Comeback Sauce

5 from 2 votes

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This Southern comeback sauce recipe is a one-size-fits-all dipping sauce with a little bit of everything you want with your fries, burgers, seafood, and BBQ — mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, sriracha, and a whole catalog of Southern seasonings that will quite literally keep you “coming back” for more!

closeup: a hand dipping an onion ring into my comeback sauce recipe

This is one homemade condiment that you should never be without. It’s a staple in the South, and it should be a staple in your kitchen too.

Comeback sauce is especially great to have on hand during the summer. Serving fried grilled shrimp? Replace the cocktail sauce with this zesty, creamy topping! Have some fried pickle spears, chicken tenders, or french fries? This ketchup and mayonnaise combo is great for those, too. 

Heck, it’s even delicious for slathering onto a burger or dipping your chips into at a picnic!

closeup: dipping an onion ring into comeback sauce

I have to say, the South really has those dipping sauces figured out. Don’t forget to check out this zesty bistro sauce with more of a Cajun flavor, or this BBQ Alabama white sauce — the heat in that one comes from horseradish, so there’s plenty of heat for those looking for it!

Tip From Kevin

To Sriracha or Not?

Feel free to use any hot sauce or chili sauce that you prefer if Sriracha is not your thing. I’ve used Tabasco and Franks RedHot Original Sauce for a bigger kick, and for something thicker, I’ve used Heinz Chili Sauce.

closeup: a whisk lifting up my comeback sauce recipe out of a glass measuring cup

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Mayonnaise – The foundation of this comeback sauce recipe, mayonnaise gives this recipe a fatty, creamy body. Any variety of mayonnaise that fits within your preference and dietary restrictions is welcome — avocado oil, olive oil, vegan substitutes, and so on. 
  • Ketchup – Originally, this condiment was made with Heinz Chili Sauce. Nowadays, it’s most often made with ketchup for a similar tangy, tomato flavor but just a touch more sweetness. 
  • Sriracha – This is one of the more mild hot sauces out there. Search for a “mild” label to keep the spice level really low, or use Tabasco if you want more heat! 
  • Lemon Juice For tanginess and acidity. Use fresh, bottled, or substitute with lime juice if desired or necessary. 
  • Smoked Paprika This slightly spicy seasoning adds a pleasant smokiness to this comeback sauce recipe. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce Try a soy or fish sauce with a dash of vinegar if you need a quick substitute. 
  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder This dynamic duo is best in its powdered form, not fresh, for comeback sauce.
  • Dry Mustard – Dry mustard can be substituted with 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard.
  • Ground Black Pepper & Kosher Salt Start with the amounts in the recipe card and then add salt and pepper to taste later on — you can always add more, but you can never take it away!
closeup: a small colored ceramic bowl full of comeback sauce

How to Make My Comeback Sauce Recipe

  1. Mix. Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and combine with a whisk. Stir until thoroughly combined. 
  2. Chill. Cover the bowl and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes until the mixture sets.
  3. Store or Serve. Transfer to a storage container or serve right away for dipping, as a sandwich spread, or however else you want to enjoy it!
  • Wide Mouth Glass Jar – Unless it’s going right to the table, the best storage container is one with a wide mouth from which you can easily spoon out the condiment for later serving. 

Storing and Freezing

This condiment should be enjoyed immediately or stored in the refrigerator for later use — it must remain chilled. Stored properly, it will keep for up to a week.

Unfortunately, this mayonnaise-based recipe is not suitable for freezing. Once it thaws, the emulsion in the mayonnaise will break, separating the liquids, acids, and oils in the mixture and leaving you with an entirely different texture.

But the good news is… it only takes 10 minutes to make this comeback sauce recipe from start to finish, so there’s no real need to freeze for later!

closeup: dipping an onion ring in a bowl of comeback sauce

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is comeback sauce best served hot or cold?

It’s best served chilled, so give yourself a 30-minute buffer to allow enough time in the refrigerator before serving if you’re making it fresh for a party.

That being said, it’s certainly not bad at room temperature or even after sitting on some hot, fried pickles or shrimp!

Why do they call it comeback sauce?

The original comeback sauce recipe was created in The Rotisserie, a Mississippi restaurant. A few others argue that they had some influence on the recipe, but they’ve been mostly brushed aside or debunked. 

It began as a dressing named the Kum-Back, a pleasant play on words to entice customers to “come back” to the restaurant again and again. The name may also have come from the Southern habit of saying “y’all come back” instead of goodbye.

Is this comeback sauce recipe spicy?

Not excessively. The mayonnaise, ketchup, and lemon juice work in tandem to tone down the heat from the sriracha, paprika, and pepper — none of which are tremendously spicy to begin with! 

Amp up the hot sauce and be a little heavier with the spicier seasonings if you’re looking for a hotter condiment. If you want a little texture, you could even throw in some diced jalapenos!

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Comeback Sauce

5 from 2 votes
My comeback sauce recipe makes the classic Southern sauce with mayo, sriracha, ketchup, and tons of other yummy, zesty Louisana seasonings!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl until mixed thoroughly.
  • Cover and chill 30 minutes to firm up and set before serving.
  • Serve as a dipping sauce for anything like onion rings, french fries, fried pickle spears, spicy fried shrimp or spread on sandwiches. Good for 1 week refrigerated.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 187IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: condiments, Sauces
Cuisine: Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): southern comeback sauce recipe


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh dear God! We just made it. This is a terrific sauce. I was hunting for a “petal” sauce, but this is just delicious.
    We used Cholula instead of sriracha.
    Thanks for this winner!
    Fried Pickles tomorrow.

  2. 5 stars
    We have Bavarian pretzels and I was looking for a sauce to dip them in. This will be perfect. Thanks Kevin.

  3. I think the Comeback Sauce sounds really good, and those Onions Rings, Wow!! Good idea, been a long time. (I have a deep fryer, and I don’t use it enough).