The best part about going to Subway is picking out all the toppings for my sandwich. The possibilities seem endless, from a rainbow of veggies to a whole shelf of sauces and dressings. But with so many options, how do you know which ones are the best? I decided to do an official taste test of Subway’s sauces, from the best to the worst. I also replicated each one and wrote down the recipes here so you can make any you like at home! So, what sauces does Subway have?
From classic honey mustard sauce, unique peppercorn ranch, buffalo sauce, or roasted garlic aioli to Baja chipotle, MVP parmesan vinaigrette, red wine vinegar, or sweet onion teriyaki for those who don’t avoid gluten, there are many excellent Subway sauces to try.
Read on to find out how I ranked Subway’s sauces, highlights and lowlights of each one, and how you can recreate your favorites at home. You’ll never look at that sauce pump shelf the same way again.
List of Subway Sauces [Ranked]
Of all the sauces Subway offers, I’d say the Sweet Onion Teriyaki and Honey Mustard reign supreme. The Sweet Onion has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness to complement any sub, and the Honey Mustard adds a subtle kick that lingers on your tongue.
Overall though, Subway offers a solid lineup of sauces to satisfy any craving. And here I ranked them all from best to worst. Let’s dive in!
Sweet Onion Teriyaki
The Sweet Onion Teriyaki sauce is my guilty pleasure. I can’t get enough of the sticky-sweet and slightly savory flavor.
The teriyaki sauce hits you with the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, with notes of soy, onion, and sesame. Each bite leaves you wanting more. I find myself going back for extra packets to slather on my sandwich.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spicy sriracha or hearty marinara, but Subway’s teriyaki sauce is a surprise favorite I just can’t quit. Luckily, the ingredients are pretty simple, so you can easily make your own version at home with low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar or lime juice, brown sugar, corn starch, onion juice, and some spices.
Mix it all together, simmer until the sugar dissolves, and you’ll have a homemade teriyaki sauce to rival Subway’s addictive concoction.
The honey mustard sauce is one of my favorites. It has the perfect blend of sweet honey and spicy mustard flavors. Each bite gives you a little kick of heat, followed by a mellow sweetness.
To make it at home, simply mix three parts honey with one part Dijon mustard. You can add a bit of mayonnaise to make it creamier, then a bit of water, sugar, and vinegar. The honey provides the sweetness, while the mustard brings the tang. Adjust the amounts to your desired heat and sweetness. This homemade version tastes very similar to Subway’s.
Subway’s honey mustard doesn’t have any fat. For a healthier alternative, use Greek yogurt instead of some or all of the mayonnaise. You can also add a bit of lemon or lime juice for some brightness. Serve the honey mustard with chicken, pretzels, sandwiches, or as a dip for fresh veggies. However you eat it, the honey mustard sauce is sure to please.
The buffalo sauce has a kick of heat and a hint of sweetness from molasses that cuts through the spice. I like that it has an almost barbecue-like flavor with subtle smoky undertones. The buffalo sauce goes great on chicken sandwiches and strips.
Whenever I recreate it at home, I usually mix hot sauce like Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco, molasses, and a bit of smoked paprika. Add honey for extra sweetness.
When I tried the Peppercorn Ranch sauce, I didn’t expect much. Ranch is pretty basic, right? Well, this one surprised me. It has a nice kick of black pepper that gives it a little heat without being overpowering.
The creamy buttermilk base is rich and tangy, pairing perfectly with the peppery notes. Overall, this sauce has much more dimension than your average ranch dressing.
If you want to make a homemade version, combine buttermilk, parsley, dill, garlic, onion, salt, and plenty of cracked black pepper. Whisk everything together until smooth and chill before serving. The pepper is what gives this sauce its distinctive flavor, so don’t skimp on it! Use this homemade peppercorn ranch as a dip for crispy chicken fingers, french fries, or fresh veggies.
The Baja Chipotle sauce has just the right amount of kick to spice things up without being too overpowering.
The chipotle and guajillo peppers give it a smoky flavor with a good amount of heat. You can definitely taste the chili peppers, jalapeños, and chili powder. If you like your food on the spicier side, this sauce will hit the spot.
- It has a vinegary base with garlic and spices that complement the chipotle peppers well.
- The heat builds up the more you eat, but it’s not so spicy that it’s hard to finish your sub.
- I would classify it as a medium heat level, suitable for most people who enjoy a little fire in their food.
The ingredients are simple enough that you can easily make a copycat Baja Chipotle sauce at home with chili peppers, vinegar or lime, paprika, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and other spices. Simmer chipotle peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and chili powder in vinegar and blend until smooth. Start with 1 or 2 peppers and add more based on how much heat you want. Bottle and refrigerate for up to a month.
The Baja Chipotle hits a sweet spot of flavor and heat that makes any sub sandwich more interesting. Whether you get it on meatballs, steak, cheese, or veggies, this sauce adds a kick that keeps you coming back for more.
It also works amazingly well combined with the sweet onion sauce — as you can see, it’s definitely a combo to try out the next time you make your Subway errand.
MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette hits all the right notes with its blend of parmesan cheese, vinegar, herbs, and garlic. The parmesan adds a tangy, savory kick, while the vinegar brings a bright pop of acidity. Despite its sharp ingredients, the overall flavor is mellow and creamy.
This versatile vinaigrette pairs well with any sub or salad. I like to drench my Spicy Italian sub in it or use it to dress up a simple side salad.
To make your own version at home, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 cloves minced garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. I always shake or stir before drizzling it over my favorite subs, salads, or veggies.
Roasted Garlic Aioli
The aioli has a creamy texture and strong roasted garlic flavor that complements Subway’s sandwiches perfectly. It’s made from mayonnaise, three different kinds of garlic, olive oil, and dried parsley. To make your own at home, combine the following ingredients: mayonnaise (1 cup), minced roasted garlic (3-4 cloves), olive oil (2 tbsp), lemon juice (1 tbsp), dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Chill before serving.
Your homemade roasted garlic aioli will taste very similar to Subway’s and is excellent on sandwiches, burgers, or as a dip for fries.
Red Wine Vinegar
Subway’s red wine vinegar is my least favorite of their sauces. I find it too tart and acidic for my tastes. The vinegar flavor overpowers everything else in the sandwich.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a kick of acidity and brightness, but the red wine vinegar is too much for me. If I want to replicate this at home, I simply splash some red wine vinegar on my sub roll before adding the fillings. For most people, though, I suggest diluting the vinegar with olive oil and herbs to mellow out the flavor.
The good news is that red wine vinegar is naturally vegan and gluten-free, so if you do enjoy this punchy sauce, you can have it on any sub. You can find red wine vinegar at most grocery stores, but for the authentic Subway taste, you may want to track down their brand.
Overall, the red wine vinegar sauce is too overpowering for my tastes.
What Subway Sauces Are Vegan?
Luckily, Subway offers a few vegan sauces that are perfect for adding flavor to a veggie sub or salad. The sweet onion teriyaki sauce, roasted garlic aioli sauce, and red vinegar are all vegan and dairy-free.
What Subway Sauces Are Gluten-Free?
When I’m craving Subway, I have to consider my gluten sensitivity. Luckily, most of their sauces are gluten-free, so I can still enjoy my sub!
Buffalo sauce, honey mustard, roasted garlic aioli, and light mayonnaise are fantastic options; just avoid sweet onion teriyaki.
Where Can You Buy Subway Sauces?
Unfortunately, Subway sauces are not sold in stores for customers to purchase. While not precisely the same, there are excellent DIY sauce substitutes and store-bought alternatives that can help curb your appetite for Subway’s signature sauces when you have a craving but can’t make it into your nearest sub shop.
What is your favorite Subway sauce combo? I would love to try out new combinations — write down your faves in the comments below!