How to Make Copycat McDonald’s Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

You can have copycat McDonald's sweet-and sour sauce ready in under 10 minutes!

If you’ve mastered making copycat McDonald’s McNuggets, the next mission is replicating a delectable dipping sauce. We don’t know about you, but the first one on our list is a homemade version of McDonald’s sweet-and-sour sauce.

Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of zip, this tasty sweet-and-sour sauce is a must-have whenever those magical golden arches are in sight (along with the new Big Mac sauce dip cup).

Between this easy, 10-minute recipe and our homemade McDonald’s Special Sauce recipe, you may never need to head to the drive-thru again.

McDonald’s Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Copycat Recipe

This recipe makes 1-3/4 cups of sweet-and-sour sauce.


  • 1-1/4 cups apricot preserves
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Step 1: Blend all ingredients

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Cover with the lid and blend until smooth.

Editor’s Tip: Not excited about busting out a full-size blender? Pick up one of our Test Kitchen’s favorite mini food processors. They’re great for all kinds of crowd-pleasing dips, dressings, sauces and spreads.

Step 2: Cook until thickened

Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Let cool.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t walk away! This sweet sauce can burn if you don’t keep an eye on it. Had a mishap? Here are our favorite ways to clean a burnt pan.

Step 3: Dip, dunk or drizzle

Serve with any kind of dippable snack, like chicken nuggets, egg rolls or one of these copycat McDonald’s recipes.

While sweet-and-sour sauce for dipping is typically enjoyed at room temperature or chilled, you can enjoy the sauce warm if you simply can’t wait for it to cool completely.

Tips for Making Copycat McDonald’s Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

pouring Copycat McDonald's Sweet and Sour Sauce onto chicken nuggetsTMB studio

What do you serve with McDonald’s sweet-and-sour sauce?

If you’re not in a McNuggets mood, don’t worry. This dipping sauce pairs with countless other recipes, like homemade egg rolls, copycat P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps or crispy air-fryer french fries.

How do you make this sweet-and-sour sauce spicy?

Turn up the heat by adding a dash of crushed red pepper flakes to your sweet-and-sour sauce. A teaspoon (or two) of garlic chili sauce, hot honey, or even sambal oelek would work wonderfully. You could also experiment with mixing in one of these homemade chili pepper sauce recipes.

How do you store homemade sweet-and-sour sauce?

Leftover copycat McDonald’s sweet-and-sour sauce should be kept refrigerated in an airtight storage container and enjoyed within 7 days. Check out this guide for more condiment storage tips.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.