Horseradish Cream Sauce for Prime Rib: Recipe and Tips

Horseradish Cream Sauce for Prime Rib: Recipe and Tips

Horseradish cream sauce complements the rich flavor of prime rib by adding a tangy, spicy element that enhances each bite. Its smooth, creamy texture also contrasts beautifully with the tenderness of the meat, creating a balanced and satisfying dish. The simplicity of making this sauce at home allows you to control the intensity of the horseradish and the overall flavor profile, tailoring it to your preferences.


Use fresh and quality ingredients for a flavorful horseradish cream sauce. Common ingredients include:

  • Horseradish Root: Provides the signature tang and heat. Freshly grated horseradish offers the best flavor, though prepared horseradish can be used for convenience.
  • Sour Cream: Adds creaminess and tanginess, balancing the spice of the horseradish.
  • Mayonnaise: Contributes to the smooth texture and adds a mild flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Enhances the tanginess and adds a fresh note.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a complex, savory depth.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.


Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure an even distribution of flavors. Here’s a basic method:

  1. Grate Horseradish: If using fresh horseradish, peel and grate the root finely.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a bowl, mix grated horseradish, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Season: Add salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the quantities based on your preference.
  4. Chill: Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to meld the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Serve horseradish cream sauce alongside slices of prime rib. Its versatile flavor also pairs well with other meats like roast beef and lamb. It can be served cold or at room temperature, depending on your preference.


Store the horseradish cream sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It remains fresh for up to one week, allowing you to prepare it in advance or keep leftovers for future meals.

By mastering the art of making horseradish cream sauce, you elevate your prime rib and create memorable dining experiences. The balance of tangy, creamy, and spicy flavors makes this sauce a standout addition to any meal.

Key Ingredients in Horseradish Cream Sauce

Horseradish: The Star Component

Horseradish forms the backbone of the sauce, providing its unique pungent kick. It’s a root vegetable known for its strong flavor, similar to mustard or wasabi. Freshly grated horseradish offers the most intense taste, but you can also use prepared horseradish for convenience. Ensure it’s unsweetened and pure for the best results.

The Role of Cream

Cream balances the sharpness of horseradish, creating a smooth, creamy texture. Sour cream is commonly used due to its tanginess, complementing the spiciness. You may also use heavy cream or crème fraîche, depending on your texture preference. The creaminess tames the horseradish, resulting in a harmonious blend.

Additional Flavor Enhancers

Various ingredients enhance the flavor profile of the sauce. Worcestershire sauce adds depth and a subtle umami note. Lemon juice brings brightness and acidity, while Dijon mustard introduces a mild tang. Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning and balance. These elements work together to amplify the sauce’s complexity and make it a perfect accompaniment for prime rib.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Making the Perfect Sauce

Preparing the Horseradish

Grate fresh horseradish root for the best flavor. Use a fine grater or microplane to achieve a smooth texture. Measure ¼ cup of grated horseradish. If using prepared horseradish, drain excess liquid to avoid a watery sauce. Fresh horseradish offers a pungent taste, so adjust the quantity based on preference.

Mixing Ingredients

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish, and Dijon mustard in a medium bowl. Use 1 cup of sour cream and ⅓ cup of mayonnaise for a creamy base. Add 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard for tanginess. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Taste Adjustment and Seasoning

Season the mixture with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Use 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper to enhance flavors. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for acidity. Incorporate 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce for complexity. Taste the sauce, and if necessary, adjust the seasoning. Let the sauce sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors before serving.

Pairing the Sauce with Prime Rib

Best Cuts of Prime Rib for the Sauce

Select the best cuts of prime rib to elevate the experience. The standing rib roast is a top choice, featuring ample marbling and rich flavor. Another excellent option is the ribeye roast, known for its tenderness. For the ultimate balance of texture and taste, go for the first-cut (or loin-end) section. Prime rib from this section pairs exceptionally well with horseradish cream sauce, complementing its tangy notes.

Cooking Tips for Prime Rib

Follow essential cooking tips to bring out the best in your prime rib. First, let the meat reach room temperature before cooking to ensure even cooking. Preheat the oven to 450°F, then cook the prime rib for 15 minutes to sear the outside. Reduce the heat to 325°F and continue roasting. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature: 115°F for rare, 125°F for medium-rare, and 135°F for medium. Rest the meat for 20 minutes after cooking to lock in juices, then slice and serve with the horseradish cream sauce.

Health Benefits and Dietary Considerations

Nutritional Information

Horseradish cream sauce offers several nutritional advantages when enjoyed with prime rib. One tablespoon typically contains around 15-20 calories, mostly from fats and carbohydrates. It also provides small amounts of protein, about 0.5 grams per serving. The sauce is relatively low in vitamins and minerals but does contain trace amounts of vitamin C and potassium. Fresh horseradish root, the key ingredient, contains glucosinolates, compounds known for their potential antioxidant properties. Dairy elements like sour cream or Greek yogurt contribute calcium and probiotics, which can aid in digestion.

Dietary Restrictions and Substitutions

For those with dietary restrictions, several substitutions can make horseradish cream sauce more inclusive. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to reduce fat content while increasing protein for a healthier option. Replace dairy products with plant-based alternatives like almond or coconut yogurt for those following a vegan diet. Check labels for gluten-free versions of prepared horseradish if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Low-fat and low-sodium versions of the sauce can also serve those on heart-healthy diets. Always verify ingredient lists to avoid allergens specific to your dietary needs.


Creating a horseradish cream sauce for your prime rib can elevate your dining experience with its unique tangy and spicy flavors. By using fresh ingredients and allowing the flavors to meld, you ensure a high-quality sauce that complements the richness of the meat. Whether you’re considering nutritional benefits or accommodating dietary restrictions, there are versatile options to suit your needs. From choosing the best cuts of prime rib to making thoughtful ingredient substitutions, this sauce can be tailored to enhance both flavor and health. Enjoy the perfect blend of taste and nutrition with every bite.

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