Sauce makes everything better. Simply using a different sauce can transform any meal. Sauces provide you with a ton of different combinations of different meals, even if the veggies and protein are the same. Today I’m sharing my seven best healthy sauce recipes that go on everything.
When I was working full time, I always preferred to bring my lunch because it meant I was guaranteed to eat healthy, rather than taking a gamble at some of the local take out restaurants near my office. But so often, I would be too busy to spend too much time meal prepping on the weekend or after work.
My go to lunch involved baked chicken, with roasted or steamed vegetables, items that I could easily stick in the oven for 40 minutes while I went about my business taking care of anything I needed to do at home. But baked chicken with steamed or roasted vegetables on its own can be pretty boring. Especially when eating it multiple times a week, for weeks.
So I began topping these lunches with interesting healthy sauce recipes that I could easily make on the weekend. These healthy sauces can spice up any meal! Not only are these sauces great for my bring to work lunches, but they also transform any dinner.
These healthy sauce recipes will even transform your leftovers! Maybe you made way too much steamed broccoli last night? or maybe you sautéed way too many peppers and onions for dinner over the weekend? Well these sauces will go well with your leftovers too, to transform a meal, rather than something you just ate a few days ago.
So read below my favorite healthy sauce recipes, which will include links to the actual recipes. Hope you enjoy!
Healthy Sauce Recipes
Arugula Walnut Pesto
Personally, this Arugula Walnut pesto recipe is one of my most favorites to top over roasted vegetables. I first came up with this recipe when I went to lunch at Dig Inn in New York City, which had this amazing roasted carrot side dish, topped with a kale pesto. At the time, I thought it was an arugula pesto, so I went home and made my own version of the Dig Inn Roasted carrots. And it was a dream come true. Do yourself a favor and make this pesto topped over roasted carrots. The arugula and carrots are both so sweet, but the arugula brings a nice bitterness that balances the whole dish.
Fed & Fit Paleo Pesto
Cassy Joy’s Fed and Fit Paleo Pesto recipe changed my world. This is just a classic pesto recipe, but should be your go to recipe when you’re making pesto. Cassy Joy’s blog is mostly paleo recipes, I found this recipe when I first started eating clean and was looking to eliminate dairy from most places in my diet.
A classic pesto recipe will include parmesan cheese in it, and in my opinion, Cassy Joy’s paleo pesto is even better than if you had included parmesan. Instead, she introduces roasted garlic into the pesto, but cut with some lemon juice. Roasting the garlic makes the garlic flavor a bit more mild, but sweet and deep in rich flavor.
Whenever I find myself with an abundance of basil, perhaps from making a curry, or Italian dish, I use the leftover to make this pesto. And I always keep lemons, garlic and pine nuts in my pantry, so whipping up this easy pesto is a cinch. Go check her out now!
Tomato Walnut Pesto
This tomato walnut pesto is a mix between your classic pesto recipe and a marinara sauce. It has a rich, deep flavor, and goes well over any vegetable, protein or grain that you decide to make. I have a friend who loved this sauce so much, she ate the sauce plain! I love serving this over grilled chicken. Looking to keep things class? Serve this pesto over zucchini noodles or pasta with meatballs!
Have you ever noticed how grocery stores always sell parsley in these huge bunches? Its always way more parsley than I need for whatever recipe I’m buying it for, so inevitably, I end up with too much parsley. Enter Chimichurri sauce.
I always thought Chimichurri was super complicated. But once my brother in law made it for a family dinner, to top over steak. He explained to me how he made it, and my life was transformed. Because this sauce is SO easy to make. Its only a few ingredients, most of which are already in my pantry, except for parsley, which I always end up with a huge abundance of when I buy it, because you can only buy it in bunches at the grocery store.
So now you know what to do with your leftover parsley, so you can top it over your lunches and dinners to your hearts desire. Personally, I think chimichurri is best served over a white fish, scallops or steak. But feel free to experiment! If you have leftover basil or mint as well, you can absolutely throw any other extra herbs you might have in with the parsley, and it will be extremely delicious.
Babaganoush is another sauce that I thought was extremely complicated. However, there are only two steps involved. 1) roast the eggplant, onion and garlic, 2) puree with the remaining ingredients in your food processor. See? So easy!!
Babaganoush is a surprising delight. It has a caramelized depth of flavor from the roasted garlic and onion. And it goes well on top of so many foods. Not to mention, Babaganoush is also a really great dip for appetizers. I once brought this to a dinner party, and I tricked all my friends, they thought it was store bought! Including one friend who is Middle Eastern!
Salsa is not just for dipping your tortilla chips into! Tomatillo salsa can also spice up ANY meal. Its great over chicken, fish, steak, you name it. It also goes so well with steamed vegetables, or over rice and beans. I also love rice with sautéed peppers and onions with tomatillo salsa, to feel like I’m eating a fajita bowl. yum!!
Marinara sauce doesn’t need to take hours to make! This recipe for marinara sauce is ready in just 30 minutes, and made with all fresh tomatoes, for a healthy, clean sauce. If you haven’t already realized it, marinara sauce can go over anything. If I know I have a busy week ahead of me, I like to meal prep these real simple and clean meatballs, steam broccoli and top it all off with fresh marinara sauce.
The best part? This sauce freezes extremely well, so you can make up a big batch, and freeze the extras. This way, when you have a busy week, take the marinara sauce out of the freezer the night before you need it, and put it in the fridge to defrost. Heat it up in the microwave, or over the stove top for a few minutes until hot. So easy!
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