What Does Polynesian Sauce Taste Like?

image of Polynesian Sauce

If you’re a fan of Chick-Fil-A, we are sure you’ve heard about their delicious Polynesian sauce.  But if you’ve never had the chance to taste it, you might be asking yourself: what does Polynesian sauce taste like?

Short Answer:

Polynesian sauce is a sweet and sour sauce that perfectly balances acidity with natural sweetness.

You may have seen this sauce on the menu but never had the chance to taste it.

It can be disappointing when you order a new sauce from your favorite restaurant only not to enjoy it. Luckily we are here to help you know what to expect when you try the Polynesian sauce.

In this article, we will look at exactly what makes up the Polynesian sauce and let you know what to expect from the flavor.

Now, let’s get into it.

What is Polynesian Sauce?

The Polynesian sauce is a condiment that was made famous by the fast food restaurant Chick-Fil-A.

It is bright red in color and comes in individually packaged portions that are the perfect size for dipping chicken strips and nuggets.

The Polynesian sauce was one of Chick-Fil-A’s first dipping sauces that came out in 1984, along with their Honey Mustard and Barbeque sauces.

It even came out before Chick-Fil-A’s Classic namesake sauce.

Since Polynesian sauce is processed, its ingredient list has many preservatives. The official ingredients list is as follows:

  • Sugar,
  • Soybean oil,
  • Water,
  • Corn syrup,
  • Corn-cider vinegar,
  • Distilled vinegar,
  • Tomato paste,
  • Salt,
  • Paprika,
  • Mustard seeds,
  • Modified corn starch,
  • Beet juice,
  • Onion,
  • Garlic,
  • Xanthan gum,
  • Propylene glycol alginate.

If you get the craving but don’t want to order take-out, this sauce is easy to make yourself at home using ingredients already in your cupboards.

However, it is possible to recreate this sauce using just three simple ingredients.

How To Make Polynesian Sauce:

Homemade Polynesian sauce consists of [*]:

1. Catalina Dressing

The base of your sauce is Catalina dressing because it has all the base flavors of the Polynesian sauce.

This dressing consists of tomato puree that is flavored with dried onions and dried garlic to give the sauce depth.

As with most dressings, Catalina dressing also has a zingy hit of vinegar that will help the final sauce taste like the real thing.

If you don’t have Catalina dressing, you can also try French dressing.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Then we need that essential hit of acid for the sour part of this sweet and sour sauce.

Apple cider vinegar will provide a citrusy hit and a delicate sweetness to the sauce.

You can also use white spirit vinegar or rice wine vinegar.

3. Honey

Finally, we need that crucial sweetness.

Natural honey is the best for this job, in our opinion, but you can also use agave or maple syrup.

What Does Polynesian Sauce Taste Like?

The Polynesian sauce is a sweet and sour sauce with a strong tangy flavor. [*]

This sauce is so famous because of its bold, zingy flavor that hits the tastebuds with the perfect balance.

It is one of Chick-Fil-A’s most popular sauces because of its unique flavor.

Sweet and sour sauces like this are often paired with chicken because it balances perfectly with their salty crunch.

The tomato base gives it an umami hit, while the vinegar and honey provide the sweetness and tang that make this sauce so addictive.

What Can Polynesian Sauce Be Used For?

Since Polynesian sauce is a Chick-Fil-A sauce, it goes perfectly with chicken.

The chicken provides the savory and salty elements, while the Polynesian sauce brings in the sweet and sour side.

Our favorite way to enjoy Polynesian sauce is with Chick-Fil-A’s nuggets or chicken strips.

It is also the perfect dip for fries and even mozzarella sticks. 

If it’s crispy and salty, it will go well with Polynesian sauce!

If you are vegetarian or vegan but miss Polynesian sauce, it also pairs well with vegan imitation meats.


Is Polynesian sauce spicy?

The Polynesian sauce is robust in sweet and sour flavor, but it shouldn’t be confused with sweet chili sauce.

It has a sweet and sour flavor rather than a spicy kick.

However, Polynesian sauce goes very well with spice, so we recommend trying out using it as a dip for spicy chicken.

If you are looking for a spicy sauce at Chick-Fil-A, then we recommend trying their Sweet and Spicy Sriracha sauce. It has the same sweet kick but with a little more heat.

What is Chick-Fil-A’s most popular sauce?

This hotly debated topic can change depending on where you live. [*]

Chick-Fil-A offers the following sauces;

  • Polynesian Sauce 
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Chick-Fil-A Sauce
  • Garden Herb Ranch Sauce
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • Zesty Buffalo Sauce
  • Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Sauce
  • Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce

Those in the Southwest, Southwest, Atlantic, and Northeast go for our Polynesian sauce of the day.

The Midwest prefers the Barbecue sauce, while the West coast is all about Ranch.

Chick-Fil-A has a good range of super tasty sauces, so you’re sure to find a favorite.

Is Polynesian sauce unhealthy?

Like all sauces from fast food restaurants, the Polynesian sauce is not good for you. [*]

These sauces are highly processed and full of preservatives, which are damaging in large doses.

They are also very high in calories, sugar, and fat, so they are not good to eat on a regular basis.


So, now that we have got down to the details of Polynesian Sauce, what have we learned?

  • The Polynesian sauce is a popular sauce from Chick-Fil-A
  • It has a sweet and sour flavor.
  • This sauce can be made easily at home.

We hope, no, we know that this has encouraged you to give Polynesian sauce a try with your chicken nuggets the next time you visit Chick-Fil-A.

Up Next: What Does Chick Fil A Sauce Taste Like?

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