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What Is Papa John’s Signature Burger Sauce? [Recipe Included]

what is papa john's signature burger sauce
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Did anyone say secret sauce? Well, you are in for a treat, as secret sauces are my kryptonite! Papa John’s is yet another fast-food place that I love. I am not really picky since fast food is the love of my life, but I do know food, and Papa John’s deserves every ounce of respect I have for it. 

The secret sauce at Papa John’s is both a mystery and a delight, so it was worth the “grand sacrifice” of having it over and over until I hacked it as much as possible. I am here to tell you that you can make a copycat sauce very similar to this one, so keep reading to find out more.

papa johns signature sauce recipe

What Is Papa John’s Signature Secret Sauce and What Does It Taste Like?

Papa John’s is an ingenious culinary as well as business move made by the chain as they have found a way to set their food apart even more with this mystery sauce. The recipe is very low-profile, and the exact quantities and ingredients are known to a privileged few. 

Still, it includes flavors that are already familiar to the American palate, so with a little effort, you can extract some info from the sauce. 

Papa John’s signature burger sauce has a uniquely creamy texture and a very rich consistency. It balances tanginess, sweetness, and a subtle hint of savory spices, making it an excellent contrast to pizza toppings. 

Although the exact sauce composition is heavily shrouded in mystery, it most likely contains mayonnaise, ketchup, dill pickles, garlic powder, and black pepper.


I Explained What Sonic Signature Sauce Is and Made a Copycat Recipe!

How to Make Papa John’s Signature Burger Sauce at Home? 

Even though the exact recipe is a well-kept secret, the taste of Papa John’s secret burger sauce is familiar to the palate, which helped me to create my own copycat recipe. Although it doesn’t taste exactly the same, it is pretty close. 

The base ingredients are mayonnaise, ketchup, dill pickles, garlic powder, and black pepper. The making procedure can’t be simpler since it only involves mixing and seasoning. Pop all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until you get a nice smooth consistency.

papa john's signature burger sauce ingredients

Once the ingredients homogenize, you are done! 

Once the sauce reaches your desired flavor, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Storing Tips

To enjoy your sauce as long as possible and have it safe, fresh, and delicious all the while, proper storage is a must. So, keep it refrigerated at all times. 

The best way to store it would be in an airtight container, but when I don’t have one available, I usually just use a glass jar or a regular plastic container with a good lid. 

Seal the lid as tight as possible. 

When you want to have some sauce, scoop as much as you need and return the rest to the fridge. Don’t contaminate the sauce using unclean utensils, and always check their condition before using them. 

Never freeze this sauce, as it will be completely ruined when defrosted.

papa johns signature sauce

Papa John’s Signature Burger Sauce

Author: Laura Bais
Here's my take on the Papa John's signature sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 203.5 kcal


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients together. Don't stop stirring until all the ingredients homogenize.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.


This will be enough for four burgers.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 203.5kcalCarbohydrates: 3.7gProtein: 0.4gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 11.8mgSodium: 276.4mgPotassium: 29.8mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.9gVitamin A: 102.3IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 3.6mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Papa John’s, Pizza bites sauce, Secret sauce, signature sauce

Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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