• Nicole Short

5 SIMPLE SAUCES, every cook will love

Thai sweet chilli sauce, Pesto, chimichuri, salad vinaigrette and a lemon caper sauce! Simply. made and utterly delicious!

1. Easy Chimichurri Sauce

Creamy, spicy chimichurri sauce that requires 10 minutes! Perfect for adding to tacos, grilled vegetables, veggie burgers, and more! Great to use 1/2 as a marinade for steak, Cover and chill at least 3 hours or up to overnight. Remove meat from marinade, pat dry, and grill.

Spoon reserved chimichurri over grilled meat.


1 shallot, finely chopped

1 red jalapeño, finely chopped

3–4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped

½ cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbsp. finely chopped oregano

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS Combine shallot, chile, garlic, vinegar, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Let sit 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Using a fork, whisk in oil.

2. Honey and Balsamic Vinaigrette

A vinaigrette is a sauce for salads and greens. The basic ratio is three parts oil to one part acid. However, some people like to make it two parts oil to one part acid. Experiment with both, and choose the ratio that works best for you. Acid can be fresh citrus juice or vinegar. This is my recipe though


1/4 cup light olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 - 2 tbsp honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup of fresh herbs (I use basil and rosemary mix)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

INSTUCTIONS Combine all ingredients in a small jar and use a hand bender till well combined Store at in the fridge for about a week.

3. Easy non-fancy, Frugal Pesto

A Pesto is a raw sauce usually consisting of fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, and pine nuts. However, one of the best things about pesto is that you can virtually make it withanyherbs, cheese, and nuts—Manchego cheese, kale, and walnuts, for example. Enjoy with pasta, spread on sandwiches, and stirred into a vinaigrette.

This basil pesto of mine is a super easy, tastes amazing, and uses a secret substitute that means it’s cheap enough to eat pesto all winter long!

INGREDIENTS 6 cloves garlic peeled

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

2 ½ cups packed basil leaves washed and dried

1 tablespoon lemon juice for freezing to keep pesto a brighter green after opening

3/4 to 1 cup olive oil plus more if freezing


Pulse garlic in a food processor until minced. Add seeds, cheese, and salt. Pulse a few times to chop, and then add the basil and continue to process until most is chopped (it's okay if not all is chopped - it will mince as the oil is added). Add lemon juice now, if using.

With the machine running, add the oil in a fine stream. Process until pesto is smooth. Adjust salt to taste, if needed (less will be needed if using salted sunflower seeds).

To store in the freezer: pour about a 1/2 cup of pesto into freezer-safe containers, add a shallow layer of olive oil to cover the tops, attach lids, label with date and freeze.

TIPS: I use roasted sunflower seeds for the extra flavor, but raw seeds will work too.

4. Caper and lemon sauce

This is my favourite sauces for fish or chicken.


2 garlic clove, minced or puréed

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


whisk together the garlic, capers, lemon juice and olive oil. You can also mash the garlic in a mortar and pestle and work in the capers, lemon juice and olive oil, though I prefer the capers chopped, even some intact, and not puréed.

5. Homemade Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Imagine a steaming hot spring roll, an egg roll, fried chicken, grilled chicken, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, wanton, fried calamari, cheesy toast etc. Now imagine the same without that ever present, faithful sidekick – the dipping sauce? Not quite the same, is it? The Easiest Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce–  easy to make, and easy to adapt and most importantly absolutely delicious!

INGREDIENTS 4 long red chillies 3 red birds’ eye chilli 6 garlic cloves, peeled 150ml water 100g white sugar 15ml white vinegar 15ml fish sauce 4g salt 5g cornstarch mixed with 5g water

INSTRUCTIONS Place chillies and garlic in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and salt. Add the chilli and garlic mixture and simmer until sugar dissolves. Then turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavours develop. Whisk in the starch mixture and gently simmer for another minute. Allow to cool, then store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Keep it Saucey this lockdown!

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