Erica Landis

McDonald's Sauces Reviewed From Worst To Must-Dip

When you need McNuggets, the choices for McDonald's dipping sauces can be overwhelming. Whether you play it safe with their popular tangy barbeque sauce or go for one of McDonald's sweet and sour based special sauces, you won't be sorry.

According to the McDonald's website, these are the current dipping sauces in rotation: Tangy Barbecue, Spicy Buffalo Sauce, Creamy Ranch, Honey Mustard, Plain Honey, and Sweet 'n Sour Sauce. But with the world in a tailspin of supply issues, you really never know what choices you'll have for delicious condiments to dip your chicken or fries into.

McDonald's "Off-Menu" Sauces

If you're not shy, you can always ask for a cup of Big Mac Sauce on the side for your dipping pleasure. The signature sauce of the famous McDonald's burger masterpiece also tastes amazing on chicken and fries.

Don't forget about tartar sauce packets that are normally given with a filet-o-fish. The mayo-based relish tanginess and sweet chili sauce goes great with chicken too.

Erica Landis

Other sauces have come and gone for a limited time. Oh, to be a fly on the wall of the Mickey D's dipping sauce engineers meetings! Past sauces have included Szechuan Sauce, Chipotle BBQ, and the two new sauces that were part of the BTS (a Korean pop group) meal, Sweet Chili and Cajun.

Another slightly offbeat sauce is plain McDonald's honey. Always available for hot tea, but did you know that plain grade-A honey is amazing as a nugget dipping sauce?

I recently went into my local McDonald's so I could very politely ask for two of each of the currently available sauces. And a 20 piece chicken nuggets, of course. The nice lady waived off my offer to pay for the excessive sauce request. Kindness matters, especially in fast food.

Erica Landis

So here's what I got...

Tangy Barbecue Sauce

This is the default sauce usually offered with nuggets. It's very close to ketchup with a rich tomato base, But there's also a sweet hint of molasses and a slight smokey flavor. The Tangy BBQ sauce is a kid favorite for sure because of its mild appeal.

Spicy Buffalo Sauce

This one surprised me with its burst of peppery flavor in addition to the back-of-the-throat heat. It's not just hot but it's creamy and slightly sweet as well. I'd never tried it before today and wouldn't normally go for anything buffalo-style spicy. Aesthetically, the orange sauce color-matched the packaging exactly which made me laugh.

Creamy Ranch Sauce

Can you ever go wrong with ranch dressing? That was rhetorical. The answer of course is nope. McDonald's Creamy Ranch Sauce is no exception. The buttermilk tartness is perfect with the famous nugget crispy breading. I like ranch dressing on my salad but this was the first time I'd dipped a nugget in it and I liked it a lot!

Hot Mustard Sauce

Hot Mustard isn't available everywhere. It was actually discontinued in 2015 as a poor seller but it's still going strong in New Jersey! We like a strong and spicy flavor here and that's what this dipping sauce gives to your chicken nuggets. It's creamy with a dark dijon color. I love dipping my fries in it too. Your lips will burn and you'll like it.

Sweet 'N Sour Sauce

This is the least visually appealing sauce with its baby food-like appearance. But its taste is actually refreshing with apricot and peach puree at the top of the ingredients list. Heavier on the sweet than the sour flavors, this dipping sauce is mild and tasty. The mild flavor got lost after tasting the spicier sauces I had first.

Honey Mustard Sauce

McDonald's Honey Mustard Sauce is a popular choice to slather on chicken sandwiches. Dipping nuggets into honey mustard is the perfect sweet and tangy combo. My local Mcdonald's was out of honey mustard this trip but usually, they have it and it's creamy and delicious.