We’ve partnered up with Registered Dietician, Olivia Wagner (MS, RDN, LDN), to create 10 homemade sauces that are unlike anything you will find in the grocery store. All of these sauces are easy, delicious and provide unexpected nutritional benefits, perfect for the fall and winter months.
The Power of Pesto
Pesto sauces are a wonderful way to combine nutrient-packed greens and anti-inflammatory compounds found in ingredients like citrus zest, fresh ginger or turmeric, lemongrass, nuts, raw garlic, and seeds. Pesto sauce can be used to brighten a meal made of basic roasted vegetables and simple proteins like beans, broiled salmon, burger patties, grilled chicken and meatballs. It can also be added to butternut squash or zucchini noodles.
#1 Basic Pesto Recipe
A basic pesto sauce can be a delicious compliment to any meal or snack including dips for raw vegetables, flavor enhancers for simple homemade vinaigrettes and toppings for protein bowls or soups.
2-3 cups greens (arugula, beet greens, carrot tops, fresh herbs, spinach)
½ cup high-quality avocado oil, MCT oil or olive oil
1-2 tbsp. or more acid (apple cider vinegar, lemon, lime, orange)
1-2 tbsp. or more aromatics (chives, garlic, ginger, green onion, )
1 tsp sea salt
Optional: ½ cup nut or seed (hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts)
Combine all ingredients into in a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
Add acid of choice and slowly add oil in a steady drizzle as you continue to pulse the ingredients until pesto comes together and is combined to the consistency you want it.
Save half of the sauce for the week and freeze the remaining into ice cube trays or 2-4 oz. Mason jars for easy portions to add to dishes later.
#2 Detox Pesto Recipe
If certain ingredients in the Basic Pesto recipe are troublesome to your gut, try a Detox Pesto Sauce instead. It’s low-FODMAP and AIP so it’s easy on the belly, but still full of flavor. Great as a sauce on butternut squash, spaghetti squash or your favorite vegetable noodle.
1 part cilantro (about 1 bunch)
1 part basil (about 1 8 oz. container)
1 part parsley (about 1 bunch)
1/2 part watercress or beet greens (optional, but amazing for liver support)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 heaping tsp of Celtic sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
#3 Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe
Although fresh flavors from the farmers market may not be accessible, you may still have somefresh basil plants growing in your garden. Harvest a handful and use it for this Basil Walnut Pesto sauce, perfect for a homemade marinade or used in a crust on wild-caught salmon.
2 cups loosely packed basil
½ cup raw walnuts or hemp seeds
1-2 medium cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw flax oil or MCT Oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
Mediterranean Olive Tapenade
Olives are rich in mono-saturated fatty acids and are full of flavor, which makes them the perfect option for a fall sauce. Tip: When purchasing olives, be mindful to select water-packed olives or olives packed in high-quality olive oil.
#4 Basic Tapenade Recipe
1 cup pitted Kalamata or black olives
1 cup pitted green olives1/4 cup olive oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tbsp. capers
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp. fresh chopped herbs (a combination of basil, parsley, and thyme is my favorite)
1 anchovy fillet, and 1 tsp. lemon zest in a food processor.
Combine ingredients together in a food processor.
Continue to process, slowly adding in 2-tbsp -1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
Serve with crudités like cucumber and fennel, Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers like Garlic Herb. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Put your own spin on the ever so popular tahini sauce with one of these recipes below. Start with the basic formula then get creative with the three varieties.
#5 Basic Tahini Recipe
3 Tablespoons Tahini
2-4 Tablespoons citrus juice
1 small clove of garlic
2-4 Tablespoons filtered water or raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar + flavorings of choice. Craving something in particular? Add it to the blender!
Blend all ingredients together.
Serve and enjoy!
#6 Golden Tahini Sauce Recipe
3 tbsp. Tahini
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1-3 tbsp of water to thin to desired consistency
#7 Sriracha Tahini Sauce Recipe
3 Tablespoons tahini, raw
2 Tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 Tablespoon white miso
1 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (fermented if possible)
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1/4 teaspoons Himalayan sea salt
2-4 Tablespoons filtered water
#8 Green Goodness Sauce
3 tbsp tahin
1 clove garlic
1/2 packed cup basil
1/4 cup dill (optional mint or tarragon)
1/4 cup parsley
2 tbsp. chives
1/4 cup green onion
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 tsp. honey (optional)
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup hot water
Looking for more flavor variations? Try one (or all) of these flavor combinations:
Basic formula + apple cider vinegar + nutritional yeast, lemon (zest and juice), and black pepper kernels.
Basic formula + apple cider vinegar + nutritional yeast + sundried tomato (soaked) + cherry tomatoes.
Basic formula + basil (or your favorite fresh herb) + orange, lemon or lime juice, Himalayan sea salt.
Basic formula + apple cider vinegar + nutritional yeast, chipotle canned in adobo, cayenne pepper, and lime.
Basic formula (without garlic) + honey +lemon juice + orange zest + Himalayan sea salt.
Red Pepper Sauce
Red pepper sauce offers a twist on a traditional Spanish Romesco sauce. It pairs well with flaky white fish and seafood like scallops and shrimp. Red Pepper sauce can also be used as a dip for crudités or roasted veggies, a mix for marinated beans or a spread for Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers.
#8 Simple Red Pepper Sauce Recipe
1 cup coarsely chopped jarred roasted red peppers
5-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 garlic clove
Blend ingredients until smooth then serve with your choice of crackers, protein or vegetables.
½ cup marcona almonds
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 Tbs. water-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Coconut Curry Sauce
Coconut Curry Sauce is packed with flavor and is extremely versatile. Use it for a quick hot pot curry, a salad dressing, a sauce for raw zucchini noodles or serve it as a dip for a warm or cold protein bowl.
#9 Coconut Curry Sauce Recipes
2-3 tbsp red curry paste (adjust based on your tolerance for spice)
1 cup full fat, canned coconut milk. (Native Forest SIMPLE, is a brand without gums or stabilizers)
2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp maple syrup or 1 date softened date (blended in)
Add ¼ cup minced Thai basil
Blend all ingredients (aside from basil) or whisk them together till smooth then add minced basil. Enjoy!
Omit maple syrup or date
Swap Thai basil for mint or cilantro
Add 1 tbsp minced ginger (or ginger powder to taste)
Add 1 clove minced garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
Add ½ cup minced red bell pepper (you'll need to use a blender), and reduce coconut milk to ¾ cup
Jazz up your noodles and your usual sauce routine with a fall favorite - pumpkin. Toss Pumpkin Sauce with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles for a flavorful fall dish. Add a savory sauce to protein like chicken or turkey meatballs. Simply submerge chicken or turkey meatballs in Pumpkin Sauce before cooking or serve as aside dip for roasted vegetables.
#10 Autumn Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
1 tablespoon avocado oil
¾ cup yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup tomato puree
1 cup pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree
1/4 cup bone broth or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
1 teaspoon fresh minced sage, plus extra for garnish
2 tsp – 1 tbsp. maple syrup (to taste—optional)
For a thicker velvety sauce blend in ¼ cup cannellini beans (modify broth as needed to desired thickness)
Pour olive oil into a large pot over medium heat, and sauté the onion until tender, roughly about 10 minutes.
Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one more minute.
Add in the tomato, pumpkin, broth, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup (if using) and bring the sauce to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat and stir in the almond or coconut milk and minced sage.
Blend if desiring a smoother consistency.
Sauce Storage Tips
When storing homemade sauces, there are a few options:
Mason Jars: Mason jars with lids provide a convenient and easy way to stack and store sauces.
Tip: Try storing pesto sauce in individual 1-2 oz Mason jars and heartier sauces like curry or tomato sauce in 16 oz. Mason jars.
Refrigerator: Sauces will fresh in the refrigerator for 4-7 days, but always be sure to give your sauce the sniff test before using to make sure it’s still fresh and is safe to use.
Freezer: Freezing sauces is a convenient way to always ensure you have a homemade sauce on hand. Freezing sauces increases their longevity beyond the week that you prepared it, so you can enjoy it for weeks or even months to come.
Tip: When thawing sauces, pull them out the night before and place in the refrigerator. Limited for time? Simply place the Mason jar in a mug of warm water for 20-30 minutes. To prevent over stocking your freezer, try to use a frozen sauce within 1-3 months, but most sauces will store well for up to six months.
Happy saucing everyone!