If you’ve ever made a meal entirely from scratch, you know that the remarkably improved taste is often worth the few extra steps. Condiments are no exception, and yet, for some reason, we often forget that they too can be broken down to their simplest ingredients and made at home. The benefits of making your own condiments are numerous, but two stick out in particular.
First, you can customize a condiment to yours or your family’s liking. Do your kids like barbecue sauce to be sweet or spicy? Do you prefer relish to have more sugar or more vinegar? Now you can have the final say when you’re creating your own concoctions at home. Secondly, homemade condiments (or likely anything homemade for that matter) lack the artificial ingredients and preservatives often found in their store bought counterparts. Monosodium glutamate and sorbic acid don’t sound like they go on a burger or mixed with a salad. Homemade condiments are healthier and catered to you – what could be better?
It may come as a surprise to learn just how basic the ingredients and instructions are for all of the condiments on this list. There are no fancy names or difficult processes; the recipes are all refreshingly straightforward, which is yet another reason to start making your own sauces, dips, and dressings at home. Most, if not all, of the ingredients can be found in your standard pantry or fridge.
Think of this list as a jumping off point — we intentionally included a handful of basic recipes, so you can first perfect the classic versions before getting creative with flavors and ingredients. In addition, there are a few, such as the tartar sauce and almond butter, that can serve as inspiration for your own condiment adaptations. This list of sixteen is only just the beginning; if you have a favorite pasta sauce, salad dressing, or chip dip, we encourage you to find or create a recipe to replicate it at home. You will learn more about your food in the process, and you may even discover that you like your version even more than the original.
Who knew that it only takes three or four simple ingredients to make your own mayonnaise? This recipe provides detailed step by step instructions and pictures to walk you through the process. (Recipe and photo: Whisk & Knife)
Another recipe with only a handful of ingredients! Denise at The Little Things provides a basic mustard recipe and also explains a few easy tweaks you can make to create a honey balsamic version if you’re feeling creative. (Recipe and photo: The Little Things)
This recipe uses Heinz ketchup as its inspiration, so you know it is going to go be delicious and loved by everyone. With more depth and flavor than bottled, this ketchup can easily replace its store bought counterparts. (Recipe and photo: Two Tarts)
One of the best things about making your own condiments is that you can choose ingredients and flavors based on your own preferences. Sherri at The Well Floured Kitchen prefers a tangy sauce, but she also goes into detail about the customizable components of any homemade barbecue sauce, so you can make what you like. (Recipe and photo: The Well Floured Kitchen)
For such a deeply flavorful sauce, the process behind it is surprisingly painless — simply simmer all the ingredients on the stove, and you will have your own steak sauce in no time. (Recipe and photo: The View from Great Island)
Sweet and spicy zucchini relish is the perfect accompaniment to the hotdogs and hamburgers at your next cookout. This recipe skips the involved process of canning, so keep the jar easily accessible in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. (Recipe and photo: Craving Something Healthy)
If you’re a sriracha addict, consider making your own version at home to have on hand at all times. Fresh chiles and garlic will wake your taste buds up, while apple cider vinegar and honey provide balance. (Recipe and photo: Blue Kale Road)
Store bought ranch dressing often is full of weird, unpronounceable ingredients. This recipe uses all familiar ingredients, including greek yogurt, for a much healthier dressing you can feel safe serving to your family. (Recipe and photo: Tide & Thyme)
This ain’t your basic tartar sauce. Pickled red onions, sriracha, and agave nectar really take this sauce to the next level. (Bonus points if you’re making your own sriracha from the recipe above!) (Recipe and photo: A Family Feast)
Alex and Sonja at A Couple Cooks tested numerous recipes to come up with the perfect authentic tzatziki sauce. Pair with raw veggies, pita, falafel, or a gyro sandwich for a traditional mediterranean meal. (Recipe and photo: A Couple Cooks on NoshOn.It)
Tomatillos and poblanos are roasted on the grill (or in the oven) to bring out maximum smoky heat. Swap your traditional tomato version for this fresh, spicy green salsa. (Recipe and photo: Jessi’s Kitchen)
Laurie at Simply Scratch provides beautiful photos of each step to make this homemade enchilada sauce. Roasted tomatoes and onions and toasted spices ensure that you won’t want to top your tortillas with anything else. (Recipe and photo: Simply Scratch)
All good basic salad dressings have two components: oil and acid. We’ve broken down the steps and ingredients for a perfect dressing, as well as provided our own tried and true recipe for balsamic vinaigrette. (Recipe and photo: NoshOn.It)
As a dressing or a dip, this easy sauce combines ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil for the best of asian flavors and ingredients. Use it on anything from salads and spring rolls to noodle dishes. (Recipe and photo: Magnolia Days)
Making your own nut butter is as easy as the press of a button on a food processor. This recipe goes a little further by adding vanilla bean and brown sugar for a sweet, decadent almond butter perfect for toast or eating straight out of the jar. (Recipe and photo: Healthy Food for Living on NoshOn.It)
No list of condiments would be complete without a sauce fit for a sundae. Balsamic vinegar isn’t an ingredient you see often pairing with desserts, but it is the perfect counterbalance to the intensely sweet roasted strawberries. (Recipe and photo: Chez Us on NoshOn.It)