Vegan food is definitely not bland, thanks in part to the dozens of condiment options to make that tofu bowl sweet, spicy, tangy, cheesy, creamy — and the list goes on and on! If you’re planning a gathering or trying to stock up on basic items for home cooking, try these 10 essential veggie condiments. If you have these on hand, you’re able to mix up so many vegan sauces and/or toppings, it’ll make your head spin!

1. Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds that has a similar consistency to peanut butter. You’ll find tahini-based sauces at Middle Eastern restaurants, and you can buy the paste at most grocery stores. Two tablespoons of tahini will give you 128 mg of calcium. Tahini sauce is a great spread over falafel or used as an ingredient in salad dressing.

2. Guacamole 

Guacamole is a dip made from avocadoes, and it tastes great atop Mexican dishes or spread on veggie burgers. The recipe I love making is Ina Garten’s guacamole, which calls for lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. If you don’t have any avocadoes on hand, check out this recipe for knock-off-amole, which calls for peas instead.

3. Sriracha

Sriracha sauce is a paste made from distilled vinegar, sun-ripened chili peppers, garlic, salt, and sugar. The red chili peppers that Siracha is made from contain capsaicin, which is known to help boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. You can buy bottles in the store or make your own. That sweet and spicy taste goes well drizzled on many different meals, from sandwiches and pizza to pasta. To impress your party guests, try cooking Cajun quinoa cakes with lemon-dill-sriracha remoulade.

4. Nutritional yeast

Known as “nooch” to many of us green monsters, nutritional yeast is a beloved vegan condiment because it gives a cheesy taste and texture to plant foods, but without the guilt of eating cheese. You can sprinkle it on top of popcorn or put it into hearty dishes like tofu scramble with spinach and nutritional yeast.

5. Hummus 

Hummus can definitely be used as a condiment (the suggested serving size is two tablespoons, after all), but it’s not unlikely for me to eat more in one sitting.  Anyone else a hummus addict? Hummus is a dip made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and often garlic and lemon. Put it on top of falafels or thin it out to use as a salad dressing or alternative to cheese sauce and mayonnaise. Try this recipe.

6. Vegenaise 

Vegenaise is a name of a creamy, mayonnaise-like spread that is made from mustard, oil, apple cider vinegar, soy protein, brown rice syrup, salt, and lemon juice. Most versions have less than 90 calories per teaspoon. This stuff is a great transition food for mayo lovers who want to go vegan.

7. Pickled vegetables

Chopped, pickled foods add a tangy crunch that goes well in wraps and sandwiches, as well as on top of vegan burgers and hot dogs. Try some the next time you’re looking for a condiment that gives your food a flavor punch!

8. Tamari

Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce that is made from fermented soybeans. It can be used as soy sauce, but because it’s thicker, it’s great to use for dips, marinades, or dressings. Try making mini BBQ soy curl taco bowls with pickled onions.

9. Cashew cheese 

Cashew cheese can be used as you would dairy cheese. Put it on top of pizza or use it as a “cheesy” dip base. Try this portobello eggplant burger with cauliflower cashew cheese.

10. Salsa

Traditional, fresh salsa is a wonder condiment for sandwiches in particular and Mexican dishes, of course. But don’t stop with red tomatoes; there are dozens of salsa recipes you can play around with making. Try blueberry salsa, strawberry-spring onion salsa, black bean and corn salsa, and salsa verde.

With these condiments on hand, your vegan food will never be bland!

Image Source: Black Bean and Corn Salsa