12 Summer Sauces You Can Make with 5 Ingredients or Fewer

12 Summer Sauces You Can Make with 5 Ingredients or Fewer

Kelli Foster
Jul 20, 2017
(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

A good sauce takes a dish from good to great. A great sauce combines transformative powers with simplicity and ease. After all, what else do you need besides fresh herbs, seasonal ingredients, and some punchy flavors? The answer is not much.

This lineup of summertime recipes is proof that you don't need a long list of ingredients or lots of time in the kitchen to whip together a really delicious sauce. From our magic summer sauce to watermelon caramel, here are 12 summer sauces you can make with five basic ingredients.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

1. Magic Summer Sauce

With an ingredient list of three pantry staples, this punchy sauce couldn't be simpler. It's equal parts creamy, tangy, and spicy and begs to be spooned over anything and everything.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

2. 3-Ingredient Brown Butter Sauce

Brown butter, vinegar, and tangy Dijon are the base for this fast and fancy sauce. It's also my favorite way to use up any last bits of herbs in the fridge; the recipe suggests parsley, but feel free to swap in any fresh herbs you have handy.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. 3-Ingredient Roasted Lemon Sauce

This simple sauce will introduce you to a whole new side of lemons — the mellow, sweet side that's coaxed out from roasting. Partnered with roasted garlic and a few glugs of olive oil, it's transformed into a rich, sweet sauce, with a faint bitter edge.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Avocado Blue Cheese Sauce

This is a sauce for summer and beyond. It's velvety smooth with a tangy, pungent flavor that's ideal for kebabs, grilled veggies, and grain bowls.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

This everyday sauce hits your tongue with just the right balance of sweet and smoky, with a hint of heat at the back of your mouth. It's a natural partner for everything you pull off the grill and has a well-deserved place on Taco Tuesday.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

6. Maple Mustard Onion Sauce

Turn onions into the star of the show with this flavor-packed sauce. It's smoky, sweet, and tangy, and pairs well with picnic sandwiches, and beyond.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

7. Green Tahini Sauce

If you have a thing for herby sauces, here's one for your recipe box. Blend together any herbs you have handy with a scoop of nutty tahini and a squeeze of lemon juice for a little pop of acidity.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

8. Honey Lime Sauce

As grilling season heats up, you're going to want to include this simple and oh-so- versatile sauce in your meal plan. It's works as a sauce for everything that comes off the grill.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

9. How To Make Perfect Pesto Every Time

Simple pesto is my absolute favorite sauce to make with a bunch of fresh herbs. It tastes like summer, and goes with everything from eggs and salads to sandwiches and pasta. Sweet and spicy basil is always a favorite, but go ahead and experiment with different herbs or a combination of herbs and greens.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. Watermelon Caramel Sauce

This two-ingredient sweet summer dessert sauce will blow your mind. Slow cooking transforms watermelon from a bright snack into a thick sauce with deep, sweet undertones. It might even remind you of an ultra-ripe summer tomato! Spoon it over everything from ice cream and pound cake, to pavlovas and cheesecake.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

11. Buttermilk Caramel Sauce

This is it — the hands-down best way to use up leftover buttermilk. Like the caramel sauce you already know and love, this one starts with the sweet, nutty notes of butterscotch and then surprises your tastebuds with a tangy twist that leaves you wanting more.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

12. How To Make Summer Fruit Sauce in the Slow Cooker

This super-easy slow cooker sauce is your answer to an overabundance of summer fruit. Use just about any type of fruit you have on hand, then spoon this deeply flavored sauce over everything from overnight oats and pancakes, to yogurt and cake.

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