Grown-Up Dipping Sauce

About a year-and-a-half ago, we posted a recipe for crispy diner-style fries along with fry sauce, a species that seems to be indigenous to Utah/Southern Idaho. Being a born-and-bred Utah girl, of course I love my fry sauce. But this is the next step up–something you don’t have to apologize for or explain to people who may not be familiar with the pink stuff. This is full-blown grown-up fry sauce. And I can’t think of anything savory that it wouldn’t be good on.

dipping sauce with fries on a platter

Ingredient Notes

  • The Basics – Ketchup, mayonnaise, fresh garlic, red onion, and fresh lime juice are things you probably already have on hand. Fresh garlic and lime juice really do make a difference!
  • Creole Mustard – Don’t worry, you can find Creole mustard at most major American grocery stores (Zatarain’s is widely accessible and inexpensive). It is really uniquely flavorful and so good; if you’re looking for a great ground mustard, this is one of the best options. Walmart also makes a surprisingly good stone ground mustard.
  • Capers – If you are wondering (or ever have, or will now that I’m bringing it up) what capers are, they’re little buds from the caper bush, which grows in the Mediterranean. The buds are plucked off the bush before they can bloom and then they are pickled. They’re salty and mild and add a similar flavor to dill pickles, only a little more subtle and complex (hence the grown-up dipping sauce). If you can’t find capers, dill pickles would do in a pinch.
  • Cayenne Pepper – A little bit adds a kick of flavor without too much spice. If you’re worried about heat, start with a little less than a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper and then, after you’ve mixed everything together, add a little more until the sauce is as spicy as you’d like it.

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients (some ketchup, mayo, capers, minced garlic, red onion, fresh lime juice, mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt) in your blender or in the small bowl of your food processor (if you have one) and blend until the desired consistency is reached.
dipping sauce ingredients in small glass bowl
  1. After you’ve mixed your sauce, store it in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to a week. Serve it on whatever you want and prepare yourself for a little subtle finger-licking…
dipping sauce with fries on a platter

Serving Suggestions

In addition to the diner-style fries, you could try it on:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this ahead of time? Yep. This dipping sauce is best when it’s had a chance to chill and allow the flavors to blend. Mix it up when you’d like and use it up within 7 days.

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

dipping sauce in a small bowl with fries

Grown-Up Dipping Sauce

An elevated take on traditional "fry sauce" popular in many areas of the country.
Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise1/4 cup ketchup1 1/2 tablespoon capers drained and minced1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced red onion1 teaspoon fresh lime juice2 teaspoons creole or dijon mustard1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine ingredients in blender or the small bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Notes

For a crab cake remoulade, omit the ketchup and replace the lime juice with lemon juice.
Course: Condiments
Keyword: condiments, fry sauce
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Couldn’t find Creole mustard anywhere. One of the associates at Target found me a Creole Mustard Dressing, so I’m gonna try that. I’m sure it’ll make it a little runnier, but that’s okay.

  2. hi, i would like to ask what the best fry recipe would be for this fry sauce?

    1. Any type of fry! Try the oven baked steak fries in our vegetable section, or even just baked fries from the freezer section of the grocery store are great!

  3. I served this with sweet potato fries at a gathering this afternoon. This sauce was the hands down favorite out of the four sauces I served. Thanks for a hit.

    P.S. I used regular stone ground mustard with a pinch of creole seasoning.

  4. WHy isn't this on your recipe index? I looked and looked for it to make this weekend and finally found it by googling it because I knew it had to be there somewhere.

  5. Living in Utah, I definitely know fry sauce, but this for sure steps it up a notch or two!

  6. I love, love, love fry sauce. My family teases me that I get fries just so I can have the fry sauce..which is true. I don't even taste the fry with all the fry sauce I put on. The recipe sounds good. cant wait to try this different version.

  7. Eastern Idahoians LOVE their fry sauce, too. This looks so delicious! I'm definitely making this next time burgers are on the menu!

  8. My diet is so doomed…Now I want to make the remoulade version and some crab cakes!

    So…what is this UT/Southern ID fry sauce phenomenon?

    1. Fry sauce is a simple blend of roughly equal parts ketchup and mayo (or miracle whip). I also add a little squirt of brown mustard to put just a bit of tang to it. (Some people use dill pickle juice instead of mustard. Or I’ve even seen it with pickle relish. Some leave out the tang entirely.) I always have this on hand- make it and keep it in the fridge. A lot of people look at me weird when I first offer it to them, but they all ask for it after that!

  9. lunchbag–You should probably just book another trip to Louisiana. 🙂

    No, really, try looking for the mustard that's coarsely ground–like it's a little creamy and doesn't have the whole mustard seeds (although you can see the crushed mustard seeds).

    Here's the Great Value (Walmart) brand:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-All-Natural-Coarse-Ground-Mustard-12-oz/10449840

    And if you have Tabasco in your area, they also make a Creole mustard:
    http://www.amazon.com/TABASCO-Coarse-Ground-Mustard-oz/dp/B00060MWMI

    Hope that helps!

  10. This recipe looks amazing! However, I have never seen creole mustard. I live in Canada…Zatarain's is NOT a household word up here. So finding it could prove to be a real challenge. Any suggestions for a close substitute? Or do I need to book another trip to Louisiana? 🙂

  11. thanks so much!! 🙂 pregnant lady has been dying for some good fry sauce! 🙂

    -adrienne

  12. Patrick, Adrienne, & Bella–Yep, it will probably be by the olives and pickles, but you might also find them in the Mediterranean or Italian food section. If you're having trouble, just ask someone in that general area and they should be able to help you.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  13. Funny. I thought capers were pickled juniper berries. I didn't know there was an actual caper bush. You learn something new every day.

  14. I live in UT and never thought fry sauce was that amazing but THIS looks amazing!! And thanks for posting all those ideas on what to serve with. It is SO helpful how you girls always include ideas on what goes with your featured recipe … really, so helpful!!!

  15. are the capers with the pickles in the store? or where are they usually located? (we've recently moved so i'm not 100% familiar with our grocery stores here)

  16. I've never even heard of fry sauce…other than ketchup. Looking forward to trying them!

  17. Yummm! I really want to try those shoe string fries, my boyfriend and I are ADDICTED to bloomin' onions but that looks more friendly on the college student's budget 🙂

  18. Filled with stuff I would never seek out to eat, yet still looks like it might be worth a try…how odd is that, lol. Here in OK…if fries are dipped at all, they are dipped in ketchup, ranch or gravy, lol.

  19. Love this! Reminds me of Bel Frites in California… fries with new spices and sauces totally trump the traditional ketchup these days. Very creative

  20. This sounds so yummy! Can't wait to try it- I bet it would be awesome one burger.

  21. Brian and Anne–You pose a tricky question. 🙂 Honestly, once you get all the flavors in there, the capers really don't taste very caper-y. They do add a little zip, though. So if you really, really don't want to add them, you might need to add a little dill pickle juice or dill pickle relish (although not the full 1 1/2 tablespoons–maybe closer to 2 teaspoons of dill relish).

    Carlie–The great thing about Creole mustard is that it's not super mustard-y to start with; it's not as spicy as brown or traditional ground mustard and it's not mustard-y at all like yellow mustard. I accidentally left it out of this particular batch at first and I knew something was off and then as soon as I added it, it really rounded out the flavors. There are so many strong flavors going on here (garlic, onion, capers, ketchup, cayenne) that the mustard is actually one of the mildest elements. Hope that helps! 🙂

  22. Question – Our family does not like mustard at all. SO I wondering if this sauce has mustardy taste at all? We love fry sauce in this house, so the idea of this grown-up sauce sounds yummy but I'm worried about the mustard.

  23. Can I forgo the capers? I really dislike the flavor… to say the least… or would that change the integrity of the dish entirely?

  24. Alyssa–Hahaha, those are totally the frozen Checkers fries from the grocery store! I was going to make my own, but these shorter days (and less natural light) + picking up my kindergartener from school keep throwing me for a loop!

  25. Looks YUMMY!! I want to know the recipe for the fries in the photo too! They look delicious. Are those the diner-style fries from your blog?

  26. This sauce looks and sounds amazing! I've been looking for a sauce to go with quesadillas and I think this will be great! Thanks for the awesome recipe.