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.

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

5 from 1 vote
Print
Healthy Vegan Special Sauce (Soy-free)
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
A healthy vegan sauce that tastes like McDonald's "Special Sauce."
Course: Snack
Servings: 8 ounces
Calories: 77 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
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
  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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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.

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!

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