Coconut Shrimp Sauce (Cheddar’s Painkiller Sauce Copycat)

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My Coconut Shrimp Sauce is just like Cheddar’s painkiller dip for coconut shrimp!! Made with cream of coconut, sour cream, pineapple, lime juice, and even more shredded coconut, it’s creamy, rich, fruity, and a little bit tangy… perfect for crispy coconut shrimp! Save this recipe for the next time a coconut craving hits.

titled: Cheddar's Pain Killer Sauce


Coconut Shrimp Sauce

When it comes to fries, chips, or grilled or fried protein, at least, I’m a huge sauce person.

I couldn’t imagine snacking on French fries without a side of ketchup, honey mustard, or ranch.

Same goes for my homemade tortilla chips. They wouldn’t be complete without some fire-roasted salsa and chunky guac!

Fried food in general is just better with some sort of dip. That crispy texture is just begging for something creamy!

That’s what prompted me to create this coconut shrimp sauce.

I had just whipped up a batch of this Cheddar’s copycat butterfly shrimp and was about to serve it when I realized I totally forgot to include the painkiller sauce! 

Luckily, I had all of the ingredients I needed to make a quick batch. The results were phenomenal and tasted exactly like the restaurant’s sauce. Mission accomplished.

All you need are a handful of ingredients and about 10 minutes to make your own dip for coconut shrimp. It really is that easy!

ingredients for coconut shrimp sauce

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cream of Coconut – This is a coconut shrimp sauce, after all, so you know I had to use cream of coconut as the base!

    Its creamy consistency and coconut flavor complement crispy shrimp perfectly. Cream of coconut is not coconut cream, so be careful when you do your shopping!
  • Sour Cream – Our other creamy base. Sour cream adds a touch of tang to the mix — you can alternatively use Greek yogurt or mayonnaise if you prefer.
  • Crushed Pineapple – For more fruity flavor! You can use either canned or fresh crushed pineapple for this recipe.

    If you do opt for canned, make sure to drain it first.
  • Shredded Coconut – I like sweetened shredded coconut in this dipping sauce for shrimp.

    You can use unsweetened if you prefer more savory flavor and plan to add some heat.
  • Pineapple Juice – For even more fruity, tropical flavor. You only need a few tablespoons.
  • Lime Juice – I like freshly squeezed best, but use whatever you have on hand.
sour cream, cream of coconut, pineapple and shredded coconut in a mixing bowl

Tips and Tricks to Make the Perfect Sauce for Coconut Shrimp

  • Adjust the flavors to your liking.

Feel free to play around with the flavors in this dipping sauce for shrimp so it’s exactly how you like it!

If you like a sweeter sauce, use more cream of coconut or shredded coconut.

If you’re not crazy about too much sweetness, use less cream and fewer shreds — or add more lime juice to balance things out.

And for a spicy kick, no one’s stopping you from adding a pinch of cayenne or a splash of your favorite hot sauce! 

  • Experiment with different consistencies too.

You can also choose your preferred consistency! For a thinner sauce, add a bit more pineapple juice or even a splash of coconut milk if you have some.

If you like a thicker consistency, reduce the amount of liquid ingredients in favor of some extra sour cream.

One of the best things about this coconut shrimp sauce is that it’s easily customizable!

  • Chill for the best (and most flavorful!) results.

Like all good dips and sauces, dipping sauce for shrimp tastes better after a bit of chilling time in the fridge.

It gives the ingredients a chance to really meld, which will ultimately give you a much more flavorful sauce.

The extra time also helps it thicken and become even more rich. Don’t skip it!

Prep Ahead

  • Crush pineapple if using fresh
  • Squeeze lime juice if using fresh

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Mixing Bowls – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too! 
mixed coconut shrimp sauce in a small mixing bowl

Serving Suggestions 

Serve this Cheddar’s painkiller-inspired sauce for coconut shrimp with… my crispy coconut shrimp! It would also taste great with this air fryer shrimp recipe.

And, if you’re not a huge fan of shrimp, never fear!

This dip pairs wonderfully with other seafood, grilled chicken with tequila and lime, or even as a dressing on salads with tropical flavors, like this Hawaiian Tortellini Salad!

bowl of sauce for coconut shrimp

Storing Leftover Painkiller Sauce

I typically only make as much sauce as I need, but if you have leftovers, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week. Give it a good stir before using!

While you may be tempted to make a double batch when you have all of the ingredients out, this sauce for coconut shrimp does not freeze well.

The texture and flavor will change as the sauce thaws, and the whole thing could become watery and bland… it’s just not a good idea.

Dip for Coconut Shrimp FAQ

Can I use coconut milk instead of cream of coconut?

You could use coconut milk instead of cream of coconut, but it will give you a much less sweet and creamy sauce. If all you have on hand is coconut milk and you don’t have time to run to the store, you may need to adjust the sweetness with some additional ingredients. Honey, sugar, or even some sweetened condensed milk would all work.

Is coconut shrimp sauce spicy?

No, my sauce for coconut shrimp isn’t spicy. But remember, if you want an added kick, feel free to add some cayenne or hot sauce to the mix. The added heat would be a welcome addition to all of the other rich, creamy ingredients!

Can I make dip for coconut shrimp ahead of time?

Yes! This sauce can be prepared a day in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to enjoy. Great news if you’re making it for a party! Remember to stir well before serving

coconut shrimp dipping sauce in a mason jar with a lime sliced in half

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fried shrimp dipped in coconut shrimp sauce

coconut shrimp dipped in cheddar's pain killer sauce copycat

Coconut Shrimp Sauce (Cheddar’s Painkiller Sauce Copycat)

Donna Elick
Pair my Coconut Shrimp Sauce with fried coconut shrimp! Easy to make and inspired by Cheddar’s painkiller dip, it’s creamy, rich, and tasty!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 2 makes 1 cup


  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt to taste


  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream of coconut, pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, sour cream, and lime juice.
  • Stir well until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  • Taste the sauce and add salt as needed.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend together.
  • Give the sauce a good stir again before serving with your favorite shrimp dish.

Donna’s Notes

This sauce not only complements shrimp but also pairs well with other seafood, grilled chicken, or even as a dressing for tropical salads.
For a spicier kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
The sauce can be prepared a day in advance and kept refrigerated until you’re ready to serve.
If you have leftover sauce, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
You can use either canned or fresh crushed pineapple, depending on your preference.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 499cal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 75mg | Sugar: 60g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 0.3mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Cheddar's Pain Killer Sauce - PIN

Originally published April 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    This sauce is easy and extremely delicious! I just made the coconut shrimp to go with it 🙂 They were both easy recipes, as always Donna, your recipes are so easy to follow!

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