The 10 Best Spicy Fast-Food Sauces of All Time—Ranked!
Fast-food sauces are often the link between a dull meal and a meal that sings. A chicken nugget, for example, is unthinkable without a dunk in a smoky barbecue sauce or tangy honey mustard. And who eats a taco without some kind of fiery drizzle? All fast-food lovers have their favorite and the return of a beloved sauce, like McDonald's Szechuan sauce, can cause quite a stir.
Recently, many restaurants have jumped on the spicy bandwagon to provide even more of a flavor punch. Ranker, a site that bases lists off of votes from its readers, has a page dedicated to these spice-kissed sauces. Here are the top 10 spicy fast-food sauces of all time, ranked from least to most popular.
And if you're looking for a burger, be sure to skip the 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.
McDonald's Hot Picante Sauce
This sauce is a tangy, very slightly spicy combination of jalapeno peppers and green bell peppers and is the perfect accompaniment to McDonald's breakfast burritos. While it may taste great, a Vice article disputes the spice level of this salsa-like sauce, arguing, "This is not spicy enough to warrant a 'Hot' or a 'Picante.' Still, I will get this every time I go to McDonald's."
Jack in the Box Franks Red Hot Buffalo Dipping Sauce
Jack in the Box knows that if they serve Buffalo sauce, it better be the good stuff. Franks has long been synonymous with the perfect wings sauce and is one of the most popular hot sauces in general, so it's no surprise that Jack in the Box serves this spicy classic. But why mess with a good thing?
Although the sauce is branded as "Franks Red Hot," one fan believes that the fast-food version isn't the same as store-bought Franks Buffalo sauce, noting that the addition of cornstarch gives it a thicker consistency that's "closer to a BBQ sauce."
Chick-fil-A Zesty Buffalo Sauce
According to a Mashed article, this mildly spicy sauce was slated for discontinuation in 2019 but was saved from the chopping block by a huge fan outcry.
KFC Hot Sauce
The KFC hot sauce is described as having a "smooth, viscous mouthfeel, with good vinegar pucker," and on this Reddit thread fans of the sauce debate whether it is more like Texas Pete or Crystal hot sauce. As Vice and Reddit threads point out, this sauce's second ingredient is literally hot sauce, so be prepared for a kick!
Burger King Zesty Sauce
Burger King's popular spicy sauce that is often served with its onion rings has lots of fans and copycat recipes across the web. Most are a tummy-growing blend of mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice, white vinegar, ketchup, and soy sauce, all of which sound delicious to us!
Del Taco Del Scorcho Sauce
Fans really, really like Del Taco sauces, to the point where they are sold by the case online, as spicy stocking stuffers, and even keychains. Del Scorcho which is flavored with ancho chili pepper may sound hot, but it is actually Del Taco's medium salsa. Del Inferno is the hottest.
McDonald's Spicy Buffalo Sauce
McD's describes their Buffalo sauce as "a peppery sauce with vinegar and butter flavor… with a building heat" which makes it sound just like a classic Buffalo sauce. Since chicken and Buffalo sauce are a match made in heaven, this sauce makes perfect sense next to the nuggets.
Taco Bell Mild Sauce
As you've probably ascertained, the mild Taco Bell sauce is the mildest of the traditional sauces. Most reviews don't call this a true hot sauce, but more of a mild taco sauce. Yet, it appears third on this list, and others state that it has a teeny, tiny kick for them.
Taco Bell Hot Sauce
If you're looking for a little kick, the Taco Bell Hot Sauce is the way to go. It won't burn your mouth off, but it will provide tangy flavor with a bit more heat.
Taco Bell Fire Sauce
Is it any surprise that the OG taco fast-food restaurant dominated the hot sauce wars? If you're looking for true heat, the Fire sauce is one step below their hottest, the Diablo sauce. It gets its spice from jalapenos, so it will not burn your tastebuds out. Plus, if you're a true fan, you can own a bottle of Fire sauce to shake on any dish that needs a little kick.
Plus, don't miss 8 Discontinued Fast Foods That Made a Comeback.