Neither Special Nor Secret Sauce

December 20, 2017
3.7 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Let's be frank: Like every other "special" or "secret sauce"—this is doctored-up thousand island dressing. Still, you can't beat it on a cheeseburger. Or with French fries. Or tater tots! I like mincing bread-and-butter pickles—as opposed to sweet relish—to cut down on the sweetness. You could take that a step further and swap in sour gherkins. If you want to amp up the smokiness, use a chipotle hot sauce.

Featured In: What Is Secret Sauce, Anyway? Is It Special Sauce?Emma Laperruque

  • Makes 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon
  • 2 tablespoons minced bread-and-butter pickles
  • 1 teaspoon caper brine (or white or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, preferably Colman's
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Store in the fridge. Check your mayonnaise's expiration date to gauge how long it'll be good for!

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in November 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

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