Classic Southern Comeback Sauce

Classic southern comeback sauce

The Spruce

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups (8 servings)

Comeback sauce is a classic Southern sauce that originated in Jackson, Mississippi, where it was the house dressing served at the Greek restaurant, The Rotisserie. 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." So I'm betting this sauce was made to seal the deal. It worked!

This Mississippi creation is a tasty, versatile Southern-style sauce, and it is similar in flavor to a Louisiana remoulade or thousand island salad dressing. Serve the sauce with fried seafood, as a salad dressing or dip, or as a spread for sandwiches. It's good for dipping French fries or chips. Note that the chili sauce used in the recipe is a condiment similar to ketchup, not to be confused with Asian chili paste. It's found near the ketchup in most grocery stores.

Try to make this sauce a day ahead of time and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor. For a thinner dressing, add more vegetable oil. See the tips and variations for a few possible substitutions and flavor ideas.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon prepared spicy brown mustard (or Creole mustard)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for classic Southern comeback sauce
    The Spruce 
  2. Add all of the ingredients (mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, mustard, oil, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, onions, garlic) to a jar and mix well to combine. Seal the jar with a screwcap lid.

    Put ingredients into a jar
    The Spruce 
  3. Refrigerate the jar overnight before using.

    Southern comeback sauce
    The Spruce
  4. Serve in individual portions for dipping or spread the sauce from the jar and enjoy!


  • Refrigerate any leftover sauce. If you are using raw garlic, make sure to use within two days. If you prepared it using garlic powder, make sure to use within six days.
  • Comeback sauce is great with seafood, on sandwiches, or as a salad dressing. You can drizzle it over fish tacos, spread it on burgers, serve it with raw vegetables, substitute it for tartar sauce for fried seafood, or use it as a dip for chicken wings and strips.
  • 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 chili paste).
  • If you don't care for the raw garlic taste, use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. It will keep longer with garlic powder as well.
  • The minced onion can be replaced with about 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder.