Recipe: Better-than-McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce

It’s no secret that McDonald’s Big Macs are beloved all over the world, primarily for the sweet and tangy sauce that’s slathered onto the buns. And while there have been plenty of rumors suggesting the special sauce is simply Thousand Island dressing in disguise, McDonald’s Executive Chef says otherwise.

After watching the chef’s YouTube video on how to make the world-famous sauce, we headed into our own kitchens to nail down the specifics (his video provides the ingredients, but no amounts). Several tweaks and taste-tests later, we came up with the most delicious sauce that will let you skip the drive-thru.

Big Mac sauce is incredibly creamy, with a sweet tang that adds just the right balance to a meaty griddled burger. It turns out that despite tasting similar to Thousand Island dressing, ketchup is nowhere to be found on the special sauce’s ingredient list.

Instead, the sauce gets its peachy-pink color from a dash of paprika, and signature creamy tang from a combination of mayo, mustard, and relish. That’s right — you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now. So skip the drive-thru and make a jar of this sauce at home, and you’ll have it ready whenever Big Mac cravings strike.

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  • Copycat Costco Chicken Bake
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Better-than-McDonald’s Big Mac Sauce


  • 3/4 cup


  • 1 tablespoon

    yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoons

    sweet pickle relish

  • 2 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/4 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    onion powder


  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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