Homemade Burger King Zesty Sauce


Perhaps one of the most addicting and delicious of all fast food condiments is Burger King’s famous Zesty Sauce. It’s almost indescribable in its flavor as it just seems like it descended from the heavens to be wed in holy matrimony to onion rings. But this copycat Burger King zesty sauce is not just for onion rings, it is also incredible with fries, fried pickles, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, tater tots, fish sticks, and just about anything else that’s fried and crispy.

Not only is Zesty Sauce great not for dipping but it is also as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. It hits all levels of the palate: there’s some sweetness, a little heat, and a little acidic tang. It’s got just the right amount of everything to keep everyone happy. The heat and the acid cut through the heavier, greasier, saltier fried foods for a perfect contrast. All those great flavors in zesty sauce are complemented by its delightful creamy texture.

zesty sauce

Now, if you’re like many others, you have probably consigned yourself to thinking that the Zesty Sauce is some top-secret recipe under lock and key. You might think this sauce is not replicable by the likes of mere mortals and the only place to experience this culinary joy is in the hallowed dining room of Burger King itself. But that’s where you’d be wrong.

Luckily, this sauce is actually quite a breeze to duplicate at home, requiring just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Better yet, all it takes to put them together is a stir and a taste. After you learn how to make this delicious sauce, you may never have to return to Burger King again. I might even dare to say that this recipe could actually be better than the original. That’s for you to decide, but there’s no disputing that once you know how to make your own Zesty Sauce anything dippable (and a whole lot more) will be that much tastier for years to come!

What’s in Burger King Zesty Sauce?

Of course, the mystery behind the tastiness of Zesty Sauce is trying to figure out what goes into it. Technically, nobody can be 100% sure of exactly everything that goes into the Burger King version, but all of the main ingredients are pretty easy to discern. If you look across the internet, you may find several different copycat recipes with a little bit of variation in a couple of ingredients, but everyone seems to agree on the big ones.

First, Zesty Sauce always has a mayo base. If you desire, you can substitute in low-fat mayo. From there, these are the other ingredients that absolutely need to be in Zesty Sauce: Prepared horseradish, ketchup, sugar, and cayenne. I also prefer to add some yellow mustard, just for the tangy mustard flavor. In many recipes, you may see lemon juice as the acid, but I sub it out for apple cider vinegar because I like the fruitier taste of apple cider vinegar. This is just a matter of preference though—make your zesty sauce your own! 

How to Make Burger King Zesty Sauce

Burger King Zesty Sauce is as easy to make as it is delicious. Simply gather all the ingredients together, mix them in a bowl, and taste for seasoning. If you have a bowl and a spatula, you’re all set. Remember that you can tweak the proportions here and there to your liking. If you prefer something really spicy, feel free to add some extra cayenne and horseradish or even a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. If you have kids eating onion rings with Zesty Sauce, maybe tone down the heat a little bit and add a bit more mayo and ketchup.

Better yet, you can even make separate batches in two separate bowls. Make one sweeter batch for the kids and one spicier batch for the adults! This recipe is also very easy to scale up or down. If you have a big party and need a bunch of sauce, you can easily make this in larger batches.

Burger King Zesty Sauce

4 from 105 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: AppetizersCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


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Burger King’s zesty sauce is the perfect dip to compliment your onion rings, fries and burgers. You’re going to find this recipe really useful as the sauce can go with everything.


  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon 1 ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can add more or less as desired)

  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard (you can substitute Dijon or spicy brown mustard if you prefer)

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon 1 kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 black pepper


  • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the vinegar and the sugar. Stir together and mix until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula. Be sure that all the ingredients are fully incorporated together.
  • Taste for seasoning. Put in the fridge and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving, this will allow the flavors to marry together. After letting it sit, taste again to be sure the seasoning is still on point.
  • Store covered in the fridge for up to 7 days. Serve with onion rings, fries, tater tots, fish sticks, mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, burgers, or anything else that you see fit!

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If you’ve ever been to Burger King and had the onion rings, you’ve probably fallen head over heels for the delectable Zesty Sauce. As such, you might’ve wondered to yourself how to make that heavenly sauce. Now, there’s no need to wonder any longer. Armed with this simple, easy, delicious recipe, you can start serving this tasty, addictive condiment with a whole host of different foods. Naturally, at your next party or gameday get together, all your Burger King-loving friends will be amazed at how you recreated the signature Zesty Sauce. Even if someone’s not a fan of burger king, the sauce is a crowd favorite that everyone will be sure to love. So now all that’s left to do is figure out when you’ll whip up a batch.

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