8 Underrated Fast Food Sauces That Make Every Order Better

8 Underrated Fast Food Sauces That Make Every Order Better

These condiments are the unsung heroes of the fast food world.

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table full of fast food sauces
We love our fast food sauces
Photo: Nicole Antonuccio

The fast food landscape is vast and varied, and its menus come accented with so many sauce options that all the different little cups and packets would probably stack up to the moon. But with all those varieties on hand, some condiments are downright fantastic while others can be safely forgotten forever.

Among the crowd, there’s a bunch I really do think are quiet champions that we don’t talk about enough, ones that I really do think are awesome beyond plain old barbecue sauce. Let’s take a ride through the unsung heroes of fast food sauces, shall we?

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McDonald’s Spicy Buffalo Sauce

McDonald’s Spicy Buffalo Sauce

mcnugget dipped into buffalo sauce
Photo: Dennis Lee

Spicy Buffalo deserves more love, and it shouldn’t feel like such a well-kept secret. We’re suckers for our elusive dipping sauces like Hot Mustard, Szechuan, and the Sweet Chili included in the 2021 BTS Meal, but Spicy Buffalo dipping sauce is the sleeper hit of the bunch, in my opinion. It’s sharp, tangy, creamy, and an all-around great option if you’re not in the mood for a much sweeter dip. Its spicy kick isn’t too intense, but for a menu that’s typically not bringing the heat, Spicy Buffalo is a welcome change to the lineup.

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3 / 10

Taco Bell Diablo Sauce

Taco Bell Diablo Sauce

hand holding diablo sauce
Photo: YouTube (Fair Use)

I used to be a mega-fan of Taco Bell’s Fire Sauce. I used to think it was the pinnacle of all Taco Bell’s sauces, even after Diablo Sauce came out. Then, I found myself gradually adding Diablo Sauce packets to my order with fewer and fewer Fire Sauces, until one day I realized I’d adopted a new favorite. Diablo is admirably spicy; continuous consumption does add up. It’s got a lime-like acidity, lending it the most unique flavor in the whole lineup of Taco Bell condiments. I will wrestle you Greco-Roman style for the very last packet.

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4 / 10

Arby’s Horsey Sauce

Arby’s Horsey Sauce

horsey sauce packets
Photo: Tony Savino (Shutterstock)

Arby’s Horsey Sauce is very special for one reason: it’s one of the very few fast food sauces that features horseradish, front and center. Horseradish is fascinating for its ability to be spicy for mere moments before the sensation dissipates, nearly instantaneously. The heat doesn’t linger the way that a Taco Bell hot sauce might. Is Horsey Sauce all that spicy? Not really. But it’s powerful enough to make a fantastic pairing for the weirdly uniform roast beef you get from Arby’s. Plus, it’s called HORSEY SAUCE.

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5 / 10

Popeyes Louisiana Hot Sauce

Popeyes Louisiana Hot Sauce

popeye's louisiana hot sauce
Photo: Felipe Sanchez (Shutterstock)

Let’s take a minute to appreciate these Popeyes hot sauce packets. By itself, Louisiana Hot Sauce, which you can buy at the grocery store, isn’t particularly novel. It’s a great all-purpose pepper sauce that you can use to perk up pretty much whatever. But let’s step back and admire the fact that Popeyes has it on hand if you want to make your order of spicy fried chicken even spicier. The chicken is delicious on its own, that’s for sure, but waking it up even further with a splash of Louisiana Hot Sauce? C’est magnifique! The fact that they dole out these packets by request (sometimes even tossing it into the bag without asking) is a little act that I will always appreciate.

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6 / 10

Jollibee gravy

Jollibee gravy

hand holding dipped fried jollibee chicken
Photo: YouTube (Fair Use)

Jollibee’s fried chicken (aka Chickenjoy) is absolutely delicious. But the fact that they always serve it with a cup of their signature gravy is a never-ending source of delight for me. There’s something about that extremely crunchy fried chicken crust dipped in velvety gravy that makes for such a fantastic combination. Since this is the default way their chicken is served, you always get a little companion cup of gravy, no special requests needed.

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7 / 10

Raising Cane’s Sauce

Raising Cane’s Sauce

raising cane's basket with sauce
Photo: Kevin Pang (In-House Art)

Raising Cane’s should sell its dipping sauce by the pint—this stuff is really something special. And so are its chicken fingers. On the surface, Cane’s Sauce seems like a typical special sauce, likely mayo- and ketchup-based with a bunch of black pepper, among other spices (the website explains that the exact formula is top secret). But as you’re eating it, you’ll inevitably find yourself craving more. Like, a lot more. I always order an extra side of it to dip my fries in, and maybe even a little bit of the Texas Toast that accompanies every order. It’s magnificent and humble all at the same time.

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8 / 10

Wingstop Bleu Cheese Dip

Wingstop Bleu Cheese Dip

fries and sauces
Photo: Punctuated (Fair Use)

Why don’t more people talk about Wingstop’s bleu cheese? It’s easily the best fast food dressing I’ve ever had. I honestly don’t get how it can be so good. All I know is that it’s made on-site, and maybe that makes all the difference. It definitely doesn’t taste like that glossy gloop you get from a pre-packaged dipping cup with a foil top, and I’ll usually get a cup or two extra just to dip raw vegetables in later. I cannot stress enough how worthwhile this dip is.

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9 / 10

Little Caesars Crazy Sauce

Little Caesars Crazy Sauce

little caesar's crazy bread
Photo: Little Caesar’s (Other)

I’m an unabashed fan of Little Caesars for its affordable pizzas, but also for its Crazy Bread, which are admittedly just pale breadsticks with garlic butter and grated parmesan. But man oh man, that thick, tomatoey Crazy Sauce that accompanies the Crazy Breadare you kidding? Little Caesars lets you order the sauce a la carte without the bread, probably because they know it’s the perfect accompaniment to pizza crusts, too. For those of you who think it’s just pizza sauce, think again. The website just describes it as “Tomato dipping sauce with a special blend of tasty herbs and spices,” but whatever it is, I swear I could eat that stuff by the ladleful.

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