There’s just something about a saucy, juicy, savory meal, especially when you know where all the ingredients in the sauce come from. When cooks boast about their secret ingredients, those unexpected flavors are often part of the sauce. The ingredients in these sauces aren’t secret, though, just a great way to change up your day to day flavors, or reinvent leftovers. What we love about sauce is how easy they make sticking to the whole foods we promised ourselves we’d eat. Of course, the dishes under the sauce are worth a try, too.
1. Homemade Spicy Red Wine Tomato Sauce
If you eat plant-based, you probably are used to marinara, because unlike most sauces, it’s usually meat and dairy free. This sauce is no prosaic marinara, however. With an array of zesty spices, a bit of a burn, and red wine in the mix, this tomato sauce will rescue any pasta dish.
2. Vegan ‘Fish’ Sauce
A staple in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, ‘fish’ sauce will also come in handy for giving other dishes more flavor, with mushroom soy sauce, garlic and peppercorns.
3. Delicious Vegan Vodka Cream Sauce
This lush-ious sauce is heavy on the cashews and marinara, making a creamy yet familiar sauce for pasta, whole grains or baked veggies.
4. Spaghetti Squash With Alfredo Sauce
Cashews form the base of this creamy alfredo sauce, while kelp and nutmeg refresh the usual spice blend of garlic and basil.
5. Tempeh ‘Fish’ N’ Chips With Tartar Sauce
Sour and creamy, tartar sauce is a familiar comfort food to some and exotic to others. Either way, with only four ingredients this tartar sauce is quick and easy, but no less satisfying.
6. Greatest Homemade Hot Sauce
This hot sauce claims to be the greatest. If you find that hard to believe, you’ll have to challenge the sauce for its trophy. Your other option is to eat all of it, and worry about whether or not it was the greatest later. Either way, it is definitely hot!
7. Raw Hot Sauce
For the raw foodies, and anyone who wants to give raw food a fair shake in their diet, hot sauce is just as easy and delicious raw, not to mention just as spicy.
8. Homemade Healthy Barbecue Sauce
The store bought barbecue sauce might sometimes be cruelty free, but the ingredient list isn’t exactly inspiring. This healthy barbecue sauce, on the other hand, will taste amazing without the gross additives.
9. Lemon-Cannelini Sauce
A cannelini bean-based sauce comes to life with garlic and nutritional yeast.
10. Vegan Bolognese Sauce
While normally meat-heavy, one clever vegan has found away to make the legendary bolognese sauce transcend into the realm of meat-free sauces just in time to take over your taste buds and your dinner table. Tempeh, mushrooms and lentils give this sauce an excellent texture.
11. Creamy Pumpkin Seed Alfredo With Kale and Sweet Peas
Pumpkin season is in the air. But hey, once November has passed pumpkin seeds will still be yummy and good for you. There may only be so many ways to make alfredo, but this one is both inventive and just right.
12. Spicy Rose Sauce
So maybe there are a few special, secret ingredients. Rose, normally reserved for teas and baked goods, turns this spicy pasta sauce into a magic carpet ride.
13. Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
You caught us. We’re kind of into cream. But when you make that cream out of cauliflower, it isn’t even fatty. With nuts and a cheesy flavor, this one is especially good for kids, but adults are allowed too.
14. Steamed Sweet Potatoes With Wild Rice, Basil and Tomato Chili Sauce
This yummy chili sauce has miso, maple and lemon to go with the heat.
15. Vegan Alfredo Sauce
Look, more alfredo! If you’re not that into alfredo, sorry, but there’s a reason this cheesy, creamy sauce is such a favorite, and there’s so many nuances for how to make it.
16. Nut Cream and Wild Mushroom Sauce
Mushrooms have a lot going for them: meaty, creamy, nutritious and versatile, as well as (usually) cheap and earth-friendly to grow. Add mushrooms to our perennial favorite, nut cream, and we have a match!
17. Roasted Beetroot and Ginger Chutney
Beets are brilliant and sweet, a natural food coloring and a great source folate, fiber and riboflavin. With ginger, cilantro, cumin, and asafetida this beetroot chutney brightens the room as a side dish or sauce.
18. Tofu Vegetable Kebabs With Peanut Sauce
Roasting kebabs doesn’t have to be over now that it’s gotten cold. With or without the kebabs, peanut sauce is like peanut butter’s grown up sibling, hearty and rich, and great to drizzle over vegetables and tofu.
19. Wild Garlic Gnocchi in Almond Cream Sauce
Wild mushrooms and almond butter make this almond cream sauce a rich addition, with a lovely overdose of garlic. If you’re not in the mood to make gnocchi, just eat the mushrooms.
20. Broccoli Cream Sauce
Made with oat or soy cream and adorable little broccoli florets, this cream sauce can accommodate the nut-free vegans too!
21. Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce
Adorning these lovely corn fritters, you will find the sweet chili sauce your pots dream of at night. Assuming they dream. While not exactly healthy and best in moderation, your taste buds will gasp in relief at the absence of corn syrup, and your fingers will probably be very sticky.
22. Fresh Kale and Cashew Sauce
This sauce is like a savory green smoothie with cheesy nutritional yeast. In a good way.
22. Yogurt Sauce
The vegan kind, of course. Jazzing up this delish veggies and quinoa is just the start of what a good yogurt sauce can do.
23. Mint Chutney
If you haven’t had a green chutney before, this one is similar to hot salsa verde, although made with pretty different ingredients. Mint is easy to grow, and mint chutney comes recommended when you want your breath to smell good after a meal.
24. Indian Mint and Cilantro Chutney with Ginger
With more nuance than mint chutney, this is a good opportunity to take your favorite Indian food home, or find a fun way to expand your repertoire.
25. Lemon-Olive Sauce
This olive and lemon combo might be less fantastic without the moroccan tofu, but probably not. We think most veggies and whole foods would enjoy its delightful company.