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Easy Homemade Fry Sauce Recipe (Utah Style)

This fry sauce recipe has just the right amount of tanginess!

Years ago I posted about Mississippi Comeback Sauce, and it reminded me an awful lot of my favorite Utah-style fry sauce recipe! If you’ve ever eaten at a burger joint in Utah or Idaho (whether Crown Burger, Arctic Circle, Sconecutter, etc.), you may have already encountered fry sauce. It’s practically a state treasure, and definitely up there with the best tasting condiments ever.

Utah-based burger chain Arctic Circle claims to have invented fry sauce in the 1940s, but combinations of ketchup and mayonnaise are not exactly unique! There’s an Argentinian version called “golf sauce” or salsa rosada, a German version called rott weiss (“red white”), and many others besides. Variations of this ketchup mayo sauce recipe are enjoyed worldwide!

The secret to a tangy fry sauce recipe is pickle juice!

It wasn’t until a friend of mine opened a hamburger joint not too long ago that I learned the key to making the best fry sauce at home. As odd as it might sound, it’s a super simple ingredient: pickle juice! The delicious tanginess of pickle juice (or pickle brine) elevates an otherwise pedestrian combination of mayonnaise and ketchup into the creamy, savory fry sauce Utahns know and love.

Give this easy fry sauce recipe a try the next time you make homemade french fries or reheat leftover fries. (Bonus points if you make it with homemade mayo — it really makes a difference!)

How To Make Fry Sauce As A Dip Or Condiment

A basic fry sauce recipe is simply mayo, ketchup, pickle sauce, and onion powder.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3-4 tsp pickle juice 
Simply stir the fry sauce ingredients together.

Directions:

Mix together the mayo, ketchup, and onion powder in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Add the pickle juice one teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition, to taste, then transfer your finished homemade fry sauce dip to an airtight container for storage.

You can use any kind of pickle juice, dill or sweet. They’ll have slightly different flavors, so experiment to find the one you find the tastiest. Trust me, both are fabulous!

Homemade Utah Fry Sauce Recipe - this sauce is a staple dip in Utah!

Storing And Using Homemade Fry Sauce

I like to make just enough fry sauce for a meal, but sometimes I end up with leftovers. Store leftover fry sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

It makes a great dipping sauce for french fries and other foods, including smashed potatoes, potato wedges, onion rings, corn dogs, chicken wings, and jalapeño poppers. I love it with chicken nuggets too (though I won’t say no to a good honey mustard sauce!) You can dip most crispy snack foods into this amazing sauce!

We also like to use this homemade fry sauce recipe as a dressing or condiment — it makes a fantastic addition to burgers, hot dogs, and the like. It has a great sweet and tangy flavor as is, but occasionally I’ll stir in a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce for added umami.

There is no limit to what you can add or replace in a fry sauce recipe.

BONUS: Customize This Fry Sauce Recipe

The basic recipe is tried and true, but there are endless variations on fry sauce you can try if you want to expand your horizons. Some people swap out the ketchup for bbq sauce or chili sauce, while others use Miracle Whip rather than standard mayonnaise.

As I said before, you can also experiment with different pickle juices, spices, and other flavorings. You might want to add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar or even horseradish! You could swap the garlic powder for onion powder (or use a bit of both), or add a pinch of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce or tabasco sauce, some brown mustard or black pepper — the fry’s the limit!

If fry sauce sounds similar to thousand island dressing, that’s because it is — the biggest difference is the presence of pickle juice, rather than pickle relish. But you could use relish if you prefer, or swap out the juice or relish for apple cider vinegar. However you finish it off, this tangy mix of ketchup and mayo is sure to become your new favorite condiment!

What’s your favorite dipping sauce for french fries?

Homemade Utah Fry Sauce Recipe - this sauce is a staple dip in Utah!

Utah Fry Sauce Recipe

Jill Nystul
Forget ketchup—we Utahns only want one sauce alongside our fries, and that's fry sauce. It's easy to make once you know the secret ingredient.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 1652 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3-4 tsp pickle juice

Instructions
 

  • Combine mayo, ketchup, and onion powder in a small bowl.
  • Add pickle juice one teaspoon at a time, to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 1652kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 4gFat: 168gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 100gMonounsaturated Fat: 38gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 2733mgPotassium: 392mgFiber: 1gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 761IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg

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  • You just made Arctic Circle fry sauce. That was our family business for 30 years and I made that everyday. Packaged fry sauce was so not the same. And I still have to make it for my friends and kids even though haven’t had Arctic Circle in years

  • It’s very similar to McDonalds’ “secret sauce,” which my family imitates by combining mayo, ketchup, a bit of mustard, and sometimes pickle relish. The pickle relish, I assume adds the same flavor profile as the pickle juice in your recipe. I like the color better with the addition of a little mustard. :-)

  • This was not invented in america. We in American have our own name for it called fry sauce. Its orginal orgins is from latin america. It orginaly is called salsa rosada. Aka salsa golf. Its also known by as other names depending on the country you live in. This guy from Utah DIDNT creat this. Please do not feed the public facts on orgins of food that is not true.

  • I worked in a drive in Utah as a car hop in the 1960’s, back when fry sauce began. Lets say it this way, the ORIGINAL recipe for fry sauce is mayo and catsup. We used to make it by the gallons.
    You can change it any way you like, you can make it low cal, you can make it taste like pickles, whatever.
    The fact remains it is, mayo and catsup.

  • I wonder if Miracle Whip would work in place of the mayonnaise? I can’t stomach mayonnaise. I think it’s because mayonnaise has a bland taste. Whenever cooking at home and the recipe calls for mayonnaise. I go straight for the Miracle Whip.

  • Down here in Alabama we have a variant on Mississippi Comeback sauce or your Utah Fry sauce that most of us call Guthrie’s sauce because that’s the Alabama chain that served it first. Now Zaxby’s serves basically the same thing. it’s mayo (our sour cream or plain yogurt), ketchup, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper. There are some variants between the two chains but those are the basics. And it’s dah-bomb!

      • Please, don’t be “catty” on this site. We love it, or , or , or,
        (happy, now?) or we wouldn’t be here. We all make mistakes and I’m sure you do too. Try to be nice to everyone, even if you can’t see them. :)

  • We had an Arctic Circle in the town where I lived in High School (Olympia, WA) and it was quite the hang out. I don’t remember the fry sauce (40 years is a long time between tastes), but I’d like to share my fry dip mix … mayo and Tapatio (or that other hot sauce). About 1+ T to a cup of mayo. Awesome-sauce. That is all. The end.

  • I and my brothers grew up with Arctic Circle fries and yummy fry sauce! We too asked for mayo and ketchup to make our own in restaurants without fry sauce. I’m looking forward to trying it with the dill pickle juice and other suggested ingredients. Love your blog Jillee! Thanks……

    • Artic Circle!! Oh my goodness, I lived at ” Acey Birds”
      when I was in high school. Every lunch period and after
      school would find a bunch of us dipping tons of fries into the little paper cups of that sauce. I could have had it instead of some of the milk shakes I ordered!! :) Sweet memories…..

  • Mayo and ketchup reminds me of Mom’s homemade thousand island dressing! I like homemade ranch dressing for fries and use a simple recipe. Mayo, fresh chopped dill, little onion and garlic powder.

  • Being an old Utahan, I agree with the first comment by Larene. The old basic way was just using mayo and Ketchup. Even to this day, when I go somewhere that doesn’t have fry sauce, I ask for mayo and Ketchup on the side and make my own. Gotta have fry sauce with fries! However, your spiced-up versions sounds pretty yummy, too.

  • I cannot wait to try this! We just searched for a recipe like this last night, and all felt it was “missing something” We have a batch left over in the fridge, so I will be adding some pickle juice today and see if that’s what it needed. If not, I appreciate the title “comeback Sauce” andI will google that recipe. We searched it as “Zax Sauce”, which we love to eat at Zaxby’s.

  • I have the same question – do you use sweet pickle juice or dill pickle juice?? Do not see where Jodie’s question was answered. Sweet versus dill will make a huge difference! Thanks

  • I just recently learned about fry sauce and I love it. I have always eaten my fries plain because I don’t care for ketchup (too sweet). I use red wine vinegar in mine to cut the sweetness. I also like to season it with Canadian steak spice. I will have to try the dill pickle juice.

  • I mix sour cream with ketchup for my fry sauce! There is a lot less fat than with mayo and it is even lower if you use light sour cream. You don’t miss the fat and you don’t even know it is light!i sometimes add a touch of dill pickle relish also. If you have never tried dill relish you are missing out on a treat…much better than that too sweet other relish! Love your blog Jillee!

      • Condensed tomato soup in place of ketchup also works great and then it isn’t super sweet. It also helps if you need to watch sugar. I do 2/3 c mayo, 1/3 c sour cream and 1/2 c condensed tomatoe soup. Don’t reconstitute the soup. Use it straight out of the can and freeze the other half. Try the combo on fried shrimp! Heaven!!

  • Hi! Just wanted to say that REAL FRY SAUCE Does NOT have pickle juice nor pickle relish in it!!!!! It is made with Real Mayo and Ketchup. The alterations came later. Just sayin”

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