Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Dipping Sauce Recipe

Craving Red Lobster but too lazy to leave the house? Try our copycat version of the sweet, creamy, and tropical dipping sauce for Red Lobster coconut shrimp's instead.

Copycat versions of familiar restaurant foods shouldn't be difficult to make, says food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table. In some cases, it can actually be remarkably easy to replicate the taste, texture, and look of your favourite restaurant dishes at home, without having to wait for delivery or even leaving your house!

Our copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce recipe has everything that makes the original stand out: sweet chunks of crushed pineapple, a rich texture, a coconut aftertaste, and a flavor reminiscent of the best piña colada. This version is as close to the original as you can get, without unnecessary additions!

The next time you make coconut shrimp, pair it with our copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce recipe — and take a trip to a tropical vacation from your very own home.

Gather the ingredients for this dipping sauce

The list of ingredients for this delicious, creamy, and sweet dipping sauce is exceptionally short — and we like it that way! And most come from the pantry or are easily found at your local grocery store, so chances are high that you already have everything you need to make this delicious sauce at home. No fuss, no muss.

Grab some piña colada mix (the liquid, not the powdered kind), a can of crushed pineapple, some sweetened shredded coconut, and a little cornstarch. You will also need a bit of water to dilute your cornstarch, but you should have plenty of that coursing through your taps.

Combine the piña colada mix, water, crushed pineapple, and shredded coconut

In a small saucepan, combine the piña colada mix, 4 tablespoons of water, crushed pineapple, and shredded coconut.

Bring the sauce ingredients to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring frequently. This prevents the pineapple from sticking to the bottom, and also helps all the ingredients mix together well.

Once the mixture reaches a simmer, let it cook for 10 minutes. It will thicken a bit as it cooks, as some of the coconut will slowly dissolve into a creamy mixture.

Whisk the cornstarch with a touch of water

While the sauce is cooking on the stovetop, now's a good opportunity to mix up your cornstarch slurry. This might not sound very appealing, but trust us, it's necessary to attain the slightly thick texture of this copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce recipe.

In a separate small bowl, add the cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of water and whisk well to blend. The cornstarch should dissolve completely in the water, creating a slurry without lumps.

If you're avoiding cornstarch for any reason, you can also use about ½ to ¾ cup Greek yogurt in place of the cornstarch slurry, but you should note that this will result in a different texture than the original Red Lobster sauce.

Whisk the cornstarch into the sauce to thicken it

Add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce and blend well. You can use a whisk or a fork for this, but it does have to be fully blended so you won't end up with clumps of cornstarch in your sauce. That would make for a fairly unpleasant dipping experience (not to mention one that's very different from Red Lobster).

Let the sauce mixture cook for an additional 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring continuously, then remove the dipping sauce from the heat and let it cool to room temperature, or transfer it to the refrigerator to cool further. The sauce will thicken more when it's refrigerated.

The changing textures of dipping sauces

Before we proceed to eating, let's take a few seconds to talk about the texture of dipping sauces based on their temperature. The reason we need to heat the sauce ingredients before adding the cornstarch is that cornstarch binds best with liquid ingredients at high temperatures, resulting in a cohesive mixture.

When you remove your sauce from the stove, it'll probably still seem a bit runny to you. That's fine for dipping, but not exactly that tongue-coating, creamy texture you're used to, right? That's why we recommend cooling your sauce in the refrigerator for a bit before serving. As cornstarch-thickened sauces cool, its molecules bind together more efficiently, resulting in a thick, luscious, and glossy sauce.

If you want your sauce to be runnier, heat it slightly in a saucepan. If you want it thicker, cool it in the refrigerator for longer. And if you want a texture that's somewhere in the middle, serve it at room temperature.

Serve the copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce

Your copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce is done, so how do you serve it? How about as part of the ultimate tropical tiki bar experience?

Pour yourself a mai tai or a tequila sunrise, grab a steaming hot plate of coconut shrimp, and serve our copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce topped with additional crushed pineapple and shredded coconut. That last step with the pineapple and coconut is optional, but we really like it for adding a burst of freshness to the sauce.

This copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Copycat Red Lobster Coconut Shrimp Dipping Sauce Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
With sweet chunks of crushed pineapple and a flavor reminiscent of the best piña colada, our copycat Red Lobster coconut shrimp dipping sauce recipe is easy.
Prep Time
3
minutes
Cook Time
16
minutes
Servings
6
servings
hand dipping shrimp into dipping sauce
Total time: 19 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup liquid piña colada mix
  • 6 tablespoons water, divided
  • 4 tablespoons crushed pineapple, drained, plus more for serving
  • 4 teaspoons sweetened shredded coconut, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the piña colada mix, 4 tablespoons of water, crushed pineapple, and shredded coconut.
  2. Bring the sauce ingredients to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once the mixture reaches a simmer, let it cook for 10 minutes.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, in a separate bowl add the cornstarch to the remaining 2 tablespoons water and whisk well to blend.
  4. Add the cornstarch slurry to the simmering sauce and blend well. Let the sauce mixture cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove the sauce from heat and let it cool. The sauce will thicken further when refrigerated.
  5. Serve the sauce at room temperature alongside coconut shrimp, and topped with additional crushed pineapple and shredded coconut.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 88
Total Fat 1.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 10.6 g
Sodium 6.7 mg
Protein 0.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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