Snapshot Cooking

3-Ingredient Sauces You Can Make in 5 Minutes or Less

updated May 1, 2020
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Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

Sauces are the secret to better food at home — and I’m not just talking about fancy béchamel or hollandaise. Stunning sauces can be made with as few as three pantry ingredients, no cooking required. In fact, these five sauces all come together in less than five minutes, and act as flavor-packed sidekicks to reduce your home-cooking fatigue.

Use these sauces to upgrade grain bowls, liven up leftovers, drizzle over grilled chicken, marinate proteins, and so much more. Here’s how to make them all.

5 Snapshot Recipes for 3-Ingredient Sauces

  • The ingredients: These sauces each require just three ingredients, many of which are already in your pantry. Wherever possible, we’ve called for the entirety of the ingredient to make the most of its flavor and save you time.
  • The mixing methods: Some of these sauces are whisked together in a bowl, while a few require a blender. You don’t need a heavy high-powered blender, though — my smoothie blender did the trick for each of these.
  • The yield: Each of these recipes makes one cup of sauce.
Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

1. One-Minute Romesco Sauce

Blend 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers (including the oil),  1/4 cup almond butter, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt together until smooth, about 1 minute.

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

2. Avocado Pesto Sauce

Blend the flesh of 1 large avocado, 1/4 cup basil pesto, 3 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon anchovy paste together until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with kosher salt if needed.

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

3. Sweet and Sour Miso-Kombucha Sauce 

Whisk 3 tablespoons fruit jam, 3 tablespoons white miso paste, and 1/2 cup kombucha together in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in another 1/2 cup kombucha and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

4. Creamy Honey Mustard 

Whisk 3/4 cup plain full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt together in a small bowl until smooth. 

Credit: Image: Jesse Szewczyk, Design: The Kitchn

5. Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt together in a small bowl until combined. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water as needed until it reaches the desired consistency.

Welcome to Snapshot Cooking, the home of Kitchn’s easiest recipes. These mini recipes are so simple you can practically cook from the before-and-after snapshot itself.