The Difference Between Raising Cane's And Chick-Fil-A's Sauce

What's in a sauce? For fast food chains, it's figuratively and literally everything. In the fried chicken world, two eponymous condiments often have customers divided: Raising Cane's and Chick-fil-A. However, despite sharing some components, these two sauces still manage to be distinct in flavor.


Raising Cane's sauce has a tangy, savory emphasis. It does have a hint of ketchup for sweetness, but Worcestershire sauce and black pepper seem to be the dominant flavors. On the other hand, the best way to describe Chick-fil-A sauce is a flavorful smorgasbord. Like Raising Cane's, Chick-fil-A sauce has a thick mayo base and a tangy sharpness supplied by pepper, vinegar, and garlic. Where it diverges is the addition of sweetness from honey mustard and ketchup-based barbecue sauce.

Under the hood, the basic components of Chick-fil-A sauce are tomato paste, corn syrup, hickory smoke flavor, egg yolk, and soybean oil, plus other seasonings and preservatives. Raising Cane's, however, doesn't divulge its ingredients. A rough approximation of the iconic condiment contains mayo, lemon, ketchup, super savory Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and oodles of black cracked pepper.


The condiments are also served in unique containers. Raising Cane's uses translucent diner-style portion cups, while Chick-fil-A opts for prepackaged dipping tubs.

Chick-fil-A sauce is on shelves (and already in your pantry)

As popular as these sauces are, they require something most of us dislike: spending money. However, you may not have to make a grocery run to whip up either at home, as the ingredients for both are likely in your pantry. Chick-fil-A sauce is made from three of the chain's other condiments: Barbeque Sauce, Honey Mustard, and Garden Herb Ranch dressing. That combination was the fortunate mistake of a Virginia franchise owner named Hugh Fleming. In 1983, Fleming took a batch of honey mustard salad dressing and got to mixing. He started by combining it with ranch, but an employee in the midst of snacking inadvertently knocked some barbecue sauce into the test batch. After tasting the accidental concoction, Fleming decided it was ready for the limelight. It was locally known as "Mr. Fleming's Sauce," and patrons could serve themselves as much of it as they liked from the pump dispensers.


Even with such simple ingredients, making Chick-fil-A sauce is more straightforward than you'd expect. The precise ratio isn't publicized, but it's roughly four parts honey mustard, two parts ranch, and one part barbecue sauce, with turmeric, lemon juice, and paprika to taste. Of course, unlike Raising Cane's, Chick-fil-A sells its sauces in stores, so you can always pick up a bottle if you'd rather leave the mixing to the experts.

How to keep the Cane's Sauce flowing

While Chick-fil-A sells its store-bought sauces in 8 and 16-ounce bottles, Raising Cane's offers a 32-ounce soda cup of its famous sauce for extended dipping sessions. If you need even more of the tangy stuff, it's easy enough to fix some for yourself at home. Unfortunately, the chicken finger restaurant doesn't precisely disclose its ingredients, but YouTube food vlogger Jordan Howlett claims to have sleuthed out the mix. In an uploaded video, he shared a recipe that calls for ½ a cup of mayo, ¼ cup of ketchup, and ½ teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and salt.


Howlett's Raising Cane's sauce doesn't call for coarse black pepper, but some copycat recipes suggest adding ½ teaspoon or more to taste. Neither fast food chain publishes its exact recipes, so you'll have to play with the ratios and ingredients until you find the perfect copy or end up discovering a condiment that's even better than what the chicken sandwich giants offer. It might not taste as decadent as the real thing, but your version is almost guaranteed to have less sugar, sodium, and fresher ingredients. You can even enjoy both sauces on Sunday.