11 Store-Bought Condiments These Registered Dietitians Always Keep on Hand

published Aug 6, 2021
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.
condiments nutritionists love laid out on a table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Summer is the season of condiments. Ketchup, mustard, and relish for BBQs; zesty pesto for a summery pasta salad; and all the salsas for chips by the pool. (If you’re reading this and wondering what really counts as a condiment, go back and read this first.) As a registered dietitian, I love it all. I’m all about adding fun and flavor to food, so I definitely support a fridge or pantry full of different condiments. 

Not only do condiments add flavor, but they can also help with meal prep and prevent the dreaded flavor fatigue. I asked my fellow dietitians to give me the scoop on their favorite store-bought condiments and all the ways they love to up the ante on flavor. 

Credit: Courtesy of Hidden Valley

1. Ranch Dressing 

“I think adults and kids all agree on this. Dunk with veggies, dress salads, drizzle on pizza or whatever your heart desires. It knocks it out of the park with flavor and consistency,” says Chef Julie Harrington, RD, co-founder of Culinary Nutrition Studio. 

Buy: Hidden Valley Ranch, $4.99 at Target

Credit: Aldi

2. Indian Simmer Sauce

Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, owner of Sound Bites Nutrition, LLC, makes a dish that she calls Indian one pot. “I combine frozen veggies, canned tomatoes, canned kidney beans or chickpeas, and this sauce. Super simple simmer supper.”

Read more: Cook House Indian Sauces, $1.99 at Aldi

Credit: Bear Pond Farm

3. Pesto 

Angie Asche, MS, RD, CSSD, author of Fuel Your Body, loves to make pesto from scratch, but doesn’t always have the time. “I often opt for store-bought pesto, like this one from Bear Pond Farm. Their tomato-basil pesto is so good on sandwiches!”

Buy: Bear Pond Farm Pesto, $6.99 at Whole Foods

Credit: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

4. BBQ Sauce

This is my personal favorite! “Amp up your summer BBQs with Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Wango Tango BBQ Sauce. It’s spicy and tangy and is a staple all year-round in my house. We love adding it to turkey burgers, slathering it on sandwiches, and dipping french fries and veggies into it.”

5. Mustard

“I always have a bottle of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard in my refrigerator, and a backup in my pantry!” says Laura M. Ali, MS, RDN, LDN. “This is one of the most versatile condiments I have. In addition to adding it to sandwiches and on top of brats, I use it in salad dressings for tuna salad, potato salad, and pasta salad, or as a glaze over grilled salmon. I always mix a tablespoon or two into my ground meat for burgers before grilling. It adds the perfect amount of zest and zip to dress up a plain mayonnaise-based salad and spices up a plain piece of fish easily.”

Buy: Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, $3.99 at Whole Foods

Credit: Yun Hai

6. Chili Crisp

“Taiwanese Su Chili Crisp from Yun Hai is my favorite mala chili crisp. It not only adds the typical tingly and aromatic spice expected from a mala sauce, but its flavor is also incredibly complex,” says Cindy Chou, RDN, chef and registered dietitian at Healthy Feels. “Having a condiment this good makes it easy to create mouthwatering dipping sauces for dumplings and noodles.”

Buy: Su Chili Crisp, $14 at Yun Hai

Credit: Amazon

7. Balsamic Glaze 

Diana Mesa’s favorite store-bought condiment is Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Glaze. The glaze is made by reducing aged balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy, and the final product is a delicious, silky glaze that’s sweet and a little tangy. “I love to drizzle this over an avocado-tomato salad, or toss some Brussels sprouts in it and roast them,” she says.

Credit: Amazon

8. Corn Salsa

Harrington loves Trader Joe’s corn salsa for topping her quesadillas and tacos. “The corn is not mushy but good and firm — almost crunchy in a way. Of course, it’s also perfect for dunking with chips,” she says.  

Credit: Target

9. Buffalo Sauce 

Asche is a big fan of Noble Made sauces from The New Primal: “Their Buffalo sauce is the one I use most often, but honestly they’re all delicious! We’ve always got a few different options in our pantry to mix it up.” 

Buy: Noble Made Buffalo Sauce, $5.99 at Target

Credit: Amazon

10. Sesame Oil

“Sesame oil is often thought of as cooking oil, but it’s actually much better suited as a finishing oil or condiment in many Asian dishes,” says Chou. “You can simply add some salt and pepper to it for a dipping sauce that tastes great with grilled mushrooms and meat. I often add it with soy sauce to cold silken tofu for a quick snack.”

Buy: Kadoya Sesame Oil, $5.79

Credit: Amazon

11. Gochujang Sauce

“Another favorite condiment is Chung Jung One’s Gochujang sauce, a sweet and spicy Korean chili sauce. The heat is subtle and the sweetness is paired with a savory umami flavor unlike any hot sauce I’ve ever had. I add it to eggs, veggies, and even chicken wings!” says Mesa.