There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing the soft crunch of a golden-brown chicken nugget as you bite into it. Oh wait, actually, there is. Let’s try that again. There’s nothing more satisfying than dipping a golden-brown chicken nugget into sauce, swirling it around, letting some of that sauce drip off, and then hearing that satisfying crunch. A chicken nugget is only as good as the sauce you’ve paired it with. So, what is the best sauce for chicken nuggets? Whether you’re a creamy sauce lover, a spicy sauce lover, or just a plain old ketchup lover, we’ve compiled a list to make sure you’re buying the best sauces for chicken nuggets!
- Sir Kensington Spicy Brown Mustard
The flavor of Sir Kensington’s spicy brown mustard is so satisfying (as is its packaging—bonus points for you, sir). It’s got a spicy kick to it, but because it includes just a hint of maple syrup, it’s sure to please both spicy and sweet mustard lovers. And who doesn’t love maple syrup? In their ranking of the best spicy brown mustards, Sporked senior staff writer Jordan Myrick noted that “the spice and the sugar come together to make something that tastes like a more elevated, more mild version of McDonald’s hot mustard.” So, you’re gonna get all that lovely mustard flavor without overpowering your delicious little chicken nugget.
- Marie’s Creamy Ranch Dressing + Dip
Marie’s really knows how to do ranch. And we never would’ve known that if we hadn’t heard from one of our wonderful readers (thank youuu, Daniel!). This dressing is so good that it knocked Hidden Valley off of the top spot in our ranking of the best ranch dressings. Marie’s tastes so fresh that you might as well call it homemade. There’s no weird chemical taste or funk whatsoever. Jordan described it as “thick, creamy, and herby.” Its flavor profile—which includes mustard, onion, garlic, and parsley—goes well with practically anything, from salad to wings to pizza. So, it’s not only the best dipping sauce for chicken nuggets, but the best dipping sauce for whatever you want to ranchify. The best part about Marie’s? They’re incredibly transparent about what they use. Their ingredient list is short and straight to the point.
- First Street Buffalo Style Chicken Wing Sauce
First Street makes the best buffalo sauce, hands down. Not only does it taste great, but it’s an absolute steal. The bottle is huge. And it’s so darn cheap. In any other situation, that might be a red flag, but that’s not the case here. Just like the best sauces for chicken nuggets do, this sauce lets the chicken shine. It isn’t nearly as overpowering as most chicken wing sauces. According to Jordan, “It starts with a strong buttery flavor, works its way into vinegary notes in the middle, and then finishes with that signature buffalo sauce kick.” Unlike many of the other buffalo sauces we’ve tried, this one is similar to the original buffalo sauce recipe in that it’s especially buttery. So buttery. And it doesn’t even have butter in it! Who doesn’t want their chicken nuggets dipped in buttery spice?
- Bushwick Kitchen Bees Knees Spicy Honey
Sometimes, I wish bees knew the glorious things we’ve done with their honey. I wonder if they’d be proud of us. If they could taste Bushwick Kitchen’s spicy honey, they probably would be. This stuff is dangerous, something Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling learned the hard way. “At first you think, ‘yum, honey.’ But then, BAM, lip-stinging heat,” she wrote in her ranking of the best hot honeys. Thank you for your worthy sacrifice, Justine (and bees). Seriously, this honey is delicious for drizzling over your chicken nuggets (although you’ll probably have to fork your nuggets if you drizzle it all over them). Whether you dip or drizzle, be sure to give this one a try. The flavor has just the right balance of sweetness and spiciness. The sweetness of the honey is complemented—and elevated by—the fruity nature of the habañero peppers that Bushwick Kitchen uses. This creates the perfect bridge from sweetness to spiciness. Be careful! You might not feel that heat sneaking up until it’s too late!
- Buffalo Wild Wings Asian Zing Sauce
Craving some Asian flavor? Try Buffalo Wild Wings Asian Zing sauce. What Asian country’s cuisine is this flavor inspired by? We don’t know. They weren’t clear on that front. But still, it’s so good. It’s got notes of chili pepper, soy sauce, and ginger. It’s spicy and sweet and just really, really good. And… honestly, that’s about all I can tell you about it. You really have to try it to get it. It’s got that zing. People love it. It was literally made to be slathered on chicken. What else can I say? Moreover, what else can you ask for?
- Hunt’s Classic Tomato Ketchup
I’m rounding out this list with a chicken nugget’s best friend. Ketchup, of course. And I’m suggesting that you buy a bottle of Hunt’s classic tomato ketchup. I’m sure you thought I was going to recommend Heinz. While it did rank first on our list of the best ketchups, let’s be honest here. Everyone uses Heinz. Everyone loves Heinz. Heinz, Heinz, Heinz. It’s all I hear day and night, albeit for good reason. Heinz is ketchup just as much as ketchup is Heinz. But hey, you’re reading this because you want to expand your culinary horizons (I hope). Mythical’s very own chef, Josh Scherer, stands by Hunt’s, and it’s pretty hard to argue with him. He claims that Hunt’s ketchup is “really well balanced” and rests “on the sweeter side.” Not to mention, it actually tastes tomatoey, unlike Heinz. Jordan explained it perfectly in their review: “The best way I can describe it is that Heinz is banana-flavored candy and Hunt’s is a banana. Both are good, but they’re different!”
Look, I can’t recommend any mayo to you because I can’t stand the thought of dunking chicken into a sauce that’s made with eggs, which come out of chickens. It just feels wrong. I’m not saying that you’re wrong for doing it (or maybe I am), but I’m just not strong enough, so forgive me. But people put mayonnaise on chicken sandwiches all the time, lady! Yes, that’s true (and, yes, maybe I eat said sandwiches). But it feels wrong when I’m the one doing the dirty work. You’re telling me I have to dip that little nugget into this eggy concoction once, twice, thrice, and so on, until every bit of life and joy is drained out of me? I’ll pass. I’m sorry. But go ahead and hop on over to our best mayonnaise ranking. This is, if you must.