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Sometimes you just want to up your dipping game- for whatever reason plain old ketchup just doesn’t cut it. This salsa rosada recipe is a traditional Latin American dipping sauce popular alongside many Costa Rican appetizers!
About This Recipe
So let’s get one thing straight- salsa rosada is decidedly not just a Costa Rican thing. It’s a Latin America thing- and I actually suspect that back in the day McDonald’s secret sauce was actually salsa rosada, or pink sauce.
The sauce itself has about as many names as it does dishes to slather on, (pink sauce, secret sauce, golf sauce recipe, fry sauce). Heinz recently had a ton of backlash when they tried to bottle this divine sauce up and call it Mayochup- a “brand new creation.” Sorry, Heinz, the origins of the condiment go back as far as white rice and black beans.
But I digress, salsa rosada is a sauce combining ketchup and mayonnaise. It’s generally used for dipping delicious fried treats such as yucca fries, french fries, chicharrones, hot dogs, Costa Rican tacos, salchipapas and more. In Costa Rica, we even squirt it on our savory empanadas. I love to dip freshly made tortilla chips into it. It’s so good.
What makes the sauce so good though, is the huge variation of ketchup and mayo available throughout Latin America. Almost every country has its own national ketchup that tastes different, and many home cooks and restaurant chefs still make their own mayonnaise. This means the taste of salsa rosada varies by region and country.
In Costa Rica, the ketchup is much sweeter than here- and it’s generally produced with cane sugar as opposed to beet sugar. The mayonnaise in Costa Rica is generally flavored with lime, and occasionally garlic.
So basically, when you combine Costa Rican ketchup with Costa Rican mayonnaise, you get Costa Rican salsa rosada. But- since I can’t get Costa Rican mayo or Costa Rican salsa de tomate here in the US, I’ve spent a good amount of time messing with the recipe to make it completely authentic.
Costa Rican Salsa Rosada Recipe
- granulated sugar
- freshly squeezed lime juice
In a small bowl, place the granulated sugar. Squeeze your ketchup on top and mix. The sugar added here will decrease the acidity of the ketchup and make it act more like Costa Rican ketchup. Next, add your mayo on top but don’t stir it. Squeeze the lime juice on top of the mayo, and stir everything together.
Place in a squeeze bottle or in a small bowl and serve with your favorite fried food!
You can substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar.
You can use Real Lime in this recipe and it doesn’t really make a difference.
You can definitely use homemade mayonnaise for this recipe, but I haven’t mastered it yet. (So close!)
There are so many variations on salsa rosada– Colombians add cumin, Caribbeans add lots of pressed garlic, and I bet Mexicans add some hot sauce. Really the sky is the limit, and if you have a favorite variation I’d love to hear it!
You can put this on anything, but we do have some traditional Costa Rican recipes that lend themselves more to dipping or squirting this sauce.
We generally will serve this in a small ramekin for dipping, or we will put it in a big squeeze bottle and squirt it all over a dish like French Fries or fried yucca. You could even use it as a salad dressing if you wanted!
Some popular dishes that go with Salsa Rosada:
Where can I buy salsa rosada?
Good question! You can always find it in the condiment aisle in Costa Rican supermarkets. I often find it in Latin grocery stores in the condiment aisle as well. I know that Goya makes a version but they call it Mayo Ketchup and you can find it on Amazon here.
How do I store salsa rosada?
I store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It lasts forever. Except in our house, where it’s gone in seconds when I make it.
Our Most Popular Costa Rican Recipes:
- Traditional Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Recipe
- Costa Rican Tres Leches Recipe
- Super Easy and Delicious Costa Rican Arroz con Pollo Recipe
- Costa Rican Tamales Recipe
- Delightful Baked Costa Rican Empanadas de Chiverre
- Garbanzo Bean Soup Recipe
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 4 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- In a small bowl, place the granulated sugar.
- Squeeze your ketchup on top and mix. The sugar added here will decrease the acidity of the ketchup and make it act more like Costa Rican ketchup.
- Next add your mayo on top but don't stir it.
- Squeeze the lime juice on top of the mayo, and stir everything together.
- Place in a squeeze bottle or in a small bowl and serve with your favorite fried food!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 447mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g
Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.
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Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!