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The Big Mac, one of the most iconic fast-food items across the globe, owes much of its fame to the legendary “special sauce” that graces each burger.
This sauce, a harmonious blend of creaminess, tanginess, and a hint of sweetness, is the secret behind the Big Mac’s distinctive flavor.
But the good news is, you can recreate this sauce at home, using simple pantry ingredients.
This guide will walk you through the process of making your own Big Mac Sauce, which might even surpass the original in taste!
What is Big Mac Sauce?
Big Mac Sauce, also known as McDonald’s Special Sauce, is a unique concoction that sets the Big Mac apart from other burgers. It’s a creamy, full-bodied, slightly tangy, and subtly sweet sauce that’s surprisingly easy to make with standard pantry ingredients.
Contrary to popular belief, Big Mac sauce doesn’t actually contain any Ketchup, it’s actually the paprika that gives it its red tinge, here’s the actual recipe.
The Ingredients Behind Big Mac Sauce
The base of this sauce is mayonnaise, but not just any mayonnaise. The quality of the mayonnaise will significantly affect the overall flavor of the sauce. Here are the key ingredients:
- Mayonnaise: The base of the sauce. A good quality one is recommended.
- Sweet pickle relish: Adds the perfect touch of sweetness to this sauce.
- Grated onion: Using grated onion is one of the secrets to achieving the perfect sauce!
- Yellow mustard: Brings the perfect amount of acid and tartness to balance out the other flavors.
- Paprika, onion powder, fine sea salt, and garlic powder: These spices create the perfect flavor profile in this sauce.
- Vinegar: This is optional, but if you want it to taste more identical to the actual Big Mac sauce, you might want to include it.
How to Make Big Mac Sauce
Creating your own Big Mac Sauce is as simple as measuring out the different ingredients into a bowl, and stirring to combine.
You can easily eyeball the ingredients, just make sure to add a lot of Mayo first, then slowly ease in the other ingredients until you reach your preferred taste.
Contrary to popular belief, the sauce is made with paprika, not ketchup, which is a common misconception.
You can eat it right away, but the sauce tastes better after it’s had some time to let the flavors mingle in the fridge.
Big Mac Sauce Recipe
Here’s the recipe for making your own Big Mac Sauce at home:
Big Mac Sauce Copycat Recipe
- 1/2 cup quality mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 Tablespoon grated yellow onion with juices
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar optional
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Grate the onion using a box grater. Be sure to use any juices that accumulate with the onion.
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Quality of Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients, especially the mayonnaise, will significantly impact the overall flavor of the sauce. Opt for high-quality ingredients whenever possible.
- Vinegar: The addition of vinegar is optional. If you want your sauce to taste more like the actual Big Mac sauce, start with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar. You can add more, up to 1 teaspoon, to taste.
- Paprika, Not Ketchup: Contrary to popular belief, the sauce is made with paprika, not ketchup. This is a common misconception.
- Resting Time: While you can eat the sauce right away, it tastes better after it’s had some time to let the flavors mingle in the fridge. If possible, make the sauce ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
- Storage: This sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. This makes it perfect for making ahead and having on hand for whenever you’re craving that distinctive Big Mac flavor.
- Versatility: Don’t limit this sauce to just burgers. It’s great on any sandwich, as a salad dressing, or as a dipping sauce for fries, chicken nuggets, or onion rings.
What Goes Well With Big Mac Sauce?
- Burgers: The classic use for Big Mac Sauce is on a burger, making your own homemade Big Mac.
- Sandwiches: This sauce can elevate any sandwich, from a simple ham and cheese to a gourmet chicken sandwich.
- Fries: Big Mac Sauce makes a delicious dipping sauce for fries, adding a tangy and creamy twist to the classic side dish.
- Chicken Nuggets: Dip your chicken nuggets in Big Mac Sauce for a fun and flavorful twist.
- Salads: Use Big Mac Sauce as a salad dressing. It’s especially good on a salad with ingredients similar to a Big Mac, like lettuce, cheese, pickles, and ground beef.
- Wraps: Add some Big Mac Sauce to your wraps for a burst of flavor.
- Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle some Big Mac Sauce over grilled vegetables for a unique and tasty side dish.
- Fish Tacos: Swap out the traditional tartar sauce for Big Mac Sauce in your fish tacos for a unique flavor profile.
- Onion Rings: Use Big Mac Sauce as a dipping sauce for onion rings for a tangy and sweet flavor combination.
- Hot Dogs: Spread some Big Mac Sauce on your hot dog for a unique twist on the classic.
You should also check our other copycat recipes: