Healthy Chick-Fil-A Sauce
Published Nov 01, 2019, Updated May 14, 2021
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A healthy Chick-Fil-A sauce that tastes like the real deal, but uses blended cashews instead of mayo. It’s the perfect sweet and savory sauce for dipping. Gluten-free, dairy-free and can easily be made vegan.
I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this before, but I didn’t grow up eating super healthy. I actually lost weight in college, which inspired my whole health and wellness journey and ultimately led to creating Eating Bird Food. But as a child I ate my mom’s cooking, which involved lots of Southern staples and packaged food.
Where My Love For Chick-Fil-A Sauce Began
I was also hooked on fast food and my favorite restaurant was Chick-Fil-A. My go-to order was a large pack of nuggets, waffle fries and of course, the Chick-Fil-A sauce. I loved the sweet and savory flavor and would basically drown my whole meal in the sauce.
The closest Chick-Fil-A to where I grew up (Orange, Virginia) was in Fredericksburg, VA and as it turns out that’s where Chick-Fil-A sauce was invented. Before it was packaged up and distributed throughout all the Chick-Fil-A locations, the Fredericksburg location was the only Chick-Fil-A where you could get the “special sauce” and it was in a pump container near the ketchup rather than in little packets.
Pregnancy Cravings = Chick-Fil-A
Honestly, before becoming pregnant this year I hadn’t eaten at a Chick-Fil-A since college, but throughout this pregnancy I’ve had some interesting cravings, one of those being Chick-Fil-A. With this I was reminded of how much I used to love Chick-Fil-A sauce and decided it was time to make a homemade, healthy Chick-Fil-A sauce with no mayo and no weird preservatives.
Making a Healthy Chick-Fil-A Recipe
To get started with making the copycat sauce recipe, I looked up the ingredients and got to work testing the recipe. It took quite a few attempts, but at this point I think I’ve created a sauce that tastes pretty darn similar to the real deal. I’ve had some friends/family do a side-by-side blind taste-test to confirm that it does indeed taste like the packaged sauce and several people have said they like it better because it doesn’t have the “artificial taste” you get from the packaged, preserved sauce. Woot woot!
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce Ingredients
Now that I’ve nailed the homemade version and know how simple the recipe is, I may or may not be making this on the regular! Here are the ingredients we’re using:
- soaked cashews – instead of mayo, I decided to use soaked cashews as the base (which is what I did with my vegan ranch and vegan sour cream!).
- BBQ sauce – look for a low sugar version! My homemade BBQ sauce is amazing or I love Primal Kitchen’s low sugar BBQ.
- mustard – both dijon and yellow mustard.
- honey – the sauce has a slight sweetness to it so I used honey, but maple syrup is also delicious if you want to make this vegan.
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Healthy Chick-Fil-A Sauce Pairings
So far I’ve been using this sauce as a dip for homemade chicken nuggets (recipe coming soon) and frozen waffle fries, but it can be used as a dip, sauce or even a salad dressing!
- As a dip: Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets, Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders or these Easy Crispy Baked Tofu
- As a sauce: Veggie Burger or Tempeh Tacos
- As a dressing: If you add a little water to the sauce, you can use it as a dressing for this Vegan Power Bowl, other grain bowls or this Chicken Avocado Club Salad.
If you try this healthy Chick-Fil-A sauce, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
Healthy Chick-Fil-A Sauce
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- 2 Tablespoons barbecue sauce homemade or store-bought
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon honey*
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Add cashews to a bowl and cover with water. Let cashews soak for 30 minutes. Drain water.
- Add soaked cashews, BBQ sauce, dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper and water into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until creamy.
- If the sauce seems too thick you can add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and the consistency you like for your dipping sauce. Store leftover sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Use maple syrup instead of honey for a vegan version.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Tried this tonight and it was sooo good! Paired well with homemade chicken nuggets.
Woo-hoo!! Thanks for trying this recipe, Shannon. I’m so glad you liked the sauce! And thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, I really appreciate it! The ratings are super helpful to other readers. <3
Yay!! I’m so glad you tried and enjoyed this recipe, Maria. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. I so appreciate it. <3
You were not kidding! It really does taste just like it, except even way better!! All 6 of my kids and husband LOVED it! This recipe is a keeper!!
Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Tara!! So glad this sauce was a hit with your family. Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It’s super helpful to other readers, so I appreciate it. <3
Wait. This isn’t actual Chick-Fil-A sauce? Tastes incredible, one of the best healthy dupes around!
Ahh yay!! I’m so glad you’re loving this sauce, Megan!! Thanks again for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers, so I really appreciate it!!
Tastes amazing! Next time I would double because I don’t feel the amount of liquid really helps the cashews get completely blended. I used a vitamix and was left with a delicious but chunky sauce
This tastes so so good! I am obsessed with Chik Fil A sauce but always feels so guilty indulging. This tastes the exact same if not better
Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Laura! So glad you enjoyed this sauce. 🙂 Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. I really appreciate it.
Tastes like the real thing!! Now I don’t have to go to chick fil a! Went perfect with some tofu nuggets.
Ahh yay!! I’m so glad you loved this sauce, Cass. Thanks for trying it and for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I really appreciate it!
tastes pretty similar just not sure how its “healthier” only reason its 75 calories is because you halved the serving size of what they give you in a chickfila dipping sauce package. which is actually only 140 kcal vs yours which would be 150 if you ate the same size as chickfila serves. this is simply a homemade version
I’ve labeled it as healthier because of the ingredients used. It’s also dairy-free and vegan. Healthy doesn’t have to mean lower in calories. 🙂
Can’t wait to make this. This is definitely a healthy version. No corn syrup, added cane sugan, Caramel color, natural falvors and artificial smoke or unnecessary added preservatives. Excited to make your BBQ sauce too. Thanks for sharing
Any suggestions on a substitute for the cashews? Perhaps avocado oil mayo or something
We live 100 miles from the nearest Chick-Fil-A, but it’s our go-to fast food stop when we’re close, (and mostly for the Sauce)! This is delightful! I added a little extra turmeric and paprika for our tastes. My 8 year old just asked if she could have a bowl of it for a snack and I can’t keep her out of it. Hubby thought it was delicious too! I don’t think it’s going to last long in our house-hopefully at least to dinner, haha!
Ah yay!! So glad everyone has enjoyed this version of the sauce, Arian! Thanks so much for trying it and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!