(NEXSTAR) – This week, McDonald’s began offering its Big Mac sauce (aka “special sauce”) in prepackaged dipping cups, providing an option for customers who want a little extra sauce to put on their fries, their burgers, or even their Oreo McFlurries, as was suggested by a fan with seemingly no self-control whatsoever.
But those dipping cups aren’t free. While they’re complementary for customers who purchase Chicken McNuggets through the McDonald’s app, everyone else will need to order the dipping cups à la carte for a small fee.
Still, there is another option for customers who want to obtain some extra Mac sauce on the cheap: They can make it themselves.
At least two McDonald’s insiders have revealed their recipes for Big Mac sauce over the last decade or so, including former chef Dan Coudreaut and former corporate chef Mike Haracz. It should be noted, however, that both Coudreaut and Haracz’s (extremely similar) recipes were intended to produce taste-alike versions of the popular McDonald’s spread, and are likely not the exact recipes used to produce the Mac sauce provided by McDonald’s restaurants.
Coudreaut, in 2012, demonstrated an at-home recipe for Big Mac sauce using what he called “similar” ingredients to that of the actual sauce, according to a YouTube video published (and later unpublished) by McDonald’s Canada. In the video, Coudreaut mixed together mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, “classic yellow mustard,” white wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, though he did not provide specific quantities of each ingredient.
Haracz, in a 2022 TikTok video, was much more detailed. His recipe used largely the same ingredients — aside from “Dusseldorf”-style mustard in place of yellow mustard, and the addition of ground white pepper — and specified the quantities.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sweet pickle relish
- 2 Tbsps. Dusseldorf mustard (Dijon can be substituted, Haracz said)
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 ¼ tsps. Paprika
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
After mixing the ingredients, Haracz recommended letting the sauce sit for half an hour before tasting.
“This is as close as you are going to get,” he said.
Haracz also made special mention of one ingredient that was notably absent from both his recipe and the one Coudreaut shared about a decade earlier.
“As you can see, there is no ketchup in this recipe. The color you get from Big Mac sauce is just from paprika,” he noted.
A quick glance at the nutrition page at McDonalds.com confirms Haracz’s statements. The chain’s Big Mac sauce (and its dipping-cup version) contain no tomato, but rather “extractives of paprika” and “caramel color.”
A representative for McDonald’s corporate would not comment on the recipes shared by Coudreaut or Haracz, acknowledging only that the sauce has “been imitated by many, but we know there’s nothing quite like the OG taste.”
The company did, meanwhile, respond on Twitter to a fan who suggested putting Mac sauce on the aforementioned McFlurry.
“Let me know how it goes,” the chain wrote.