We are introducing our collection of 25 easy sauce recipes to help elevate your meals to new heights.

From tangy salad dressings to creamy pasta accompaniments, this roundup has something to suit every taste and occasion.

Join us on a flavorful journey as we explore a diverse array of sauces that are quick to whip up yet bursting with deliciousness.

Easy sauce recipes for salads, protein, and pasta

Browse through this list, and take your pick: these healthy sauces will make those greens pop and add flavor and nutrition to your meal.

1. Tahini sauce

Tahini sauce with a silver spoon

The first sauce on our list is a light and creamy tahini sauce that can be made in five minutes with just five ingredients.

Rich, creamy, nutty, and nutritious, tahini sauce is a favorite drizzle-on sauce for everything. We love it with a crispy tofu salad, hummus, and lentil patties.

2. Mustard dressing

Honey mustard dressing and spoon

The first recipe on our list is this basic mustard and lemon vinaigrette, perfect for salads and vegetable side dishes.

It makes simple veggies pop; try it on steamed asparagus and roasted bell pepper and taste the difference.

3. Cilantro lime dressing

cilantro lime dressing in a bowl

This cilantro lime dressing is excellent with authentic Mexican food and Tex-Mex food. Think tacos, taco salad, sweet potato saladguacamole, and burritos.

Anything with beans, rice, potatoes, corn, and most grilled, steamed, and boiled vegetables will be delicious with a cilantro lime dressing.

4. Romesco sauce

Creamy romesco sauce in a bowl

Here is how to make a quick romesco sauce at home with simple pantry staples found in most supermarkets.

Like most Mediterranean recipes, the sauce is held together by a generous drizzle of good-quality olive oil and a splash of vinegar.

Charred and roasted bell peppers add an element of umami and a beautiful red color.

5. Peanut sauce

Peanut sauce in a white bowl with a spoon

You’ll love this peanut sauce because it’s quick and easy to make; there’s no need to cook it, and it’s dairy-free.

You can use it as a sauce in peanut noodlesdrizzle on Buddha bowls and grilled tofu, or as a dipping sauce for air fryer tofu, spring rolls, and veggies.

6. BBQ sauce

Whisk in a pot with BBQ sauce

Our homemade BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with anything cooked on the grill, from veggies to meats and tofu. It’s also excellent on burgers or sandwiches.

Try it in a toasted bun with our BBQ tofu and creamy coleslaw – it’s our version of a meat-free pulled pork sandwich and a high-protein vegetarian meal.

7. Salsa Verde

tomato fennel salad with salsa verde

Salsa Verde adds flavor to grilled, steamed, boiled, oven-roasted, or air-fried vegetables.

We also use it as a dressing for chickpeas, lentils, and beans, predominantly white cannellini beans.

Drizzle salsa verde on raw vegetables, like tomatoes and fennel, flatbread pizzapiadina, or focaccia. It’s a super-easy way to make these dishes pop.

8. Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce with basil and a wooden spoon

This Italian marinara sauce is easy, versatile, and perfect with pizzapasta, and mains.

It’s a simple recipe that is a lifesaver if you’re short on time and must prepare a quick and tasty dinner.

9. Chermoula

Chermoula sauce and hand holding a pita bread

Chermoula sauce is a quick and tasty condiment from the Maghrebi cuisines of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. It is used on grilled chicken, meats, fish, vegetables, and stews.

Chermoula pairs beautifully with other North African recipes, such as Moroccan chickpea stewHarira soupMoroccan lentil soup, and Moroccan carrot salad with couscous.

10. Yogurt tahini sauce

tahini yogurt dressing

You’ll love this yogurt tahini sauce recipe because you can use it as a dipspreador dollop on most dishes, such as curries, stews, soups, salads, roasted and grilled veggies.

Its creamy texture and tangy, aromatic, refreshing taste goes exceptionally well with Mediterranean, North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian-inspired recipes.

11. Chipotle sauce

Chipotle sauce in a bowl with Mexican sides

Here is how to make a creamy chipotle sauce at home with simple ingredients and provide a vegetarian and vegan option.

You can use chipotle sauce like mayonnaise or any other creamy dressing, and it’s excellent on saladsgrain bowls, and roasted and air-fried veggies.

12. Arugula pesto

Arugula pesto in a white bowl

Our arugula pesto recipe is a beautiful alternative to classic basil pesto. It’s easy to makekeeps well for days, and has a zesty flavor with a peppery twist.

The recipe is fresh and nutritious and adds character to many Italian dishes.

You can make it with or without parmesan cheese; it only takes 5 minutes in a food processor.

13. Tzatziki sauce

Tzatziki with spoon and garlic

All you need to make tzatziki is Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, dill, and just over 15 minutes to make this irresistible Greek recipe.

Serve it as a topping, dip, starter, or side dish with grilled vegetables, salads, pita bread, fritters, and falafel.

14. Basil pesto

Basil pesto in a stone bowl with a silver spoon

Homemade basil pesto is a classic Italian recipe that can be served as a sauce with pasta or as a spread in a sandwich, wrap, or pizza.

This recipe is based on the authentic Pesto alla Genovese recipe with fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.

15. Sicilian tomato pesto

red tomato pesto with pine nuts and hand holding a spoon

Sicilian pesto is delicious because it uses fresh ricotta, which adds a creamy texture and excellent flavor.

This tomato pesto recipe is easy in 5 minutes in a food processor or blender. Toss it with your favorite pasta for an outstanding, family-friendly weeknight dinner.

16. Vegan mayonnaise

Vegan mayo on a spoon

This vegan mayo guide will teach you the tips and tricks of egg-free mayonnaise.

It’s tasty, versatile, and so easy to make that you can make it in one minute with six simple ingredients.

Serve it with veggies, in sandwich, or as a burger spread.

17. Italian dressing

Vegan pasta salad with beans and Italian dressing

Homemade Italian dressing is a simple vinaigrette recipe to add flavorfreshness, and aroma to many salads.

It is a classic dressing that immediately levels salads, grain bowls, and pasta salads.

18. Green goddess dressing

green goddess dressing

Green goddess dressing is a creamy salad dressing made with plenty of fresh herbs. 

Our recipe is a vegan green goddess dressing that feels modern and light, and it is packed with plenty of fresh green herbs that give it that classic green goddess taste.

19. Chimichurri

oven-roasted carrots with chimichurri on top

Chimichurri is fresh and bright due to the vinegar, herby and aromatic due to parsley and oregano, and tangy and spicy due to garlic and chili.

It’s an incredible ally to add flavor to most vegetables and sides, cooked in most ways, from grilled zucchini and eggplant to boiled potatoes, from oven-roasted carrots to air-fried cauliflower.

20. Carrot ginger dressing

carrot and ginger dressing

This carrot ginger dressing is so tasty that you might end up drinking it out of the blender jar. It’s a sweet, savory, and smoothie-like condiment to drizzle on veggies, noodles, and bowls.

This recipe is Japanese-inspired, and if you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant in the US, you might be familiar with those flavors

21. Sun-dried tomato pesto

sun-dried tomato pesto and Naan bread

Sun-dried tomato pesto, called pesto rosso (red pesto) in Italian, will make you taste the flavors of sunny Mediterranean shores.

Drying tomatoes in the sun makes them a flavor concentrate, making the pesto robust and rich and packed with umami, which has a rich and mouthwatering savory taste.

22. Vegan pesto

Basil Pesto with hands and basil leaves

Next, we’ll show you how to make vegan pesto in 10 minutes with simple ingredients.

Whether you use it as a pasta sauce, a dip, or upgrading a vegetarian dinner, this cheese-free pesto will make your taste buds happy and your body healthy.

23. Zucchini pesto

vegan zucchini pesto with pasta

Zucchini pesto is light and delightful. Thanks to the raw zucchini and fresh basil, it has a mild flavor, and its creaminess makes it perfect for coating a pasta dish or homemade gnocchi.

The best part is that you don’t have to cook the zucchini to put this sauce together in 5 minutes.

24. Vegan ranch dressing

vegan ranch dressing with hand and silver spoon

Homemade dairy-free ranch dressing is a lighter and more sustainable choice while retaining all the classic ranch’s creaminess, flavor, and tang.

This blog post will show you how to make the best vegan ranch dressing with simple, non-dairy ingredients.

25. Cashew sauce

vegan sour cream with chives on top

Sour cream is perfect with potatoessoups, and a dip with nachos.

Try this velvety, creamy version with your next baked potato, nachos, or Taco Tuesday, or as an easy appetizer.

How to serve your sauce and dressings

Drizzle your choice of sauce, dressing, or dip with a vegetable side dish or salad:

Combine your favorite sauces and load your roasted veggies with a symphony of condiments:

Whole roasted cauliflower with chermoula, pita bread and fresh lemon

How to store homemade sauces

Store these sauces and dressings in an air-tight container in the fridge. Eat within 2-3 days of making them, but they are best and freshest on the preparation day.

For pesto sauces, use them straight away or refrigerate them immediately to prevent them from turning brown due to oxidation. If you want to keep them for longer, freeze them. 

Pesto freezes well for up to 6 months. Please put it in a small jar or in ice cube trays to have smaller portions at hand.

Chickpea fritters with tahini sauce and fresh parsley and a hand dipping a fritter

For more condiment ideas, check out our dressing and sauces category page.

Easy sauce recipes for salads, sandwiches, and protein

25 Easy Sauces

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 3 votes
Creamy, nutty, rich, or sweet, tangy and herby, these 25 sauces are the perfect favorite drizzle-on everything condiments. Take your pick from these dressings, pesto and dips that brighten up your salads, side dishes, and grain bowls.
This recipe is for an authentic tahini sauce, one that is not bitter, with just 5 simple ingredients.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 11 tablespoons
Course: Dressing & Sauces
Cuisine: Middle-Eastern


  • cup tahini made with 100% hulled sesame seeds, light-colored
  • cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Take the jar of tahini and stir the content with a spoon. It's possible that if you haven't used it in a while the sesame oils and the sesame paste separate, so giving it a quick stir before using it helps.
    Pour tahini into a medium bowl, then add fresh lemon juicewater, a peeled and crushed garlic clove, and salt.
    Tahini sauce in a bowl before mixing
  • Whisk for about a minute or two, until ingredients are combined and the tahini changes color and goes from light brown to beige.
    Tahini sauce with lemon and spoon
  • Taste and adjust for salt and lemon juice. Tahini sauce should be creamy but quite runny.
    Keep in mind that as it sits, the sauce thickens up slightly. You might need to add a little more water until you reach your desired consistency.
    Tahini sauce recipe just after mixing the sauce


Nutrition information is for 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce.


Calories: 44kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 37mg, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 5IU, Vitamin B6: 1mg, Vitamin C: 1mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 1µg, Calcium: 11mg, Folate: 8µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 7mg, Zinc: 1mg
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If you liked these easy sauces, you might also like:

Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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