Burger King Zesty Sauce: Copycat Recipe

Bangkok, TH - DECEMBER 21, 2017: American Burger King's branch are franchised in the base ground floor in the Siam Paragon, the most luxury shopping mall in Bangkok.

Burger King Zesty Sauce: Copycat Recipe

Burger King is the world's fifth-largest fast-food chain. It serves over 11 million guests globally every day. One of Burger King's most popular sauces is the Zesty Sauce, known for its combination of sweet, creamy, tart, and savory flavors that enhance the taste of their onion rings.

However, it is not just for onion rings. Many fans enjoy using this sauce on various other menu items. Despite the popularity of Zesty Sauce, you typically have to ask for it when ordering at the restaurant. Burger King has also experienced shortages of its famous sauce, leading to social media outcry.

The high demand for Zesty Sauce may have made it more appealing, but it also led some people to feel desperate enough to try and make their own Zesty Sauce at home. If you are one of these people, our Zesty Sauce copycat recipe will allow you to enjoy this delicious sauce whenever and however you want.

Homemade crunchy fried onion rings with tomato sauce
Burger King's Zesty Sauce originated as a condiment for their deep fried onion rings.

©Lesya Dolyuk/Shutterstock.com

What Is Burger King's Zesty Sauce Made Of?

Burger King's Zesty sauce combines mayo, yellow mustard, ketchup, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce. Fans of this sauce particularly enjoy using it as a dip for onion rings, as it adds a pleasant kick of heat and acidity to the flavor.

Burger King's Zesty sauce resembles the dipping sauce served with Outback Restaurant's Bloomin' Onion. Both sauces include horseradish and cayenne pepper, giving them a unique flavor.

Spoon with spicy horseradish sauce over table, closeup
Horseradish is a key ingredient in Burger King's Zesty Sauce.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Can You Buy Burger King's Zesty Sauce?

Burger King introduced its Zesty Sauce in 2001 as a dipping sauce for their improved onion rings. However, it is not always available on Burger King's menu. When it is offered, you typically have to request it. Despite its popularity, Burger King does not sell this sauce by the jar.

Hand Man in car receiving coffee in drive thru fast food restaurant. Staff serving takeaway order for driver in delivery window. Drive through and takeaway for buy fast food for protect covid19.
Even when Zesty Sauce is available from Burger King, you typically have to ask for it by name.


Did Burger King Discontinue Their Zesty Sauce?

In 2019, Burger King ran out of Zesty Sauce due to a global horseradish shortage. There were speculations online that the popular sauce was being discontinued, which prompted an outcry from Zesty Sauce lovers on social media. Some Zesty Sauce fans even swore they would never eat at Burger King again if the sauce did not make a comeback.

Burger King released a statement explaining why some of its restaurants would be out of their Zesty Sauce for five months or longer. As a result, those craving Zesty Sauce started sharing their copycat recipes online to help fans get through the shortage.

A woman holding a smartphone with a bad feeling emoticon on screen at a restaurant. concept of evaluating customer satisfaction on service levels and recommending that stores should improve.
When Burger King faced a Zesty Sauce shortage in 2019 due to a global horseradish scarcity, some devoted fans pledged to boycott the chain until the sauce returned.

©Midnight Studio TH/Shutterstock.com

What to Serve with Copycat Burger King Zesty Sauce?

Once you perfect making this delicious sauce, you will find that it complements a wide variety of dishes. The rich and savory flavors of the sauce enhance the tastes of different foods, including many meats and vegetables. Consider using this copycat sauce on the following foods.

  • Burgers and Sandwiches – Use this sauce as a tangy spread on your burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, or wraps.
  • Chicken – This sauce is ideal for chicken nuggets and chicken strips.
  • French Fries – Take a break from ketchup and level up your French Fries. 
  • Fried Appetizers or Vegetables – This is a great dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks and breaded or tempura vegetables. 
  • Salad – Instead of Thousand Island or Ranch dressing, use this creamy homemade sauce instead. 
Pouring Dressing on Garden Salad on a light green cloth and light blur background
Zesty Sauce is an excellent substitute for Thousand Island or Ranch dressings on salads.

©Chris LayKK/Shutterstock.com

How Long Can I Store This Copycat Zesty Sauce?

Store your homemade zesty sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about one to two weeks. You can freeze the zesty sauce, but it is important to note that it may undergo some changes in texture when thawed. Unfortunately, creamy sauces containing mayonnaise can separate or become watery after freezing and thawing. If you plan to freeze any leftovers, be sure to store the sauce in a freezer-safe container and seal it tightly. Label the container with the date and then place it in the freezer. It should last for up to three months.

Young man's hands stirring sauce for spaghetti on ceramic hob
While it is possible to freeze Zesty Sauce, its taste and texture may change slightly upon reheating. Sauces containing mayonnaise may separate after being frozen and thawed.


In Summary

If you are a fan of Burger King's Zesty Sauce and have trouble finding it, our copycat recipe will help you through any Burger King shortages. You can also use your homemade Zesty Sauce on a variety of foods, such as hamburgers, mozzarella sticks, and fried vegetables. Once you perfect your homemade sauce, you may never feel the need to order it at Burger King again.

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Top view of horseradish mustard in a small dish on a white background.

Burger King Zesty Sauce: Copycat Recipe

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  • Author: Bobbie Morris
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Serve this Copycat Burger King Zesty Sauce with your favorite dishes like burgers, fries, or chicken nuggets. Enjoy your homemade version of this classic fast-food condiment!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 drops soy sauce


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, ketchup, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt, and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

  2. Add the cayenne pepper to the mixture. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of spiciness. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute the cayenne pepper throughout the sauce.

  3. Finally, add the soy sauce to the mixture. The soy sauce adds depth of flavor and richness to the sauce. Mix well to incorporate the soy sauce evenly into the sauce.

  4. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, sugar, or cayenne pepper according to your preference.

  5. Store it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Prep Time: 10
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