Burger King zesty sauce has to be the most popular sauce the fast-food chain ever released.
There’s no need to count on the chain to provide you with this one-of-a-kind sauce, though! With this recipe, you can make as much of it as you like.
The combination of sweet, creamy, tart, savory, and spicy flavors makes not just onion rings, but anything it touches 10 times more delicious.
Sadly, Burger King hasn’t been able to supply unlimited amounts of this sauce since late 2019.
But that’s okay, because you can easily replicate it at home. With just a bunch of pantry staples and a secret ingredient, you’ll be one step closer to this dreamy, zesty sauce.
Burger King Zesty Sauce
Burger King has offered a myriad of sauces over the decades. There’s ranch, barbecue, sweet and sour, honey mustard, the list goes on and on.
The most beloved one, however, is their phenomenal zesty sauce. Most usually served alongside onion rings, it’s creamy, sweet, and savory with a special kick.
The secret ingredient? Horseradish.
If you’re a sucker for spicy food, this one’s definitely a must-try. It offers a special kind of heat that you can’t find in black pepper, cayenne, or any other pepper.
I’m so excited to share this copycat recipe with you guys! I’ve searched high and low for the most accurate replica, and after experimenting A LOT with different flavors, I finally figured it out.
What is Burger King’s Zesty Sauce Made Of?
While it is a pretty long roster, most of these ingredients are pretty common. You already probably have them in your kitchen!
- Mayonnaise – For the best flavor, use full-fat mayo.
- Yellow Mustard – For spice and tartness. Dijon or spicy brown work, too.
- Ketchup – For a sweet, tart, and tomatoey kick. It also adds a nice color to the sauce.
- Prepared Horseradish – The key ingredient that gives the zesty sauce its unique heat.
- Lemon Juice and Vinegar – Something tart and zesty to balance out the creaminess of the mayo.
- Granulated Sugar – A little bit of sweetness to contrast the spice and tartness.
- Salt – Whenever there’s sugar, there should always be salt. These two balance things out, resulting in a perfect harmony of flavors.
- Cayenne Pepper – For added heat.
- Soy Sauce – It gives the sauce a wonderful umami flavor.
What is Prepared Horseradish?
Horseradish is a root vegetable that looks a lot like ginger. It offers a unique kind of heat that truly packs a punch.
The heat wears off quickly, though. So, unlike with cayenne or black pepper, you won’t feel that stinging sensation for longer than a few seconds.
It’s the same root used to make wasabi and mustard.
Because it’s very strong, horseradish has to be grated and soaked in vinegar to dial down its heat.
You can find prepared horseradish in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores.
If you want to experience horseradish in its peak potential, find a fresh root and grate it yourself. The longer it’s been grated and suspended in vinegar, the less powerful its flavor will be.
Why is BK Out of Zesty Sauce?
Back in November 2019, there was a shortage of horseradish due to severe weather conditions in the Midwest, causing Burger King to stop producing their famous zesty sauce.
Silver Spring Foods, the world’s largest producer of horseradish, despite planting more horseradish than ever before, was confronted with strange weather patterns (i.e. wet fall, early frost, and huge snow melt) that interfered with the harvest.
The same conditions occurred with horseradish farmers in other parts of the country, as well as in Canada and Europe.
Even today, the sauce is still hard to come by. Most outlets still don’t have it on their menu. You’ll also most likely have to ask for it in stores that do.
Tips for the Best Sauce
- This dip is already pretty spicy, but if you want more heat, just add more horseradish or cayenne pepper.
- If you think you’ve added way too much spice, simply add more mayo to balance things out.
- Not a fan of mayo? You can reduce the amount and replace it with sour cream. You’ll still get that tangy flavor, minus the overly rich mayo aftertaste.
- Throw in some finely minced garlic to the mix for an aioli-like flavor.
- Let the sauce chill for at least 30 minutes. In fact, the longer you give it time for the flavors to marry, the better.
- Store the dip in an air-tight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 week.
What to Serve with Burger King Zesty Sauce
From onion rings and fries to sandwiches and steaks, the possibilities are endless. Serve your homemade Burger King zesty sauce with any of these dishes to make them even more terrific:
- Any air-fried or deep-fried good: apart from fries and onion rings, you can also dunk mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, and savory fritters in the creamy dip.
- Sandwiches – I’m talking hot dogs, burgers, or quesadillas – anything with bread and filling!
- Salad – Instead of the usual Caesar or Thousand Island dressing, how about the BK zesty sauce instead? It gives your salad mix-ins a creamy coating and a nice kick.
- Meaty entrees – Ribeye, prime rib, steak, chicken strips, you name it.
- Mashed potatoes – Make the already creamy side dish even richer and creamier.
- Deviled eggs – Use the dip as a replacement to mayo. It definitely adds a punch.
More Sauce Recipes You’ll Love
- A1 Steak Sauce
- Arby’s Sauce
- Papa John’s Garlic Sauce
- McDonald’s Hot Mustard Sauce
- Taco Bell Diablo Sauce
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