The 31 Best Fast Food Chicken Nugget Sauces

Here is your philosophical question for the day: Without a scrumptious dipping sauce, is a chicken nugget truly a chicken nugget? Or is it just a piece of breaded poultry without the sauce? Can a sauceless nugget be satisfying? Sure. Can it be bite-sized and adorable? Absolutely. What about convenient and accessible across fast-food locations nationwide? Also, yes.

However, without a sauce, a chicken nugget is without its true mate and unable to exist at its full potential. Sauces can bring levels of personalization, entirely unique flavor experiences, and a restaurant specialty that can set their offerings apart from the rest. That is why we will give full credit where credit is due to some of the most amazing chicken nugget dipping companions, because without their sauces, chicken nuggets are just not the same. So, put on a saucy outfit and prepare to take a dip into the world of what we consider the best chicken nugget sauces out there.

Chick-fil-A Sauce

You might have anticipated that we would give ample credit to one of the kings of fast-food sauces. Chick-fil-A's signature sauce is special and unique for its tangy, sweet flavor and branding. Made with a combination of honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and ranch, it hits all the right spots on our taste buds. For those who love Chick-fil-A, this sauce is one of the supreme dipping options for grilled or breaded nuggets. Of course, you can't forget the waffle fries which are perfectly designed to scoop up the golden nectar in their ridges. Chick-fil-A sauce is a winner in its fast-food locations and on your local grocery shelves.

Raising Cane's Cane Sauce

This sauce fits its restaurant's vibe and "raises Cain" with its deliciousness. For all of you young whippersnappers, the term "raising Cain" means to cause trouble, though the chain's name actually references the founder's beloved dogs. Still, we can all agree that a sauce this tasty has the potential to cause trouble for dieters everywhere. With its tangy, peppered, creamy flavor profile, Cane Sauce is a fabulous side to chicken nuggets, tenders, fries, burgers, and anything else you can think of. While the general managers of Raising Cane's are forbidden from sharing the full ingredient list, that hasn't stopped admirers from making their own copycat versions and bringing the yummy goodness home.

McDonald's Hot Mustard

Spicy, zesty, and zingy, McDonald's hot mustard sauce makes the top three on the list. Partly due to its awesome flavor and partly due to its public fanbase, the hot mustard sauce is an excellent companion to McDonald's nuggets, burgers, fries, and soft pretzels. Truly a fiery force to be reckoned with, the hot mustard sauce caused a social uproar around 2014. McDonald's dared to announce the discontinuation of the popular sauce and was met with torches and pitchforks. Okay, maybe hot mustard sauce fans didn't actually form an angry mob, but they did complain a lot. McDonald's thankfully listened to some of its grieving customers and reinstated the hot mustard sauce in select locations, which allows the luckiest among us to enjoy it today.

McDonald's Szechuan Sauce

McDonald's did it again. Another sauce that goes down into popular history is the Szechuan Sauce, which came about when the beloved Disney movie "Mulan" was released in 1998. Szechuan Sauce made a loud return in 2017 and Mickey Dee's has brought it back for limited-time engagements every once in a while since then. The Szechuan Sauce is reminiscent of the style of sweet and sour sauce typically found at Chinese restaurants; the main difference is that the Szechuan Sauce brings a balanced combination of sharp vinegar, ginger and sesame seed oil. It makes an excellent accessory for your chicken nuggets.

Chick-fil-A's Polynesian Sauce

Chick-fil-A's Polynesian Sauce is a saucy pioneer and a historical favorite that's been around since the 1980s and is essentially Chick-fil-A's take on a sweet and sour sauce. Similar to McDonald's Szechuan Sauce, the Polynesian Sauce brings a sweet and tangy flavor profile to your palate with vinegar, spices, and sugar. A key difference is that the Polynesian Sauce is centered around tomato paste, which makes it comparable to an extra zingy ketchup. With its history of pleasing customers for many years, the good ol' Polynesian Sauce likely isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Sonic Cheese Sauce

Melted cheese makes everything better, and Sonic clearly knows this, which is why its cheese sauce is one of the top sauces around. No chicken nugget is complete without its sauce, and every chicken nugget is elevated when covered in gooey, salty, creamy cheese. Originally paired with its soft pretzel, the Sonic cheese sauce is a multipurpose sauce that should not be limited to bread. Instead, pair this with your chicken nuggets, tenders, and fries, or even eat it with a spoon if that's what feels right.

Wendy's Ghost Pepper Ranch

What used to be Wendy's creamy sriracha sauce has evolved into the spicy and creamy Ghost Pepper Ranch. A previous fan favorite, the creamy sriracha was officially replaced in 2021, leaving many fans forlorn. Nevertheless, the Ghost Pepper Ranch is here to fill the void, and is a suitable alternative. With a buttermilk ranch dressing base and just enough of the terrifying ghost pepper to bring some heat, this sauce makes for a spicy pairing that will make your Wendy's chicken nuggets a little more exciting.

Bok a Bok Cheese Sauce

Bok a Bok is a smaller restaurant chain based in Washington state, and offers allergen-free, air-dried, hand-dipped, and double-fried, delicious chicken. Their chicken might not be "fast," strictly speaking, but it is delightful. They offer an assortment of equally delicious dipping sauces, like their cheese sauce. Served in a generously large bowl, you can order a hearty helping of cheesy goodness to enhance your fried chicken tenders further. The melted cheese is mixed with fried shallots and green onion and is a uniquely indulgent dipping sauce option. For a pro tip, try their jalapeño cheddar wings, generously pour on the cheese sauce, and thank us later.

Jollibee's Gravy

It was only a matter of time before we came to a gravy, because what's better than gravy's smooth, savory goodness on top of a crispy nugget or chicken leg? The combination is tantalizing, and the chefs at Jollibee understand this. Jollibee enhances our fast-food repertoire with their special hot gravy, which can be ordered as a side to anything on their menu. Made of basic gravy ingredients like chicken stock, whole milk, salt, pepper, and flour, it is classically delicious and easy to copy at home.

Culver's Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Here's another cheese sauce, because you can never have enough cheese. Culver's does something special with their Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Sauce, and it works in that classic Midwestern flavor that we know and love. It's made with the real deal — sharp cheddar cheese straight from Wisconsin — and is served warm to make all of your problems feel like they've gone away for a moment. Culver's website recommends pairing this liquid gold comfort food with their Wisconsin cheese curds (cheese on cheese, oh yes, please), their chili cheddar fries, and their pretzel bites. But why stop there? Let the cheese take you where it may.

KFC Sauce

KFC is renowned as one of the best spots for crispy chicken and, therefore, must provide a suitable sauce, which it does. Its specialty KFC sauce is a blend of many of the best sauce ingredients. While the KFC website isn't particularly forthcoming with the information, copycat chefs have decoded the top-secret sauce recipe and swear by a blend of mayonnaise, onion, garlic, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and chili sauce, along with spices like black and red pepper. With a combination like this, every chicken nugget will surely get along just fine.

Shake Shack Herb Mayonnaise

If you're from the South, then you are likely familiar with many uses for mayonnaise. It makes a creamy and savory base for dressings and dips of all kinds and Shake Shack's herb mayonnaise is no exception. The herbal mayonnaise is mixed with buttermilk, vinegar, chives, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper and is a mild and tasty dipper for your chicken of choice. Nutritionally, it comes in at about 10 grams of fat per serving, but that's definitely worth it for a comforting Shake Shack meal.

Wingstop's Bleu Cheese

Blue cheese is more of an acquired taste than a flavor everyone loves. While it may be enjoyed by many and hated by some, the aromatic cheese does make a uniquely distinct dressing. Wingstop provides its own bleu cheese dip for those who crave it, and it pairs wonderfully with their chicken wings, atop a chicken sandwich, or alongside a pile of crispy fries. If blue cheese is your thing, then go forth and try Wingstop's especially tasty dip.

Little Caesars Crazy Sauce

You might not initially think of chicken nugget dipping sauces when you think of Little Caesars, but you would be remiss to overlook its crazy good Crazy Sauce. By providing fast pizza, Little Caesars has brought society a yummy convenience. While it is essentially a well-herbed marinara, this Crazy Sauce pairs wonderfully with their various pizzas, their Caesar wings, and their Crazy Bread. For a bargain on a meal, a quick and easy dinner, and a well-paired sauce, you can't go wrong with this crazy wonderful sauce from Little Caesars.

Church's Chicken White Gravy

Another fast-food stop that understands the value of a chicken and gravy powerhouse is Church's Chicken, with its home-cooking-reminiscent white gravy. While it may pack a substantial dose of sodium and calories, the white gravy is a perfect add-on to any of the Church's Chicken fare. You can pour the gravy over their honey butter biscuits, submerge your jalapeño cheese bombers, slather it onto your fried chicken, or even give your sides a creamy coating. No matter how you choose to indulge, the white gravy is not to be missed.

Zaxby's Zax Sauce

Zaxby's knows how to make a tantalizing chicken tender and seems to have also mastered the joy of excellent dipping sauce. With 12 different sauces to choose from, Zaxby's aims to spoil its customers by providing a staple sauce with its name on it — the Zax Sauce. Zesty, creamy, with a hint of tang, the Zax Sauce is the perfect match for all of Zaxby's chicken offerings and can even do some favors to their salads as a dressing. Bloggers everywhere have sought to recreate the Zax Sauce and have come very close to the real deal, even if they haven't quite nailed it down.

Chick-fil-A Zesty Buffalo Sauce

Not only does Chick-fil-A bring us chicken, but they also bring a zesty buffalo sauce that rivals the best buffalo sauces in the fast-food industry. While Chick-fil-A is certainly not the first to unveil a branded buffalo sauce, it does bring a little something special. It pairs well with their chicken nuggets, tenders, and fries. While the zesty buffalo sauce is yet to be one of the bottled grocery store options, you can order 8-ounce tubs to go or stock up on packets from its retail locations. Once you get the zesty fun to your home, it can also be a good addition to other foods like eggs and hot dogs, or even a glaze for cooking meats.

Popeyes Blackened Ranch Sauce

While Popeye the Sailor Man boasted a consistently puffy eye, Popeyes fast-food joints provide a very tasty blackened ranch sauce option that takes the usual joy of normal ranch up a notch. Ranked as one of our favorite Popeyes sauces of all time, the blackened ranch flavor adds a smoky essence to the well-spiced sauce. With seasonings like paprika, garlic, and onion, you know it's bound to be delicious enough to eat on its own. However, we highly recommend pairing it with Popeyes' crispy chicken — a combination made in heaven.

Whataburger Spicy Ketchup

Sometimes, fast-food restaurants introduce a sauce as a temporary addition to the menu before learning that it is a viral fan favorite. Such was the case with Whataburger's Spicy Ketchup. When it was released in 2011, there wasn't much expectation that it would soar in popularity, but here we are many years later, with the Spicy Ketchup holding fast to its position on the permanent menu. Whataburger responded well to this feedback and made their sauces available for sale in 20-ounce bottles on their website, as well as in their normal packet form in the stores. Go get your fix of spicy, tomato-based goodness at Whataburger.

White Castle's Zesty Zing Sauce

White Castle can boast of honing its slider expertise since 1921, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that they have also created a darn delicious sauce to go with sliders ... or chicken nuggets, if you prefer. The Zesty Zing Sauce is a mayonnaise horseradish hybrid that brings a creamy heat to White Castle's tiny burgers and side items. In addition to the mayonnaise and horseradish base, the Zesty Zing Sauce also packs notes of vinegar, onion, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. It's a tasty combo to enjoy with the tasty combo order of your choice.

Bok a Bok Spiced Honey

If you want spiced honey that carries notes of holiday cheer and is good all year, then look no further than Bok a Bok's Spiced Honey. This sweet honey mixture brings delightful (and almost wintery) spices and complements any and all of their flavors of fried chicken with flair. It's a sweet and aromatic addition to fried chicken that goes beyond the typical dipping sauce accompaniments. For a real treat, you can also pair the Spiced Honey with their generously sized, warm biscuits. Yum.

McDonald's Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is a sauce made in numerous ways and by various brands. While each kind may bring its own unique spin, to some extent, honey mustards often seem very similar to their competition. Therefore, it is noteworthy when a fast-food restaurant hits the nail on the head with a honey mustard that you simply must try. It's a creamy, thick, and well-spiced dipping sauce that truly complements their nuggets as well as any sauce could. A tried-and-true favorite over the years, McDonald's honey mustard is a traditional choice for good reason.

Sonic BBQ Sauce

Barbecue sauce is another sauce that's been reproduced millions of times with only slight differences in the final products. However, one thing that Sonic gets right with their BBQ Sauce is the difference in base flavor. While many barbecue sauces out there smack you in the face with sweetness, the BBQ Sauce from Sonic has a refreshingly different, vinegar-based foundation. Sonic has utilized the sauce in different menu items, including their tasty Honey BBQ Sauced Jumbo Popcorn Chicken. While it is still obviously a barbecue sauce, it's nice to have the option of variety when seeking out a fast-food sauce fix.

Burger King Zesty Sauce

What is it with fast-food restaurants and the term "zesty?" Whatever their motivation, it clearly is a successful tactic with customers. One of the numerous beloved zesty sauces comes from Burger King. With a somewhat spicy flavor profile, Burger King's Zesty Sauce goes well with its burgers, chicken sandwiches, onion rings, and of course, chicken nuggets. If you don't feel like going out for your zesty, spicy kick, never fear because there's a zesty sauce recipe right here for you.

Arby's Horsey Sauce

Horseradish fans can shout "yee-haw" because their favorite flavor is a fundamental ingredient in Arby's Horsey Sauce. Suppose the Horsey Sauce's original purpose was to enhance Arby's meat-based sandwiches. In that case, we can thank the customers for experimenting over the years for establishing that it's a perfect sauce companion for chicken nuggets, as well. This sauce is composed of mayonnaise, white vinegar, salt, and horseradish, and it adds a nifty spice to any sandwich, chicken bite, or french fry you can think of.

Wingstop's Homemade Ranch

The cool and creamy essence of ranch complements chicken wings perfectly. Wingstop obviously understands this, because its ranch is not only classically delicious — it's also a part of the secret menu, which was shared with the public by Wingstop chef Larry Bellah. He proposed combining ranch with the restaurant's other sides of flavor, like the Atomic flavor for a spicy and cooling balance. He suggested Mango Habanero or Hawaiian for a hint of sweetness. For a traditional vibe, he pointed to the Hickory Smoked BBQ or Original Hot. Additionally, for National Ranch Day a while back, Wingstop encouraged its customers and fanbase to partake in a cup of the yummy sauce for free.

Wendy's Hot Honey Sauce

Honey on chicken follows the same pairing concept as chicken and waffles, with its sweet and savory hybrid model. Wendy's has capitalized on this concept with its Hot Honey Sauce, which is made with real honey and spicy habanero peppers. As a perfect side to Wendy's chicken nuggets, the Hot Honey Sauce can also be enjoyed with fries or on one of their chicken sandwiches, because why not? Beat the summer heat and keep it sweet with some hot honey.

Popeyes Mardi Gras Mustard

Mardi Gras is a celebration like no other, and Popeyes seems to have captured the same fun spirit in their Mardi Gras Mustard. It's free of wheat, soy, fish, peanuts, or sesame, so it is accessible to many Popeyes fans with sensitive allergies. The sauce brings a sweet and spicy combination that spreads smoothly across a sandwich bun and creates a pleasant dipping pool for chicken tenders. Copycat recipes are all over the internet, so some folks are clearly interested in eating as much of it as possible.

Church's Chicken Creamy Jalapeño Sauce

For lovers of spice, heat, and everything nice, Church's Chicken offers a Creamy Jalapeño Sauce that is well worth the trip. It adds a moderate level of spice that isn't overwhelming, and the texture makes it a perfect spread for a sandwich sauce or dipping sauce. Slather it onto the new Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse chicken for a novel creation or keep it classic and stick with fries and crunchy pieces of fried chicken. If you're the inventive type, you could even add some to a side of mashed potatoes for a spicy kick.

Shake Shack Black Truffle Sauce

While truffles themselves are as expensive as can be, the Black Truffle Sauce at Shake Shack is budget-friendly and easily accessible. This sauce was evidently designed to go with their entire menu, as it pairs well with burgers, fried chicken, french fries, hot dogs, and obviously, chicken nuggets. While we wouldn't suggest mixing this with your milkshake, we do recommend trying out the addition of truffle sauce with your fast-casual meal. Currently, this sauce is unavailable in stores, so get your fill the next time you visit Shake Shack.

Burger King Barbecue Sauce

Burger King aims to be the king of burgers, but maybe it should also be called the king of barbeque sauce? With a flame-grilled burger, a well-balanced barbecue sauce is just what the doctor ordered (to be clear — we're really not sure if most doctors would send you to Burger King). Nevertheless, Burger King's barbecue sauce hits the ideal barbecue notes of sweet, spicy, smoky, and comforting. Pair it with burgers, crispy nuggets, onion rings, fries, or chicken sandwich, and you won't be disappointed, even if your doctor might.