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Milo’s Sauce Recipe

Milo Carlton learned to make burgers as a mess cook in the US Army during WWII. After the war, he returned to Birmingham and opened his first burger joint in 1946.

And for the past 75 years, people have been standing in line just to try one of his delicious burgers.

All topped by the secret sauce that has made Milo’s famous!

Milo spent that first summer testing and perfecting his secret burger sauce by listening to what his customers had to say.

Then, he kept experimenting until he got it right.

Since then, Milo’s hasn’t changed the recipe in over 75 years.

And with no plans to bottle and sell their special sauce in stores, the only way to enjoy this famous sauce is to take a trip to Alabama.

That is until now.

The original is a closely guarded secret known to only a handful of people.

However, I’ve put together a delicious Milo’s sauce recipe that pays tribute to all the great flavors of the original.

And while it takes over six hours to make one batch of Milo’s sauce, you can have an authentic version of Milo’s sauce ready at home in less than 30 minutes.

The secret? A savory-sweet-spicy combination of barbeque sauce, ketchup, brown gravy mix, Cajun spices, cayenne pepper, and honey.

And Milo’s sauce is more than a delicious burger sauce. After one taste, you’ll be adding it to all your favorite foods.

This savory-sweet sauce has the perfect amount of heat to enhance any dish, from grilled chicken, meats, burgers, and even pizza.

Read on for a delicious Milo’s sauce recipe with all the great flavors of the original that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

What Do You Need To Make Milo’s Sauce


Barbeque Sauce

The base for Milo’s sauce.

I like Sweet Baby Ray’s, but any non-smokey-flavored barbeque sauce works.

Are you feeling adventurous? Try making your own.

Beef Broth 

he beef broth’s savory flavor intensifies the barbeque sauce and mellows out the spices.

I recommend using Swanson’s for this recipe, but any high-quality or homemade beef stock will work.


The sweetness of the ketchup balances out the spices and barbeque sauce. Feel free to add a tablespoon of tomato paste for even more tomato flavor.

Worcestershire Sauce

More savory goodness to intensify the flavor.

Cajun-style Brown Gravy Mix

The richness of the gravy mix with Cajun spices is the secret to a great-tasting Milo’s sauce recipe.

If you can’t find Cajun gravy mix, substitute a package of standard brown gravy mix and two teaspoons of your favorite Cajun seasoning spice blend.

Cayenne Pepper

Here comes the heat. Feel free to adjust the amount depending on your heat preference.


A little more sweetness to balance out the other spices and heat.

Salt and Black Pepper

I recommend using coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Salt helps unlock the other flavors, but be sure you taste it, so you don’t over-season your sauce.


  • Medium saucepan
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Stovetop or other heat source

How To Make Milo’s Sauce

Step One: Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan.

Step Two: Bring to a simmer on your stovetop while frequently stirring until the sauce has thickened, approximately 10-15 minutes.

Step Three: Taste your sauce and adjust any ingredients until you have your desired flavor.

Step Four: Season with salt and pepper

Step Five: Serve hot or allow to cool in the fridge.


Other Things To Consider When Making Milo’s Sauce

You Can Customize Your Milo’s Sauce Recipe

Milo’s sauce recipe is such a closely guarded secret it’s impossible to know precisely how Milo made his delicious special sauce.

But just like he did over 75 years ago, you can experiment with the ingredients until you find your perfect flavor combination.

For example, add sauteed garlic and onion (or use garlic or onion powder) to intensify the flavors.

Or try using different barbeque sauces.

Another great idea – add some smoked paprika or a few drops of liquid smoke.

I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a bit more honey to enhance the contrast between the spicy and sweet flavors.

Have fun and play around with the recipe. Who knows? You may discover a version even better than the original.

What Can I Eat with Milo’s Sauce

Milo’s sauce is more than just a burger sauce.

This versatile sauce pairs with so many dishes that you’re only limited by your imagination.

  • Its perfect combination of flavors makes it a great addition to grilled meats and chicken.
  • Makes a great dipping sauce for fries and chicken nuggets.
  • Use instead of traditional salsa for nachos and quesadillas for some spicy sweet flavor.
  • An excellent choice for grilled beef, chicken, or shrimp kabobs.
  • This delicious sauce pairs perfectly with roasted pork tenderloin.
  • Use it instead of barbeque sauce for all your grilled favorites.
  • I even like drizzling it over pizza. The flavors enhance the rich tomato flavor of the pizza sauce.

Make More Than You Need

Milo’s sauce spices up any dish, especially grilled meats and pork.

Plus, you’ll find that it makes a perfect substitute for ketchup. So go ahead and double the recipe.

It keeps well in the fridge for up to two weeks, though I wouldn’t recommend freezing it. It’s quick and easy to reheat or serve chilled.

Yield: Yield: 2 cups of sauce (approx 10 servings)

Milo's Sauce Recipe

Milos Sauce

This Milo's sauce recipe packs a lot of flavor and takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. This savory-sweet-spicy sauce is perfect for any burger!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • ¾ cup of beef broth
  • ½ cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package of Cajun-style brown gravy mix
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the barbeque sauce, beef broth, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun-style gravy mix, cayenne pepper, and honey in a medium saucepan.
  2. Next, bring the mixture to a simmer under medium heat.
  3. Stirring frequently, simmer the sauce until it has thickened, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  4. Taste your sauce and adjust any of the ingredients.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot, or allow the sauce to cool in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy!


  • Want a spicier Milo's sauce recipe? Add more cayenne pepper.
  • Sprinkle in garlic and onion powder to intensify the flavors.
  • Add a few drops of liquid smoke or a teaspoon of smoked paprika.
  • Increase the honey for a sweeter sauce.
  • If you can't find a Cajun-style brown gravy mix, substitute one package of standard brown gravy mix with two teaspoons of your favorite Cajun seasoning spice blend.
  • Use a tablespoon of tomato paste for a richer tomato flavor.
  • Add a tablespoon of apple or white distilled vinegar for a tangier Milo's sauce.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 340mgCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1g
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