships.
Yes, but I do like to homeschool him. For example, on Friday, we had a music lesson, and I taught him some notes. We also composed a song with the computer and the composing program I also use for my videos. But I think I’m a very strict teacher, especially in the mother tongue as the correct (Finnish) language is one of my real passions! Yes, I try to write correct English, too, but unfortunately, my skills are far away from being perfect.
Naturally, homeschooling is quite challenging, since my husband and I still have our regular work to do. Due to teaching and other ongoing projects, I didn’t manage to edit my upcoming book at all yet! Well, I’m sure the publisher will understand.
Oh yes, last week Sunday, I was in Helsinki, talking about the keto diet and also signing my books in Ruohonjuuri Kamppi. Thank you for all who came to chat with me!
I also managed to create the initial recipes for our chocolate products for the company called Foodin who is going to manufacture them for us. Most probably, the recipes will still change, but I hope we can finalize the tests and bring some products to the market still during this spring.
Hopefully, next week I’ll finally have time to edit my book!
Stay healthy out there.
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