11 Delicious Sauces Every Dinner Table Needs

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If you feel like your meal is missing a little something, then a sauce might be just what you need. A good sauce brings out the flavors of a dish, adds a little bit of texture, and gives it some extra flair. They can be sweet, savory, spicy, creamy, or herby, and these eleven recipes will have you covered for any menu.

1. Peanut Sauce

A small, glass jar filled with peanut sauce sits on a wood surface.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Looking for a sauce you can use as a dip, stir-fry sauce, or salad dressing? This 5-minute Peanut Sauce is made with just three basic ingredients, but its flavor is anything but basic.

2. Barbecue Sauce

Two white spoons filled with bbq sauce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Every cook should know how to make a basic homemade barbecue sauce. Whether you are marinating, grilling, or just adding flavor, a good barbecue sauce recipe will always elevate the flavor of whatever you add it to.

3. Marinara Sauce

Marinara in an open canning jar.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you love making pasta at home, you need to know how to make a good Marinara Sauce from scratch. Marinara sauce can be used for pasta, pizza, rice, and more.

4. Chinese Garlic Sauce

A whisk resting in a small white bowl which holds some Chinese Garlic Sauce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Chinese Garlic Sauce is a great sauce to whip up when you are making a Chinese dish. It’s great for stir fry, vegetables, and all kinds of meats.

5. Basil Pesto Sauce

A small, glass jar filled with homemade basil pesto sauce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Basil Pesto Sauce is a must-know for any home cook. It’s great for spreading on sandwiches, adding to pasta, or even using as a pizza sauce. There are so many dishes made better by the addition of pesto that it would be silly not to know how to make it. It only takes a few minutes and tastes way better than anything store-bought.

6. Teriyaki Sauce

A glass bottle filled with teriyaki sauce.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Teriyaki Sauce is a sauce of Japanese origin that has many applications in Asian cuisine. Like the Chinese barbecue sauce, you can use it for stir-frying or as a meat marinade. Either way, teriyaki sauce is easy to make at home, so you can skip buying the bottled ones. It is also made with common pantry ingredients, so making it is a breeze.

7. Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

A closeup of a spoon lifting some Thai Sweet Chili Sauce out of a small, white bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Knowing how to make Thai Sweet Chili Sauce is another important skill in the kitchen. This sauce brings depth of flavor to any dish with its combination of saltiness, sweetness, and spiciness. Although popularly used in Thai dishes, you can now see widespread use of this sauce in various cuisines.

8. Spaghetti Sauce

A white bowl filled with  Simple Spaghetti Sauce
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

A delicious Spaghetti Sauce is something that every good chef knows how to make. Most people confuse it with marinara sauce, but there are a few distinctions. Marinara sauce is thinner and has a stronger tomato flavor, whereas spaghetti sauce tends to be thicker and is more heavily spiced. It’s not uncommon to add ground meat to spaghetti sauce, either.

9. Alfredo Sauce

The finished White Bean Alfredo Sauce Recipe.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Once you know how to make this Alfredo Sauce, you can create delicious meals quickly. This particular recipe is dairy-free and totally delicious. It’s made with white beans instead of dairy but tastes just as delicious.

10. Nacho Cheese Sauce

Nacho cheese sauce being poured over corn chips in a cast iron skillet.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Any good cook must have a good Nacho Cheese Sauce recipe. This sauce is perfect for drizzling over nachos or a baked potato. Whether you’re making dinner for the entire family or preparing a snack, you will find many uses for this nacho cheese sauce.

11. Fish Sauce

A small white spoon lifts some homemade fish sauce out of a full jar.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you cook a lot of Asian dishes, you’ll find that there is one common staple ingredient: fish sauce. Learning how to make your own Fish Sauce can save you money in the long run and ensure you can make a healthier version. A fish sauce is salty, adding more umami to your dishes. This particular recipe is vegan.

Sick Of The Same Ol’ Chicken For Dinner? Here Are 101 New Ways To Make It!

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Having chicken for dinner… again? Here are 101 new ways to level up your dinner game tonight.

Healthy Ground Turkey Dinner Ideas That Actually Taste Good

A skillet filled with ground turkey, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado and garnished with fresh parsley.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Lean ground turkey is a great replacement for ground beef if you are working on your health. Here, we give you 17 Meals with ground turkey that are surprisingly good for you.

While You’re Cooking, Prep Breakfast For Tomorrow Too. It Only Takes 5 Minutes!

An overhead view of a small canning jar filled with overnight oats with raisins.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Prepping overnight oats the night before is a fantastic way to ensure that your morning runs smoothly. These delicious oatmeal recipes are prepped in just 5 minutes. In fact, you can even make homemade oatmeal packets with these recipes, so all you have to do is grab a packet and get it in the fridge.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

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