If you’ve ever been to one of the Red Robin Restaurants you’re likely very familiar with their burgers and delicious fries. But have you indulged in the Red Robin Campfire Sauce?
Red Robin offers lots of sauces and one of their well-known features is the Whiskey River BBQ sauce. However, campfire sauce takes barbecue sauce to the next level.
Mayonnaise transforms bbq sauce so that the sauce is thick and creamy. Then heat and sweetness are added, along with an element of smokiness, to create exactly the kind of spread you want on your savory proteins and veggies while sitting around a fire.
Copycat recipes aren’t always the easiest recipes to recreate in your own kitchen, but this one certainly is. You can whip it up quickly and serve it almost immediately, or you can store it until you need it.
The next time you are scrolling through tasty sauces to serve, definitely give this one a shot. Your family and friends will be asking for the recipe!
What is Red Robin Campfire Sauce?
Red Robin Campfire Sauce is a creamy barbecue sauce concoction from the chain gourmet burger spot Red Robin. You’ve probably heard their commercials in which the narrator sings out “Yuuuummmm!” — that exclamation definitely applies to this sauce.
At Red Robin you can get this on anything from burgers and wings to a side their dippable appetizers. The mixture of mayo and bbq sauce with other earthy flavors makes it a pretty versatile go-to sauce.
What I love about making it at home is that you can skip all of the additives or ingredients like corn oil or high fructose corn syrup that are so prevalent in commercially processed foods. Choose the mayonnaise and the bbq sauce that you enjoy then mix in those other ingredients and — voila! — you have your own healthy and delicious homemade sauce that’s even better than the “real thing.”.
The other great thing is that you can completely customize this sauce to make it your own. Just because this is a copycat sauce recipe doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it — add or change anything that you think will make it something you and your guests or family will love.
Once you make this you’ll see why it’s such a popular sauce — you’ll want to keep it around regularly. Whip it up in just a matter of minutes and you’ll be the star of the cookout, party, or just the weeknight dinner!
- Mayonnaise – Use any brand that you like, or make your own homemade mayo.
- Hickory BBQ sauce – Using a smokey bbq sauce is key to building the layers of flavor in campfire sauce. What is a campfire if not smoky?
- Spicy brown mustard – You could opt for yellow mustard if you want a brighter color and flavor but spicy brown mustard adds just the right tang on your tongue.
- Honey – I like to buy local honey, but use any that you prefer. You can also experiment with infused honey flavors.
- Chipotle powder – This brings the heat to this creamy, smoky sauce. Feel free to be heavy-handed if spiciness is your style.
- Smoked paprika – This type of paprika is going to impart some amazing natural flavor of smokiness to the sauce. Don’t be afraid it will just it in your cabinet if you don’t have it already — it’s also amazing on deviled eggs, in chili, and any other dish that needs smokiness.
- Coarse Kosher salt – This brings out the flavor of all of the ingredients and rounds out the sauce.
How to Use Red Robin Campfire Sauce
The creamy texture plus sweet-meets-heat (and smoke) makes this the perfect dipping sauce. There are lots of other options for using it, too.
- Potatoes – This is a great fry sauce but it’s also delicious dolloped on a baked potato, mashed potatoes, or a sweet potato. You could even serve it aside morning hashbrowns or potato pancakes.
- Fried vegetables – Onion rings or straws are an obvious choice but nearly all fried veggies are better with this sauce. Try zucchini sticks, tempura battered cauliflower, or even fried pickles.
- Chicken nuggets, fried chicken, or wings – Handheld chicken is perfect to dunk into this sauce (or to just slather over it before it reaches the table).
- Grilled meats – If you’re grilling up dinner, is there any better sauce to spread on the buns before stuffing them with hot dogs, sausages, or burgers?
- Smoked and roasted proteins – Whether it’s roasted chicken, smoked brisket, or a pan seared salmon, any protein is delicious dipped into this sauce.
- Vegetables – Consider drizzling this over your portobello burger or using it as a dipping sauce for steamed or roasted veggies.
- On top of chili – Drop a dollop of this on top of your chili for fancy flair.
- Nachos – Upgrade your nacho game by serving this sauce with your pile of chips, meat, pico, and cheeses.
- Mozzarella Sticks – Trade out your marinara sauce for campfire sauce for a totally different take. You can do the same with grilled or baked halloumi, too.
This easy recipe is so simple to customize with different ingredients that you can choose!
- Heat – Turn up the heat by adding chili powder, chili peppers, a minced chipotle pepper, ancho powder, or diced jalapeno peppers.
- Garlic – If you’re a garlic lover, add garlic powder, minced garlic, or garlic extract.
- Smokiness – The smoked paprika brings a natural smoke flavor to this sauce, but you can up it by using liquid smoke or natural hickory smoke flavor extract.
- Tomato paste – If you like the brightness that tomatoes bring to some sauces, you can add tomato paste (which will thicken it, as well).
- Lemon juice concentrate – Adding just a little bit of lemon to many sauces (and most soups and stews) at the end of cooking brings out the flavors of all of the individual ingredients.
- Onion – You can add onion powder or minced onions to this recipe for some of that pungent onion flavor.
- Brown sugar sauce – Instead of honey, try mixing brown sugar with a little water to create a type of slurry before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- Sesame seeds – Impart some umami by adding sesame to the Red Robin Campfire sauce.
- Thickener – If you want to thicken the sauce, you can use xanthan gum, mustard bran, wheat flour, or soy flour.
- Tamarind concentrate – While tamarind can lend some sweetness and tang to the sauce, it’s also touted for its health benefits (specifically reducing cholesterol). It is also a great meat tenderizer.
- Vegan mayonnaise – If you’re living a vegan lifestyle you can substitute the regular mayo for a vegan version. Just make sure the BBQ sauce of your choice is vegan as well, of course.
- Ranch dressing – If you love some ranch flavor, you can substitute half of the mayonnaise for ranch dressing.
Storage & Freezing
After allowing the sauce to come to room temperature, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Freezing mayonnaise-based sauces is not recommended.
More Savory Sauces
Red Robin Campfire Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup hickory BBQ sauce
- 2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- Combine the mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, mustard, honey, chipotle powder, smoked paprika and salt in a bowl. Whisk until fully combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Stir again before serving.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the star ratings or comments.