Marie Rose sauce recipe

(1764 ratings)

Marie Rose sauce is a classic seafood dressing that is made with just five ingredients.

marie rose sauce
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins plus chilling time
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories159 Kcal8%
Sugar2 g2%
Fat17 g24%
Carbohydrates2 g1%

This Marie Rose sauce takes five minutes to make and can be made in big batches or ahead of time if you need. 

This is an easy no-cook recipe that will instantly elevate your homemade prawn cocktails, a classic 1980s starter for dinner parties. Any extra sauce can be used to make a sandwich filling, just mix in some crab meat or chopped cooked prawns and pile into some soft sliced white bread. It's also a popular burger sauce and is an excellent dipping sauce for homemade fries. 


  • 200g mayonnaise
  • 2tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ¼tsp cayenne pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce
  • Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste




  1. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and stir in the tomato ketchup, cayenne pepper, and Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Add lemon juice to taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed. If you have time, let the sauce infuse for at least 2 hrs before serving.

Watch how to make Marie Rose sauce

Top tips for making Marie Rose sauce

The calorie count provided with this Marie Rose sauce recipe is for full-fat mayonnaise. For a less calorific version, replace half the mayo with natural yogurt or half-fat crème fraiche. 

Is Marie Rose sauce the same as Thousand Island dressing?

Marie Rose sauce and Thousand Island dressing are very similar - some say they are practically the same thing. They have the same consistency, look, taste but can vary slightly in flavour depending on the ingredients you choose to use. 

One of the interchangeable ingredients in both sauces is the use of paprika instead of cayenne pepper. Most Thousand Island sauce recipes use paprika, whereas Marie Rose sauce is traditional made with cayenne pepper. 

In America, Thousand Island dressing is also referred to as special, secret or burger sauce.  

What is prawn cocktail sauce made of?

Most prawn cocktails come in a dressing of Marie Rose sauce. This is a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and usually cayenne pepper or paprika.

How to make Marie Rose sauce Mary Berry?

Mary Berry’s recipe for Marie Rose sauce uses a splash of brandy and Worcestershire sauce instead of Tabasco.  

Make your Marie Rose sauce ahead of time and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to assemble your prawn cocktail or seafood starter.

Joseph Joseph Nest Lock, 5 Piece Plastic Food Kitchen Storage Container set with lids - View at Amazon

Joseph Joseph Nest Lock, 5 Piece Plastic Food Kitchen Storage Container set with lids - View at Amazon

The small 8oz tub in this set from Joseph Joseph is perfect for storing your sauce. The tubs are leak-proof, airtight, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe. We love that the lids click together nicely which stops them from falling all over the place in your cupboards or drawers.

Check out our prawn cocktail recipe for your next dinner party or try this seafood cocktail instead. For something a little different, you might like our fruity prawn cocktail with apples and grapes.