McDonald’s Hot Mustard

If hot mustard has gone missing from your local McDonald’s menu or you want to avoid the trip, this simple, vegan-friendly, make-at-home recipe creates incredible spicy-sweet flavor with just a few minutes of work. This unique sauce is right at home on everything from chicken nuggets and fries to fresh, green salads or deli sandwiches.

Copycat McDonald's hot mustard sauce in a small bowl and a basket of chicken nuggets.

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What Is McDonald’s hot mustard?

There’s some intriguing mystery surrounding McDonald’s Hot Mustard — at least, as far as fast food sauces go. The uniquely tangy, spicy, sweetened mustard was discontinued nationally several years ago for reasons that still aren’t clear.

However, devoted fans of the popular sauce quickly learned that it was still available in some restaurants in some markets, though Mickey D’s corporate doesn’t provide any way to figure out which or say what’s behind the inconsistent availability. 

Fortunately, this copycat recipe allows you to enjoy these big flavors at home, no trip to the Golden Arches to get packets of the sauce required.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Fast is an understatement when it comes to this tasty condiment. In fact, you’ll probably spend more time assembling your ingredients than actually bringing them together in the sauce! Plus, the flavors only improve the longer they mingle together, truly integrating the intense combination of mustards with a mix of umami, acidic, sweet, and spicy flavors. 

Another significant benefit of this copycat McDonald’s hot mustard sauce recipe is the combination of brief prep time and long shelf life when stored properly. It’s easy to whip up a batch and have it ready in the fridge whenever you need an extra pop of distinctive flavor. 


You may be surprised at the everyday ingredients that come together to make this hot mustard recipe truly sing:

  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Mustard powder
  • Corn syrup
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Cayenne pepper
Copycat McDonald's hot mustard ingredients in bowls.

Ingredient notes

When making this recipe, make sure to use brown mustard like the kind made by Gulden’s, not the typical yellow mustard you may love on hot dogs or sandwiches. The yellow style doesn’t have the intense flavor needed for a true McDonald’s copycat. 

In addition, feel free to sprinkle in a bit of turmeric. The vibrant spice can amp up the color of your hot mustard without altering the flavor much. Those who love a bit of spice can also add more cayenne pepper, while cooks who prefer the mild tang of mustard powder can stick to the recipe as written. 

While some may want to skip the corn syrup, it’s essential for developing the right texture and adding a subtle sweetness to the hot mustard. Instead of leaving it out, swap it for some golden syrup, an alternative made from cane sugar that functions similarly. 

How to make hot mustard 

It’s easy to craft a batch of hot mustard in just minutes with common kitchen utensils:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
Copycat McDonald's hot mustard ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Copycat McDonald's hot mustard in a mixing bowl.
  1. Place the mustard in the fridge in an airtight container, and let it rest to develop flavors.

If possible, allow the mustard mixture to chill in a covered container for at least four hours, though overnight is even better.

A bowl of copycat McDonald's hot mustard sauce and chicken nuggets next to it.

How many calories are in McDonald’s hot mustard sauce?

According to McDonald’s, authentic hot mustard contains 53 calories per packet. However, our recipe maintains the same flavor while cutting the calories to just 29 per teaspoon. 

Is hot mustard vegan?

Yes! Those avoiding animal products can indulge in their favorite McDonald’s sauce without worrying. With a base of plant-only products like mustard, vinegar, and powdered spices, it’s suitable for any vegan or vegetarian diet. 

What to serve with McDonald’s hot mustard

The classic pairing with McDonald’s Hot Mustard is with deliciously breaded and fried chicken, like the chain’s famous McNuggets or chicken tenders. However, it’s also a great choice for dipping French fries or spreading on fried or grilled chicken sandwiches or hamburgers, too. 

But don’t focus just on fast food. This hot mustard is the perfect sauce for fresh vegetables or crackers alongside ranch, bleu cheese, and other choices. It can also enhance many sandwiches and burgers and even work as a mouthwatering salad dressing in a pinch!

How to store

It’s easy to store McDonald’s Hot Mustard using the same airtight container you used to rest it after mixing. To extend its life even further, you can also freeze this mustard in a freezer safe container or bag. Defrost it in the fridge overnight before using. 

How long does McDonald’s hot mustard last?

When kept in the refrigerator, McDonald’s hot mustard can last several weeks. Frozen mustard should be used within three months for the best quality.

Copycat McDonald's hot mustard sauce in a bowl next to a basket of chicken nuggets.

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hot mustard and chicken nuggets

McDonald’s Hot Mustard

Make you own McDonald’s hot mustard with ingredients you have in your kitchen.
4.99 from 50 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: McDonald’s Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 29kcal


  • 1/2 cup brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 4 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well blended.
  • Store in an airtight container overnight or for at least 4 hours before serving.



Serving: 1teaspoon | Calories: 29kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kim

    4 stars
    I tried this once with brown mustard, and it just wasn’t right. I bought a jar of Dusseldorf mustard. I omitted the vinegar, and I added about a Tablespoon of mayo. I would swear someone emptied packets of hot mustard into the bowl. The Dusseldorf mustard makes all the difference…and a bit of creepiness from the mayo.

  2. Stephanie Bondurant

    this has always been the only sauce I eatwith chicken mcnuggets. When they told me they were discontinuing it I was super disappointed!, so I asked them for handfuls of it everytime i went to Mcdonalds drivethru so i would have it to eat with my mcnuggets. Im glad they brought it back before I ran out! Nice to know i can make it just in case they do it again

  3. Baltisraul

    5 stars
    Our very favorite mustard is Hot Sweet. Going to try this but will probable add some mayo and Crystal’s Hot sauce. Don’t remember McDonalds mustard but I have not been to one in 17-18 years. Bring on the Brats!!! Fire up the grill.

  4. jeanette lalor

    5 stars
    hi stephanie
    i wrote you some time ago telling you how pretty you looked! this recipe is a keeper as my grandson and his friends love it. you bring a lot of happiness to so many of us with your tried and true recipes.


  5. Rosa

    5 stars
    I just made this. It is terrific and tastes much like their restaurant sauce. I did leave out the soy sauce since I’m sensitive to the taste and it seems to overpower the other ingredients for me. I do think the spicy brown mustard is key. No yellow mustard. Thanks for getting this right.

  6. Rich Sellers

    Definately too “mustardy”. I’m going to try again with half of the Mustard Powder.

    Also, looking at the ingredients on the packet, there is turmeric and egg yolk. Did you use Mayo a substitute for the egg? I’m not sure what turmeric will add to the flavor?

    For the record, the color and constancy is dead-on (I used light corn syrup). The taste is pretty good, but heavy on the mustard powder.

    • Erma

      Hello. I know this may be a little bit late in the game, HOWEVER, Turmeric is used to give mustard it’s yellow color. It may also add a touch of flavor, however, not much is used to just achieve the mustard yellow coloring that mustard has.

  7. Billybob

    Ew corn syrup. I’d never willingly add corn syrup to something I’m eating. I get enough of it with processed foods.

    • B Donewar

      Corn syrup is not the same thing as the much-maligned high fructose corn syrup. While both are made from corn starch, corn syrup is 100% glucose while high fructose corn syrup has been processed to convert some of that glucose into fructose.

      Thanks to for helping me out.

  8. Alexandra Von Ehren

    I’m trying to copy this, too. I’m not there but this is as close as I’ve come: 2 (full) T yellow mustard, just under 2 T honey, 1 T Dijon, just under 2 T horseradish, 1 1/2 T mayo, 1 1/2 T lemon juice, 1-1 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1+tsp cayenne, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 fresh ground pepper, Pinch or two of ground dry mustard
    It’s not right, but I know some of these ingredients are pretty imperative for the sauce, particularly the turmeric and horseradish. Not sure if that helps or anything, but I give up! 🙂 Too much work for me. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Tess

      This sounds closer to the real deal. The recipe above is nowhere near McDonald’s hot mustard sauce. Way to much mustard powder and it gives it a very strong harsh after taste. You can taste the Horseradish in the real thing but the copy cats call for None and they are all the same. Just like the one above and they are all wrong. Im gonna try yours thanks Alexandra

    • ARose

      I made this recipe since the one givin by the website was completely off. This recipe is great though! The way I made it was a little different. I didn’t have any horse radish or lemon juice- it doesn’t taste like the hot mustard but as something completely different it’s an amazing sauce! Very picky and tangy- I’m definitely going to make this again!

  9. Brian

    the recipe says brown mustard, but the video looks like yellow mustard, so which is correct ? and if it’s brown mustard, I assume spicy brown ?

    • Alexandra Von Ehren

      In some of her other responses she’s said the mustard flavor/appearance varies from brand to brand and that McDonald’s probably has its own mustard recipe. I do not know what brand of brown mustard she uses for this, but it is the only “copy cat” of McDonald’s Hot Mustard I’ve come across that uses brown instead of yellow mustard. I’m not implying it’s incorrect, but in my own attempts to copy the recipe yellow mustard seemed appropriate for color/taste. (Note: I have not successfully copied it, so maybe that’s why!)

  10. Despiser_of_Libs

    I really liked this recipe, thanks for sharing. I added a Tbs of Mayo and skipped the Cayenne. Still had some kick but had some creaminess as well. Everyone said it tasted better than McDs. We used this sauce immediately so I can imagine it will be better after some time in fridge.

  11. Christin

    I just made a honey mustard that I thought tasted a lot like McDonalds Hot Mustard but it was much simpler!! I combined almost equal parts of a dijon mustard (it was Emeril’s New York Deli Style mustard) and honey. And thats it!

  12. ChrisGroff

    First things first: This doesn’t taste anything like McDonalds Hot Mustard sauce. HOWEVER… It still makes a fantastic sauce for other things. Great on burgers and hot dogs, and if you use honey instead of corn syrup you get a dynamite tangy honey mustard.

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you very much for your thoughts. I appreciate your input. What could have been changed to make it taste more like McDonald’s Hot Mustard?

      • ChrisGroff

        I think maybe paprika and nutmeg. Possibly mayo. It’s a bit too… “Mustardy” tasting. It’s such a difficult flavor to get.

      • stephaniemanley

        Different brands of mustard do work differently. They can taste slightly different. I am certain McDonald’s uses their own blend. I appreciate your other suggestions.

      • Alexandra Von Ehren

        Is it possible the spice you are thinking of is turmeric? In my own “investigating” (searching recipes/trying on my own) it seems turmeric is pretty essential for color/taste. I put my closest attempt above, but it’s not right. If you figure it out and have the time, please let me know. 🙂

      • Volusia912

        I got some today in my local restaurant. They have not had any for months. I always ask about it and the lady said someone accidentally ordered it. Oh yeah!

      • stephaniemanley

        Interesting, they said someone made a mistake? I hope it is back for real. I thought that it was the best sauce for dipping those chicken nuggets in!

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