The perfect burger sauce is an essential part of a homemade burger! Not just for burgers, this homemade sauce is finger licking good and perfect for dipping chips! Made with everyday ingredients that you will already have in your fridge and pantry, my spicy burger sauce recipe can be whipped up fresh at any time and tastes delicious.
Sauce with everything!
I think that people are either in the wet food, or the dry food camp. I’m firmly on team wet food – I love stews with their rich sauces, roasts with extra gravy, curries and a thick juicy burger with extra sauce. Forget table manners when it comes to hamburgers. This is street food, and I want the type of burger where the sauce and juice will run down my chin after every bite!
The Best Burger Sauce
We all had our favourite takeaway burgers growing up. There was a real magic to those early, exotic trips to the burger bar, and whether it was the Wimpy Burger, the Whopper, or the Big Mac, sauce was crucial. I reckon that the best burger sauce is nicely (but not too) thick, creamy, tangy and has just the right amount of heat. I love a slightly spicy burger sauce, just like they serve with a Big Mac and in the higher-end burger joints and gastro pubs.
They are all remarkably similar, and a copycat version can be made in just a few minutes from everyday ingredients, so forget about buying all those branded products. Just whip up your own homemade burger sauce, adjusted perfectly to suit to your own taste, and tuck in.
I like a smooth burger sauce with a little bit of heat, but if you want some texture and extra heat then you can have it, with a few simple additions.
Burger Sauce Ingredients
- Mayonnaise – Use your regular mayonnaise. You don’t want anything too fancy, but it needs to be a proper full fat version, this is to go with a burger and chips or fries so its pretty pointless to try and save calories! I know I swap in yogurt in place of mayo in lots of recipes – but don’t do it here!
- Tomato Ketchup/Sauce – You want a nice rich, thick ketchup that actually tastes of tomatoes, not a thin, vinegary version.
- Pickle Juice – This is my secret ingredient for so many recipes, as it adds some acidity; use the vinegar from a regular jar of gherkins or dill pickles. If you want a bit more heat, use the juice from some pickled jalapenos or other chilli. If you don’t have jarred pickles to hand, use some white wine vinegar.
- Mustard – I used a smooth Dijon (supermarket’s own brand), but or you can substitute an American-style yellow mustard. What you do not want is English mustard, as it is far too hot and will overpower your sauce.
- Garlic Powder – Just a dash, to add some extra flavour, or use a little onion powder if you prefer.
- Finely diced onion or shallot – I’m not a fan of raw onion but if you love it, then add some. If you use raw onion, the sauce will only keep for 48 hours.
- Finely diced pickles – Use them to add texture and crunch.
- Sugar – I usually add a teaspoon, but whether you need it or not depends on the sweetness of your tomato ketchup.
How to Make Burger Sauce
Simply plonk all the smooth ingredients into a bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth. Taste and tweak it you suit your own preference, with more mayo for creaminess, extra garlic powder, more pickle juice for a tang or add a dash of chilli sauce for heat. Then stir in any chopped onion or pickles and check the flavour balance again.
My top tip for this burger sauce, and so many other recipes, is to let it rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and preferably an hour before serving. Then let it come back up to room temperature before you serve.
Resting allows all the flavours to mingle, get to know each other and form new and interesting relationships. Food has far less flavour when consumed chilled rather than that at room temperature. That’s why a cheap bottle of white wine will taste immeasurably better once it has been aggressively chilled.
How to Use Homemade Burger Sauce
My first choice is on a juicy burger, (did you know you can make air fryer burgers?), but we also rather like using it to dip fries or fat chips. You could equally use it with other fried treats, like pakora, fritters or onion rings. So good!
Leftover spicy burger sauce can be used as a salad dressing, or even over a baked sweet potato, rice or pasta. Or eat it from the jar with a spoon, it is that good!
If you like a spicier sauce, why not try my Easy Peri Peri Sauce too?
How Long Will it Keep?
The basic burger sauce recipe will keep for about 5 days in the fridge in a sealed container, but less if you have added fresh onion. I usually decant leftovers into an old clean jam jar.
If you enjoyed this burger sauce you will love my sauce recipes. Here are some of my favourites:-
- Curry Sauce
- Hot Cheese Dip
- Stilton Sauce
- Diane Sauce
- Chilli Sauce
- Garlic Sauce
- Mint Sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Peri Peri Sauce
Easy Burger sauce
- 3 tbs mayonnaise
- 2 tbs tomato ketchup
- 1 tbs pickle juice
- 2 tsp mustard
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbs onion or shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 tbs pickles (finely chopped)
- Put the smooth ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Check the flavour and adjust to taste.
- Stir through any onion or chopped pickles if using, and check again.
- Leave to stand in the fridge for 20 minutes, then bring up to room temperature to serve.
- Mayonnaise – Use your regular mayonnaise. I know I swap in yogurt in place of mayo in lots of recipes - but don't do it here!
- Tomato Ketchup/Sauce – You want a nice rich, thick ketchup that actually tastes of tomatoes.
- Pickle Juice – Use the vinegar from a regular jar of gherkins or dill pickles. If you want a bit more heat. If you don't have jarred pickles to hand, use some white wine vinegar.
- Mustard – Supermarket Dijon or any smooth American style mustard. Not English mustard!
- Garlic Powder – Just a dash, or use a little onion powder.
- Finely diced onion or shallot
- Finely diced pickles – Use them to add texture and crunch.
- Sugar – depends on the sweetness of your tomato ketchup.
- This recipe is 3 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
The messier a burger the better is my motto! I do love a good burger van, with everything added to my choice burger. This sauce is just perfect for those homemade versions and so easy to make.
I’m definitely a wet food person, lots of delicious sauce.
This sauce is amazing, and just like anything from other retailers, only better. I made mine with some added chilli flakes and it was delicious.
That sounds tasty, yummy!
Part of a good burger is a good sauce, and this ticks all the right boxes. Really good stuff!
It really can make all the difference.
This burger sauce is great for dipping wedges in. I added some sliced jalapenos for a bit of a kick, it was so good.
That sounds delicious, Tanya.
Really good recipe for really good sauce, and was delicious drizzled across dirty chips. Definitely a keeper.
Burger sauce is delicious on chips.
A delicious burger, like the kind you get at a really good street vender always has good sauce and lots of it. This makes a homemade burger just right, and don’t hold back. Got to be messy!
The sign of a good burger, chin mess!
I love that it is so easy to make your own burger sauce, and it tastes amazing. Not keen on shop bought varieties, nothing really is quite right. But this is delicious.
You can really appreciate homemade.
Sauce is always good on burgers, and making your own is a great idea. Tastier and easy to adapt.
Burgers do need sauce, yes!
This easy to make burger sauce makes a burger perfect. I can’t eat a burger without sauce, and ketchup just doesn’t cut it.
You do need a little more than ketchup for a burger.
This is the kind of delicious sauce you get on fancy burgers in fancy pubs! So good to make it, and really makes all the difference.
So glad you enjoyed it, Gemma.
I’m not a messy food fan, but a good sauce on a burger is essential and this homemade burger sauce is all kinds of delicious.
A good sauce on a burger is imperative.
Wow! Your sauce is as good, if not better than certain well known burger outlets! Really good stuff!
Thank you Connie, great that you enjoyed it.
This is the best burger sauce. I love oodles of the stuff on my burger, with cheese and pickles. Burger perfection.
That certainly sounds like burger perfection to me.
Great idea to make your own burger sauce, and this really is as good as it gets. Good on veggie and meat burgers alike.
So nice that you enjoyed it.
This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try!