As we get closer to the holidays and the weather gets colder, the time is ripe for heartier, more comforting dishes. Making sauce is a perfect way to warm yourself up, break out the spices, and add flavor and character to pasta, rice, or tofu.

Some premade vegan sauces are easy to find in a supermarket, while others seem to be hidden in the most distant, hard-to-reach shelves of your local market. So why not make your own? There’s something extremely satisfying about pouring homemade sauce all over your dishes, or just eating it straight with a spoon in all its freshness. You don’t need to get too fancy to make delicious sauces, either.

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Below are 15 plant-based versions of 15 of your favorite sauces from our Food Monster App, which require little more than combining ingredients in a food processor or blender. 

1. PestoHow to Make Pesto Without Cheese (It's Easy!)

Pesto is a divine taste that adds a burst of flavor to pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches and more. Thanks to pine nuts, high quality olive oil, and fresh basil, eating pesto feels indulgent. You might be able to find pre-made vegan pesto at vegan and/or speciality food markets, but typically ordering pesto at a restaurant or buying pesto sauce sold at regular grocery stores is a no-go. Of course, you could always make your own! Follow these steps for your own delicious Homemade Pesto without Cheese.

2. MarinaraTwenty Minute Homestyle Marinara

Marinara sauce is wholesome, hearty, healthy, and a perfect way to use up all your tomatoes. This recipe features a 20-Minute Homestyle Marinara, but you can make the sauce by itself and store it for future use on pasta, pizza, or lasagna. Alternately, spoon it right out of the blender — we won’t judge.

3. QuesoLoaded Queso Dip 1

Who doesn’t need an awesome cheese dip at one point or another in their lives? Queso makes the perfect versatile sauce. In this particular Loaded Queso Dip, potato, onions, vegetable broth, and spices join together to create the perfect creamy base which you can then top with anything you want! Stick to these traditional queso toppings or go for a fusion dip.

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4. Alfredo

This Vegan Cashew Alfredo Sauce is a go-to for all types of pasta dishes. It’s incredibly rich and creamy – you absolutely won’t miss the dairy! You can serve it over brown rice noodles with sautéed onions, mushrooms and spinach, but it tastes great on pretty much everything, so feel free to get creative.

5. BarbecueTriple Threat Barbecue Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This Triple-Threat Barbecue Sauce features an abundance of hot pepper. It’s a tangy sauce, not a smoky one, which means you can make it even if you don’t have any liquid smoke on hand. Also, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make, and it’s better for you than its sugary, salt-laden store bought counterpart.

6. Chipotle

Take your taste buds on a ride with this protein-packed spicy Chipotle Cashew Creme. This sauce is especially great with sweet potatoes but, can be used with anything from crispy breaded tofu to fajitas.

7. Hot Sauce

This Homemade Hot Sauce recipe packs a powerful kick. It’s thin and spicy, so a little goes a long way. The other fabulous thing about this hot sauce recipe is that it’s a great healthy way to add depth of flavor to a dish without adding oil or fats. Your veggies will be boring no more!

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8. Srirachasriracha

Sriracha is a popular hot sauce from a town in Thailand of the same name. It’s made by fermenting, then sweetening a sauce of chili peppers and it’s incredibly easy to make at home. All you do is combine all the ingredients, let them rest in a tightly covered mason jar for a week, then add sugar and you’ve got yourself Homemade Sriracha. This sauce tastes great drizzled over just about anything.

9. Tahini

Tahini (sesame seed paste) is full of wholesome nutrition. Sesame seeds contain important B vitamins and calcium. They also have beneficial trace elements like copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese. Sesame seeds contain both omega 3 and 6 that improve the health of the brain. You can use Homemade Tahini in salad dressings, dips, hummus, soups, cookies, or just eat it plain spread on toast.

10. CarbonaraCauliflower Carbonara Sauce

This healthy Cauliflower Carbonara Sauce is exquisitely creamy and indulgent. Cashews and cauliflower are the base of this sauce, making it cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat as opposed to the original version of the Italian classic. Serve with your favorite pasta or spiralized noodles.

11. ChiliHomemade Hot Chili Sauce 1

This Homemade Hot Chili Sauce is oil-free, spicy and lightly sweetened with dates. It’s also extremely versatile and with a few small substitutions, like paprika, kimchi or nutritional yeast, it can be modified to suit different kinds of dishes. Make a jar-full and keep it in your fridge for use in pasta and soup bases, or to pair with potato wedges and crackers.

12. CheeseLife-Changing Vegan Cheese Sauce [Gluten-Free]

Sometimes all a recipe needs is to be smothered in cheese sauce. Baked potato? Put some cheese sauce on it. Roasted broccoli? Pretty much meant to be eaten with cheese sauce. This Life-Changing Cheese Sauce is your new secret weapon in the kitchen. You won’t believe how authentically cheesy it tastes! And get this — it’s super easy!

13. Tzatziki Cashew Tzatziki Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Cashews are a go-to ingredient for non-dairy sauces, as they make everything rich and creamy. Give this Cashew Tzatziki Sauce a try to replace the traditional yogurt-based Greek classic.

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14. Ketchup

While you could pay for pricey ketchup and condiments that come without added sugars, why not save your money, spend five minutes in the kitchen and just make your own? Try making Healthy, Organic, Homemade Ketchup to smother your veggie burgers and fries.

15. Applesauce Instant Raw Applesauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Applesauce is always one of those handy ingredients to always keep in the kitchen. It’s delicious on its own as a raw snack and particularly indispensable for all kinds of low-fat, egg-free or vegan baking adventures. Why buy an expensive jar of applesauce when you can just make Instant Raw Applesauce?

Feeling saucy? If these blender sauces don’t have you drooling yet, check out 25 Vegan Sauces That Make Any Meal More Enticing.

For further inspiration with your sauces and beyond, download our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, cooking how-tos, and more. Subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Homemade Hot Chili Sauce

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