Big Mac Sauce

McDonald’s Big Mac 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 and so much more.

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

McDonald’s Big Mac Special Flavor

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 homemade 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 special 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 special 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.

What makes this copycat recipe different?

I have one main ingredient difference from other copycat recipes. My use of India relish instead of sweet pickle relish or dill pickle relish<. India relish has a complex flavor of white onions, mustard seeds, garlic, and white vinegar, this complex pickle relish is what distinguishes this recipe from others. By using this ingredient you are bringing in a host of consistent flavors to add to your sauce. Other recipes may have you add things like onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and distilled vinegar to bring in these flavors individually.

I recommend you go to the grocery store and grab a jar of India relish.  

Big Mac Sauce Ingredients

This is all you need to make McDonald’s Big Mac sauce:

  • Mayonnaise – I recommend Hellman’s or Duke’s
  • India Relish – Heinz makes a variety found in most grocery stores
  • Sugar – we need a little sugar to balance the flavors
  • Thousand Island Dressing – this is giving you color without too much tomato flavor
Big Mac special sauce ingredients

How to make Big Mac Sauce

This recipe is very simple to make. Simply stir all of the ingredients together in a small bowl

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

homemade big mac special sauce in a small yellow bowl

Tips For Making and Storing Homemade 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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Use this sauce for the best homemade Big Mac burgers or a tasty sandwich.

I hope you give this 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.

a bowl of homemade Big Mac Special Sauce

More Tasty Sauces

Be sure to check out all my easy sauce recipes and the best copycat McDonald’s recipes.

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. 
4.89 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Copycat recipe, McDonald’s Recipes, Secret Sauce
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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

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. Mitchel E Jones

    I like several of the homey versions you publish. Big Mac sauce might be accurate, but I won’t try it. I decided in 1953 (I was 5 yr old) that every time I ate a Big Mac, a headache followed. I’ve tested it several times since, and there’s been numerous opportunities. Invariably I reach for the aspirin. The sandwich has the same ingredients as other varieties without the effect, just their tweaked tartar sauce, so….


      Try the 1968 McDonald’s Manager’s handbook for the original special sauce, it’s spectacular. It isn’t even 1000 Island dressing.
      It is just a few dashes of French dressing in that one. (Tastes just like the special sauce I know from McDonald’s, no Indian Relish, just 1 part regular sweet to 3 parts dill relish.)
      1000 Island was barely known until nor introduced to consumer market until after 1972. Maybe McD’s used 1000 Island in their later standardized version.
      There is about 8 or 9 separate ingredients in the original to include about 1 tsp of ketchup.

  2. SM Chef

    5 stars
    My husband and I quit fast food so we are excited to try this! I didn’t find India relish in the store 🙁 so we will improvise. I also thought the color seemed a little on the lighter side ( plus I am not the biggest fan of mayo) So i am trying with a bit more of the dressing, and splashed a tiny bit of the juice in.
    I am setting it in the fridge overnight and excited to try it tomorrow!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. Sandi

    Here is a version that tastes just like Big Mac Sauce
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 Tablespoons french dressing
    4 teas sweet pickle relish
    1 Tablespoon finely minced white onions
    1 teas white vinegar
    1 teas sugar
    1/8 teas salt
    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well. Cover and let set in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. It tastes 100% like McDonalds. Go ahead, try it

    • Trevor

      5 stars
      I understand that I am late, but your iteration of this sauce is off the chain!

      I walked in and my roommate was using it as a chip dip. [Redacted]

  4. Cat Reed

    I have used thousand island dressing on my burgers….and almost…but no…it is not the same sauce as McDonalds….i love that sauce.

    • Theresa

      I agree thousand island is not the same sauce. I also appreciate Stephanie posting these copyKat recipe’s. Ty

  5. kkbarringer

    The sauce is
    1 cup miricle whip
    2 Tbs. Dill relish
    2 Tbs sugar
    2 Tbs katchup
    mix well.
    I mix it to taste, so add or subtract what you like. We made this for our salad before they put thousand island in a bottle.
    That’s all mc Donalds uses

  6. Lorna Schinske

    I worked at a McDonalds in Ft Pierce FL in the late 1970’s. I opened up #10 cans of the “special sauce”. The labels said “Thousand Island Dressing”. Then the labels changed. The new labels (slapped on top of the old labels) said “McDonalds Special Sauce” yet was still the same old “Thousand Island Dressing” both on the label and in the can.

  7. DeeDee

    this is the recipe that i know of 1/4 cup salad dressing( miracle whip) 1/4 cup mayo, 3 tbs french dressing, 1/2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, 1 1/2 tbs. dill pickle relish , 1 tsp sugar 1 tbs hydrated onions. mix together heat in microwave 25 sec remove and stir repeat then place in refrig for hr before serving. enjoy !!

  8. Dweyer

    Can’t be true. Worked at McDonald’s for quite a few years and I’m positively sure there’s onion in the sauce.

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