When you’re dealing with the midweek stuck-in-a-rut feeling, that means it’s time to put away your saucepan and step away from the stove. We’ve hit the kitch and created seven quick, simple, so-good sauces you can whip up right in your in the blender—no heat required. Stock your fridge with them in advance, then add them to everything. Boost boring pasta, marinade mediocre meats and take your taco game to the next level.
A great combo of canned and fresh ingredients is the key to this savory sauce. If you grew up with an Italian grandma then you’ll know the importance of a good “gravy,” and this recipe delivers. Bright with basil, savory with San Marzano tomatoes, this recipe is great spooned right on top of hot pasta, and tastes incredible atop pizza or cooked into lasagna, too.
Ingredients: Canned whole tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, salt and pepper, and an optional dollop of honey.
- Spaghetti and meatballs (obvi)
- Stir into your favorite one-pot pasta recipe
- Spoon atop cooked lasagna noodles for a no-bake pasta dish
Ah pesto. Some would say it’s the best-o, and they’re not wrong. This smart creamy aioli-style pesto can be whipped up a day in advance if you want to get caught up on your dinner plans.
Ingredients: Fresh basil, mayonnaise (that’s the secret to its mega creaminess), Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and a dash of salt.
Whip up some barbecue sauce in minutes with this blender version of an infamous recipe. You can spread it right on top of burgers or simmer it on the stovetop until thick for a richer sauce. High-speed blender owners can even heat the sauce right in the blender until it’s piping hot.
Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, molasses, honey, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Use as a dip for chicken nuggets
- Marinate or baste grilled chicken and steak
- Slow-cook with pork or chicken for pulled BBQ sandwiches
If you’ve never made your own enchilada sauce, you’ve got to give this recipe a try. It’s such a simple way to upgrade the flavor of your favorite baked enchiladas, tamales and tacos.
Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, jalapeño, garlic, onion, olive oil and salt.
- Bake in your favorite enchilada casseroles
- Stir into Mexican-inspired soups for a little heat
- Serve with chips for an enchilada-inspired salsa
Most Alfredo sauces take several minutes of cautious stirring on the stovetop, but not this one. Just pop it all in your blender and puree until thick. You’ll have a delicious garlic and parmesan cream sauce that tastes just like the original, with no cooking required—although you can heat this version up, if you please.
Ingredients: Parmesan, garlic, and heavy cream. That’s it!
- Enjoy as a dipping sauce for fresh baked breadsticks
- Add to hot cooked linguine or fettuccine (optional: steamed broccoli on the side)
- Spread atop dough for a delicious white pizza sauce
If you like the creaminess of Alfredo sauce, but not the actual cream, this plant-based green sauce is about to become your new favorite. Avocados, vegetable broth and a hint of lemon and fresh basil make for a scrumptious sauce that’s also vegan-friendly.
Ingredients: Avocados, lemon, garlic, onion, basil, vegetable broth, salt and pepper.
- Stir it into hot bowtie pasta and fresh chopped tomatoes
- Spoon it on top of avocado toast or savory crepes
- Toss with cooked diced potatoes, corn and black beans for a delish twist on potato salad
The name would imply that this sauce is for tacos only, but before you go around assuming things, please know that this sauce is so, so much more.
Ingredients: Canned fire-roasted tomatoes, taco seasoning mix, white vinegar and a dash of sugar.
- Use in place of salsa with chips, sour cream and guac
- Marinade chicken breasts before pan-frying and serving with wild rice
- Mix with chicken, cheese and tortillas for some killer enchiladas