Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish Sauce to rival any steakhouse that makes everything better!

This quick and easy Horseradish Sauce Recipe takes less than 5 minutes to whip up and belongs in your culinary back pocket! It’s the sublime counterpart not only for special occasion prime rib, beef tenderloin, and corned beef, but for every day marinated flank steak, sandwiches, wraps, and potatoes. This horseradish sauce is creamy, tangy and boasts the perfect punch of heat to brighten up any dish but isn’t overly pungent so it won’t mask the flavors of your meat.  This horseradish cream sauce is also make ahead friendly, pantry friendly and keeps for up to a week!

top view of horseradish sauce showing how creamy it is



Horseradish Sauce Recipe

I didn’t think I liked horseradish much, but both my husband and I are obsessed with this horseradish sauce recipe- and you will be too!  It’s:

  • Luxuriously creamy
  • Takes less than 5 minutes to make
  • Only requires a bowl and a whisk
  • Versatile
  • Makes everything better
  • Is destined to impress your dinner guests!

This horseradish cream sauce is a lavish yet homespun indulgence that tastes like a genius made it. It’s cool and creamy with a gentle heat from the horseradish, brightness from the lemon juice and earthiness from the chives that beautifully balances, contrasts and cuts through the richness of any meat it’s served with without overpowering it.

This horseradish sauce recipe is also extra easy because it’s made with sour cream instead of heavy cream, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper- just mix all of the ingredients together, chill and serve – that’s it!  You will be floored at how these humble ingredients make your taste buds sing!

You can customize the horseradish sauce just how you like it by adding more or less horseradish, more or less lemon juice or even red pepper flakes. It is also make-ahead friendly and even tastes better with time – winning!

What Is Horseradish?

The horseradish plant is a root vegetable in the same family as mustard, wasabi and radishes and a cousin of broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. The roots are grated and used fresh or dried in prepared horseradish, mustard or mayonnaise.  Horseradish is native to Russia and Hungary and has been grown throughout recorded history. Mentions of it are made in Greek mythology, Pliny’s “Natural History,” and Shakespeare.

Horseradish is potent, bold, hot, spicy and peppery. In fact, the word horseradish comes from the word horse which was formerly used in a figurative sense to mean strong and the word radish which refers to its spicy, peppery, and somewhat zesty nature. 

What is prepared horseradish?

When people refer to “horseradish,” they are typically not referring to the plant itself but to the condiment known as “prepared horseradish.”  Prepared horseradish is made with grated horseradish root, vinegar, and salt.  It is readily available at the grocery store but you can also make your own.  For this recipe, I’m using prepared horseradish which comes in a jar typically located in the mustard aisle of your grocery store but I’ve also included instruction on how to make your own prepared horseradish below for those feeling adventurous.

When selecting prepared horseradish, pay attention to the type you are purchasing: mild, hot, extra hot, etc.  Horseradish can be made mild or hot depending on when the vinegar is added to the grated horseradish, the longer it’s left naked, the hotter it will become because the vinegar neutralizes the pungent compound allyl isothiocyanate. 

I suggest purchasing mild/plain horseradish because it is still plenty zippy!  If you want a more pungent flavor, you can always add additional horseradish.

Note that prepared horseradish is not the same as horseradish sauce but is an ingredient in it. Horseradish sauce is what we are making today out of prepared horseradish.  By combining prepared horseradish with sour cream and mayonnaise, it becomes a milder zesty accent swaddled in an irresistible cream sauce.

showing how to serve horseradish cream sauce by plating it with sliced beef tenderloin in a skillet


The ingredients for this horseradish sauce recipe are minimal and straightforward, especially if you use prepared horseradish!  You will need:

  • Prepared horseradish: You can purchase prepared horseradish in a squeezable bottle near the Dijon mustard and other condiments or make your own.  It tastes strong on its own but is toned down by the sour cream and mayo.  Of course, you can use more or less to suite your tastes. If you would like to make your own prepared horseradish, I’ve detailed that below.
  • Sour cream:  Provides the base for our sensational creamy sauce.  You can use full fat or reduced fat, but full fat will taste more indulgent.
  • Mayonnaise:  Even if you don’t like mayo, I highly encourage you to add it to the sauce. Mayo is used in dips because it binds the ingredients together and prevents them from separating. So, you won’t taste the mayo but you will taste all the flavor that is added to the mayo. Please use real mayonnaise and not miracle whip.  
  • Lemon: Brightens and lightens the sauce with fabulous fresh, tangy, flavor.
  • Salt and pepper:  Awaken all the flavors!  Use more or less to taste.
  • Chives: Tastes like mild onion with a slight garlicky note but they are actually classified as an herb verses an onion.  When purchasing chives, look for plump green stems without brown spots or wilting.

How to Make Your Own Prepared Horseradish

If you would like to make your own prepared horseradish out of horseradish root instead of purchasing it at the store -go for it!  Horseradish is available year-round in most areas in the United State and can found in the produce section.  When buying horseradish roots, choose those that are firm and not dry or shriveled without any signs of mold or green spots.

To make prepared horseradish, you will need:

  • 1 8-10-inch-long piece of horseradish root
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Prep:  Open the windows and get the fan going.  Ground up fresh horseradish is much more potent than freshly chopped onions and can hurt your eyes -so work in a well-ventilated room and don’t get too close after it’s chopped.
  • Peel and chop:  Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin.  Chop it into 1-inch pieces.
  • Process:  Add chopped horseradish to the food processor with water, and process until fine.
  • Strain: While the horseradish is still in the processor, work quickly to strain out some of the water if it’s not too liquidy. The longer you wait to add vinegar in the next step the hotter and stronger the horseradish will be. I can even become bitter if you wait too long-so strain quickly.
  • Add vinegar and salt:  Immediately add one tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt to the mixture. Pulse to combine.
  • Store: Transfer the now prepared horseradish to a jar using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate for up to 3 to 4 weeks.

How to Make Horseradish Sauce

Are you ready for the best part?  To make horseradish cream sauce, add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir – that’s it!

showing how to make horseradish sauce recipe by adding sour cream, mayonnaise, chives lemon juice, salt and pepper to a bowl

Horseradish Sauce Recipe Variations

This horseradish sauce recipe is incredibly versatile:

  • Make it lemony:  as written, the sauce is brightened by the lemon juice but it doesn’t taste lemony.  If you want more of a citrus kick, add lemon zest and additional lemon juice to taste.
  • Swap out lemon juice:  if you don’t have lemon juice on hand, try adding 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • Mustard:  add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or more to taste.
  • Worcestershire sauce: add 2 teaspoons for an umami, sweet and tang blast.
  • Seasonings:  depending on what the sauce is being served with, you can add some pizzaz to the sauce with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings, Cajun seasonings, fresh parsley, etc.
  • Spice it up:  add a pinch of cayenne or a few drops Tabasco sauce.
  • Heavy cream and crème fraiche:  are an alternate creamy base to sour cream and mayo.  Whisk ½ cup heavy cream until thickened, but not to soft peaks. Fold in ½ up crème fraiche or sour cream along with the rest of the ingredients.  Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes before using.

How store Horseradish Cream Sauce:

Store Horseradish Cream Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

What Can I Serve Horseradish Sauce With?

Horseradish sauce isn’t just for prime rib. Its creamy kick is surprisingly versatile and can be used from anything from meat to vegetables to dressings.  Here are just a few was to use horseradish cream sauce:

showing how to make horseradish sauce recipe by stirring in chives

Horseradish Sauce

This quick and easy horseradish cream sauce takes less than 5 minutes to whip up and belongs in your culinary back pocket! It's the sublime counterpart not only for special occasion prime rib, beef tenderloin, and corned beef, but for every day marinated flank steak, sandwiches, wraps, and potatoes. This horseradish sauce recipe is creamy, tangy and boasts the perfect punch of heat to brighten up any dish but isn’t overly pungent so it won’t mask the flavors of your meat.  This horseradish sauce is also make ahead friendly, pantry friendly and keeps for up to a week!
Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes

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  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/8 tsp EACH salt, pepper, plus more to taste (I use closer to ¼ tsp each)
  • pinch cayenne (optional)


  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, preferable 30 minutes. When ready to use, taste and adjust to taste if desired.



Store horseradish cream sauce in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. 

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  1. Ramya says

    Will be making this soon with coconut cream and vegan mayo as am a vegan will dm you if i make this and let you know gow it goes Thanks Ramya

  2. Lynn says

    I was just wondering if it could be made using Greek yogurt.

    • Jen says

      Hi Lynn, Greek yogurt can always be swapped in for sour cream but it will affect the flavor, delicious, but different.

  3. Stephanie says

    This horseradish sauce is incredibly delish smeared on your Slow Cooker French Dip sandwiches which I’ve been making for years, we love them.

    • Jen says

      Ooooo, I love that idea Stephanie, can’t wait to try it!

  4. Fern says

    Just made this to go with our corn beef today. Great taste and chilling in fridge now. Making your corn beef in oven, and I even brined and pickled the brisket flat following your recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Jen says

      Yay! Thank you for making my recipes, Fern!

  5. Stephanie says

    I’m cooking a Sunday prime rib roast dinner & coming back to comment again on how insanely delicious this sauce is. We love prime rib, cook it multiple times a year, Christmas Eve & again for Easter. THIS >SAUCE< is always on the table & I always doubled it. It’s that’s good. Smeared on a roast beef, French dip or even a turkey sandwich is delicious.

    • Jen says

      Thank you! I am so happy to hear that it’s become such a staple!!