McDonald's Szechuan sauce is back: Here's how to make it at home if your restaurant sells out

·5-min read
McDonald's Szechuan sauce returns to restaurants on March 31 and is available only through the fast food chain's mobile app. But can you make Szechuan sauce at home if your restaurant sells out? (Photo: McDonald's; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
McDonald's Szechuan sauce returns to restaurants on March 31 and is available only through the fast food chain's mobile app. But can you make Szechuan sauce at home if your restaurant sells out? (Photo: McDonald's; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

If you dream about someday reuniting your taste buds with McDonald's Szechuan sauce, get ready. The fast food chain has brought the popular sauce back for a limited time, available exclusively on the Mcdonald's app.

And, considering the sauce, which McDonald's describes as having a "savory and slightly sweet taste profile with hints of soy, garlic, ginger and mild vinegar notes," has only been available three times in the last 24 years, the re-release is a pretty sweet (and spicy) deal.

To snag your own golden foil-covered packets of Szechuan sauce, simply mobile order Chicken McNuggets in the McDonald's app and select the Szechuan option when choosing your sauce. Szechuan superfans will also be able to purchase up to five additional sauces a la carte within the app.

It's so simple, it's normal to worry your local restaurant will quickly sell out of their Szechuan stash.

"I'm a Szechuan sauce fanatic," says Michael Rose, a devoted foodie, "It hits just the right note of spicy and sweet for my palate. I never would have dreamed in a thousand years that Mcdonald's would make one of the greatest Szechuan sauces ever."

McDonald's Szechuan sauce will be available in gold foil-covered packets perfect for collecting. (Photo: McDonald's)
McDonald's Szechuan sauce will be available in gold foil-covered packets perfect for collecting. (Photo: McDonald's)

Rose says as McDonald's prepares to once again bring back their iconic Szechuan sauce, he's aware he's not alone in his infatuation with the sweet and savory dip. The sauce's popularity may make it highly possible for the special edition packets, each marked with letters to spell out "Szechuan," to sell out fast.

"It isn't just me that adores the sauce," Rose tells Yahoo Life. "Hundreds of thousands of other foodies love it just as much as I do."

While they wait for the sauce's re-release, foodies around the country have been sharing recipes and hacks to get a taste of this adored sauce even when it's not available at their local Golden Arches.

Kevin Nguyen is both founder of Kevin Nguyen Experiences and a Szechuan sauce devotee who shares his perfect blend of sauces to create a dupe at home. "The key ingredients are sweet chili sauce, honey and about a teaspoon of soy sauce," Nguyen, who lives in Austin, Tex. says. "There should at least be three to four times more sweet chili sauce than honey. Just adjust them to your own taste."

While Nguyen swears these ingredients will recreate the sauce perfectly, he's not the only fan with a concoction all their own. Dre Pao, a McDonald's fan from Ontario, Canada, set out to try to duplicate the taste of Szechuan sauce using existing Mcdonald's sauces.

"I was eating my McNuggets and decided to mix my Tangy Barbecue sauce with Sweet 'N Sour sauce," says Pao. "I was shocked by the taste — it actually tasted a lot like the classic Szechuan sauce."

Pao's preferred sauce-making method? According to a TikTok he shared about the hack, "order two Sweet 'N Sour sauce and one Tangy Barbecue sauce and mix them together."

As a foodie and a huge fan of the sauce myself, I decided to give both recipes a try to see if either recipe could fool my taste buds. I was also lucky enough to have some of the iconic sauce on hand, so I could compare them side-by-side instead of from memory.

While Pao's sauce was delicious and the color and the texture were similar, the barbeque flavor was too strong to replicate Szechuan sauce flavors. Nguyen's sauce was on the sweeter side and didn't quite match in color and texture when compared to the original.

For my own version, I attempted to match the color, texture and flavor of the original, so fans can truly have their hands on that delicious Szechuan sauce experience whenever they want. My recipe is the closest match in terms of the sweet, savory, spicy flavor, but truly, for a real fan, nothing can beat the thrill of getting the real thing on drop day at Mcdonald's. With five gold foil wrappers to collect, I'll be hitting the McDonald's drive-through for Szechuan sauce, whether I've got a copycat version in my refrigerator or not.

Copycat Szechuan Sauce Recipe

Courtesy of Josie Maida

(Photo: Josie Maida)
(Photo: Josie Maida)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon hot honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. To begin, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a small pot with ½ teaspoon garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon ground ginger.

  2. Turn on the heat to low and stir until the spices are combined into the liquid.

  3. Next, add 1 teaspoon of sriracha and 1 tablespoon of hot honey and stir until dissolved, then add ½ teaspoon of white granulated sugar, once again string until dissolved.

  4. Keep over a low heat while mixing together ½ teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of water. Stir the two together to create a slurry then add to the sauce.

  5. Stir constantly until a thick condiment has formed. Remove from heat, allow to cool and enjoy.

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