Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Garlic Parmesan sauce in a jar with basil, Parmesan, and lemon

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Roasted garlic, Parmesan cheese, and herbs team up to make this fabulous dipping sauce, inspired by the beloved and popular sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings. The tangy, spicy mixture of mayonnaise with Italian seasonings and garlic gets amped up with a generous amount of spicy crushed red pepper and a bit of Parmesan cheese. Roasting the garlic cloves makes them mellow in flavor and brings out some of their sweetness. It's also the key to the flavor of the sauce.

A small hot red chile pepper gives the sauce a pop of color along with extra heat, but feel free to use a tablespoon or two of sweet red bell pepper and cut back on the crushed red pepper flakes for a milder version.

The sauce is ideal for dipping chicken wings or tenders, but it's also excellent with fried fish or shrimp, and deep-fried vegetables. It's easy to turn this tasty dip into a delicious creamy salad dressing, too. Just whisk in a few tablespoons of olive oil or thin it out with a bit of water or cream. Drizzle the dressing over a wedge of iceberg lettuce or fresh spring greens.


  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (or a sugar replacement)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Optional: 1 red Fresno chile pepper (1 to 2 teaspoons, minced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for garlic Parmesan sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Peel the garlic cloves and put them in a small baking dish or ramekin. Pour the olive oil over the garlic and cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake the garlic for 25 minutes until it softens.

    Garlic cloves covered with olive oil in a ramekin

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  3. Let the garlic cool slightly and mash until it is smooth.

    Roasted garlic mashed with a fork on a white plate

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Combine the mashed garlic with the remaining ingredients (including the optional minced pepper) in a bowl.

    Whisking garlic Parmesan dipping sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  5. Whisk the ingredients until the mixture is smooth and well blended.

    Garlic Parmesan dipping sauce in a bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  6. Transfer the dipping sauce to a jar and refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight.

    Garlic Parmesan dipping sauce in a jar

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  7. Serve the sauce with chicken wings, fried tenders or chicken strips, fried fish, or crudités.

    Garlic Parmesan dipping sauce with chicken wings

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray


  • For the best flavor, make the sauce early in the day or a day in advance so the ingredients can meld.
  • Roasted garlic adds flavor to many dishes, such as mashed potatoes, pasta sauces, dressings, and marinades. When you roast garlic for this recipe, double or triple the amount and freeze the extra roasted garlic cloves for future use in dishes such as mashed potatoes or a mushroom roasted garlic pizza.

How to Store Garlic Parmesan Sauce

This dip requires refrigeration. Cover and use within one week.