The International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP, has been serving up delicious breakfast foods since 1958. Alongside their world-famous pancakes and omelets, IHOP offers a signature creamy orange sauce for topping burgers and dipping fries and chicken strips. This IHOP sauce has intrigued customers for decades. Keep reading to find out exactly what is in the IHOP sauce recipe and how you can recreate it at home.
The Quintessential IHOP Dining Experience
Stepping into any IHOP restaurant, you are immediately immersed in the aromas of sizzling bacon, fluffy pancakes, and coffee. The decor features comfy booths and tables where families and friends gather for weekend brunches or weeknight dinners. An IHOP meal isn’t complete without pouring on plenty of syrup or smearing the creamy orange IHOP sauce on your burger or fries. This signature condiment is truly the pièce de résistance of the IHOP repertoire.
The tangy, sweet and creamy IHOP sauce intrigues those who wonder about its origins and contents. It possesses an orange hue and rich texture resembling Thousand Island dressing, but with its own unique flavor profile. Customers frequently ask IHOP staff what is in the famous sauce they eagerly pour over burgers and fries. Yet the exact IHOP sauce recipe remains a proprietary secret.
This article will explore everything there is to know about the legendary IHOP sauce. Keep reading for a breakdown of its ingredients, taste profile, uses, and how to recreate it at home with our copycat recipe.
Decoding the Iconic IHOP Sauce
So what exactly gives the IHOP sauce its trademark color, texture, and taste that diners crave? Here’s a look under the hood at what makes up this signature condiment.
A Creamy, Mayo-Based Sauce
The IHOP sauce consists of a creamy, mayonnaise-based blend of condiments to achieve its rich orange color and smooth texture. Mayonnaise forms the foundation of the sauce, providing a luxuriously rich mouthfeel and pleasant tanginess.
Blended With Ketchup and Mustard
The mayonnaise base seamlessly combines with equal parts ketchup and mustard to provide complementary tangy and sweet notes. Ketchup’s natural sweetness offsets the acidity of the mayo and mustard. The mustard binds the ingredients together for a cohesive sauce.
Resembling Thousand Island Dressing
In both appearance and taste, the IHOP sauce closely aligns with Thousand Island dressing. It possesses a similar orange cream hue and uses mayonnaise as the key ingredient. Yet the IHOP version contains mustard for added complexity and less sweetness than traditional Thousand Island recipes.
Ingredients That Make It Unique
When blended together, the mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup create a sauce that is greater than the sum of its parts. The ingredients strike the perfect balance of creaminess, tang, sweetness, and zest. Customers agree this combination produces a phenomenal taste they can’t get enough of!
The Phenomenal Flavor Behind the IHOP Sauce
The genius of the IHOP sauce lies in the way basic pantry ingredients meld together to form a complex, crave-worthy flavor. Here’s a look at what each component brings to the party.
Creamy, Tangy Mayo Base
The mayonnaise provides a rich, indulgent base. Egg yolks give mayo its signature creamy texture, while added vinegar or lemon juice provide tanginess. The mayo imparts these qualities to the IHOP sauce.
Sweet and Tangy Ketchup
Made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and spices, ketchup contributes a sweet yet tart punch along with a deep red-orange hue. It lightens up the mayo’s flavor and texture.
Mustard Pulls it Together
Standard yellow mustard made from mustard seeds, vinegar, and turmeric offers a binding effect. It also adds a zingy, pungent note that prevents the sauce from being too rich.
Similar to Thousand Island Dressing
Like Thousand Island dressing, the sauce combines a creamy base with ketchup’s sweet-tart taste. Yet the IHOP version has more zip thanks to mustard and less sugar than traditional Thousand Island dressing.
A Complex, Crave-Worthy Flavor Profile
When combined, the ingredients produce a sauce that contrastingly rich, tangy, sweet, zesty, and irresistibly delicious. This complex blend of flavors and textures explains why it’s so addictive on burgers, fries and anything dippable!
Things You Should Know About IHOP Sauce
Before drizzling on the signature IHOP sauce, here are a few key facts you should keep in mind:
Contains Egg Yolks in Mayonnaise
Since mayonnaise contains raw egg yolks, those with egg allergies need to avoid the IHOP sauce. Vegan mayo alternatives won’t replicate the same rich creaminess.
Vegan Options Are Available
For plant-based diets, IHOP offers vegan mayo to craft a dairy-free, egg-free version of their signature sauce.
It’s High in Fat and Calories
With mayonnaise as the main ingredient, the IHOP sauce packs quite a caloric punch. Each 2-tablespoon serving contains about 220 calories, 86% of which come from fat. Enjoy it in moderation!
The Secret IHOP Sauce Recipe Revealed
Have you ever wished you could reproduce the irresistible IHOP sauce flavor in your own kitchen? We have the inside scoop on how to whip up this copycat recipe.
Simple Pantry Staple Ingredients
The IHOP replica sauce only requires 3 basic ingredients you likely have on hand:
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄2 cup yellow mustard
- 1⁄2 cup ketchup
That’s it! Whip up a batch with these common condiments.
Blend and Chill for Best Flavor
Making the sauce is as easy as mixing the mayo, mustard, and ketchup together in a small bowl until thoroughly blended. For ideal flavor melding, chill the sauce in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.
Now you can recreate the timeless IHOP sauce taste anytime the craving strikes!
Where the IHOP Sauce Truly Shines
While you can use the replica IHOP sauce anywhere you desire, here are the most popular ways to enjoy it:
Take Burgers to the Next Level
Slather the IHOP sauce generously on beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, and the creaminess perfectly complements the charbroiled patty. The tangy zip helps cut through a burger’s rich fattiness.
Kick Up Fried Foods a Notch
Use the sauce for dunking fries, chicken strips, or onion rings. The luscious creaminess helps balance out the crunch of fried foods for dynamic contrast.
Ideal for Sandwiches Too
Drizzle the tangy orange sauce on sandwiches for an instant flavor upgrade. It works great on cold sandwiches or melty hot ones like patty melts.
The Perfect Dip for Multiple Foods
The sauce also serves as a general-purpose dip for anything you want to dunk and savor, from French fries to chicken nuggets.
Recreate the IHOP Sauce Magic at Home
The IHOP sauce has achieved an iconic status across the decades among loyal IHOP patrons. With just three simple ingredients, you can now recreate the timeless flavor in your own kitchen. Mix up a batch to have on hand whenever that craving for creamy, tangy, sweet zippiness strikes.
Or pick up a container of the ready-made sauce at any IHOP restaurant to enjoy authentic taste. No matter which route you choose, the IHOP sauce ultimately adds a special touch to burgers, sandwiches and dips!
What is IHOP Sauce? (IHOP Sauce Copycat Recipe)
This easy copycat recipe lets you recreate the tangy, sweet flavor of classic IHOP sauce at home using just three ingredients.
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup yellow mustard
1⁄2 cup ketchup
- Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup to a mixing bowl.
- Whisk ingredients together until fully incorporated and smooth.
- Transfer sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. This allows flavors to properly meld.
- Remove sauce from fridge and give another quick stir before use.
- Serve as a burger topping, dipping sauce for fries and chicken strips, or sandwich spread.
- Store leftover sauce in refrigerator for 5-7 days.
- Use high quality mayonnaise for best flavor and texture.
- Yellow mustard provides the signature tang, while Dijon is too strong.
- For spicier sauce, add a dash of hot sauce.
- Customize sauce by adding relish, Sriracha, or herbs.
- Substitute vegan mayo and ketchup for egg-free, dairy-free sauce.
Hi, I’m Ben Holland. I love cooking, traveling, and spending time with my family! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes, travel tips, and stories about my adventures with my wife and kids.