Salsa Rosa: A Creamy Spanish Cocktail Sauce

Salsa rosa
Carole Tuff/Getty Images
Prep: 7 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 7 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
303 Calories
31g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 303
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 55mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pink sauce, known in Spanish as salsa rosa, is very good served with cold langoustines or any shellfish as a first course. This sauce is a Spanish version of cocktail sauce, but creamier and just slightly sweet with a little tang. The main ingredients are tomato ketchup and mayonnaise, which gives the sauce a pink hue; a bit of brandy and lemon juice help to add more depth of flavor. Similar to the typical red cocktail sauce that is ubiquitous with cold, cooked shrimp, salsa rosa has a bit of heat thanks to the Tabasco sauce. Store-bought mayonnaise is perfectly fine in this recipe, but feel free to use homemade if you are so inclined.

There are different versions of salsa rosa, depending on its origin, but it will always have a base of mayo and ketchup. It is popular in Latin America and also goes by the names of salsa rosada and salsa coctel; in Argentina it is known as salsa golf since it was created at the golf club of a seaside resort. Additional ingredients are whiskey and vodka, fresh cream, tomato sauce, and orange juice. You can also add minced garlic or a herb such as basil or oregano. This is the type of recipe that is delicious when kept pretty basic but also lends itself to flavor additions.

Unlike American seafood cocktail, which features raw or cooked seafood with a sauce on the side, in Spain, the seafood is often served over a bed of lettuce, sometimes with diced fruit, with a bit of salsa rosa draped on top. The thick, tomato-flavored sauce is also frequently used as a salad dressing, especially since many salads in Spain include fish.



Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add all of the ingredients except the Tabasco sauce to a mixing bowl and mix with a fork or wire whisk until smooth and creamy.

  3. Add 3 drops of the Tabasco sauce and taste; add more hot sauce and salt if needed.

  4. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. Serve with your choice of seafood and enjoy.

Serving Tip

Just because this sauce is traditionally served with seafood, it doesn't mean you should limit it to just a shrimp cocktail. Salsa rosa is delicious as a dipping sauce for French fries, chips, and chicken tenders, and can even be used as a spread on sandwiches.