The kitchen tends to heat up even more than normal in the bright summer months. Chill out with these simple to assemble sauces that require zero heat (and barely any effort) to prepare.   

Briana Riddock 
June 13, 2017

Ditch laborious and temperamental traditional stovetop sauces for vibrant, fresh, straight out of the blender alternatives that are just about impossible to mess up. The 5 classic French sauces (known as "the mother sauces”) credited as being the go-to’s for enhancing any and all dishes largely consist of roux-based sauces that are cooked, and meticulously monitored, over the stove. And while that’s all fine and good and fancy for saucing up hearty cool weather fare, it’s not exactly the greatest option for grillside grubbing. Instead, save time, effort, and dishes by gathering fresh herbs, oils, a few garlic cloves to upgrade grilled meats, vegetables, and any starchy carbohydrates. Some of these easy no-cook sauces only require a few whips of a whisk and you’re ready to rock.     

1. Fresh Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce 

Photo: Stephen Devries; Food Styling: Erin Merhar

Not to be confused with a green tomato, tomatillos are its tangy and tart cousin. The tomatillo’s firmness, along with the addition of creamy avocado, gives the sauce rich body. The serrano pepper and garlic adds a pungent bite best to slather on a chargrilled foods. 

2. Harissa Hot Sauce 

Add cayenne pepper to harissa, a North African chili paste, to test your spice tolerance. Mellow the heat out with vinegar and balance it with salt. Douse the Harissa hot sauce over your favorite fried chicken recipe, or basically anything else deep fried.  

3. Chimichurri Sauce 

Blitz a handful of herbs to make this aromatic green sauce that adds significant vibrancy value to your main and side dishes. Use it as a dip for raw vegetables or chips, dollop over a loaded potato, or spoon onto grilled or pan seared scallops.  

Watch: How to Make a Chimichurri Sauce

  

4. Spicy Soy Vinaigrette

Bring spring rolls and egg rolls to life when dunked in this spicy soy vinaigrette. A hint of sriracha with plenty of lemon juice and toasty sesame seeds give duck sauce competitive replacement.    

5. Parsley Ginger Horseradish Sauce

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen

Horseradish has the power to clean your nasal passages with a simple whiff. Tone it down with fresh parsley and sour cream for harmony between smoothness and pungency. With a few whirls in the food processor, this sauce is ideal for roasted vegetables, sandwiches, tacos, and burrito bowls.    

6. Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Bold turmeric powder slighty tints the yogurt for a pastel yellow sauce that adds color and spice to kabobs and skewers.    

7. Comeback Sauce

A classic Southern comeback sauce is a necessity for hushpuppies, fried pickles, corn dogs, and most any snack you’d find at a state fair. The mayonnaise base creates a smooth, rich consistency that absorbs all the spices, delivering a flavor that will keep you coming back.      

8. Creamy Dill Sauce 

Prepare minutes before serving to maximize the freshness of delicate dill. No need to prep ahead of time because you simply combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix—it couldn’t be easier. This versatile and refreshing sauce would be best paired with a flaky or oily fish.  

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