How To Make Your Own Big Mac Sauce

How To Make Your Own Big Mac Sauce

The recipe for McDonald’s Big Mac sauce was allegedly leaked online last year. It is – as most mass-produced sauces are – a long list of oil, corn syrup, stabilisers, emulsifiers, flavourings and preservatives. It’s (kind of) interesting, but not exactly helpful for those who want to replicate the sweet and tangy special sauce for their burgers at home.

Photo by rob_rob2001.

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Personally, I’ve never been super curious about McDonald’s “special” sauce, because I had always assumed it was Thousand Island dressing. I’m also not sure exactly why one would need to make this sauce at home, because — unlike a certain Disney movie-inspired Szechuan sauce — this Mac (sauce) never went away.

But, because this is the internet, an enterprising blogger named Kelly Brinker created a recipe that that apparently comes pretty darn close to the real thing. (It isn’t exactly Thousand Island, but it’s very similar.) In order to verify the veracity of this claim, I made a batch and took a taste. To make the sauce, Kelly uses:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons French dressing
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

I dumped all of those fine ingredients into a bowl, stirred, and set in the fridge overnight to let all of the flavours meld.

Cover with plastic first.

After the required stint in the fridge I removed the sauce for visual inspection, and I must admit that it looked the part.

I didn’t have two all-beef patties on hand, so I grabbed some fries and took a dip.

The sauce did taste very special, with the only real difference being that there are no actual onion pieces in the McDonald’s version, but I don’t know that this would be a deal breaker for anyone. So yeah, this is an A+ clone of McDonald’s Big Mac sauce. This is great news for anyone who wishes to make their own Big Macs, or for those people who want to incorporate a little bit of that I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Technically-Food McDonald’s magic into their home cooking. In all seriousness though, it’s pretty good, and I will be putting mine on many burgers.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


    • And you can buy it for $3. Far less than if you had to acquire all the necessary ingredients, without even mentioning the time to make it in the first place.

  • The French dressing referred to in the recipe is not the vinaigrette Australians know and can buy in a bottle at Colesworths. It is a completely different American dressing, based on ketchup, which you can’t buy here ready-made. A Mrs French apparently invented it, hence the confusion with the name. See the image with the unmixed ingredients? The red liquid is American French Dressing. To make this recipe, therefore, not only do you need the other ingredients listed above but you also have to make up a small batch of American French dressing. I’ve done it, years ago, and yes, it tasted pretty accurate – but it was a lot of stuffing about and since you can buy a very good ready made Special Sauce replica at Coles now, I would never waste my time again. If you’re still inclined, rather than use fresh onion soak some dehydrated onion in warm water before adding it for a more authentic result.

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