mac sauce in a bowl on a plate with sliced pickles, shredded lettuce and diced white onions

RECIPE FOR MAC SAUCE

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Bring McDonald’s to your kitchen by making your own Big Mac Sauce from scratch! This recipe for Mac Sauce is incredibly easy to make, tastes just like the real thing and will elevate anything from tacos and burgers to french fries and chicken nuggets!

I have no shame when it comes to my love for McDonald’s. I mean, I’m not necessarily the biggest fast food eater in the world. But, man. Mickey D’s just hits different. This is coming from the girl who literally makes it a point to try McDonald’s in every country she’s ever visited (true story). I always have to see what cool items other McDonald’s have that aren’t available in Canada and make it a point to try as many of them as I can. But, what I really go for and what’s always on my menu no matter which McDonald’s or what part of the world I’m in, is the good ol’ big mac. As is. Nothing added or taken away. Just a good ol’ big mac.

Ok, Ok. In all honesty, I wouldn’t be opposed to a little bit of extra mac sauce thrown in there. You feel me?!

spoon coming out of a bowl of orange sauce

I just can’t help it. I’m a big mac girl through and through. And, as a self-proclaimed Big Mac enthusiast, I’ve taken my love for this classic to new heights, making it a global tradition to indulge in a Big Mac in every country I visit. I’ve downed a big mac in so many places that I’ve seriously lost count! From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the scenic landscapes of Peru, the Big Mac has been a constant companion of mine and is ALWAYS an important part of the itinerary! And now, with this homemade Mac Sauce recipe, both you and I can recreate that magic anytime, anywhere.

Since this recipe for mac sauce is so easy to whip up and takes less than 5 minutes, you’re just a quick mix away whenever the craving for a delicious homemade burger strikes. Forget waiting in drive-thru lines or second-guessing the ingredients – the secret to the iconic Big Mac flavour is all yours. Of course, it’s great on burgers but there’s no telling what you can use this stuff on. It’s the ultimate flavour booster for pretty much anything you can dream up! Slather it on tacos for an extra kick, dip your crispy fries into a Mac Sauce heaven, or drizzle it over grilled chicken for a taste bud party. As long as I get an invite!

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE YOUR OWN HOMEMADE BIG MAC SAUCE FROM SCRATCH

ingredients for recipe for mac sauce - pickles, salt, pepper, mayo, paprika, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Everyday ingredients that you might already have in your fridge/pantry right now makes up the secret sauce that is largely responsible for my love of big macs. This combination of ingredients creates a sauce that’s not only reminiscent of the iconic Big Mac sauce but also boasts a well rounded flavour profile with layers of tanginess, sweetness and savoury notes. Let’s discuss the exact ingredients you’ll need in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Mayonnaise: Provides a creamy and rich base for the sauce. It adds a smooth texture and a subtle tanginess. Either store bought or homemade mayonnaise will work in this recipe.
  • Pickles: Add a delightful crunch and a tangy, briny flavour to the sauce. They contribute to the classic Big Mac sauce’s signature taste and IMHO, you can’t do without them! However, you can use sweet pickle relish instead, if you prefer.
  • Mustard: Adds a tangy and slightly spicy element to the sauce. It complements the mayonnaise and pickles, enhancing the overall flavour profile. Also helps in giving the big mac sauce its signature yellow/orange-ish colour. You can use dijon mustard instead, if you prefer.
  • Vinegar: Adds acidity to balance the richness of the mayonnaise and provides a subtle tangy flavour. It contributes to the overall brightness of the sauce. Either regular white vinegar or white wine vinegar will work in this recipe.
  • Garlic Powder: Infuses a mild garlic flavour into the sauce, adding depth and complexity. It’s more mellow than fresh garlic, ensuring a well-balanced taste. Therefore, garlic powder (and not fresh garlic) works best in this recipe.
  • Onion Powder: Contributes a sweet and savoury onion flavour without the texture of fresh onions. It enhances the overall umami and richness of the sauce. However, if you prefer, you can use about 2 tablespoons of freshly grated onion (with their juices) instead.
  • Paprika: Introduces a subtle smokiness and a mild, sweet pepper flavor to the sauce. It also imparts a reddish color, enhancing the visual appeal of the sauce. Use sweet paprika (not smoked or hot) for the most authentic flavour.
  • Salt and Pepper: Help balance the flavours and allow you to adjust the overall taste to your preference. Add them gradually and taste as you go.
big mac sauce in a bowl on a plate with diced white onions and shredded lettuce

HOW TO MAKE BIG MAC SAUCE FROM SCRATCH (KEY TIPS)

spoonful of mac sauce over a bowl of it

You can find full instructions for how to make this easy recipe for mac sauce in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh and good quality ingredients, especially for the mayonnaise, pickles, and any perishable items. Fresh ingredients contribute to better flavour. And, since there are so few ingredients in this recipe for mac sauce, you’ll really taste each one shining through!
  • Aim for a smooth and consistent texture in the sauce. You can achieve this by finely chopping the pickles and whisking the ingredients well to ensure they blend together seamlessly.
  • Taste the sauce as you go and adjust the quantities to match your preferences. Everyone’s taste is different, so feel free to add more or less of any ingredient to achieve the flavour you desire. EXTRA TIP: Mix all of the ingredients together first and then add your salt and pepper. This gives you ample control to adjust the seasonings and flavour profile after the sauce comes together. EXTRA EXTRA TIP: Feel free to add a touch of sweetness, like a pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of honey, if you prefer a slightly sweeter sauce.
  • Allow the sauce to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This helps the flavours meld and intensify, resulting in a more flavourful sauce. Seriously! It really makes a difference!
hand holding a bowl of orange sauce
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS MAC SAUCE MADE OF?

The Big Mac sauce, commonly referred to as “Mac Sauce,” is a signature condiment used in McDonald’s Big Mac burgers. While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, the general ingredients typically include mayo, mustard, relish or pickles, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. This recipe is a homemade version that attempts to capture the essence of the iconic Big Mac sauce.

IS BIG MAC SAUCE JUST THOUSAND ISLAND?

Big Mac Sauce is widely believed to be a variation of Thousand Island dressing. Both Big Mac sauce and Thousand Island dressing share some common ingredients, such as mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and mustard. However, Big Mac sauce is rumored to contain ingredients like garlic powder and paprika in addition to the basic components. While Big Mac sauce may share similarities with Thousand Island dressing, it is a unique recipe with its own specific combination of ingredients, giving it a distinctive taste that sets it apart.

WHY IS BIG MAC SAUCE SO GOOD?

The appeal of Big Mac sauce lies in its well-balanced combination of flavours and textures, which creates a distinctive and delicious taste. It has a creamy and rich texture that adds a smooth and indulgent feel to the sauce. It’s also a balance of sweet and tangy flavours which is pleasing to many palates. It has umami and savoury notes thanks to the addition of garlic powder and onion powder which enhances its overall flavour profile. And, it’s versatile which allows it to complement a variety of ingredients, making it suitable for different dishes beyond the Big Mac burger. What’s not to love?!

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE BIG MAC SAUCE LAST?

Store your homemade mac sauce in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It should be good for up to 2 weeks. RECIPE NOTE: It’s normal for some separation to occur in homemade sauces over time. Stirring the sauce before each use can help recombine the ingredients.

big mac tacos on a plate with mac sauce, another plate in the background with veggies and more sauce
mac sauce in a bowl on a plate with sliced pickles, shredded lettuce and diced white onions

RECIPE FOR MAC SAUCE

Yield: ~1/2 Cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Bring McDonald's to your kitchen by making your own Big Mac Sauce from scratch! This recipe for Mac Sauce is incredibly easy to make, tastes just like the real thing and will elevate anything from tacos and burgers to french fries and chicken nuggets!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise*
  • 2 tbsp Pickles, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, pickles, mustard, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes before using to allow the flavours to meld.
    chopped pickles, mustard, mayo and spices unmixed in a bowl
    salt and pepper on an orange sauce in a bowl
    creamy yellow/orange-ish sauce in a bowl

Notes

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 83gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 68gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 1317mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

Did you make this recipe? I love seeing your creations!

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