Tuck away that saucepan. Turn off the stove. When summertime heat (or mid-evening laziness) sets in, you don’t want one more thing on your to-do list. And you definitely don’t want to cook for hours in the kitchen. But you, being the divine foodie you are, also don’t want to leave dinner undone. Or un-yummy.
Which is why we hit the kitch and created five quick, simple, so-good sauces you can whip up in the blender in literally 5 minutes each. Check out our fresh takes on these classic flavors, then add them to everything. We happen to think all of these versions are even better than the originals.
Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, molasses, honey, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper
Make barbecue sauce in minutes with this blender version. You can spread this tasty sauce 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.
- Use as a dip for chicken nuggets
- Marinate and/or baste grilled chicken or steak
- Cook in the slow cooker with pork or chicken for pulled BBQ sandwiches
Ingredients: Canned whole tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, salt and pepper, honey (optional)
A great combo of canned and fresh ingredients is the key to this savory sauce. If you grew up with an Italian grandma, 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.
- Three words: spaghetti and meatballs
- Stir it into your favorite one-pot pasta recipe
- Spoon atop cooked lasagna noodles for a no-bake pasta
Ingredients: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, jalapeño, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt
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.
- Bake in your favorite enchilada casseroles
- Stir into Mexican-inspired soups for a little heat
- Serve with chips for an enchilada-inspired salsa
Ingredients: Parmesan, garlic, heavy cream
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—but no cooking required. (Though you can heat this version up, if you please).
- Enjoy as a dipping sauce for fresh baked breadsticks
- Add to hot cooked linguine or fettucine (optional: steamed broccoli on the side)
- Spread atop dough for a delicious white pizza sauce
Ingredients: Avocados, lemon, garlic, onion, basil, veggie broth, salt and pepper
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.
- 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
With so many sauces to choose from, which one will you blend up tonight?
Brooke blogs at Cheeky Kitchen where she shares crazy simple, healthy family recipes. She joined Tablespoon to share some of her best, so keep an eye on Brooke's profile to see what she cooks up next!