Note: We Want The Sauce is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Best Sauce For Shrimp ⋆ The Definitive Pairing Guide ⋆

Are you questioning the perfect sauce to drizzle over your succulent shrimp?

Curious about which concoctions will enhance their delicate flavor, and which to sidestep?

You’re in the ideal spot!

Today, we’ll explore the finest sauce pairings that’ll make your shrimp dish a culinary delight.

Whether your shrimp are grilled, fried, or a filling in tacos, the right sauce can elevate your dish to new heights.

We’ll guide you through selecting the best sauces based on how your shrimp is cooked, prepared, and served, and offer tips to avoid the less favorable matches.

Let’s dive into the world of flavors and find your shrimp’s perfect saucy companion!

Shrimp On Platter With Various Sauces

Best Sauces For Shrimp

Each of these sauces offers a unique way to enhance the flavor of shrimp, catering to various cooking styles and personal preferences.

Whether you’re looking for something creamy, tangy, sweet, or spicy, there’s a sauce that’s perfect for your shrimp dish.

Cocktail Sauce

A tangy and slightly spicy sauce, cocktail sauce is a classic choice. It’s best known for its robust flavor, often accentuated with horseradish.

  • Best for: Chilled, poached shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce
  • Quick recipe: Mix ketchup with horseradish, a splash of lemon juice, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Serving suggestion: Serve as a dipping sauce with a shrimp cocktail

Garlic Herb Sauce

This sauce combines the aromatic flavors of garlic with fresh herbs, offering a fragrant and savory accompaniment.

  • Best for: Grilled or sautéed shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Garlic, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil
  • Quick recipe: Sauté minced garlic in olive oil, then stir in chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Serving suggestion: Drizzle over grilled or sautéed shrimp

Garlic Butter Sauce

Rich and indulgent, garlic butter sauce is a simple yet flavorful choice, highlighting the natural sweetness of the shrimp.

  • Best for: Baked or broiled shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Butter, garlic, parsley, lemon juice
  • Quick recipe: Melt butter with minced garlic, add lemon juice and chopped parsley
  • Serving suggestion: Toss with shrimp before baking or use as a dip

Sweet Mustard Sauce

A harmonious blend of sweetness and tanginess, sweet mustard sauce adds a unique twist to shrimp dishes.

  • Best for: Breaded or fried shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Mustard, honey, vinegar, spices
  • Quick recipe: Combine mustard with honey, a splash of vinegar, and a pinch of spices
  • Serving suggestion: Use as a dipping sauce for crispy shrimp

Spicy Mustard Sauce

Elevate your shrimp with this zesty and fiery sauce, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat.

  • Best for: Grilled or barbecued shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Mustard, hot sauce, honey, spices
  • Quick recipe: Mix mustard with hot sauce, a touch of honey, and your choice of spices
  • Serving suggestion: Serve as a bold dipping sauce or glaze for shrimp

Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

Combining the freshness of lemon with rich butter and garlic, this sauce is both zesty and indulgent.

  • Best for: Sautéed or pan-seared shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Butter, garlic, lemon juice, parsley
  • Quick recipe: Melt butter, add minced garlic and lemon juice, finish with parsley
  • Serving suggestion: Spoon over cooked shrimp or use as a dipping sauce

Bang Bang Sauce

A creamy, sweet, and spicy sauce, Bang Bang sauce is known for its distinct flavor that pairs wonderfully with shrimp.

  • Best for: Breaded or fried shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, honey
  • Quick recipe: Whisk together mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, and a drizzle of honey
  • Serving suggestion: Use as a dipping sauce or coat the shrimp before serving

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce offers a perfect balance of sweetness and heat, adding an Asian-inspired flair to your shrimp.

  • Best for: Grilled or stir-fried shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Chili peppers, sugar, vinegar, garlic
  • Quick recipe: Simmer chili peppers, sugar, vinegar, and garlic until thickened
  • Serving suggestion: Drizzle over shrimp or serve as a side sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

This sweet and savory sauce with a hint of ginger is a great way to add an Asian twist to your shrimp.

  • Best for: Stir-fried or grilled shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger
  • Quick recipe: Combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and grated ginger, simmer until thickened
  • Serving suggestion: Glaze the shrimp during cooking or serve as a dipping sauce

Tzatziki Sauce

A refreshing and cool Greek sauce, tzatziki is perfect for balancing out spicy or rich shrimp dishes.

  • Best for: Spicy grilled or sautéed shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill
  • Quick recipe: Mix Greek yogurt with grated cucumber, minced garlic, and chopped dill
  • Serving suggestion: Serve as a cooling dip or a creamy topping

Mango Salsa

This sweet and fruity salsa with a tropical twist complements the natural flavors of shrimp wonderfully.

  • Best for: Grilled or blackened shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Mango, red onion, cilantro, lime juice
  • Quick recipe: Combine diced mango, red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice
  • Serving suggestion: Top shrimp tacos or serve alongside grilled shrimp

Pesto Sauce

A vibrant and herby sauce, pesto brings a fresh and nutty flavor that pairs beautifully with shrimp.

  • Best for: Pasta dishes with shrimp
  • Typical ingredients: Basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil
  • Quick recipe: Blend basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil into a smooth sauce
  • Serving suggestion: Toss with shrimp pasta or use as a topping for bruschetta with shrimp

Remoulade Sauce

Originating from French cuisine, remoulade is a creamy, tangy sauce with a hint of spice, ideal for adding depth to shrimp dishes.

  • Best for: Cold shrimp salads or as a spread in shrimp sandwiches
  • Typical ingredients: Mayonnaise, mustard, capers, herbs, and spices
  • Quick recipe: Mix mayonnaise with mustard, chopped capers, and a blend of your favorite herbs and spices
  • Serving suggestion: Serve as a dressing for shrimp salad or spread on sandwiches with shrimp filling.

What Sauces To Eat With Shrimp

For shrimp, consider a variety of sauce types: creamy sauces like alfredo for richness, tangy and sweet sauces like cocktail or tartar for a zesty kick, and spicy sauces like chili or garlic-based for added heat. Different shrimp dishes pair best with different sauce types.

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp is delightfully crunchy on the outside with a sweet, tropical flavor, offering a unique twist to traditional shrimp dishes.

  • Best sauce pairings: Sweet chili sauce, mango salsa
  • Worst sauce pairings: Heavily herbed sauces, overpowering mustard sauces

Dipping Sauce For Shrimp

Dipping sauces for shrimp should complement the shrimp’s flavor without overpowering it, ranging from tangy to sweet or spicy.

  • Best sauce pairings: Cocktail sauce, garlic butter sauce
  • Worst sauce pairings: Overly sweet or extremely spicy sauces that mask the shrimp’s flavor

Fried Shrimp

Fried shrimp, with its crispy exterior and tender interior, is a classic favorite that pairs well with a variety of sauces.

  • Best sauce pairings: Tartar sauce, spicy mustard sauce
  • Worst sauce pairings: Thick, heavy sauces that can make the shrimp soggy

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled shrimp boasts a smoky flavor and a firm texture, making it versatile for various sauce pairings.

  • Best sauce pairings: Garlic herb sauce, lemon garlic butter sauce
  • Worst sauce pairings: Sweet, fruity sauces that clash with the smoky flavor

Panko Shrimp

Panko shrimp, coated in light, airy Japanese breadcrumbs, offers a delicate crunch and a neutral base for flavorful sauces.

  • Best sauce pairings: Bang bang sauce, teriyaki sauce
  • Worst sauce pairings: Creamy, heavy sauces that can overwhelm the light crispiness

Popcorn Shrimp

Popcorn shrimp are bite-sized and crunchy, ideal for dipping in a range of sauces.

  • Best sauce pairings: Cocktail sauce, sweet mustard sauce
  • Worst sauce pairings: Thick, chunky sauces that are difficult to adhere to the small pieces

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp tacos, often featuring a mix of savory, spicy, and fresh flavors, require sauces that enhance the overall taco experience.

  • Best sauce pairings: Tzatziki sauce, spicy mayo
  • Worst sauce pairings: Overly sweet sauces, heavy cream-based sauces that can overpower the taco ingredients