• Livia Ly, MS, RD, LDN

10 Healthy Sauces Loaded with Flavor and Nutrition,...

...Not Calories, Sugar, Sodium, Saturated Fats, and Harmful Chemicals

Toss the processed bottles and top your foods with homemade versions of your favorite sauces and dressings instead.


1. Tzatziki

Picture and recipe adapted from: Cabot


  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 medium organic cucumber

  • 1 cup organic plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh organic dill

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Sprinkle garlic with salt and mash into puree.

  2. Coarsely grate cucumber flesh or mince finely with knife.

  3. Squeeze grated or chopped cucumber firmly to extract as much juice as possible; discard juice and add squeezed flesh to bowl with garlic.

  4. Add yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and pepper, stirring together well.

  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for flavors to blend. Serve as dip with pita bread and fresh vegetables or as a sauce for grilled lamb, chicken, beef or vegetables.


2. Spinach Ranch

Picture and recipe adapted from: Forks Over Knives


  • 1 cup organic spinach, thawed

  • 1 (12 ounce) package soft organic tofu

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh organic parsley

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh organic dill

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh organic chives

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place the spinach in a kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess water. Place in a blender along with the tofu, vinegar, garlic powder and onion powder. Blend into a creamy paste.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the parsley, dill, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and adjust the seasoning.

  3. Chill before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


3. Green Chutney With Chaat Masala

Picture and recipe from Bon Appetit


  • 1 1½-inch piece ginger, peeled, chopped

  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, chopped

  • 1 ½ cups organic cilantro 

  • 1 ½ cups organic mint leaves

  • ⅓ cup plain organic whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 4 tsp grape seed oil

  • 1 tsp chaat masala

  • Kosher salt


  1. Pulse ginger, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, yogurt, lemon juice, oil, and chaat masala in a food processor until smooth; season with salt.


4. Roasted Beet Hummus

Picture and recipe adapted from: The Primalist


  • 3/4 pounds beets, roasted*, peeled and roughly cubed

  • 3 tbsp tahini sauce

  • zest of one lemon

  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

*Wrap in aluminum foil, and roast at 400°F for approx. 1 hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.


  1. Combine all ingredients except the sesame seeds in food processor. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. 

  2. Transfer to serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.


5. Cauliflower Bechamel

Picture and recipe adapted from: Forks Over Knives


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3 cups)

  • Unsweetened plain almond milk, as needed

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 teaspoons minced organic thyme

  • ¼ cup finely chopped organic basil

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast, optional

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add the cauliflower to a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the cauliflower is very tender -- about 10 minutes.

  2. Drain the excess water and puree the cauliflower using a blender/food processor.

  3. Add almond milk, if needed, to achieve a creamy consistency. Set the puree aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  4. Place the onion in a large skillet or saucepan and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.

  5. Add the garlic, thyme, and basil and cook for another minute. Add the nutritional yeast (if using), nutmeg, and salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

  6. Add the onion-garlic mixture to the cauliflower puree and blend until smooth, adding up to ½ cup of water if necessary to achieve a smooth consistency.


6. Spinach Basil Pesto

Picture by: Bakerita. Recipe adapted from: Baker by Nature


  • 2 cups organic baby spinach

  • 1 cup organic basil

  • 1/3 cup walnuts

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, optional

  • Juice and zest of one lemon 

  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Blend the spinach, basil, nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a food processor or strong blender until almost smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula as often as necessary.

  2. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.

  3. Store in a clean airtight container for up to 5 days


7. Barbecue Sauce

Picture and recipe adapted from: Healthy Recipes


  • 3/4 cup organic tomato paste, no salt or sugar added

  • ¾ cup balsamic/apple cider vinegar 

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp garlic powder  

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 2 tbsp raw honey


  1. Use a hand whisk to whisk everything in a medium bowl until well-blended.

  2. This barbecue sauce is excellent for brushing on meats, then slow cooking or grilling. This caramelizes the sugars in the sauce and brings out its natural sweetness. Without cooking, it's a bit acidic. 


8. Marinara

Picture and recipe adapted from Dear Crissy


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 cups crushed organic tomatoes

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh organic basil

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

  2. Add your minced garlic and sauté just until garlic becomes fragrant and slightly golden. 

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and reduce your heat to low.

  4. Cover the pot and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.


9. Pico de Gallo

Picture and recipe adapted from: Tablespoon


  • 2 cups diced fresh organic red tomato

  • 1 cup diced white onion

  • 1 serrano pepper, stem removed and finely diced (and seeded, if you want less heat)

  • 1/2 cup chopped organic cilantro

  • 1 garlic glove, minced

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • Salt, to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss together until well combined.

  2. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


10. Thai Peanut

Picture and recipe adapted from Don't Waste The Crumbs


  • ¼ cup peanut butter, no sugar/oil/salt added

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 2 tbsp lime juice (about 1½ limes)

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce (low sodium)

  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper

  • 1" fresh ginger, sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced 

  • 2 tbsp raw honey

  • ¼ cup organic cilantro


  1. Add all the ingredients, except the cilantro, to the blender/food processor. Blend until all the ingredients are smooth and creamy.

  2. Add the cilantro and pulse until the cilantro is in very small pieces.

  3. Use as a dressing on your favorite salad, or as a dipping sauce.

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