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The Two-Ingredient “Special Sauce” That Elevates Almost Everything!

By Sarah Jio

Darlings, I have a fun little secret to share—one I’ve kept all to myself for years now. And women sharing their best tips with other women is what we do here, right? So in that spirit, it’s time I spill the details on the easy-peasy sauce I make every week in my house, because my family is that obsessed with it.

First, credit where credit is due: My BFF, Claire Bidwell Smith unknowingly inspired me to make this magical sauce many years ago. When Claire was dating her now-husband, she texted me one day to say that she’d put together a sumptuous picnic for the two of them, complete with—drumroll please!—a container of sriracha aoli.

Intrigued by anything spicy and called “aoli,” I set out to whip up my own version, and … just wow. My husband (also my boyfriend at the time) was instantly smitten with the extra kick on his sandwich, and when I dolloped a bit onto our grilled salmon for dinner, my boys went wild. At first I called it my “secret sauce” but that eventually morphed into the phrase “special sauce” because, I’m telling you, this sauce is truly special. Besides sandwiches, burgers and wraps, of course, it’s amazing drizzled on roasted veggies, meats of any kind (especially fish, and fish tacos!). These days, I make a big batch of it and put it in one of those nifty plastic squeezable containers so I always have some on hand. Here’s how to make your own:


1 cup of mayonnaise (my fave is Vegenaise, because I love its creamy taste—oh, and I always by the “soy-free” variety)

2 tablespoons (or more, if you like spice) of sriracha sauce (any brand will do, but I’m partial to the one with the rooster on the front)


Combine the two ingredients in a small bowl and use a spoon to blend together until smooth and well-incorporated (no lumps!). Mix in a sprinkle of ground pepper and tiny pinch of sea salt, and you’re done!

Optional add-ins (all of these are yummy, but not necessary):

*Minced herbs of any kind

*Dried herbs of any kind

*A sprinkling of garlic powder

*A tiny squeeze of lemon or a pinch of lemon zest (or both)


Sarah Jio is a journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of 11 novels published with Random House and Penguin Books. To learn more about Sarah, visit or www.instagram/sarahjio.

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