Zesty Bistro Sauce

5 from 3 votes

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Whip up a batch of this zesty bistro sauce for a versatile and sensationally scrumptious addition to your kitchen! It makes a perfect dip for fried appetizers like chicken wings, potato skins, or onion rings, and it will instantly elevate the flavor of any sandwich or burger you put it on. Even better, it only takes 5 minutes to make! 

Potato wedge being dipped into Zesty Bistro Sauce

Whether you are planning a game night or are simply looking to elevate your sauce-making game. Today’s bistro sauce recipe is a delicious and easy way to bring that bistro flavor into your cooking.

In case you have ever wondered, “bistro” is a word with origins in France. It translates to mean a small, unpretentious restaurant with a relatively simple menu and casual atmosphere. That sounds like my kind of place, and my zesty bistro sauce fits right in!

This simple recipe is made from some of the most common kitchen staples and can be prepared in the blink of an eye. Furthermore, this dynamite sauce has the power to transform the plainest of snacks into irresistible masterpieces — apply generously!

For more mouthwatering sauce ideas, check out my posts for Cajun Remoulade (Po Boy Sauce), Alabama White Sauce, and this Creamy Jalapeno Sauce or Dip.

overhead shot of Zesty Bistro Sauce and chicken wings


  • Mayonnaise – This rich, thick, and creamy condiment forms the base of the bistro sauce. It provides a silky smooth texture and a bright, tangy flavor. 
  • Ketchup – This beloved tomato based sauce is sweet, salty, and a tiny bit sour all at once.  
  • Mustard – A combination of mustard seeds, vinegar, and spices is zingy to the max. It adds a sharp tartness that helps cut through the heavier, sweeter flavors in the sauce. Choose spicy brown, dijon, stone ground, or even horseradish mustard for a little extra oomph. 
  • Horseradish I chose a premade, creamy horseradish sauce for convenience, but a pinch of chopped horseradish will work. If it’s not your thing, you can omit this ingredient or add a bit more spicy mustard in its place. 
  • Worcestershire – This classic, fermented condiment gets its distinct flavor from anchovies, molasses, tamarind, and spice in a vinegar base. It adds unparalleled savory-sweet, salty, and tangy elements to our sauce. 
  • Garlic – Chopped garlic adds an extra layer of fresh, pepperiness to the mix. Paste would work in a pinch, but I wouldn’t recommend powder. 
  • Parsley – The addition of freshly chopped herbs adds some freshness and balances out the predominant flavors of the bistro sauce. It also lends a lovely splash of green!
  • Lemon Juice – Lively lemon juice adds a sharp pop of acidity that really perks up the rest of the flavor profile. 
  • Smoked Paprika – Brings slightly sweet, smoky, and woodsy notes to the recipe. 
  • Cajun Seasoning This blend of bold, pungent spices and aromatic herbs delivers a serious dose of flavor to an already tasty sauce. Click the link if you’d like to make my version or check the spice aisle at the grocery store for premade versions. 
Combining ingredients to make Zesty Bistro Sauce


  1. Combine Ingredients. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined with a smooth consistency. 
  2. Cover and Chill. Use plastic wrap to cover the bowl, then transfer it to the refrigerator. Allow at least one hour for the flavor to mingle, marry, and fully set. 
  3. Serve. Serve as a dipping sauce for all your favorite fried foods and appetizers. It also makes a dynamite burger or sandwich spread. Bon Appetit!
Zesty Bistro Sauce in a bowl

What is Zesty Bistro Sauce Made Of?

Zesty bistro sauce is an inventive combination of common household condiments, freshly chopped herbs, lemon juice, and smoky spices. 

Recipes will vary, of course, but all versions of bistro sauce start with a mayonnaise and ketchup base. From there, the sauce usually gets jazzed up with Worcestershire sauce, spicy mustard, horseradish, garlic, paprika and various other herbs and spices. 

In this version, we include a Cajun spice mix to add that extra punch of zesty flavor.

dipping chicken wings in Zesty Bistro Sauce

What Does Bistro Sauce Taste Like?

This zesty bistro sauce has it all when it comes to flavor. It is creamy, tangy, and slightly sweet with savory umami undertones and just the right kick of zesty heat. It’s easy to understand how it pairs so well with so many foods.

How Do I Store Leftover Bistro Sauce?

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week. I recommend using a glass jar, but any airtight container will do. 

I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. It is bound to separate during the thawing process, so only make as much as you can use in a week. Remember — it only takes about 5 minutes to make more!

dipping fries in Zesty Bistro Sauce
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Zesty Bistro Sauce

5 from 3 votes
This zesty bistro sauce is creamy, tangy, spicy and slightly sweet. Make this easy recipe with ingredients already in your kitchen!
Servings: 16
Prep: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate minimum of 1 hour to set.
  • Use as a dipping sauce for chicken wings, fried appetizers like steak fries, onion rings or use as a sandwich spread, top burgers or any grilled meat.


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
Dipping a chicken wing into Zesty Bistro Sauce


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. I have not ventured into canning this, no. The only way you can really preserve things at home is by canning in a boiling water bath or pressure cooker, and the heat from that will break the emulsion of your mayonnaise, completely ruining it. I have no idea how its made commercially. Sorry.

  1. 5 stars
    Saw this on FB feed and thought it would make a good salad dressing. Made it tonight for a slaw dressing. Absolutely delicious. Well balanced and bright with lots of umami. (how do you like my foodie words??!?) My husband commented several times, and he usually juste eats. Will do this again and again. Want to try it for oven fries as well. For uS the thyme brought over the top. And used your Cajun seasoning recipe as well. Thanks for another excellent recipe!

    1. So sorry for the late reply as I have been away on a much needed vacation outside the USA. Needless to say, about your inquiry… Yay, thanks for making my day. So glad you both enjoyed it!