Make your own McDonald's sweet and sour sauce at home! It's easy to make and ready in 5 minutes. Serve this sweet and tangy sauce with all your favorites.
If you love McDonald's sweet and sour sauce packets, you're in luck! Homemade sweet and sour sauce is easy-breezy to make and most of the ingredients are pantry staples.
I keep apricot jam and pineapple juice on hand just to make this sauce. It's sweet, tangy, and downright addictive! Perfect for your McNuggets or homemade nuggets and fries. I personally love it with Costco's chicken meatballs.
You can make this sweet and sour sauce recipe in 2 minutes! No cooking required.
Apricot jam - The not-so-secret ingredient to McDonald's sweet and sour sauce! It's crucial for the right flavor. If you can't find apricot, peach works in a jam, but the flavor is slightly different.
Pineapple juice - Thins out the jam and adds a slight tang! You can use juice from the can or the carton.
Vinegar - For a slight zip and to cut all the sweetness. I used white vinegar, but any neutral vinegar works fine. Apple cider vinegar is a good option too.
Soy sauce - For a salty, umami flavor. Soy sauce is NOT gluten-free. Be sure to use Tamari soy sauce if you can't have gluten.
Mustard - Contributes to the tang!
Spices - You need garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and kosher salt. If you only have table salt, cut the amount in half!
How to Make McDonald's Sweet and Sour Sauce
It's super simple! Most recipes call for cooking the sauce. I personally don't think it needs it. You can simmer the sauce to thicken it up if you like though!
Here's what to do:
- In a medium bowl, combine the apricot jam, pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, yellow mustard, and spices.
- Stir until smooth.
- If your sauce is chunky from the jam, transfer the mixture to a mini food processor. Alternatively, you can use a tall cup and an immersion blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!
- You don't need to cook the sauce. The apricot jam gives it a good thick consistency. If you want to cook it, transfer it to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Whisk and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.
- If you don't mind a chunky sauce, you can skip blending it too. Most apricot preserves contain large pieces of apricot in them. To achieve a smooth texture, blend the sauce in a small food processor or with an immersion blender.
Homemade sweet and sour sauce is easy to customize!
- Gluten-free - McDonald's sweet and sour sauce is NOT gluten-free! It contains wheat because it has soy sauce in it. Just swap regular soy sauce with Tamari soy sauce to make it gluten-free.
- Spicy - Try making it spicy! Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne.
- Jam - If you can't find apricot jam, you can use peach jam. The flavor will be different, but it still tastes delicious.
Honestly, feel free to douse this delicious sauce on anything that sounds good! Here's a few ideas to get you started:
- Dipping sauce for nuggets, fries, chicken meatballs, egg rolls, etc.
- Glaze for salmon, pork or chicken! Brush it on the outside for a sweet and savory vibe.
- Use it as a sweet spread for sandwiches! Perfect for chicken, turkey, or pork!
- Drizzle on roasted vegetables for a sweet side dish.
Sweet and Sour Sauce - McDonald's Copycat
- Measuring cups & spoons
- ⅓ cup apricot preserves or jam
- 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
- 1½ teaspoons vinegar
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon yellow mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium bowl, combine the apricot jam, pineapple juice, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and kosher salt.
- Whisk until combined.
- If your jam or preserves is chunky, you can transfer the mixture to a mini food processor and pulse until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a stick blender to blend into a smooth sauce.