Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)

Growing up, I was always intimidated by creamy sauces. So, I never tried things like ranch, mayonnaise, or the “special sauce” that came on McDonald’s Big Mac until I was well into college.

vegan-healthy-special-sauce

And while I still may never be the biggest fan of mayonnaise, I can totally get behind the flavor of a good “special sauce” now. This particular recipe was inspired by a local burger joint in Kansas City, which serves a house-made special sauce with their french fries. Like most recipes, I’m sure it involves a mixture of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise– which, in theory, sounds terrible to me– but the taste is unbelievably good.

So, I set out to replicate it without using the mayonnaise or refined sugar. Instead, I used raw cashews as the base, which provide a creamy texture along with a healthy dose of folate and vitamin K. Paired with a dash of probiotic-rich apple cider vinegar and some special sauce staples, like mustard and red onion, I think this vegan variation comes awfully close to the real thing. It definitely makes a delicious spread for sandwiches, wraps, or as a dip for your favorite baked french fries.

I hope you enjoy it!

Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)
Makes about 8 ounces

Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 1 hour
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced pickle, or relish (I used about 4 pickle coins)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Drain the cashews and rinse well. Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Adjust the sauce to suit your taste– it’s easy to taste as you go so it’s “just right” for your taste buds. I usually like to add an extra splash of vinegar, and sometimes we’ll add a dash of sriracha to make it a little spicy.

You can store this sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use it on your favorite sandwiches, wraps, and as a dip for sliced veggies or baked fries.

healthy-sauce-recipe

Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)
Author: 
Serves: 8 ounces
 
A healthy vegan sauce that tastes like McDonald's "Special Sauce."
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 1 hour
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced pickle, or relish (I used about 4 pickle coins)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Adjust the sauce to suit your taste-- it's easy to taste as you go so it's "just right" for your taste buds. I usually like to add an extra splash of vinegar, and sometimes we'll add a dash of sriracha to make it a little spicy.
  2. You can store this sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use it on your favorite sandwiches, wraps, and as a dip for sliced veggies or baked fries.

Other vegan dips you might enjoy:

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite dipping sauce? 

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

6 thoughts on “Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)

  1. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

    You have so intrigued me with this recipe as I honestly think I have a fear of mayo, ranch and really any condiment. Won’t even tough the bottles them come in! That’s how messed up I am. But my family loves those types of thing….tough! So making my own flavor that is actually ok sounds like a great plan. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  2. Johanna

    This looks great. Since it’s almost impossible to find a healthy mayonnaise, I had given up on the idea… I will sure try this one 🙂
    Also congratulations on your second little wonder! What a hope-giving birth story. I’m due for the end of March (first one) and I had become a bit nerveous from all the horror birth stories that other people tell.
    I hope you have a great recovery and uncountable precious moments with your little ones!

    Reply
  3. Milissa

    This sounds great. I’ve been making something similar to dip sweet potato fries in for about the last two years. I don’t use pickles or relish but do use lots of fresh garlic and a bit of smoked paprika. We’re having grilled veggie wraps tomorrow–gonna have to try this sauce in them. Thanks!

    Reply

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