Big Mac Sauce

McDonald’s Secret Sauce isn’t a secret anymore. The Big Mac special sauce is easy to make and can be made in a couple of minutes.  Although the McDonald’s Special Sauce goes well on a Big Mac, it also goes well on a sandwich.

homemade Big Mac special sauce in a small bowl and two homemade Big Mac burgers

There is no more iconic burger in the world than McDonald’s Big Mac. Immortalized with its own jingle and seared into the memories of hundreds of millions of people worldwide, the Big Mac is a symbol of Americana that is equally recognizable whether you are in Philadelphia or The Philippines. There is no doubt that what elevates the Big Mac from just a double burger with cheese to the ultimate quick-serve burger is the Big Mac secret sauce. The Big Mac sauce is creamy with just a bit of tang and spice that works well with the richness of the meat and cheese.

Believe it or not, you can purchase Big Mac sauce on its own, but it will cost you. McDonald’s is making limited quantities available to consumers, but when they are gone, they are gone. Bottles of the sauce are fetching ridiculous prices of up to 10,000 dollars on sites such as eBay. The good news is that you don’t have to take out a loan to enjoy Big Mac sauce at home. This quick and easy recipe will show you how to make Big Mac sauce just as good as the original.

The Birth of the Big Mac

The Big Mac was first cooked back in 1967 by a franchisee in Pittsburgh named Jim Delligatti. At first, he only served the creation at his restaurants, but the burger’s popularity quickly grew. Within a year, the Big Mac began popping up on McDonald’s menu boards across the region and then the country. In the early days, the Big Mac sauce recipe varied amongst different parts of the US, and it wasn’t until 1972 that McDonald’s standardized the recipe. Two years later, the famous jingle was first released, and the rest is the stuff of fast-food legend.

What is Big Mac Sauce?

A common misconception is that the Big Mac secret sauce is just Thousand Island dressing in disguise. It isn’t. Although Thousand Island dressing is a significant component of the recipe, the Big Mac secret sauce is distinctively different enough to consider as a unique sauce. The big secret to the secret sauce is the addition of Indian relish. The recipe for Indian relish calls for red bell peppers and onions mixed with vinegar and red pepper flakes. This mixture gives the Big Mac sauce a bit of a kick and helps to thicken it up. Indian relish is available in most larger supermarkets or online, but if you can’t find it ready-made, you can always use sweet pickle relish, if you are feeling adventurous you may want to try making a highly rated version of Indian relish from All Recipes.

Tips For Making and Storing Big Mac Sauce

    • Try to make-ahead for the best taste. Like many sauces, it can take time for all the flavors in a homemade secret sauce to blend. Make the sauce at least a few hours before you plan to use it and keep it covered in the fridge.
    • Don’t use cold sauce. Remove a small portion of the sauce from the refrigerator and let it warm up while you cook. Just remember to throw away any remaining warm sauce to avoid getting sick.

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Special Sauce Ingredients

This is all you need to make big mac special sauce:

      • Mayonnaise
      • India Relish
      • Sugar
      • Thousand Island Dressing

Big Mac special sauce ingredients

Simply mix all the ingredients together.

Let sauce stand for 20 minutes before using so all the flavors can come together.

homemade big mac special sauce in a small yellow bowl

Use this sauce for the best homemade Big Mac burgers or a tasty sandwich.

I hope you give this a recipe a try and be sure to check out my many other copycat recipes, and you can be the judge on how close they taste to what is in the restaurant.

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homemade Big Mac special sauce in a small bowl and two homemade Big Mac burgers

McDonald’s Secret Sauce aka Big Mac Sauce

You can recreate McDonald's Big Mac Special Sauce at home. 
4.77 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Copycat recipe, McDonald's Recipes, Secret Sauce
Servings: 16
Calories: 104kcal


  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons India relish, drained Heinz makes India relish
  • 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing


  • Mix all ingredients well. Let stand for at least 20 minutes, allowing to sit overnight is desired.



Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 2mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

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. Peggy

    2 stars
    My husband worked at McDonald’s when he was a teenager. They used to have to make Big Mac sauce when they ran out of it. It was not this recipe. They used mayo, tarter sauce and ketchup. Ketchup hid the taste of the tarter sauce. So, idk about this recipe.

    • Stephanie

      I don’t know when your husband was a teenager … but I imagine many franchisee’s did different things to make this happen in a pinch. I am sorry you found my recipe lacking.

    • Cat G

      This does not taste like Big Mac sauce at all. It definitely has some thousand islands dressing and this you say tarter sauce? I don’t think this is an original recipe!!

    • Gary

      5 stars
      This was very good. I used pickle relish and it tasted great on a sandwich and a burger. Thanks you, I will be using this spread quite often and will try the India relish next time.

  2. Steve k

    ….look imagine its 1967 and you re in your roadside Golden Arches Kitchen imagining a hook to get customers in the door. You look around the kitchen and you see; ketchup, relish, mayo, and yellow mustard on the counter….then it hits you, 4 great tastes, would taste great together!! I wonder what all these would these would taste like if I mixed them together???….and Viola!…..Special Sauce, withe ‘secret’ ingredients.
    I think logic tells you Special Sauce is simply: Mayo, Ketchup, Relish and Yellow Mustard.
    Try it, it tastes Exactly like special sauce, besides who ever heard of 1000 Island Dressing in 1967?

    • Cat G

      Ok did more research after reading this information. You are correct thousand islands dressing was invented in 1972 very interesting!! Maybe McDonald’s adopted the use of the dressing but the dressing has tomatoes and the secret sauce does not so curious as to who is right. There are a couple other recipes stating they are the copy cat secret sauce…

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