Honey Dill Sauce is a Winnipeg favourite. It's ubiquitous there - you'll find it as a dipping sauce on most restaurant menus and in grocery stores.
Originally published November 14, 2011. Updated on 7/22/2023
When you grow up with something THAT popular, it's weird when you move somewhere that's never even heard of it.
So, let me introduce you to honey dill dipping sauce, and share my easy recipe for homemade dill sauce!
What is Honey Dill Sauce?
This delicious dipping sauce is VERY much a Winnipeg thing, and "popular" doesn't even begin to describe it.
If you order chicken fingers anywhere in Winnipeg, there IS honey dill sauce.
Actually, not even "there IS", more like "There MUST BE".
Major chain restaurants, little diners, festival food trucks, school cafeterias... it's just what you do, as it’s one of the most popular chicken finger condiments.
Kids love it, adults of all ages love it... and after putting together this post, I'm gonna NEED to make some for supper tonight!
Where did Honey Dill Sauce Originate?
As the story goes, the owners of Mitzi’s in downtown Winnipeg - a restaurant known for their chicken fingers - fell in love with a dill sauce they’d had at another restaurant.
The husband - Peter Eng - tried to recreate what they’d been served.
One of the attempts resulted in the creation of a honey dill dip that his wife liked so much, they started serving it in the restaurant.
The unique flavor was a hit, and the rest is history.
A recipe for Mitzi's Chicken Fingers was posted to Saveur.com in 2014, including the recipe for their honey dill dip.
Their recipe - unlike the main dipping sauce style you get in Winnipeg restaurants - contains lemon juice and mustard.
Personally, I prefer the "default" - just mayo, honey, and dried dill - to the original.
How is Honey Dill Dip Used?
I once saw a list of "You know you're from Winnipeg WHEN", and one of the statements was "You dip everything in Honey Dill sauce".
Well, while I wouldn't go so far as to say "everything", it really is a versatile condiment, with a ton of great uses for it.
The most popular use, as I mentioned, is for chicken fingers - or chicken nuggets - and the french fries usually served with them. They’re particularly great with sweet potato fries.
In this sense, think of it as a substitute for honey mustard.
It's also great on fish sticks, roasted potato chunks, steamed carrots, grilled salmon steaks, egg rolls, turkey products, perogies (Try my Gramma's Perogies Recipe!), and with for crudite plates, as a veggie dip!
I knew a person who used it as a salad dressing, though personally I think it’s too thick / sweet for salads.
More Recipes that Remind me of Gramma
Since originally writing this post, my gramma has sadly passed... but her memory lives on.
Here are a few recipes that remind me of her, whether as something she taught me to make, a replica of a retail treat we used to enjoy together, or one of my own recipes that she would request whenever I’d visit, as an adult.
Homemade Marshmallow Cones
Homemade Clodhoppers Candy
Puffed Wheat Squares
Paska - Ukrainian Easter Bread
Baking Powder Biscuits
Grandma's Potato Salad
Easy Butterfly Cupcakes
Breakfast of Champions
French Canadian Pea Soup
Beep Drink Recipe
This recipe takes only 3 main ingredients, all of which are available in any grocery store:
Use a full fat mayonnaise for the best flavour and texture.
Be sure to use a fairly light/basic/neutral honey, like clover. Something like a wildflower or buckwheat honey would overpower the other flavours, and not taste as good!
While I usually prefer to use fresh vs dried when possible, this really is better with dried dill... and that is generally what is used in most versions I’ve ever had.
There are a couple different types of products out there, that may contain additional ingredients.
I’ve seen honey dill sauce with ground black pepper, added kosher salt, and even mustard powder added.
I’m sure they have a wonderful taste of their own, but they’re not “right”, for nostalgia reasons.
If you didn’t grow up on Winnipeg restaurant honey dill sauce, feel free to dress this recipe up a bit.
... but if you’re looking to replicate the dip you’ve become accustomed to getting pretty much anywhere in Winnipeg?
You’ll want to just make this recipe as-is!
How Do You Make Honey Dill Sauce?
Given that this is a 3 ingredient, less than 1 minute recipe, I'm a little embarrassed to be posting it.
Well, make no mistake - this is NOT a gourmet thing, this is not haute cuisine... but it's has SUCH a wonderful taste!.
Also, it's like educating all you non-Manitobans on foreign culture, right? 🙂
Anyway, the full recipe is at the bottom of this post, but as an overview:
1. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and honey until smooth and well blended.
2. Crush the dried dill in your hand (to release more flavor), add to the mayo mixture, stir well.
3. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend.
How Long is Honey Dill Dipping Sauce Good For?
Both honey and mayo tend to have long expiry dates, though the dried dill can be a bit of a wild card.
I tend to think that honey dill dip would be good for probably a week or two in the fridge, OR til the mayo expiry date - whichever comes first.
Honestly, I’ve never seen a fresh batch of honey dill dip stay around long enough to test its longevity!
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”. "More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! Order your copy through Amazon, or through any major bookseller!
More Canadian Comfort Food!
Whether you’re a Canadian in the US or not, we could all use some comfort food these days. Here are some Canadian Favourites!
Back Bacon / Canadian Bacon
Canadian Popcorn Seasoning Recipes
Dill Pickle Dip
Doughnut Holes - Timbits!
French Canadian Pea Soup
Homemade Deep N Delicious Cake
How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Maple Butter Tarts
Poutine, My Way!
Puffed Wheat Squares
Replica Swiss Chalet Sauce
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Canadian Recipes list!
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Honey Dill Dipping Sauce Recipe [Winnipeg Style]
- ⅔ Cup Mayonnaise
- ⅓ Cup Honey Liquid, not Whipped
- 1 tablespoon Dried Dill
- Mix together the mayonnaise and honey until smooth and well blended.
- Crush the dried dill in your hand (to release more flavor), add to the mayo mixture, stir well.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend.