Copycat Recipes Toppings

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

Give your snacks a sweet and spicy kick with this yummy replica sauce

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated August 30, 2022

Make chicken nuggets taste even better with this McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce!

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce

Everyone’s favorite fast-food chain first offered the McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce as part of their BTS meal in May 2021. K-Pop fans couldn’t get enough of this chicken mcnuggets, fries, and medium coke deal that came with two new sauces – sweet chili and cajun sauce.

These limited-edition sauces and the packaging, which was predominantly purple, made the meal stand out. Otherwise, it was a regular meal that was already popular at McDonald’s.

Those that remember the McDonald’s sour sauce from growing up were taken back to the unique flavor of that condiment. The sweet chili sauce was spicy, tangy, and sweet.

Plus, it’s so simple to make a copycat version in your own kitchen. Combine vinegar, cornstarch, corn syrup, and chili sauce in a pan, and that’s it!

You can then use this tasty and versatile dipping sauce alongside your favorite snacks. Or as a condiment in sandwiches and wraps or over a salad.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce_

Picking The Best McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce Ingredients

White Vinegar

White vinegar, also called distilled or spirit vinegar is often used in marinades and sauces to add a touch of zing. And that’s what this ingredient does here – it adds a tart element to the sweet chili sauce, plus it acts as a preservative to make it last longer (1).


Cornstarch, which is sometimes called cornflour, is extracted from the endosperm of corn. It only contains carbohydrates and so unlike normal flour, is gluten-free.

It’s a white powder that is often used in baking and cooking, as well as in other household chores and even in some industrial tasks.

Here, the role of the cornstarch is as a thickener. This gives your sweet chili dipping sauce a gloopy, rich texture and stops it from becoming too watery.

Corn Syrup

This type of syrup is made from the sugars that occur naturally in corn. It’s sweet and has a good viscosity to it, and you’ll find corn syrup in either light or dark varieties.

The lighter version has a mildly sweet taste which is sometimes flavored with vanilla. The dark corn syrup has a heavier, deeper taste and has molasses which gives it its dark caramel color.

In this recipe for McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce, corn syrup is used alongside the sugar to sweeten the sauce and make the texture stickier. You’ll find that it gives your dish a unique, candy-like taste – perfect for those who love sweet condiments!

Chili Sauce

Any variety of pre-made chili sauce can be used in this recipe, so use what’s in your store cupboard. Or if you have a favorite recipe for homemade chili sauce, you can use that too.

You might see that some recipes of this kind ask for you to source a sambal oelek sauce. But this isn’t a requirement here, so feel free to use any kind.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce recipe

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time5 min
  • Total Time10 min
  • Servings1
  • Yield½ cup

Level: Easy




  1. Mix the Ingredients

    Take your small bowl and add the white vinegar and water. Mix these together and then add the cornstarch, using the whisk to thoroughly combine.

    Set your stove to a medium heat. Add your cornstarch solution to the small saucepan on the stove.

    Next, add the remaining ingredients to the pan – the corn syrup, sugar, salt, garlic salt, chili sauce, and cayenne pepper.

  2. Make the Sweet Chili Sauce

    Make sure to keep whisking your sauce so that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Do this regularly until the mixture comes to a full boil.

    Then, allow it to cook for 1 more minute before you turn off the stove.

    You now need to let it cool! As it does so, the sauce will thicken.

    Finally, serve your homemade sweet chili dipping sauce with some chicken mcnuggets or your other favorite food!

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce serve

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is a very popular condiment across Asia. Once you’ve mastered it, it’ll become one of your favorite dipping sauces.

A great way to use it is as McDonald’s serves it – with some fries and chicken mcnuggets. But it’ll also go really well with other fried food, such as spring rolls or tempura prawns or chicken.

Or, your McDonald’s Sweet chili sauce can be part of a healthier meal, such as a dipping sauce for veggie sticks such as carrots or cucumbers. You can also use it as a condiment in veggie or chicken wraps.

And the flavor of this sweet chili sauce goes really well in stir fry dishes served with noodles. The possibilities are endless if you enjoy slightly sweet and spicy meals!

Storage Instructions

Once you’ve opened any kind of sweet chili sauce – whether this is your homemade McDonald’s sweet chili sauce or a store-bought version – it needs to be refrigerated. This way it’ll last you a long time.

If left at room temperature, your opened jar or bottle of sauce will last about 1 month. But if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this increases to about 9 months, so it’s definitely worth doing.

But the longer you leave it out of the refrigerator, the more you risk shortening its shelf life (even if you then put it in the fridge afterward). Check for signs that your sauce has begun to spoil by seeing if there are any visible signs of mold and/or a sour smell.

Your chili sauce may begin to thicken once it goes in the fridge, depending on what recipe you’ve followed. This is great if you’re going to use it as one of your regular dipping sauces, or as a condiment in sandwiches or wraps.

But it will also revert back to its normal consistency once it’s been at room temperature for a while.

I wouldn’t recommend that you put your sauce in the freezer.

McDonald's Sweet Chili Sauce - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 430Calories
  • 0.1 g Fat
  • 112.9 g Carbs
  • 0.2 gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Per ½ cup
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat0.1 g 0%
Saturated Fat0 g 0%
Cholesterol0 mg 0%
Sodium839 mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate112.9 g 41%
Dietary Fiber0.2 g 1%
Total Sugars68.9 g
Protein0.2 g
Vitamin C0 mcg 0%
Calcium5 mg 0%
Iron0 mg 1%
Potassium54 mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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