3 Sauces to Spruce Up Your Home Cooking

If you cook your family’s meals in bulk to package them as leftovers, you probably rely on the same tried-and-true, quick, and inexpensive recipes month after month. Have you ever considered making your own sauces to give those dishes a much-need dose of variety? Here are three simple sauces that you can quickly make in your kitchen to add some pizzazz.

Vegan pesto sauce

Pesto is a versatile sauce that can enhance a variety of bland, everyday dishes. Drizzle it on your morning avocado toast, toss it with some linguini for lunch, or coat some cooked vegetables with it for dinner. Unfortunately, store-bought pesto can be quite expensive for even a small jar.

However, if you make your own pesto at home following this recipe from BuzzFeed contributor Laura Wright, you’ll be able to savor that flavor whenever you want. Plus, this recipe is vegan-friendly!

Pulse 3/4 cup toasted walnut halves and 1 peeled garlic clove — or 2 cloves if you want a bolder flavor — in a small food processor until the contents are chopped into small bits. Add 2 tightly packed cups of pea shoots and 1 cup of fresh mint leaves. Keep pulsing until the mixture becomes a paste.

Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and continue blending while pouring in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil. Gradually, the paste will become an evenly blended sauce that you can use on whatever you want.

Enchilada sauce

Want a tasty, healthy sauce you can pour on practically any Mexican dish? Check out this thick, flavorful enchilada sauce from Lindsay Ostrom. She shared this fast, easy recipe on her cooking website Pinch of Yum.

All you do is fill a blender with the contents of a 128-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, a chopped 1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 de-seeded jalapeno, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the blender run until the ingredients are smoothly combined.

If you let the sauce sit for an hour before adding it to your food, the flavors will mingle more and result in an even tastier blend.

Chimichurri sauce

If you prefer a sauce on your red meat or fish instead of using a dry rub, you should know how to make a simple chimichurri sauce. Acclaimed food writer Hank Shaw shared his chimichurri sauce on The Spruce Eats so you can make it for your family.

Heat 1/2 cup water in a small pan on the oven and sprinkle in 1 teaspoon salt until it dissolves completely. Then, let the water cool down a bit before pouring it into a food processor — along with 4-6 garlic cloves, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup oregano leaves, 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.

Once those components are pureed together, drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil into the mixture and spin it at a low speed for less than a minute. Just make sure you give yourself enough time before you need to use the sauce so you can let it rest for a few hours after making it.

Whether you’re cooking burritos for your child’s school lunch or preparing for a fancy date night with your spouse, making your own homemade sauce can be a healthier, cheaper alternative to purchasing jars of premade sauce. Plus, it makes you seem like a serious home chef!

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