Two Chick-Fil-A Sauces

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The boys and I were invited to a park picnic with our neighbor friends the other day and we got to talking about Chick-fil-A's sauces. All of their sauces are quite amazing but I prefer the Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce and the Chick-fil-A Sauce. Which, incidentally, were supposed to be the same sauce. (Test group customers could tell the distinct difference between the first, publicly-launched Honey Roasted BBQ and wanted the original recipe created by Hugh Fleming which was launched second to the public and named Chick-fil-A Sauce.) Their sauces are delicious if you haven't tried them; very tangy and smoky ... mmm-mm. Jenn commented that she uses her saved packets as dressing for sandwiches. Genius idea, right? Of course it made me think about their dressings all day and I couldn't wait to use my extra packets on sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, chicken, tacos, veggies, burgers... the possibilities are endless.  Then it occurred to me that most likely there are copy cat recipes online for their sauces. And sure enough I found a pretty darn good substitute for their Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce that I have tried and loved. Plus, I found a super easy recipe for the Chick-Fil-A Sauce, which I have yet to try out, but I will share anyways because it only has two ingredients. Now I don't have to wait for my next trip to Chick-fil-A or skimp on using my little 0.4 oz packets.

Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce

Serves: 1 cup
Start-to-Finish: 25 minutes
Recipe By: Todd Wilbur


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 TBSP Grey Poupon Dijon mustard (you can substitute any Dijon mustard but to get the closest to Chick-fil-A sauce it apparently needs to be the Grey Poupon kind, I used one with horseradish sauce in it because I liked the zippiness and it is what I had in my fridge. Let's face it, if I have to go out to buy new mustard I might as well stop by Chick-fil-A and get some packets of sauce instead.)
1 tsp ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 TBSP white vinegar
1/2 tsp concentrated hickory liquid smoke flavoring (I substituted with 1 tsp of plain ole BBQ sauce because, seriously, who has liquid smoke flavoring just laying around?)
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
1 TBSP cornstarch


1. Combine oil, honey, mustard, ketchup, sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small saucepan over low heat until boiling.
2. Stir until it becomes jelly-like and well incorporate.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
4. While the sauce is cooling, whisk egg yolk with water in a small bowl for about 2 minutes or until color is pale yellow.
5. Then, whisk in cornstarch until dissolved.
6. Once sauce has cooled, add vinegar, smoke flavoring (or BBQ sauce), and lemon juice.
7. Drizzle in the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream while rapidly whisking. (This will create a thick, creamy emulsion that will prevent the oil from separating.)
8. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Chick-fil-A Sauce

Serves: 1 cup
Start-to-Finish: 5 minutes
Recipe By:


1 cup Ken's honey mustard dressing (no brand substitutions or lite versions here, it makes a difference)
2 tsp smoky barbecue sauce


1. Combine ingredients.
2. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Heather and Spencer said...

I am impressed you have found recipes to substitute when you don't have the "real" thing...I, on the other hand, am a sauce snob and will make that trip out to get the sauce/dressing I want. Let's just say I am at Red's BBQ way too often buying only dressing! (Either I am the sauce snob or just plain lazy)

Jennifer said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm glad my Chickfila obsession inspired you. I love making my own sauces too and would much rather be able to say I made the sauce everyone is raving about as they eat a dish of mine instead of quickly whispering that it came from our favorite fast food place. ha ha

mikbeth said...

Fabulous stuff! I'm usually one who gets intimidated if a recipe calls for more than 5 ingredients. Like "I don't have time for this!" But it was quicker than I expected and well worth it! Delicious!

Cindy said...

We need the Polynesian sauce recipe next!

MartyMacGyver said...

I just made the Honey Roasted BBQ sauce today. Other than the ground pepper (mine was too coarse) I faithfully used the other ingredients as shown.

I'm not sure if my whisking was weak or I cooked it too little or too long or if it was some other variable, but it came out on the thin side (definitely in the ball park but it didn't quite look the same and was runnier).

I aim to try again using a powered whisk and perhaps cooling the mixture more, but I wonder if you have any thoughts on this?

The taste? I was VERY pleasantly surprised! :-) There's an alternate recipe involving Marzetti's Honey Dijon dressing but I never had luck finding it and besides, this recipe is more basic principles - challenging but worth it! :-D

Amber said...

MartyMacGyver - I am glad you tried the recipe enjoyed the taste. I am sorry the consistency of the sauce wasn't what you hoped. The only advice I can think of to thicken up the sauce would be to let is cook longer in step 2. This is really where the sauce turns to a jelly like substance. It also could have been the emulsion step in #7 though. I hope you get thicker results next time with the power whisk. Let me know how it goes.

MartyMacGyver said...

No need to apologize! :) I probably didn't cook it long enough (I wasn't sure how jelly-like it should actually be and may have stopped too soon - once it starts boiling, about how long does that take?).

I also certainly didn't do the best job at whisking it either (getting that new mixer next week).

Between those two changes, I think it'll be far better the second time. Again, no complaints, just learning how to do it right.

Abby said...

What brand of "Smoky" BBQ sauce did you use in the chick-fil-A sauce?

Chuck N. said...

Yeah I'm interested if there is a specific brand for the smoky BBQ sauce also.

Amber said...

I used KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon BBQ sauce but I don't think it really matters what kind you use. Just whatever you have in your fridge should be fine.

Robbie said...

step 2 took me about 5-7 minutes. if you are patient, the sauce WILL thicken!

Chickadee said...

Does the egg yolk not get cooked then?

MartyMacGyver said...

No... it's much like home-made mayonnaise in this regard. The lecithin in the raw yolk emulsifies the mixture. If you're concerned I think Pasteurized eggs would work well, but cooked eggs? Not-so-much. You may have seen soy lecithin in ingredient lists... same idea. Not sure what readily available substitutes exist though for the consumer.

Lots more info on emulsifiers at Wikipedia

Pincoat said...

Marzetti Honey French dressing is the same thing, in the refrigerated dressing section.

MartyMacGyver said...

No... That's a tasty dressing and has a smokiness but it is not remotely the same as the CFA sauce.

Brittney Sturgeon said...

Do you have a recipe for the honey mustard Chick-fil-A sauce? I am in love with that one and don't have a cfa close enough to get it all the time.

Brittney Sturgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.