Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and privacy policy.

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.

fry dipped in 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.

pan of fries with a small bowl of special sauce

Print Pin
5 from 5 votes

Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)

A healthy vegan sauce that tastes like McDonald's "Special Sauce."
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 ounces
Calories 77kcal

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 105mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Per Serving: Calories: 77, Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g

Other vegan dips you might enjoy:

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite dipping sauce? 

Get more recipes + meal plans in my books:

detox book and meal plan

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

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!

Val

Do you have a substitute for the cashews? I am allergic to tree nuts.

    Jeanette

    I have made something similar using coconut milk yogurt or vegan mayonnaise. It came out perfect!! We used it as a dip for our fries and cauliflower wings. I’m sure you could also use silken tofu-or anything else that will turn into a cream base once blended.

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!

Kezia @ Super Naturally Healthy

I am a pretty hardcore guacamole and homemade mayo fan – simple but awesome but this looks fab too – perfect for sweet potato chips I feel….

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!

freida

This recipe looks amazing! Do you think I could leave out the tomato paste as I am allergic.

Marie

Such a tasty sauce that I love eating with fries!

Amy

Do any of these sauces freeze well? That would be a huge help in preparing easy and fun Paleo foods ahead as we try to do.

Krystal

This sauce is awesome. I have made it several times! It goes great on so many things!!

Suzanne

This looks so good! Does the cashew flavor come through much?

    Megan Gilmore

    I don’t notice it at all, thanks to all of the other flavors in there!

Vanessa

Thanks for sharing! What a fun and healthy sauce to bring wtih to a party!

Malka

Looks good!
Mustard seeds are more expensive here, so if I use Dijon mustard instead, what of the other ingredients should I adjust?
How would you adapt irt to ready made mustard?

Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I would just start with a little less and taste it as you go. You can always add more if you want to!

Mindy

Made this tonight as a dipping sauce for breaded mushrooms and it was delicious!! Used fermented pickles for an extra health benefit…yummy!

Leah

This is legit Big Mac sauce!
So so good and easy to make 🙂

Never Miss a Post!

Get a FREE 3-Day Detox Plan when you sign up for my email newsletter