Homemade honey mustard sauce only requires a few ingredients, takes just minutes to make, and is so much better than store-bought! This same recipe can be used as a salad dressing or thickened slightly for a thicker sauce. It's the perfect dipping sauce for pretzels, chicken tenders, french fries, and so much more!
One of my favorite ways to use it is as a salad dressing with baby spinach, thinly sliced red onion, air fryer chicken strips, and sometimes some cherry tomatoes. My husband was never a fan of honey mustard anything until he tried this version and now it's what he grabs when we have a garden salad, he loves it!
Ingredients & Substitutions
I use a filtered clover honey in this recipe, but you can use any honey that you love. I would stick with clover honey or orange blossom honey in this recipe so that the flavors don't compete with each other. While you can use raw honey in this recipe, make sure you have sampled it and the flavors aren't too florally or may not like the way it works with the mustard.
There really isn't a substitute for the honey in this recipe; however, you could try to use a honey flavor and swerve heated into a syrup if you wanted to make a low sugar/low carb version. You will probably need to use a little xanthan gum -- probably about ¼ tsp mixed into a little oil or butter and added to the honey mustard sauce. Also, be sure to allow the honey flavor and sugar substitute to cool completely before adding in the other ingredients.
I've used a variety of mustards in this recipe and was pleased with each one that I tried. I used Gulden's spicy brown mustard in the final recipe, but have also used a Great Value spicy mustard and a dijon mustard in test batches and they all work great. In a pinch, you can use yellow mustard, but the flavor will be different.
The sour cream is what sets this dressing apart from others and I absolutely love the flavor it brings while reducing the amount of mayo needed to balance the honey and mustard.
You could also use plain Greek yogurt as a substitute. If you use regular plain yogurt, your honey mustard dressing will be a little thin, but you can thicken it with a little xanthan gum.
The mayo is in the recipe for the fat and adds creaminess. It brings the richness to the dressing. While you can omit it and use more sour cream instead, the flavor and texture will be slightly different.
You can use any brand of mayo that you like, but I don't recommend using Miracle Whip because it has a completely different flavor.
This ingredient is totally optional and only really needed if you want to serve a thick sauce. If you skip the xanthan gum, refrigerate your honey mustard dressing for a few hours and it will thicken up and be fine for dipping those crispy chicken nuggets in.
However, if you want a thicker sauce for dipping fresh vegetables or pretzels into, then adding some xanthan gum is a great way to get the desired thickness you want.
Always remember, a little goes a long way with xanthan gum and it thickens more as it sits. Start out with just ⅛-¼ teaspoon mixed in a little oil or melted butter and then added to the homemade sauce. You can't add xanthan gum directly to the sauce or it will begin to thicken immediately and you may end up with clumps instead of a creamy sauce.
How to Make Honey Mustard Dressing
In a small bowl (about 2-cup size is good), combine the honey, mustard, sour cream, and mayonnaise.
Whisk to combine all ingredients. You can serve immediately or refrigerate to thicken the sauce. You can also follow the instructions below to get an even thicker sauce.
How to Thicken Honey Mustard Dressing for a Dip or Sauce
The sauce will thicken as it sits in the refrigerator, but if you want it even thicker, you can use a little oil and xanthan gum.
A little xanthan gum goes a long way, so start out with ⅛-¼ teaspoon and make sure to let it sit a good 15 minutes before adding more. I found that ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum mixed in 1 teaspoon of oil was perfect for a thick dipping sauce.
Xanthan gum can't be added directly to liquids because it will clump almost immediately and you won't have a smooth sauce. To avoid this, use a little melted butter or oil and mix it with the xanthan gum to form a loose paste. Then add it to the honey mustard sauce and stir well.
Let it sit 15-20 minutes for it to thicken.
Uses for Honey Mustard Dressing or Sauce
Besides the obvious things like chicken nuggets or pretzels, there are so many uses for a good honey mustard dressing or sauce. Here are some of my favorites.
- dipping sauce for air fryer sweet potato fries
- dressing for your favorite salad
- marinade for chicken or pork
- brush on top of salmon before broiling or grilling
- toss your air fryer chicken wings in the sauce
- Drizzle over roasted brussels sprouts
- Dipping sauce for chicken nuggets or chicken tenders
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, absolutely. This quick honey mustard sauce is made from 4 basic ingredients and you can increase or decrease the amounts to make as little as you like. The recipe as written makes about 1 cup of dressing.
Use these measurements to make as little or as much as you like. Use 1 tsp mayo and 1 tsp mustard mixed with ½ Tablespoon of sour cream and ½ Tablespoon of honey for a single serving and increase the ingredients to make as many servings as you like.
It will last at least a week when stored properly. Store in an airtight container and if you see any separation, simply stir before using.
Easy Homemade Sauces
If you like to be in control of the ingredients in your food, then make your favorite sauces right at home with these easy recipes!
Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe
- 3 Tablespoons Honey
- 3 Tablespoons Sour Cream
- 2 Tablespoons spicy mustard or Dijon
- 2 Tablespoon mayonnaise
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum optional to thicken sauce
- 1 teaspoon oil optional to thicken sauce
- In a small bowl combine the honey, sour cream, spicy mustard, and mayonnaise. Whisk until well combined. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for it to thicken up.
To Thicken Sauce for Dipping
- Put 1 teaspoon of oil into a small bowl and add in ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum. Stir together.
- Add the xanthan gum/ oil mixture to the honey mustard sauce and stir well. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and it will thicken.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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like a lot of families...some like it hot, some do not
we have made dozens of mustard-based dipping sauces but never used sour cream before....nice idea
we have used a variety of hot sauces to give some of these sauces an edge...some worked, some didn't
then one the kids brought a product called Koop's Arizona Heat...it makes a pleasantly stingy sauce that is great with bbq or cajun sides, esp. sweet potato fries
thx for another great idea
I made this with boneless skinless thighs and cut them up into strips. They were so nice and crispy. The flavor was awesome!
Sorry, this comment was meant for the air fryer chicken strips.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the chicken strips!