Get that sauce without taking a loss.

  • 3 - 4 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. neutral barbecue sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
  • 1 T. honey (feel free to mix-and-match with melted table sugar or corn syrup; Chic-Fil-A doesn’t actually use any honey at all)
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • A few dashes of smoked paprika

Whisk all ingredients together and serve.


The official ingredients list on Chic-Fil-A sauce is as follows:

Sugar, soybean oil, water, corn syrup, corn-cider vinegar, distilled vinegar, tomato paste, salt, paprika, mustard seed, modified cornstarch, beet juice, onion*, garlic*, xanthan gum, propylene glycol alginate, natural flavor. *dehydrated

Soybean oil, water, cornstarch, and propylene glycol alginate are binders and texture/viscosity enhancers. None of them should have a notable effect on flavor. If you start with a base of mayonnaise, you’re most of the way there already, although the end product will be a little runnier than authentic Chic-Fil-A sauce (which IMO is ideal because then you can keep it in a squeeze bottle).

The beet juice is almost certainly for color, not flavor; beet juice is commonly used this way in industrial applications. Between the deep red of beet juice and the yellow of mustard seed, you get the signature neon orange color of Chic-Fil-A sauce.

Tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder are common flavors in barbecue sauce. Mustard seed and vinegar are (of course) the ingredients in yellow mustard. Some copycat recipes call for dijon mustard, which is a variation I haven’t tried yet.

“Natural flavor” is doing some heavy lifting here, as it often does. I suspect it accounts for some of the smoky flavor, which I’ve included by adding smoked paprika to my recipe (paprika is in the ingredients list as well, so it shouldn’t take the flavor off track). If you’re using a naturally smoky barbecue sauce, you may not need the smoked paprika at all. “Natural flavor” is also the entirety of the honey flavor, if in fact they take the term “honey mustard” seriously at all, which most food manufacturers do not.