Friday, May 20, 2022

Big Mac Sauce (McDonald's Copycat)

Big Mac Sauce is that irresistibly creamy condiment that makes the famous McDonald's™ sandwich so special. This copycat tastes like the real thing, and even better, it’s super simple to make at home!!

McDonald's sauce has just the right amount of tang and zip to dress up grilled burgers, sandwiches, or a variety of vegetables. You can even use it as a dip!
big mac sauce in serving cup

Big Mac Sauce

What's really amazing about this recipe is that nobody can taste the difference when doing a side-by-side comparison of our big mac sauce and the real thing. 

But unlike the fast food version, my copycat recipe is completely gluten-free, and much healthier! Knowing how to make big mac sauce gives you control over the ingredients. This way, with a few substitutions, you can even create an egg-free or dairy-free version if you want!

Looking for more restaurant copycat sauces and spreads? I’ve got you covered! 

You can make copycat versions of the Taco Bell nacho cheese recipe, Chipotle guacamole recipe, and even Olive Garden Italian dressing to serve with your home-cooked meals.

Recipe Notes

By looks alone, you may wonder if big mac sauce is thousand island dressing with a different name. The answer is no... but they are similar. Both have a creamy consistency and include pickle relish, but McDonald's Big Mac Sauce includes vinegar and has a bit more pickle relish in it. 

Although I haven't been able to verify this, some people say that the special sauce also includes French dressing. This homemade version is much tastier than the actual McDonald's big mac sauce, which contains a variety of additives and preservatives.

You can find a complete list of ingredients for the McDonald’s version here if you would like to compare.
copycat big mac sauce ingredients in small white bowls


How to Make Big Mac Sauce

Making this homemade condiment is a snap! Just add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.

Want a different consistency?
You can make a few simple adjustments depending on how you like it, or if you want to use this as a dip or salad dressing instead.

To thicken big mac sauce: Decrease the mayo and add some additional sour cream.

For a thinner sauce: Leave out the sour cream entirely.

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Mixing Bowl - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
  • Whisk - These have held up for over 10 years and are still as good as the day I bought them.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons - Seasoned cooks may try to eyeball the amounts, but I recommend using the proper tools or it won’t taste quite right.
ketchup, pickle relish and other condiments in bowl for copycat big mac sauce

Assembling a Big Mac

You’ve already come this far - why not use the big mac sauce to build yourself the real deal burger while you’re at it? According to the McDonald’s website, this is the proper order of ingredients for a Big Mac:
  • Bottom bun
  • Big Mac sauce
  • Diced onions
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • American cheese
  • Ground beef patty
  • Bottom bun number two
  • Another round of sauce
  • More onion
  • Lettuce too
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • A second ground beef patty
  • Finally, top with a sesame seed bun!
McDonald's sandwich with two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on sesame seed bun

Big Mac Sauce FAQ

Fun Fact:

When the Big Mac sandwich was first introduced in the 1960's, it was known as the "Blue Ribbon Burger". 

That name didn't go over too well, so in the mid '70's, the restaurant chain launched a new advertising campaign. That's when the Big Mac sandwich and that special sauce became famous.

How long does McDonald's sauce last in the refrigerator?

When kept in a sealed jar or container, the copycat big mac sauce should be good for up to 1 week. Be sure to give it a good stir before each use.

The color changed - is that normal?

Yes! The longer it sits, the darker the color will become because it contains turmeric. It’s still safe to eat and the difference in color won’t affect the overall flavor.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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mac sauce on and next to McDonald's big mac

Yield: makes 1 3/4 cups
Author: Donna Elick
big mac sauce in pint size mason jar

Big Mac Sauce

Big Mac Sauce is the creamy condiment that makes the McDonald's™ sandwich so special. This copycat recipe for mac sauce is so easy to make!

Prep time: 5 Minutes  Total time: 5 Minutes


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons French/Catalina dressing
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons classic yellow mustard (the condiment)
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a medium bowl, add all ingredients. Stir to combine.
  2. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or overnight to bring out the flavors. Spread as a condiment on hamburgers, or enjoy as desired!

titled pinterest collage for big mac sauce recipe
Originally published April 2021. Updated and republished May 2022

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  1. Can I freeze the extra sauce?

    1. With Mayo in the recipe; No, you really don't want to freeze it.
      I would not make a full recipe if you don't plan on using it up within a week.
      For just me and hfubby I make just enough for a 4oz. jar size.


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