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McBreakthrough: An ‘Official’ Home ‘Secret Sauce’ Recipe

There are thousands of recipes online for McDonald’s ‘Special Sauce’. But Big Mac fans say none really captures the iconic flavour. Now, a former McD’s chef offers an ‘official’ Special Sauce formula…

Big Mac Combo - © 2024 - McDonald'sThe Official Big Mac Combo

It’s been a Holy Grail-like quest for millions of McFans spanning decades since the Big Mac premiered, in 1968. And folks began to speculate on what made its ‘Special Sauce’ so special.

But now the search may be over. A former McDonald’s corporate chef has spilled the beans. And Mike Haracz knows a lot of authentic culinary McSecrets.

The recipe

Without further ado… Here’s Haracz’s recipe for making real McD’s Secret Sauce at home”

1 cup / 250 ml mayonnaise
1/4 cup / 60 ml sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons / 30 ml Dusseldorf Mustard
1 teaspoon / 5 ml white wine vinegar.
1 1/4 teaspoons /6.5 ml  of paprika
1 teaspoon / 5 ml of onion powder
1 teaspoon / 5 ml of granulated garlic
1/8 teaspoon / 1 pinch white pepper

Couldn’t be easier..

“All you gotta do is mix it all together,” he says, in his viral Tik Tok video. “As you can see, there is no ketchup in this recipe. The color you get from Big Mac sauce is just from paprika.”

One final step: The chef says to let the finished sauce sit for about 30 minutes before you try it. That’s what I recommend for any mayo-based sauce, or any recipe that uses mayo-based creamy dressing. Resting lets the flavours meld and marry for a superior result.

“This is as close as you are going to get,” Haracz adds.

Tips and tricks

First of all… You may have trouble getting Dusseldorf Mustard. And if you can find it, you’ll probably end up spending paying an outrageous price at some deli. Fan feedback to Haracz’s vid suggests 1 tsp. of Dijon plus 1 of French’s Yellow mustard as a direct substitute.

If you really like McD’s Secret Sauce, you should consider making it up in large batches. Just multiply the ingredient amounts accordingly. This sill make it easier to accurately measure the smaller amounts, which in the original recipe, range down to ‘1/8 tsp.!

And… Any kind of mayo will do. But real (egg-based) mayonnaise is recommended for best results.

My take

I’m no huge fan of the iconic Big Mac. But I respect the adoration true fans harbour for the iconic menu item. And I have confidence (by proxy, sort of) that Haracz’s recipe is ‘as close as you are going to get’.

But I do wonder about the relatively lengthy ingredients list. I wonder if McDs actually goes so far as to use all those things in it’s own, official sauce? Or do they have a commercially tweaked formula what uses artificial flavours (and colours?) to produce the ‘official’ flavour?

One thing I do know is, Haracz’s recipe contains no salt. But the Nutrition Facts for the Official Special Sauce lists 140 mg of salt – 1/6 of the average adult’s total daily allowance in one small serving…

Happy hacking!

~ Maggie J.