Classic Southern Comeback Sauce

Classic southern comeback sauce

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yields: 2 cups

Comeback sauce is a classic Southern sauce that originated in Jackson, Mississippi. Originally, it was the house dressing served at the Greek restaurant, The Rotisserie, and today you'll find it on many Mississippi restaurant menus. The name comes from the tradition in Mississippi that any time you leave a place, people don't say "goodbye" or "see you later," they say "Y'all come back." This tasty sauce is definitely a good way to seal the deal.

This Mississippi creation is a versatile Southern-style sauce. It is similar in flavor to a Louisiana rémoulade or Thousand Island salad dressing. There's no cooking required, either. Simply mix common pantry ingredients like mayonnaise, chile sauce, ketchup, mustard, oil, and Worcestershire sauce with minced onion and garlic, and you're done. For the best flavor, try to make the sauce a day ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight.

Easy to make and delicious, once you experience the taste for yourself, you'll find countless ways to enjoy comeback sauce. Serve it instead of tartar sauce with fried seafood, including popcorn shrimp. It makes an excellent salad dressing and sandwich or burger spread, and you can even drizzle it over fish tacos. It's also a good dipping sauce for everything from french fries and chips to chicken wings and strips.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic Southern comeback sauce
    The Spruce 
  2. Add all of the ingredients (mayonnaise, chile sauce, ketchup, mustard, oil, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, onion, garlic) to a jar and mix well to combine. Seal the jar with a screw cap lid. Refrigerate the jar overnight before using.

    Put ingredients into a jar and mix
    The Spruce 
  3. Serve in individual portions for dipping or spread the sauce from the jar and enjoy.

    Southern comeback sauce served over tacos
    The Spruce


  • The chile sauce used in the recipe is a condiment similar to ketchup, not to be confused with Asian chile paste. It's found near the ketchup in most grocery stores.
  • Refrigerate any leftover sauce and use it within two days when it's made with fresh garlic.
  • Add up to 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to make a thinner dressing for salads.

Recipe Variations

  • Add heat to the sauce with a few teaspoons of Sriracha sauce, some Tabasco or cayenne, or 1 or 2 teaspoons of sambal (Asian chile paste).
  • If you don't care for the raw garlic taste, use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. The sauce will keep for up to six days with garlic powder.
  • The minced onion can be replaced with about 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder.