Dipping Sauces and How to Use Them

April 04, 2024

We’re just going to say it: dipping sauce is a game-changer. If you’ve ever torn open the crumpled paper of a drive-thru bag only to discover that your chicken nuggets were left high and (literally) dry without the essential container of sauce, you totally get it. Even finger foods you love, like taquitos, egg rolls, or fries, don’t provide the same spark of joy without sauce. Whether in that signature white plastic rectangle or served as an elegant swirl on a china plate, dipping sauce adds flavor to every bite. 

Primal Kitchen Dipping Sauce bottles next to a burger and fries on a white p[late.

What Are Dipping Sauces?

Put simply, dipping sauces were created to add flavor to your food. Unlike Buffalo Sauce, BBQ, and other well-known grilling sauces used as a marinade, dipping sauces typically come into play after the food is cooked. That’s why you often find them paired with fried or grilled meats and served alongside finger foods. While you can certainly tuck a dipping sauce into the filling of a burrito or mix it into a rice bowl, that’s not their primary purpose. 

You might be wondering if a dipping sauce is the same as a dip. Dipping sauces and dips have a similar purpose, but offer a different eating experience. Products like our plant-based queso style dip typically have a thicker consistency that makes them ideal for clinging to chips and veggie sticks. Dipping sauces, on the other hand, aren’t just made for dunking. You can also drizzle fries, tacos, rice bowls, and more depending on the flavor profile of the dipping sauce you choose.  

When did the dipping sauce craze begin? 

The predecessors of our dipping sauces first gained notice in more modern times: think fast-food chains from the 1980s, which popularized everything from Honey Mustard and BBQ for burgers and fries to dedicated sauces for dipping pizza (we’re looking at you, ranch). 

Since then, drive-thru and eat-in diners have dipped, dunked, and drizzled their favorite foods with delight. However, many commercially available sauces contain ingredients that can seriously derail your clean-eating goals. Primal Kitchen dipping sauces are designed to give sauce lovers an option that delivers delicious flavor without the seed oils or artificial sweeteners found in many restaurant sauces. 

Four Bottles of Primal Kitchen Dipping Sauces

Flavors of Dipping Sauces

Any sauce with the right viscosity that’s meant for squeezing, dunking, and drizzling can be considered a dipping sauce. Let’s take a deep dive into four varieties of dipping sauce popularized by nationwide chain restaurants and how we adapted them to focus on phenomenal flavor and high-quality ingredients.   

Avocado Lime

A fiesta of flavor, avocado lime dipping sauce is a favorite at modern Mexican restaurants with colorfully painted chairs and live mariachi music. This “rock star” of sauces isn’t just for tacos and burritos, though. With a zingy flavor that’s more creamy and citrusy, our Avocado Lime Dipping Sauce is closer to margarita mix than avocado toast on the avocado flavor scale. That’s because the first ingredient is avocado oil, which has a neutral flavor and good fats we love, rather than avocado which can taste more grassy and earthy.    

Special Burger Sauce

For decades, ketchup and mustard reigned supreme as condiment royalty in the burger world, with pickles or relish as supporting players. Clever chefs began to combine ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish together with spices to form a new “secret sauce” that made burgers and sandwiches even more enjoyable. Unlike certain other brands, Primal Kitchen Special Sauce has no secrets to hide: It’s made with real ingredients like avocado oil, pickle relish, and organic apple cider vinegar—no seed oils or artificial sweeteners in sight.  

Chicken Dipping Sauce

We love a good grilled chicken tender, chicken breast fillet, or fried drumstick, but even the best-tasting fried bird on the block needs sauce. Our version of the sweet, tangy, savory sauce served alongside drive-thru nuggets elevates chicken to a whole new level. Crafted with real ingredients, the subtle sweetness of pear juice is grounded by the tangy, savory notes of prepared yellow mustard and a vinegary zing. Turmeric, paprika, and ancho pepper powder add that signature smoky undertone that makes our Chicken Dippin’ Sauce so rib-sticking delicious.  

Yum Yum Sauce

Sometimes called “white sauce” or Japanese steakhouse sauce, this adorably named dipping sauce is served at American hibachi and teppanyaki restaurants. Though mainly paired with grilled meats and vegetables, our Yum Yum Sauce is so good you’ll want to slather it on everything from rice bowls and spring rolls to fried rice and sushi. Flavor-wise, our Yum Yum Dipping Sauce is similar to a spiced mayo, with a garlic-forward taste and just the gentlest hint of a peppery kick from red cayenne.

How Are Primal Kitchen Dipping Sauces Different?

While nationwide fast-food chain sauces may be popular, they can also be high in refined sugar and contain artificial preservatives or stabilizers. We create those same big, bold flavors you crave without compromising on ingredient integrity. Our dipping sauces are made with premium ingredients like avocado oil and purposefully crafted without seed oils or artificial sweeteners. At 2g of sugar or less per serving, you can dip and dunk your favorite dishes without regret.   

Dipping sauce pairings

How to Use Dipping Sauces 

Dipping sauces are ready to be paired with your favorite foods. Because they pack a flavor punch, you can drip, drizzle, and dunk meats or veggies after preparing your favorite recipes. Here are just a few of our favorite combinations:  

Pair this

With this

Chicken Dippin' Grilled Chicken Tenders, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Sandwich
Avocado Lime Tacos, Enchiladas, Spring Rolls
Yum Yum Rice Bowls, Steak Skewers, Tempura Veggies
Special Sauce Burgers, Reuben Sandwich, Air-Fried Shrimp


Dip and dunk: There’s no worry about cooking with a zillion spices or making complicated recipes when you have a dipping sauce on hand. Our delicious dipping sauces are ready to swirl on a plate or squeeze into a bowl so you can dunk nuggets and tenders, sweet potato fries, steak bites, shrimp, and more. 

Drizzle and drip: If you’ve got a dish that’s not as easy to dunk (for example, hard shell tacos or chicken sandwiches), our dipping sauces are packaged in easy-squeeze bottles so you can drizzle them right on top. Pack real flavor into every bite of a rice bowl, sushi roll, Reuben sandwich, or burger.

Mix it up: While primarily a topping to dress up your meal, Primal Kitchen Dipping Sauces can also be used in recipes or during any part of the cooking process. Squeeze Chicken Dippin’ on rotisserie chicken and mix with chopped celery and onion for an instant chicken salad the whole family will love. Add Yum Yum to veggies before air-frying for a garlicky boost, brush Avocado Lime on shrimp during grilling, or fold Special Sauce right into your meat mixture to punch up the patty. For ultimate flavor, serve these dishes with extra sauce for dipping. 


A plate of fries next to a bottle of Primal Kitchen Special Sauce.

Why Use a Dipping Sauce?

Dipping sauces are a great way to add additional flavor to any cuisine or dish. Whether you serve it with skewers for dunking, squeeze it on a burger, or tuck it into a recipe, a dipping sauce elevates any meal to restaurant-worthy status. Dipping sauces are also super versatile and easy to use: Just dunk your favorite cooked meats or veggies and dig right in. Plus, our squeeze bottles are portable so you can pack them in a (checked) suitcase, overnight bag, or even your purse if you can’t handle a day without dipping. With four mouthwatering dipping sauces to choose from, you can customize your meals any way you like ‘em!  


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