A Guide To Vegan Sauces + Top Recipes
There is no better way to enhance a meal than with the perfect sauce. Whether it’s a dry or bland dish, adding the right sauce can completely transform your meal. Sauces, and in this case vegan sauces, add an extra layer of flavor and texture that is often missing from meals.
Adding vegan sauces to your meals will not only help you stick to a predominately plant-based diet but also add variety to your daily meals. Regardless if you choose to go dairy-free for ethical reasons or if you have to because of dietary intolerances (read more about why to go dairy-free here) these recipes will give you some insight into how a simple drizzle of sauce can transform a meal. And how these plant-based ingredients can add healthy fats, nutrition, and even medicinal properties to meals.
Whether you want something creamy, spicy, or both, we have got you covered! Here is what you need to know about how to make vegan sauces and some of our favorite mouthwatering vegan sauce recipes that will make any meal complete.
What Are Vegan Sauces Made From
Fat is an important component of vegan sauce recipes. It is typically the base of a recipe. In the recipes provided, you will see fat show up as either a nut, seed, oil, or a combination of both.
Fat provides flavor, and texture and carries the flavor of spices. Humans are hardwired to crave high-calorie fatty foods. So when your meal is missing fat, it could feel like a rather boring meal. Healthy fats should be eaten in a balanced proportion to protein and carbs to give us sustained energy.
Salt enhances the flavor and taste of food. A small amount of salt can bring out the most subtle flavors, that were not detected before. The addition of salt can balance out bitter foods and bring out the sweetness in them. Salt acts as almost a suppressant to the bitter flavors, which makes the sweet flavors shine through.
Salt also plays a role in preserving the sauces since it inhibits microbial growth, allowing the sauce to last a little longer in your refrigerator.
In the following recipes, you will notice acids are used, often in the form of lemon, lime, or vinegar. These acids help brighten and balance the sauce. Acid also helps preserve the sauce, which will help it last a little longer in your refrigerator.
Herbs + Spices
Herbs and spices can be fresh or dried depending on what kind of sauce you are making and what is available in your area. This is where things get crafty and unique. You can have a base sauce that can be made in a bunch of different ways by adjusting the herbs and spices used.
Garlic Herbed Aioli Recipe
This vegan aioli recipe is a cashew-based sauce that is comprised of water, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar, and combined with fresh herbs to give it a uniquely earthy herby profile.
This recipe is a great base recipe. The herbs in this recipe can be swapped out for complementary herbs to change up this sauce for whatever meal you are making.
This aioli sauce was originally created to go with our not-so-basic grain bowl recipe, but it can be incorporated with any grain bowl, veggies burgers, fries or potatoes of any kind, onion rings, dip for veggie sticks, or even a drizzle or dollop on salads.
Bitchin Sauce Recipe
Bitchin' Sauce has quickly become a popular sauce (or dip) among vegans and non-vegans that is found in groceries here in the United States. It is an almond-based sauce with a bunch of different flavors made available. Having some ready-to-go sauce on hand to liven up meals definitely can make life easier.
Learn how to make our version of Bitchin Sauce from scratch.
Pesto Sauce Recipe
Pesto is the green sauce from the gods and it can be done in so many different variations from switching up the greens you use to switching up to nuts or seeds used. And this can change the medicinal properties pesto offers depending on what herbs you do use.
Dandelion leaf is a bitter herb often used for its medicinal properties. In the pesto recipe, we use dandelion leaves and spinach to create a punchy pesto that can be used like traditional pesto. Check out the dandelion pesto recipe here.
Or give this kale-basil pesto recipe a try.
Avocado Fresh Sauce Recipe
In this recipe, avocado is our fat. Use this avocado fresh sauce on tacos, burritos, nachos, toast, grain bowls, and salads - it can be used pretty much anywhere you would want to put avocado. This is a great recipe to make if you have a bunch of avocados about to go bad. You can make a large batch and freeze it for later use.
Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe
A classic sauce to have in your cooking arsenal. We use peanut butter in this recipe, but this could easily be changed out for almond butter. Another recipe that can be used on veggie tofu bowls and noodles, fresh rolls, veggie wraps, or dipping sauce for veggie sticks.
Leveling Up, Final Words
As you can see many of these sauces can be made in a large batches and frozen for later use. Once you are ready for them pull them out of the freezer to defrost and if need be run them back through the blender or food processor and enjoy!
Learn how to make more easy plant-based meals.