What Is Zesty Sauce?

Sauces are great, and depending on which you’re using, can really make the difference between bland and exciting. 

Amidst the plethora of options in the world of sauces, zesty sauce is truly a game-changer and all Burger King fans would attest to that easily. 

But what makes this sauce stand out above many others?

Let’s find out in this article.

What Is Zesty Sauce Made From?

From the word alone, you can tell that zesty sauce is made from a combination of ingredients that bring in a strong, pleasant and spicy flavor.

At the heart of zesty sauce lies prepared horseradish, known for its powerful and tear-inducing spiciness whenever it touches the tongue. 

However, don’t worry about being overwhelmed by the spice; white vinegar and mayo are added to balance out the intense flavor of the horseradish.

Additional ingredients in zesty sauce often include prepared mustard and lemon juice, which amplify the zestiness factor. 

Salt, sugar, cayenne pepper (for an extra kick), ketchup (for color and sweetness), and soy sauce are also commonly incorporated into this blend for a more complex flavor experience.

Is Zesty Sauce Spicy?

Zesty sauce from fast food restaurants like Burger King offer a subtle kick from the cayenne pepper and horseradish, which means that it’s not an overpowering flavor experience. 

The blend of mayonnaise and vinegar are the ingredients that help mellow out the punch from the radish as well as the pepper, creating a well balanced flavor that kicks the taste buds just slightly. 

For fans of homemade sauces, you can easily customize the heat level by adding more cayenne pepper or horseradish. 

Just remember that moderation is key as you don’t want to overwhelm your taste buds! 

If you find yourself with an overly spicy zesty sauce, simply add more mayo to tame it down. 

Not a fan of mayo? No worries! 

You can also opt for a mayo alternative (that is just as neutral as it is) to counteract the extra heat.

What Goes Well With Zesty Sauce?

Here’s a list of mouthwatering pairings where zesty sauce truly shines.

Onion Rings: The satisfying crunch and unmistakable flavor of onion rings are only elevated further when accompanied by a tangy sauce. Plunge them in for an addictive pairing that will have you reaching for seconds (and possibly thirds). 

Roast Beef: Succulent, mouthwatering roast beef is already a treat on its own (who’d argue with that?), but introducing zesty sauce unlocks a whole new level of deliciousness. The smoky nuances of the beef meld harmoniously with the bold flavors of the sauce, leaving your fingers grateful and your taste buds singing praises!

Fried Mushrooms: The rich, umami character of fried mushrooms serves as the perfect backdrop for zesty sauce to truly shine. This exquisite marriage of contrasting flavors and textures elevates this duo to gastronomic brilliance.

Hamburger: A mere dollop of zesty sauce transforms your average hamburger into an irresistible culinary delight. This simple addition imparts depth and personality that rivals even the most revered condiments.

Sandwiches: Whether you’re savoring a classic turkey and cheese or venturing into more daring territory, a swipe of zesty sauce elevates your sandwich from mundane to extraordinary in a single stroke.

Mozzarella Sticks: Indulge in these ooey-gooey cheese-filled delights as they reach new heights of scrumptiousness when dipped in a vivacious zesty sauce. The tangy and spicy profile of the sauce flawlessly complements the luxurious mozzarella, making it an irresistible crowd-pleaser.

Jalapeño Poppers: Savor the divine union of jalapeño poppers and zesty sauce – a match seemingly destined by culinary fate. The fiery heat from the jalapeños harmonizes with the cool tanginess of the sauce, igniting a flavor eruption that’ll set your taste buds on a delightful dance!

Salad: Banish any notion of blandness by dressing your salads with a captivating zesty sauce instead of (or alongside) the usual suspects like mayo or ranch. Witness your everyday greens transforming into an enchanting medley of tantalizing flavors.

Mashed Potatoes: Breathe new life into this timeless classic by introducing a touch of zesty sauce to your creamy mashed potatoes. Swirl it in or use as a topping for an unforeseen twist that’ll elevate this comforting dish to new dimensions.

Deviled Eggs: Take this rich and flavorful appetizer up a notch with the addition of our vibrant zesty sauce. Blend it into your filling (similarly to Worcestershire sauce) or drizzle atop each egg half for an exquisite fusion you simply can’t afford to miss.

Savory Fritters: Glistening, delightfully crispy, and bursting with deliciousness – savory fritters are simply destined to be dunked in a zesty sauce. Be it corn fritters or those packed with veggies, the flavors harmonize impeccably, leading to an extraordinary taste sensation that your taste buds will undoubtedly appreciate.

Fries: Let’s not kid ourselves – fries are the ultimate blank canvas for sauces, and zesty sauce is no exception! This vibrant, bold concoction introduces a fresh twist on the timeless duet of fries and ketchup or Mayochup. Take our word for it: once you’ve sampled your fries with a dollop of zesty magnificence, there’s no turning back.

Fish Sticks: Yearning for something more exciting than plain tartar sauce to accompany your fish sticks? Look no further than zesty sauce! Its lively flavor profile enhances battered fish exquisitely, elevating each mouthful to new heights of scrumptiousness (dare we say, even surpassing traditional tartar sauce?).

Fried Chicken: What kind of list would this be without some fried poultry to pair with your zesty sauce? Uplevel your fried chicken or turkey experience by incorporating some tangy goodness into the mix. The union of crispy chicken skin and zesty, spicy undertones results in an irresistible taste adventure that no one should miss out on.

Where Can You Buy Burger King Zesty Sauce?

For all the Burger King fans out there who simply can’t get enough of their Zesty Sauce, luckily for you, snagging some of that zesty goodness is easier than you might think. 

While dining at any Burger King restaurant, you can generally request Zesty Sauce packets to accompany your meal. 

Customizing orders with the BK mobile app often provides an option to add additional sauce packets as well.

But what about those days when you crave the sauce without a full-on fast food run? 

The answer lies in retail shopping – either in-store or online. 

Although Burger King doesn’t directly sell bottled Zesty Sauce to anyone except customers that walk into there restaurants, several brands offer comparable alternatives inspired by the original recipe. 

How To Make Zesty Sauce At Home

Craving that unmistakable zing from Burger King’s Zesty Sauce but don’t want to leave the house? We’ve got you covered. 

With just a handful of ingredients, you can whip up your own batch of this iconic sauce and enjoy it with your favorite snacks or homemade onion rings.

Here’s how to make a copycat version of Burger King’s much-loved Zesty Sauce.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 drops of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (feel free to add more for extra heat)


Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and once you’ve achieved a smooth, well-blended texture, cover the bowl and chill the sauce for at least two hours in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Storage Tips:

To retain its fresh taste and prevent spoilage, store your homemade Zesty Sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


How To Make Zesty Sauce Without Horseradish

Horseradish is often a key and go-to ingredient to achieve the zing of zesty sauce. You might however, find horseradish overpowering or have difficulties finding it in stores. 

In this case, you can still create a delightfully zesty sauce sans horseradish without sacrificing too much in flavor by ditching it out completely without replacement, or using the following alternatives. 

Wasabi Paste

If you don’t have horseradish on hand or prefer to avoid it altogether, turning to wasabi paste is an excellent option. 

For every teaspoon of horseradish called for in your recipe, use just half a teaspoon of wasabi paste instead. It adds a similar tangy spice while slightly tweaking the flavor profile.

Pro tip: You can easily make wasabi paste by mixing wasabi powder with water until you reach the desired consistency.

Black Radish

Another interesting alternative is black radish

This under-the-radar root vegetable can be substituted for horseradish at a one-to-one ratio. 

Grate the black radish and incorporate it into your sauce as you would with traditional horseradish.

Leave a Comment