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The Official McDonald’s Secret Sauce: Copycat Recipes to Make at Home

The secret to making McDonald's famous sauce at home? Finding your favorite copycat recipe. They’re healthier, easier, and just as tasty! Plus, we share several more favorite recipes from the Golden Arches.

McDonald’s secret sauce isn’t exactly a secret. Just Google it. The “official” special sauce recipe was leaked back in 2017, and various at-home versions of the creamy-tangy-sweet Big Mac sauce have proliferated since. The real secret is finding which McDonald’s secret sauce copycat recipe is right for you.

Take a look at the four secret sauce variations below, and then build out the rest of your made-from-scratch McDonald’s meal, from copycat chicken nuggets and French fries to the ever-popular Shamrock Shake! We’ve got it all.


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McDonald’s Secret Sauce copycat recipes >>

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McDonald’s Secret Sauce copycat recipes

While the official Big Mac sauce recipe has 30+ ingredients, you won’t find most of them at your local grocery (Propylene Glycol Alginate, anyone?). There is a surprising array of ingredients used in the different copycat recipes, as well. But the gist of it will feel familiar, like someone took a dollop of every hot dog condiment at the stand, added a little sugar, stirred and — this is key — let the flavors meld for a bit in the fridge. Here are four different takes to try out.


Copycat #1: McDonald's Secret Sauce

This version, from Copykat Recipes, relies on pantry staples. If you have Thousand Island dressing and sweet pickle relish on hand, you’re more than halfway there.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons relish (drained)

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing


Copycat #2: McDonald's Secret Big Mac Sauce Leaked

Another version, from Mom Deals, feels a bit more robust, while the white onion makes it feel more gourmet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons French dressing

  • 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish

  • 1 tablespoon white onion (finely minced)

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Copycat #3: Copycat Big Mac Sauce

This recipe from Baking Beauty has the longest ingredients list (but perhaps the most authentic taste), and also includes ingredients and directions for the whole Big Mac, from beef patty to sesame seed bun.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons French dressing

  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet relish

  • 2 teaspoons dill pickle relish

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes (dried)

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ketchup

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Copycat #4: Big Mac Sauce Copycat

This version, from Fox Valley Foodie, most closely resembles the infamous one you'll find on YouTube that features McDonald’s executive chef Dan Coudreaut. The surprising thing about this one? No ketchup!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo

  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder



More McDonald’s copycat recipes

McDonald's Big Mac Sauce isn’t the only thing worth copying. From the entire Big Mac, to the famous fries, the chicken nuggets, and even the seasonal Shamrock Shake, there are ways to bring the fast food flavors of McDonald’s home — and, just like that, make ‘em healthier.


McDonald's Egg McMuffin

The Egg McMuffin copycat from Fox Valley Foodie gets two secret steps just right: creating the perfectly round egg patty (the recipe makes use of an empty tuna can!) and using ice to steam the egg to perfection.


McDonald's Filet of Fish

McDonald’s at Home isn’t about to recreate the wheel — and this version of the Filet-o’-Fish is not surprising in the least.


Copycat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

Fans — little and big — of McDonald’s chicken nuggets can get a healthier version at home using unprocessed chicken breast. Just cut into the familiar nugget shape, season, and fry.


McDonald's French Fries

This PopSugar recipe for McDonald’s French fries doesn’t skimp on the details: The fries are soaked in a corn syrup and water concoction, and fried twice — once in beef lard.


Copycat McDonald's Sweet And Sour Sauce For Nuggets

Take a quirky trip through your condiment shelf, and voila! Fast food sweet and sour sauce, at home.


Copycat McDonald's Honey Mustard Sauce

While I always leaned toward barbecue sauce, honey mustard was a close second — and I’m shocked how easy it is to recreate.


McDonald's Chocolate Shamrock Shake

Spring is Shamrock Shake season, and people truly go wild for this limited-time McDonald’s dessert. So, of course, copycat recipes abound. This recipe, from Dinner Then Dessert, gets the signature taste with chocolate syrup and mint extract, with some green food coloring thrown in for good measure. Now you can enjoy Shamrock Shakes year round!



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