Fry Sauce

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  • This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.

    Have you ever heard of Mayo Ketchup? I hadn’t either until a trip to Puerto Rico a few years back. They serve all of their fries with Fry Sauce or mayo ketchup. Hubby fell in love and now, we make this delicious sauce it all the time.

    close up of fry sauce in a white bowl with chive topping

    But here in the United States, it is just called fry sauce or special sauce. Nearly every chain has their own variation of some combination of ketchup, mayo and seasonings.

    What is Fry Sauce?

    Turns out all the special sauce consists of is mayonnaise, ketchup and garlic powder. Real special. Well, turns out, most craveable fast food restaurants have the same mayo-ketchup base, but with a few extra ingredients.

    Whopper sauce, In-n-Out Burger and Cali Burger all add minced dill pickles and a little bit of sweet and tangy with sugar and vinegar to their mix.

    overhead bowl of fry sauce with homemade french fries on a wood cutting board

    How to Make It

    Use simple ingredients to whip this verstile sauce, the perfect accessory to a plate of French fries.

    • Mayonnaise– this is the base of the sauce. Some folks that are adverse to mayonnaise can use a plain Greek yogurt, but make sure that it is Greek because it is thicker because it has been drained and thus more the same consistency as mayo.
    • Ketchup– The other prime ingredient in the sauce, there isn’t much you can swap it out with, but if you want to try to make your own to control the sugar levels.
    • Dill Pickles– or relish, wither way, try to drain out the pickle brine.
    • Yellow Mustard– or get fancy with Dijon mustard!
    • Fine Sea Salt- Please use sea salt for a cleaner salt flavor, not table salt that could potentially give a metallic aftertaste.
    • Ground black pepper– Or white pepper if you want a milder taste.
    • Sugar- Sugar helps balance all the acidic flavors. Natural sweeteners can be used.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar- The signature tang comes from vinegar. Apple cider is my favorite, but white wine or plain vinegar can also be used.
    • Top with sliced scallions (green onions) or chives. I like that extra fresh crunch and also color.
    glass bowl of ingredients for fry sauce
    Yes, these are all in a bowl, but I put them in the food processor next.

    Toss all of the ingredients in a small food processor (also my most used of kitchen appliances, I suggest everyone have one!) and give it a few blitzes until it smooths out. You can also hand mix it in a small bowl, but it will have more texture. For best results, cover and refrigerate it for at least an hour to let the flavors marry.

    fry sauce in a glass bowl with a whisk

    Other options include adding a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, bacon or a little bit of pickle juice or lemon juice.

    close up of a whisk with thick and creamy fry sauce on it

    What to Use it On

    Clearly, just use the homemade fry sauce for dipping homemade french fries, but I also used it on my Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries. If you’ve never had them, you don’t even know what you are missing.

    Use fry sauce for  onions rings and Onion Strings, tater tots, chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, potato wedges or slather it onto a burger, hot dog or chicken sandwich. Also great for dipping chicken wings!

    french fries dipping into a bowl of fry sauce

    Make Ahead and Storage

    Make this classic fry sauce ahead of time and place in the refrigerator for up a week in an airtight container. I do not recommend freezing anything mayo based.

    fry sauce recipe for pinterest

    More dipping sauce recipes:

    Mustard Aioli Sauce
    mustard aioli sauce with tater tots
    This zesty Mustard Aioli comes together in less than 5 minutes and is the perfect dipping sauce and sandwich topper for any meal or BBQ.
    Bacon Jalapeno Fry Sauce
    white bowl of bacon jalapeno fry sauce with fries
    Bacon Jalapeno Fry Sauce is the best spicy dipping sauce for French Fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings and even deli sandwiches!
    Chipotle Ranch Dressing
    chipotle ranch dressing pouring on to a salad
    Add some zing to your homemade ranch with this Chipotle Ranch Dressing recipe! Made with only 4 simple ingredients.

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    close up of mayo ketchup in a white serving bowl
    bowl of fry sauce with chives
    Print Recipe
    4.30 from 27 votes

    Fry Sauce

    Fry Sauce is the best dipping sauce for French Fries, hamburgers, deli sandwiches or onion rings. Easy to make and it stays fresh in the fridge for days!
    Prep Time5 mins
    Total Time5 mins
    Course: Condiment
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: fry sauce recipe, special sauce, zesty sauce
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 114kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Place the mayo, ketchup, pickles, vinegar, mustard, pepper, sugar and salt to a small food processor or bowl. Blitz or whisk until well combined.
    • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings sections.



    Other options include adding a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, jalapenos or bacon.


    Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 47mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
    image of jessica formicola

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