Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat)

8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat) is the legendary burger chain’s tangy, creamy sauce that’s perfect on burgers and sandwiches or for dipping!

Dine in tonight with a favorite takeout Copycat Recipe with some fries (like KFC Original Chicken) and enhance your dining experience by including this spot-on Shake Shack Sauce!

Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat) in dipping bowl


One of the keys to success in fast food is developing your own secret sauce. Nailing a sauce that generates a loyal following, whether it’s Chick-Fil-A’s Honey Mustard or In-N-Out’s Burger Spread, to make it big and inspire lines out the door, you have to have a closely guarded sauce that stands out.

Shake Shack tapped into that secret to making it big, and developed their own spread when they decided to make the leap from hot dog cart to making a debut on the burger joint scene. Tourists come from all over to their flagship location to get a taste of this unique Shack Sauce.

Surprisingly though, Shake Shack hasn’t been as close to the chest with their recipes. Their instagram is always filled with peeks behind the curtain and trivia. They even came out with a cookbook that spills fan stories, fun facts, and 70 recipes (though they admit they don’t give away the real sauce recipe!)

What sets the Shack Sauce apart compared to a lot of other burger spreads is the use of mustard and only a bit of ketchup. Most iconic sauces like Fry Sauce and Special Sauce are more a mayo-ketchup blend that ends up being on the sweet side.

They also use some dill pickle in their sauce to give it a tang and cayenne pepper for just a hint of heat. Of all the Sauces here, this one stands out as a well-rounded creamy blend of sweet, savory, tangy, sour, and spice. A true delight for all your tastebuds.

A tip to make this the most spot on recipe, get picky with ingredients. Use Heinz ketchup and Hellman’s mayonnaise. While using other brands will still make a delicious sauce, you want to use the highest quality ingredients for the best possible sauce.

If you want to act like a Shake Shack insider, serve this sauce on a bed of crinkle cut fries, their special cheese sauce (bonus recipe below!) and melted American cheese. Shack Sauce and Fries is one of their most popular secret menu items. Add some bacon for an even more indulgent snack.


Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat) ingredients


This sauce is so good, you don’t want to make variations on it. Instead use it in other recipes that call for a special sauce or spread.

  • Cheeseburger Casserole: Our cheeseburger casserole is modeled after the Big Mac but instead swap out the Shack Sauce to make a dish that Shake Shack wishes they had on their menu!
  • Chicken Strips: Use this as a dipping sauce for our Crispy Chicken Strips and serve them up for game day!
  • Meatloaf: Make kid friendly comfort food with our Cheeseburger Meatloaf and brush this sauce on top during the last 10 minutes of baking.
  • Burger: Of course you can always grill up the perfect burgers, spread this sauce on the top bun and recreate the Shake Shack Burger with American Cheese, green leaf lettuce, and plum tomatoes.


  • Dice ½ a yellow onion and 1 seeded jalapeño and sauté.
  • Mix 2 cups heavy cream with 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon white wine.
  • Soak onion and pepper in cream mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Heat on stove until hot.
  • Strain and pour over 2 cups American cheese and 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, stir until melted.
  • Store in a sealed container for up to 1 week.



  • Serve: Mayo-based sauces like this should be stored in the refrigerator within 2 hours.
  • Store: Store Shack Sauce in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Since it’s made with mayonnaise, freezing this sauce is not recommended.

Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat) in pan with meat

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Shake Shack Sauce (Copycat)

Shack Shack Sauce (Copycat) is the legendary burger chain's tangy, creamy sauce that's perfect on burgers and sandwiches or for dipping!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 slices kosher dill pickle , finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  • If you want your sauce to have a more smooth texture, you can blend it in the food processor for 5-10 seconds.
  • Store in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator.


Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Iron: 1mg

Shake Shack Sauce Copycat collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. I just watched the culinary head for shake shack and he stated emphatically he doesn’t use ketchup anywhere in his recipes. Also it’s a smooth creamy sauce…just wondering where you got the dill pickles from?

    1. Both husband and I loved. It is now a staple for our hamburgers and fries
      We also put it on sandwiches and it’s delicious.

  2. Bless you Sabrina! Tried your SS cheese sauce recipe last night and it came out great! I used half and half instead of heavy cream and it still worked just fine. Thank you!

  3. If I were to save a few minutes by using dill relish would this ruin anything? And if so how much would you say to use?

    1. I’ve not tested it but it should work. Whatever else is added into the relish might adjust the flavor a bit though.

  4. Somehow I’ve never heard of this sauce but looking at the combo of ingredients it looks like a real winner, gotta try it!

  5. That shake shack copycat sauce looks pretty awesome! I normally just like ketchup and mustard on my burgers, but I would definitely try this.