Easy Homemade Burger Sauce/Spread (In-N-Out Copycat)

Beef burger with a couple bites in it to look like an In N Out Burger with lettuce, tomato, smashed burger with sauce dripping in a burger basket on top of wax paper
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Posted On: June 8, 2023
Last updated: October 12th, 2023

Who doesn’t love a creamy, sweet and tangy sauce on a Burger? If you’ve traveled to southern California or the west coast and love In-n-Out’s famous burgers, but don’t live near one, you can make your own easy homemade burger sauce/spread like In-N-Out with this recipe.  Re-live that delicious moment you last enjoyed an animal style burger with this super easy recipe.  You will not be disappointed.  Bring the burger joint to your own kitchen and create your version of the legendary In-N-Out Burger “not so secret” sauce that is sure to be a hit at your next cookout!  This is by far one of my favorite burger sauces and hopefully it will be yours as well. 

homemade burger sauce spread in a small bowl in basket with a toasted bun beside with burger sauce spread on the bottom of an open bun, more sauce in white bowl in background with some lettuce, tomato and onion in the background
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Create Your Signature Sauce

Disclaimer: This is my take on the In-N-Out sauce, but it is not by any means an exact copycat of the original “burger spread.”

All you need is a few simple ingredients and a small bowl to create your own special sauce. Add all of your ingredients to your bowl, starting with mayo and then use a fork or small whisk to combine the mayonnaise with the other ingredients until it makes a smooth creamy sauce.  Yes, you will still have small lumps just from the pickle relish.  

4 photos showing the steps in making homemade burger sauce/spread: upper left unmixed with all ingredients, upper rt starting to mix, lower left fully mixed and smooth, lower right fully mixed and showing texture on a blue spatula spoon
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How else can I enjoy this Burger Sauce?

  • Use as a Dipping Sauce- It’s a great dipping sauce for French fries, onion rings, chicken tenders or any other fried indulgence you so desire. 
  • Veggie Burger Spread
  • Fried Chicken Burger Sauce
  • Homemade Animal-Style Fries
  • Topping for Hot Dogs
  • Use in place of Thousand Island Dressing for Sandwiches
6 ramekins showing 8 ingredients for burger sauce: Upper left- right-Mayo, ketchup and sweet relish. Lower left to right-yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar.
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Gather Your Burger Sauce/Spread Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise- I only use real mayo, but if you need this to be a vegan sauce, you can also substitute this for a vegan mayo, like one made out of avocado oil. 
  • Ketchup- I like to use organic minimal ingredient ketchup when feasible.
  • Sweet Relish- I like to only use sweet pickle relish made with cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar– This is an important ingredient for this to make a sweet, but tangy sauce.  If you do not have ACV, you can use white vinegar instead. 
  • Mustard- Yellow mustard, the good old American non spicy mustard is what you want, not Dijon.
  • Sugar- It’s only 1/2 a teaspoon, just for a little bit of extra sweetness.
  • Sea Salt-  I like sea salt for sauces and even the In-N-Out burger spread packet has sea salt in it as well.
  • Black Pepper- So, my personal preference here, but not a necessity is to use course ground black pepper.  I just love the way course black pepper looks in sauces, but you can use fine if that’s your preference.

Sauce Variations

  • Worcestershire Sauce- This might not be an authentic In-n-Out-style addition, but it does give your sauce a little extra umami flavoring if you want to try adding a little. So good!
  • Garlic Powder- Need an extra garlic kick? Add about 1/4 tsp.
Open burger on wax paper over basket with sauce, tomato, lettuce, beef patty and onion rings, topped with in-n-out style homemade burger spread and top of bun on side and a small ceramic bowl with more sauce on the side
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Need a Vegan Spread?

You can easily make this burger sauce vegan with a simple substitution of vegan mayo for regular mayo and you’ve got a vegan in-n-out sauce to enjoy on your veggie burger.

Full burger with all the toppings and toasted bun with extra sauce on the side on a wax paper covered yellow burger basket
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Build your Copycat In-N-Out Burger

Toast a freshly baked bun (or store bought hamburger buns as most of us use).  Then slather on some burger sauce onto the bottom half of the bun, add 1 or 2 tomato slices, some fresh lettuce then your grilled and smashed beef patty that might or might not have a slice of melted cheese.  Top with some sliced onion or grilled onion (aka caramelized onions) if you’re going with an “animal style” burger.  Add some dill pickle slices if you like.  Lastly add a little extra spread if you so desire and your top bun.  Enjoy that sweet and slightly tangy delicious homemade In-n-out- style burger. 

"Protein Style" burger on a black plate with lettuce leaf covered burger patties with all the topping, including the homemade burger sauce dripping off the sides with more lettuce, tomato, onion and sauce bowl in the background
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Need Low Carb? 

Go “Protein Style.”  Yes, it’s a thing!  If you’ve never been to In-n-out, you can order a burger protein style (it’s on their Not So Secret Menu here) and they will give you the burger you want wrapped beautifully in hand-leafed lettuce.  

Serve Up Your Creation 

Burger sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used in many ways. With these easy steps you can make your own delicious version of In-N-Out Burger sauce at home in no time. Enjoy the special and unique flavor it adds to your Burger! 

In-n-out-style smashed burger with bites taken out of it on a wax paper lined yellow burger basket with a small ceramic bowl of burger sauce on the side
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Beef burger with a couple bites in it to look like an In N Out Burger with lettuce, tomato, smashed burger with sauce dripping in a burger basket on top of wax paper
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Easy Homemade Burger Sauce/Spread (In-N-Out Copycat)

This homemade In-N-Out-style burger spread is the perfect accompaniment to a smashed or standard burger.  Can easily swap out the mayo to make it a vegan burger sauce as well. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 43 kcal


  • 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup with no HFCS
  • 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Add all of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together till you get a mostly smooth, creamy sauce. (the relish will remain chunky of course)
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour for maximum flavor.  


Store leftover sauce in an airtight container and enjoy within 2 weeks.  

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Serving: 1TbspCalories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 100mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 34IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 0.04mg
Keyword burger, in-n-out, sauce, spread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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