Real Food Fast: Homemade Big Mac Recipe with Secret Sauce

Last modified on March 8th, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Real fast food you can feel good eating, our Homemade Big Mac recipe houses the same classic layers, but made with buns from a local bakery, grass-fed ground beef, Canadian cheddar and secret sauce, made with homemade mayonnaise, ketchup, onions and pickles.

I can’t remember the last time we had McDonalds. Well, I can. It was December 31st, almost a decade ago; Philip and I vowed to give up the golden arches as a New Year’s Resolution. But only after indulging in a Big Mac one last time.

Since then, we’ve replaced fast food with real food – you know; pronounceable, good for you kind of food – and replaced our cravings by making our own homemade versions of fast food, like our Oven Baked French Fries, Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich and this; our homemade Big Mac recipe made with secret sauce.

Homemade Big Mac on a wood board with potato chips and napkin

But what exactly is a Big Mac? To most this may seem like a silly question, but an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that only 1 in 5 millennials have ever tasted a Big Mac. For those who haven’t tasted it, Big Mac ingredients are simply: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun, and from memory, it is delicious.

And for those who have tasted it, our Homemade Big Mac recipe has the same classic burger made with buns from a local bakery, grass-fed ground beef, Canadian cheddar, and world-famous secret sauce; in essence, it’s real food fast that you can feel good eating. Like any good burger, this Big Mac recipe is all about the layers. And, following our 4 pre-assembly steps will ensure your burger is big and mighty.

Close up of cheese burger with bite taken out

Four Keys to the Perfect Homemade Big Mac

Big Mac Bun

While McDonald’s uses a sesame seed bun, we opted for a classic bun cutting it into thirds. If the bun doesn’t allow for thirds, cut two buns in half. Use the bottom bun of the second as the middle bun of your burger, and save the top for later.

Philip and I LOVE a well-toasted bun, so what we do is spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the buns and grill it on a frying pan for 30 seconds to a minute. The mayonnaise acts like butter or olive oil and gives the bun an added layer of crunch and flavour.

Male slicing a hamburger bun into three slices

Big Mac Meat

No matter the type of burger you’re eating, the taste really is all in the meat. Seasoned with black pepper and salt, our Big Mac patties shine best with grass-fed ground beef from our local butcher. The key though to copycatting is all in the thickness of the meat.

When forming your patties be sure to compare the size of your bun because we all know that the bun to meat ratio must be precise.

Male flattening out balls of ground beef in between two pieces of parchment paper

When forming your patties, compare to the size of your bun because we all know bun to meat ratio must be precise. To reach the ultimate ¼ inch thickness, we place our patties in between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it before frying.

How to Make Big Mac Sauce

Now to the secret sauce. It’s the one ingredient that separates a Big Mac from a regular burger, but what’s so special about this sauce? Some use French dressing or thousand island dressing, and while we are sure these aren’t the actual Big Mac ingredients, our secret sauce is made with a handful of items: mix ketchup and mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of the diced onion and diced pickles and spread it on your burger.

A mason jar with secret sauce for our Homemade Big Mac with a small bowl of diced onions, and jars of ketchup and mayo

Big Mac Assembly

The Big Mac is all about the layers. Starting from the bottom and working your way to the top, spread a little secret sauce over the bottom base. Top with chopped onion, shredded lettuce, beef patty (grilled with a layer of cheese) and three pickle slices. Top with the middle bun layer, and add more secret sauce, onion, lettuce, pickles, a patty and then more sauce.

Female spooning secret sauce onto the bun
Homemade Big Mac Ingredients with Text

Tip: for extra crunch factor, we add a layer of chips on the bottom and middle buns. Serve with chips or french fries, and a side of extra sauce, of course.

Bon appetit,

Chef Sous Chef

Homemade Big Mac on a wooden board with chips

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Essential Ingredients for Our Homemade Big Mac Recipe

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Real Food Fast: Homemade Big Mac Recipe with Secret Sauce

Close up image of a homemade big mac on a wood board with chips and a napkin

Just like the fast food classic, our Big Mac recipe is made with two thin beef patties, topped with cheese, diced onions and pickles, then drenched in our secret sauce. Using all quality, real food ingredients, this burger is even better than the original.

  • Author: Chef Sous Chef
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Food + Drink, Main
  • Cuisine: Comfort



Secret Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp minced white onion
  • 1 tbsp minced dill pickle


  • ¾ lb ground beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 buns, sliced in three
  • ½ cup green lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese


No. 1 | Make the special sauce by mixing together the mayo, ketchup and 1 tablespoon each of the diced onion and diced pickles. 

No. 2 | Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat. Divide the beef into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball. Place each piece of beef between two sheets of parchment and flatten into 4 inch rounds. They should be no more than ¼ inch thick.

No. 3 | Once the pan begins to smoke, generously season each patty with salt and pepper. Sear the patties for one minute, then flip, add the slice of cheese and cover for one minute. Remove the patties to rest on a plate.

No. 4 |  To assemble, spread one tablespoon of special sauce on each slice of bun. Place a handful of lettuce on the bottom and middle slices, then top with the burger patties. Sprinkle a tsp of diced onion and 3 slices of pickle on top. Gently place the finished middle bun on the finished bottom, cover with the top bun and devour.


If you like your bun toasted, make it extra crispy by spreading mayo on the buns before toasting on a skillet.

Keywords: how to make a big mac, big mac recipe, big mac copycat

Homemade Big Mac Up Close with Recipe Title Overlay


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  • Reply
    January 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I don’t even know how to describe how awesome this burger is! Much better than a Big Mac.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    wow! that looks pretty legit! Are you sure you haven’t worked at McD’s in a past life?! You really knocked this one out of the park and now all I can think of is this Big Mac.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Oh. My. Heck. I didn’t know how badly I needed this until seeing your photos. Now I definitely need to make this happen ASAP. King of the burgers right there!

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    March 25, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Ok, so this looks delicious! And I bet it tastes a million times better than the original because it’s homemade! Wish I could grab it from my screen!! If only…. 😉

  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    March 26, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Big Macs were my favourite growing up! (Child of the 80s!) But it has been at least 10 years or more since I’ve had one. And while I don’t crave any other fast food burger since I gave them all up, I sometimes crave a Big Mac. So you’ve pretty much made my day with this recipe. I’m drooling over the photos alone!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 1, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Big Mac is definitely the king of fast food in my opinion, but I have to agree, the cravings subsided shortly after giving it up.

  • Reply
    marilyn @family food around the clock
    March 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Love this recipe, it all seems so yummy! I will come back to share my experience with you, I’m so excited to share 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    I was *just* telling my husband earlier this week in a conversation about fast food burgers that the Big Mac was my fave when I was a teenager, but man. Over the years, it’s really lost its appeal. It seems like the quality went down hill, which shouldn’t be a surprise I guess given how many companies cut corners these days. But this burger is the obvious solution. Look how freakin’ beautiful that stack of meat, pickles, and sauce is! Show this to that red-headed clown and laugh in his face, please.

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 1, 2019 at 9:44 am

      I couldn’t agree more. It seems that quality has gone down substantially at many fast food places, especially the chains. This burger definitely blows any of them out of the water 😉

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    March 29, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Oh my gosh! This is so intriguing, Philip! And so much fun to make a classic burger (and special sauce) at home knowing what is going into it. My mouth is watering looking at your photographs. Thanks so much for sharing with us! I am pinning it immediately. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 1, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Thanks for the kind words Denise and for sharing the recipe!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    What a fabulous and fun recipe! I love this “real” version of comfort food, thanks!

    • Reply
      Chef Sous Chef
      April 1, 2019 at 9:42 am

      Thanks Sabrina. It’s definitely a favourite of ours that seems to make it’s way into our menu almost weekly. Enjoy!

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