If you are craving Arby's Sauce at home, this sweet and tangy BBQ sauce is quick and easy to throw together and requires minimal ingredients.
Confession time. I wish babies were born two years old. I really do. The little pooping rogue alarm clocks stress me out something fierce. However, since I work from home it is Daddy Daycare until mommy gets home. I am mostly just tasked with keeping the baby alive until 2:30 pm then my wife rescues me, and so far I've been fairly successful. On the flip side, I really like toddlers, they are adorably irrational but still perfectly capable of communication.
My daughter is a toddler and she is now old enough to want to mimic everything we do. This is a fun age to start cooking with them. Though I strongly believe children shouldn't flambé until at least pre-school, making recipes like this Arby's Sauce is perfect to do with children. They love being helpful - holding the measuring cups as you fill it and stirring the ingredients together.
I stumbled upon my Arby's Sauce recipe by accident. I made my Brown Sugar Meatloaf for dinner last week and tasted the sauce before I slathered it over the hamburger mixture and thought, "EUREKA this reminds me of Arby's!" Then the other day I swung through the Arby's drive-thru to get an Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich and requested a few packets of their Arby's Sauce to bring home to deconstruct.
How to Make Arby's Sauce
Upon doing an initial taste test between my meatloaf sauce and the Arby's Sauce I instantly noticed their tangy BBQ sauce had a strong flavor of Worchestshire. When tweaking my recipe I found 2 tablespoons to be a bit too much, but 4 teaspoons put us pretty dang close. Arby's sauce also had a subtle heat I didn't initially notice. Cayenne pepper seems to replicate it nicely.
Though the sauce tastes great simply mixed together, it really needs to be simmered briefly on the stove top. This melts the brown sugar into the sauce, giving you a smoother texture.
I store my copycat Arby's Sauce in canning jars, however, you can buy empty sauce bottles as well.
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Arby's Sauce Copycat Recipe
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Let sauce cool and store in air-tight container in the refrigerator.
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I have made this and it's delicious. A few tips, add in 1/2 teaspoon of beef bouillon powder and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. I used to work at Arby's for 4 years and my boss said this recipe is very close to what we serve!
I'm planning on trying the RB sandwich recipe, but for anyone looking for near perfect Arby's sauce, I highly recommend Secret Stadium Sauce. It has been around WI for decades, but I don't think all other parts of the US. You can find it online though.
I'm gonna be real honest here, this is the worst recipe I've ever tasted. I first saw this recipe and was ecstatic, I LOVE Arby's sauce and the closest Arby's is about 700 miles away so this was a great opportunity. I made this recipe with my 7 year old son when he suddenly fell to the ground. He needed to be rushed to the hospital immediately and ended up in the icu. I sat there while they shoved tubes down his throat and took a bite of the sandwich I made using this sauce. It was so fucking disgusting that I threw up all over my comatose son. Do NOT recommend.
I'll take things that never happened for 800, Alex. Pfft. Get a life, "Peter Griffin." Go pet Bryan or give Stewie a bottle.
This is a nice vinegar style sauce, but it's not close to real Arby's sauce. Arby's sauce is not nearly as sweet as this recipe makes, that's one of the main draws for me. The real stuff is tangy with a slight heat and a more savory flavor, very little sweetness but just enough in the background. This recipe hits you over the head with the sweetness, which isn't a bad thing in itself but it's just not what Arby's sauce tastes like. This is closer to the red sauce they put on Beef n Cheddars although that sauce doesn't have any spice to it.
Arby's has two red sauces! The one in the packets is "Arby's sauce" and is tangier, less sweet. The red sauce that they put on their beef and cheddar (my go-to) is called "Red Ranch." It is sweetier and reminds me of Catalina dressing. If that is the sauce you love, like me, just ask them for a side of red ranch to go with your order. Great for dunking those curly fries! It would be cool if you could formulate a red ranch recipe- you'd be my hero!
I don't know where the name Red Ranch came from, Arby's refers to i to it as Sweet-n-Tangy If we're Talking the same sauce That comes on the Super beef sandwich. Ranch has its own distinctive flavor and adding red to the ranch conjures the taste buds to believe your going to taste a hint of ranch in the sauce which I have not seen in all the recipes. I'm also a fan of the sauce, It complements the tomato and meat on the super which is my go to when burgers get boring.
I worked at Arby's in the 80's. The sweet red sauce was indeed called Red Ranch, but I believe they changed the name because it's too confusing with traditional ranch dressing (which that sauce is nothing like). It is much closer to Catalina dressing as others have mentioned.
I found that doctoring up Chili sauce with some ingredients above makes it like Arby’s sauce. If u look what is in it u will see the same ingredients!
My hubby accidentally made beef ribs tonight instead of a roast. He had planned on making chili. I love Arby’s sauce and when I’m in the mood and have a packet on hand I usually heat any beef in a saucepan and add a packet of sauce on top then put on toasted bread. Well of course I was craving the sauce but no packets to be found. Did this recipe and followed the directions to the t... until I found my brown sugar rock hard. I improvised on the amount I added but I’m telling you, the outcome was wonderful! The hubby tried it and said screw the chili, shred the beef and dump the sauce on! He was so surprised that I accidentally made a great supper for tomorrow.
I can't say if it is just like Arby's sauce, but I found myself drenching my turkey sandwich in it just like I do at Arby's because it is so good. I cut the recipe in half, which was a mistake since I already have to make another batch.
If you want to add some zip to your mayonnaise based coleslaw or pasta salad, add a tablespoon or two of this sauce.
Tonight I'll be having it on pork sliders and dipping chicken wings into it.
Thank you for your recipe
Great recipe! Can't wait to try it on my ribs.
This sauce was FANTASTIC we loved it.It's nice too make copycat versions of your favorites without actually eating out so much healthier thank you so much.
This is way too much vinegar and brown sugar. About 1/3 of the amounts is much better.
I agree, this recipe tastes nothing like Arby's sauce. I'll try your idea of lessening the amount of vinegar and brown sugar next time I give it a shot. But sadly, this is a dud for us.
Travis and Terri Majszak
Tried this recipe and she nailed it
Fox Valley Foodie
Great to hear!
I love this!
How long will it last in the fridge?
Fox Valley Foodie
If you cook it properly first it will last as long as any BBQ sauce.
If 2 tablespoons was too much, shouldn't it be 4 teaspoons was just enough? It is correct in the recipe, but not in the post!
Fox Valley Foodie
Thanks for catching that!
Not even close, just a standard bbq sauce. I agree this would probably be great on a meat loaf, but it’s insanity to say Arby’s sauce.
Same. Just tried it yesterday. It tastes good, but it's really far off from Arbys sauce. Not even close.
Robert M. Oshetski
Sounds great,can't wait to try it! Have any Venison Chili Recipe's?
Fox Valley Foodie
Swap out ground venison for the beef and this recipe will rock your world! https://www.foxvalleyfoodie.com/worlds-second-best-chili/!