Copycat McDonald’s Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Copycat McDonald's Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Total Time
Prep/Cook Time: 15 min.
You can have copycat McDonald's sweet-and sour sauce ready in under 10 minutes!

Updated: Mar. 26, 2024

The right dipping sauce makes all the difference. 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 copycat 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. But 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.

Copycat McDonald’s Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Ingredients

  • Apricot preserves
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Yellow mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder


Step 1: Blend all ingredients

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

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 to 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.

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.

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

Leftover McDonald’s sweet-and-sour sauce should be kept refrigerated in an airtight storage container and enjoyed within seven days. We don’t recommend freezing leftover sauce, as the cold temperature will ruin the texture.

McDonald’s Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Tips

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.

Copycat McDonald's Sweet and Sour Sauce

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 1-3/4 cups.


  • 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


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 81 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 39mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Re-create your favorite dipping sauce at home with this McDonald's copycat recipe. It's sweet and tangy just like the real deal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen