15 Standout Dipping Sauces Made To Go With Southern Seafood

Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia with Citrus Slaw and Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Photo: Stephen DeVries

Something that we will never, ever deny is that a dipping sauce makes anything better, especially when it comes to Southern seafood favorites like fried catfish, boiled shrimp, crab cakes, conch fritters, or even freshly shucked oysters. (If you've never had mignonette sauce on an oyster, you're missing out on a serious bite.) Because if you have perfectly grilled, boiled, or fried seafood on a plate with an even better sauce to slather on it, all you need is a bucket of fries or hush puppies and a cold beverage to wash it all down. If you're like us, you don't want to live in a world with cocktail sauce, Old Bay rémoulade, Cajun comeback sauce, or tartar sauce—and don't dare us when we say we'd just about bathe in our herby warm butter sauce.

Here are 18 must-have dipping sauces for when Southern seafood is on the menu. Many of these sauce recipes come included in their own seafood recipes, but feel free to pull any sauce out and pair with anything you'd like.

01 of 15

Old Bay Rémoulade

Old Bay Rémoulade with Crudités and Shrimp
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Old Bay Rémoulade with Crudités and Shrimp

Is there anything that Old Bay seasoning can't do? We've yet to find it. In this recipe, classic creamy rémoulade gets an extra kick of flavor from Old Bay and stone-ground mustard.

02 of 15

Comeback Sauce

Comeback Sauce
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Comeback Sauce

We all know this crowd-favorite dipping sauce that's often paired with hush puppies, fried shrimp, chicken fingers, or even slathered on a fish sandwich or burger. Similar to a rémoulade, it is super creamy, mayonnaise-based, and infused with just a tipple of hot sauce.

03 of 15

Traditional Mignonette Sauce

Traditional Mignonette Sauce
Stephen Devries; Prop Stylist: Rachael Burrow; Food Stylist: Catherine Steele

Recipe: Traditional Mignonette Sauce

Mignonette is a classic vinegary sauce made to be paired with freshly shucked oysters, with folks spooning just enough on to coat the taste buds when sucking the whole thing on. All it takes is three easy ingredients.

04 of 15

Old Bay Sauce

Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp
Southern Living

Recipe: Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp with Old Bay Sauce

What if we told you that there was always a creamy seafood sauce sitting in your kitchen? Mayonnaise, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and a pinch of sugar can get you there.

05 of 15

Hot Mignonette Sauce

Hot Mignonette Sauce
Stephen Devries; Prop Stylist: Rachael Burrow; Food Stylist: Catherine Steele

Recipe: Hot Mignonette Sauce

We gave an extra kick to mignonette, the classic vinegary oyster sauce, by adding Sriracha sauce to the traditional recipe.

06 of 15

Romesco Sauce

Roasted Gulf Shrimp with Romesco Sauce
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Roasted Gulf Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a warm, roasted red pepper-based sauce often paired with rustic Italian dishes—and it goes with oven-roasted shrimp like nobody's business.

07 of 15

Herb Butter Sauce

Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter
Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter

Melted herb-infused butter literally always makes a delicious option for any form of boiled, broiled, or grilled seafood—from clam bakes to shrimp to mahi mahi. This recipe calls for the addition of shallot, dill, parsely, lemon, and—of course—Old Bay.

08 of 15

Boom Boom Sauce

Boom Boom Sauce
Southern Living

Recipe: Boom Boom Sauce

Known for its signature tangy kick, thanks to sweet chili sauce, this four-ingredient sauce is a match made in heaven with our Boom Boom Shrimp recipe.

09 of 15

Dao Family Crawfish Sauce

Dao Family Crawfish Sauce
Cedric Angeles

Recipe: Dao Family Crawfish Sauce

Any crawfish boil can stand on its own with massive amounts of seasoning, of course; but we'd also like to have this chunky, spicy, fiery sauce (made with orange peels, onions, garlic, butter, and plenty of spices) on hand to ramp up the flavor and festivities.

10 of 15

Summer Sauce

Summer Sauce
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Cat Steele

Recipe: Summer Sauce

This might not be solely just a seafood sauce, but man, does it really do some major good when brushed onto grilled fish or shrimp. Like a looser, fresher, lighter version of pesto, it's packed with fresh herby flavor.

11 of 15

Cajun Sauce

Cheesy Mushroom Tartlets
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Mini Crab Cakes with Cajun Sauce

Cajun sauce is a creamy finishing touch often paired with fried catfish or crab cakes, and it only requires a simple combination of hot sauce, lemon, Cajun seasoning, and mayo.

12 of 15

Sweet Mignonette Sauce

Sweet Mignonette Sauce
Stephen Devries; Prop Stylist: Rachael Burrow; Food Stylist: Catherine Steele

Recipe: Sweet Mignonette Sauce

Another vinegary mignonette to top off freshly shucked oysters, this sweet three-ingredient rendition adds rice wine vinegar and diced green apple for a sweet zing.

13 of 15

Quick Rémoulade Sauce

Grilled Shrimp Po'Boys with Quick Rémoulade Sauce Recipe
Max Kelly

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Po'Boys with Quick Rémoulade Sauce

By quick, we mean incredibly easy. A handful of ingredients you most likely have on hand has a rémoulade sauce ready to be spread onto a po'boy.

14 of 15

Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce

Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Grilled Hot-Pepper Sauce

Who doesn't love a couple sprinkles of hot sauce on their fresh catch, no matter the form? This homemade option gets epic smokiness from grilling all the peppers and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

15 of 15

Maui Mustard Sauce

Coconut Shrimp with Maui Mustard Sauce
Howard L. Puckett

Recipe: Coconut Shrimp with Maui Mustard Sauce

Coconut shrimp certainly always packs a flavorful punch, but the real sensation here is the super tangy mustard sauce made with pineapple preserves, apricot preserves, and stone-ground mustard.

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