We Tried McDonald's Limited Edition Szechuan Sauce to See If It's Really Worth the Hype

It's not every day that McDonald's brings back a classic dipping sauce from the vault—but today isn't any old day.

Back in 1998, McDonald's introduced a Szechuan dipping sauce for its Chicken McNuggets to celebrate the release of Disney's Mulan. You can watch the original (very '90s) ad for the sauce below.

Due to popular demand (and an episode of Rick & Morty with a plot that revolved somewhat around the sauce), the fast food restaurant brought the sauce back in Oct. 2017. Unfortunately, they didn't stock nearly enough to go around, leaving lots of fans very unhappy.


McDonald's decided to try all over again, and do it right this time. Starting today, Feb. 26, restaurants around the country will be stocking the sauce until supplies run out. This time, they shipped 20 million packets of the stuff, so accessibility shouldn't be much of a problem.

We visited our local McDonald's to give the sauce a try for ourselves.

McDonald's chicken McNuggets with Szechuan dipping sauce

(Photo Credit: Amanda Pillon)

When we opened up the first packet, we were immediately met with the strong smell of vinegar with a hint of spice. We assumed the sauce would be orangey-red, but instead it was a greenish shade of brown. Traditional Szechuan cooking typically uses peppercorns, chili peppers and garlic, so we weren't entirely sure what to expect.

We dipped a nugget and took the first bite. It wasn't great. The sauce itself was mostly sour due to the vinegar, and it had hints of ginger and sesame. It also tasted a bit like a teriyaki sauce, but more tart.

McDonald's chicken nugget with bite taken out and dipped in Szechuan sauce

(Photo Credit: Amanda Pillon)

Together, these flavors weren't terrible, but the experience was diminished by the fact that McDonald's refrigerates their sauces (as they should!) and it just tastes wrong to dip a piping hot McNugget into a cold teriyaki-like sauce. We didn't try heating the Szechuan sauce, but it might have improved the overall taste of the meal. Mulan deserved better.

McDonald's Szechuan dipping sauce packet

(Photo Credit: Amanda Pillon)

We didn't love the dipping sauce with our nuggets, but you might feel differently. They'll only be available until McDonald's runs through the 20 million packets it sent out, so if you're curious, we'd recommend trying it ASAP.


If you live the nug life, click HERE to find out which company is hiring a "chicken nugget connoisseur."