The Secret Dipping Sauce You Didn't Know Chick-Fil-A Offered

A tragic yet familiar fast-food tale might go like this: It's a Sunday, and you're starving for a quick lunch. But on the way to Chick-fil-A, you realize you've made a grave mistake. Chick-fil-A has been closed every Sunday since 1946. (And after all of those successful years in business, why would the chicken chain change a thing?) 

Customers develop loyalty for a restaurant because they know what to expect, according to Restaurant Business. And by now, you might even know Chick-fil-A's menu of fried chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and nuggets better than your oldest friend. But many fast-food chains also feature a secret menu with items you may not know about, such as In-N-Out's secret menu

What about Chick-fil-A's so-called secret menu, with its variety of different items and dipping sauces? The chicken chain still has some surprises up its sleeve, and there's an under-the-radar item fans should know about.

Chick-fil-A's secret cheesy dipping sauce

Hidden in Chick-fil-A's popular condiment lineup is a creamy cheese dipping sauce. Sporting a gooey mixture of melted Swiss and parmesan, the condiment is available at select Chick-fil-A locations and makes a great pairing for the chain's famous waffle fries and nuggets, according to Southern Living

Now, before you go blazing into your local cafe demanding to try this mystery cheese sauce, keep in mind that it's currently only available at about 600 locations, per Southern Living, so you may want to check its availability on the Chick-fil-A mobile app. The cheese sauce typically costs around $1 and comes in a three-ounce container, according to BuzzFeed.

And if your local Chick-fil-A isn't one of the lucky 600 locations to offer cheese sauce, you can always order a side of mac and cheese at any of the chicken chain's restaurants to get your cheesy fix.

The secret's in the sauce

When it comes to the Chick-fil-A condiment selection, you may be familiar with most of the chain's eight dipping sauces. From ranch to Polynesian and Chick-fil-A's signature sauce, it's a strong lineup.

Chick-fil-A sauce was created in the early 1980s at a struggling location in Fredericksburg, Virginia, per Chick-fil-A. Lacking any dipping sauces for its chicken nuggets at the time, the struggling store's owner-operator first tried using his homemade honey mustard. The honey mustard dipping sauce became popular among employees, and later, customers as well, per Chick-fil-A. But its signature sauce was created when an employee accidentally added barbecue sauce to the honey mustard, and it became a huge hit that's still enjoyed today.

No matter your sauce of choice, there's no denying that Chick-fil-A's famous dipping sauce selection could be one of the reasons behind its success. And it all started with a struggling store's homemade honey mustard. Now, the only question is whether the secret cheese sauce can rival the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce.

Mix and match those saucy selections

While Chick-fil-A's signature sauce is arguably the most popular choice on the chain's menu, there's a whole lot to like. Now that you know a little bit about the lineup of dipping options, let's talk about one magical thing you can do with them: mix them together. Per Chick-fil-A, mixing and matching its many sauces is a great way to introduce new flavors to a menu that, let's be honest, you probably know by heart by now.

Shona Jonson, a member of Chick-fil-A's menu team, has the perfect idea on how to upgrade the chain's grilled chicken sandwich. Try combining the honey-roasted BBQ and hot sauce. These sauces come together to give a spicy, savory edge to that juicy protein. 

Another recommendation from one of the chain's chefs suggests mixing the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce with buffalo sauce. This combination adds a kick of heat to a flavorful favorite. Chef Angela Wadlington says this is a great pairing for nuggets.

The dipping sauces wouldn't exist without one hot menu item

For a perfect pairing with any of its dipping sauces, look no further than Chick-fil-A's chicken nuggets. They're why the chain made the sauces in the first place. The chain's nuggets weren't initially an official part of the menu, per Chick-fil-A. They were added in 1982 after many customers requested the addition. The chain's chicken sandwich was always a hit, and people wanted an option that they could serve at parties or enjoy on the go. 

While customers loved the nugget addition, something was missing. And in 1984, the sauces were born. Honey mustard, barbecue, and Polynesian were the first to grace menus. (Fun fact: It wasn't until 2006 that the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce became a permanent menu item.)

If you love using these sauces in the restaurant, you can even buy some of them in stores, per Chick-fil-A.