What Sauces Does Carl’s Jr Have, Taste Test & Pairings

What Sauces Does Carl's Jr Have, Taste Test & Pairings
Share on:

With so many sauces to choose from, Carl’s Jr has something for every taste bud. From the tangy kick of Buttermilk Ranch to the fiery inferno of Hot Sauce, my taste buds have been awakened by Carl’s Jr’s selection of sauces. Over the next few minutes, I’m going to take you on a journey through Carl’s Jr’s sauces to demystify what’s inside each packet and bottle. So, what sauces does Carl’s Jr have?

The Sweet & Bold BBQ is thick, smoky, and tangy; the Honey Mustard is mildly spicy and slightly sweet; for a herby kick, choose the Buttermilk Ranch, while if you like heat, the Buffalo sauce brings fiery flavor. You can also use their burger sauces, Santa Fe, Special House, Ketchup, Mayo, and Hot Sauce, as dips.

No matter which sauce ends up being your go-to, you really can’t go wrong with either. Whether you’re a sauce novice or consider yourself a connoisseur, get ready to discover some new favorites to dunk your burger or dip your chicken stars in. The only question is, how spicy do you want to go? Grab some napkins; it’s about to get messy!

Sweet & Bold BBQ Dipping Sauce

Carl's Jr Sweet & Bold BBQ Sauce

This stuff is molasses-y, smokey, and just the right amount of sweetness for their burgers.

The ingredients are simple: high fructose corn syrup, molasses, tomato paste, vinegar, honey, and spices. But combined, they make a sauce that’s reminiscent of classic American BBQ joints. Each bite fills your mouth with flavors of brown sugar and chili peppers, making it just right — not too watery, not too savory, and not too sweet.

I like to pair the Sweet & Bold BBQ sauce with the Western Bacon Cheeseburger or the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger. The bacon, cheese, and onion rings perfectly accompany this robust, full-bodied sauce. For extra decadence, ask for extra sauce on the side — you’ll want to dunk each bite of your burger in it!

If you want to make this sauce at home:

  1. Start with ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic, and liquid smoke.
  2. Simmer the ingredients together, then puree until smooth.
  3. Add more molasses for extra sweetness or chili powder to turn up the heat.
  4. Let it cool, then brush it on grilled burgers, ribs, or chicken.


What Sauces Does Cane’s Have, Taste Test & Pairings

Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce

Buttermilk Ranch Dipping Sauce

The Buttermilk Ranch dressing is my personal favorite Carl’s Jr sauce. It’s cool, creamy, and herb-y — perfect for dipping fries, onion rings, and chicken tenders.

This ranch dressing has a tangy, garlicky kick from buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lots of fresh herbs like dill, chives, and parsley. The herbs give it an almost pesto-like freshness. I love how the garlic comes through, but it isn’t overpowering. If you want an extra garlicky punch, add some minced garlic when making it at home.

While the buttermilk ranch is ideal for dipping, it also makes a great salad dressing. Try it on a classic Cobb salad or a wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, and crumbled blue cheese. The creamy buttermilk helps the dressing cling to the lettuce without being too heavy.

To make it at home, combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, fresh chopped herbs like dill and chives, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Chill before serving.

For a vegan version, you can use vegan mayonnaise and non-dairy milk like almond or coconut milk yogurt instead of buttermilk. 

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Carl's Jr Honey Mustard

The Honey Mustard dipping sauce boasts the perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors that pair great with Carl’s Jr’s chicken tenders.

This sauce is made of honey, mustard, mayonnaise, and spices. The honey provides a subtle sweetness that’s balanced by the zing of the mustard. When you dip your crispy chicken tenders in this sauce, the flavors blend together in your mouth for a tasty combination of sweet and tangy with a little kick.

Honey mustard sauce pairs well with chicken tenders, onion rings, and fries.

You can make your own honey mustard sauce at home with:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend. 

Overall, the Honey Mustard dipping sauce is a crowd-pleaser. Its balanced sweet and tangy flavor profile pairs nicely with many menu items, and it’s easy to replicate at home for your own dipping pleasure.

You can also use their burger sauces as dips — I love dipping my chicken tenders into their Santa Fe, Special House, Ketchup, Mayo, and Hot Sauce! See how many options they have!

Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce

Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce

If you like things hot and spicy, this sauce will not disappoint. Made of Frank’s RedHot cayenne pepper sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices, it packs a kick of heat that goes perfectly with Carl’s Jr’s chicken tenders, chicken stars, or even onion rings.

I also like to dip my criss-cut fries in the buffalo sauce for extra zing. If you’re really brave, drizzle it on your burger or sandwich for a spicy flavor bomb. You can even use it for making Buffalo Chicken Stromboli (pizza roll).

To make your own version at home:

  1. Combine ½ cup Frank’s RedHot sauce, ¼ cup white vinegar or lime juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, and ¼ teaspoon each of oregano, basil, thyme, and black pepper.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes, then let cool. The sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.
  3. Use it as a dipping sauce, marinade, or glaze for meats like chicken, shrimp, or cauliflower.

Final Thoughts on Carl’s Jr Sauces

Unfortunately, when it comes to Carl’s Jr sauces, not all of them are vegan or even vegetarian-friendly. If you follow a plant-based diet, you must be careful about hidden animal products. Through trial and error, I’ve found some of their sauces I can enjoy without worry.

While most of Carl’s Jr’s other sauces contain dairy, eggs, or honey, I’m glad I have some vegan-friendly options to spice up my meals here and there!

The good news is that the Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce is vegan and contains no animal products. Frank’s RedHot sauce, which provides the heat, is also vegan. So you can enjoy this spicy and zesty sauce without worry. If you want to make your own version at home, be sure to use vegan-friendly ingredients.

Besides this, you can also use Sweet & Bold BBQ Dipping Sauce or some other simple versions, including Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, Ketchup, or Mustard.

What’s your go-to order in Carl’s Jr, and which sauce do you usually combine it with? Give me a combo recommendation in the comments below!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments