A Dozen Cousins’ New Sauces Are Delicious — and Whole30-Approved

published Feb 11, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: A Dozen Cousins

I love a kitchen shortcut. Jarred pasta sauce elevated with spices. Pre-seasoned meats freshened up with a squeeze of citrus or a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Even if I have to do a little something to make it my own, I love finding ways to be more efficient at the stove. So when I come across a shortcut that doesn’t require any tweaks or additions, I’m over the moon. A Dozen Cousins’ heat-and-serve sides and flavor-packed sauces are a shortcut chef’s dream. 

The sauces, which are new this month, are designed to help home cooks get all the flavor of marinated meats and stewed rice dishes in 30 minutes or less. Weeknight meals are taken to the next level with sauces that perk up the protein of your choice, going a giant step further than pre-mixed dried spice packets (although I have a soft spot for those, too). 

The Pollo Asado sauce, for example, is made with orange juice, achiote paste, apple cider vinegar, and a range of spices. You just open the pouch, coat your protein, and bake, broil, or grill to perfection. The rice seasoning sauces are even simpler. The Arroz con Gandules pack is your shortcut to tasty yellow rice with pigeon peas, a staple in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. Mix the seasoning sauce with a cup each of dry rice and water, cook, and serve. 

A Dozen Cousins’ lineup is full of products that make mealtime easier without compromising on flavor or ingredients. The brand is inspired by the food of founder Ibraheem Basir’s childhood, which was a mixture of Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American cuisines. It’s no surprise, then, that the brand’s flagship products—microwavable pouches of beans—come in varieties like Trini Chickpea Curry, Cuban Black Beans, and Creole Red Beans. The brand’s red bean variety was introduced during Black History Month last year, an homage to the Louisiana favorite. 

Credit: Dozen Cousins

The brand also sells microwavable rice blends, cooked in bone broth and offered in much more neutral flavor varieties: sea salt, Spanish yellow rice, and classic broth. If you’re not big on the microwave meals trend just yet, all of A Dozen Cousins’ microwavable pouches can also be cooked on the stovetop, which is what I prefer. Something about watching the beans and rice and chicken cook at the same time brings back kitchen memories from my own childhood, my mom at the stove stirring, simmering, tasting and adding an extra dash of flavor as needed.  

As an entrepreneur who also tries to eat healthily without breaking the bank, I’m always in search of weeknight meals that are low on cook time and high in flavor. And at $3.49/pouch, these seasoning sauces make it easy to choose my pantry and fridge over food delivery. Same amount of time, a fraction of the cost, and a plate full of homemade comfort food. They check all the necessary boxes for me.