Fast food restaurants are obsessed with their sauces. It’s probably a rite of passage in the service industry to debut a secret sauce, considering how many big-name chains have one: McDonald’s Big Mac sauce, Burger King’s Chicken Fry Sauce, In-N-Out’s secret spread, the Krabby Patty secret formula—the list goes on and on.
But the thing about secret sauces is, they rarely stay secret. The ingredients for the Big Mac special sauce are all on the McDonald’s website. In-N-Out’s spread is said to be just Thousand Island dressing and many who’ve tried copycat recipes agree.
Enter Chick-fil-A, the cow-saving fast food chain known for its simple yet delicious chicken sandwiches. Its signature Chick-fil-A sauce is so coveted that people buy (and sell) tubs of it on eBay. Luckily, you don’t have to go online to get your fill of this tangy spread. In fact, you don’t even need to go to Chick-fil-A.
As the company tweeted out in 2012, the Chick-fil-A sauce is just a mixture of honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and ranch dressing. Yes, that’s it. You can mix those three ingredients in your own kitchen anytime you have a craving and get the same sauce you thought only Chick-fil-A restaurants could provide.
With all the excitement over this recipe, it’s hard to believe the fast food chain once had no dipping sauces at all. It wasn’t until Chick-fil-A operator Hugh Fleming introduced his personal honey mustard recipe into the Virginia location he ran that customers could dip their food. One day, an employee accidentally mixed barbecue sauce into the honey mustard—and it became the special sauce we all know today.