Earlier this year, Dr Ludwig appeared on NPR to talk about Calories and carbohydrates with Allison Aubrey. As part of the show, we shared four of our favorite sauces recipes. These sauces are our favorites not just because they’re delicious but also because they literally only take five minutes to make!

We often hear from our readers that sauces can feel intimidating to make. We’ve become so used to buying pre-made sauces that making our own seems mysterious, overly fancy, or time consuming. Luckily, none of those things are true. In fact, sauces are one of the simplest things to make because there is zero clean-up.

All you have to do is gather a few simple ingredients, then place them all in a canning jar. Finally, blend with an immersion blender. (You can also blend in a stand-up blender and then pour into your canning jar, but I find it’s much simpler to blend in the jar it will be stored in). The sauces take no more than five minutes to make and can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. The outcome is delicious, restaurant-quality food, that is high quality and quick & easy to make.

When dinner time comes along, you can just pull your sauce from the fridge, ready to go. It’s just like using a store bought sauce, except you have full control over the quality of ingredients. Sauces sold in grocery stores are often full of added sugars, low quality oils, preservatives, and other ingredients that won’t support your body.

When I took on the task of translating Dr. Ludwig’s nutrition research into recipes and meal plans, I had three goals in mind.

  1. Get the Science Right
    First, I wanted to make sure all the meals I created accurately reflected the correct macronutrient ratios. So, we calculated it all for you. Ultimately, we built meal plans that will retrain your fat cells and get your body working for you rather than against you.
  2. Make it Delicious
    Above all, I wanted everything to be delicious with restaurant quality flavors that you love.
  3. Quick & Easy
    Finally, I wanted it all to be quick and easy for you. Our sauces meet all three of these requirements. Try our sauces for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments!

Watch Chef Dawn Make Our Lemon Dill Aioli

Recipes: Dawn Ludwig’s 5-Minute Sauces

From Always Delicious, by David and Dawn Ludwig, and Always Hungry?, by David Ludwig. Used with permission. Scroll down for printable versions of these recipes.

Cashew Balsamic Dressing

Prep time: 5 minutes.
Makes about 1 cup.

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup neutral-tasting oil, such as high-oleic safflower or avocado oil 1/4 cup cashews

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouthed mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Then, pulse a few times to blend until the cashews are in small pieces but still chunky. Finally, place a lid on the jar. For best results, set aside for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

Ginger Tahini Dressing

Prep time: 5 minutes.
Makes about 1 cup.

1/4 cup tahini 2 tablespoons white miso paste

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 cup warm water

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouth mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Then, blend, working the blender into the pieces of ginger until smooth. Add additional water as needed to reach the desired consistency. Finally, place a lid on the jar. For best results, set aside for at least one hour so the flavors can fully develop. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.

Moroccan Sauce

Prep time: 7 minutes.
Makes 2/3 to 3/4 cup.

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
3 medium cloves garlic
1 (3- to 4-inch) piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
9 or 10 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouth mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Then, blend, working the blender into the pieces of ginger until smooth. Add additional water as needed to reach the desired consistency. Finally, place a lid on the jar. For best results, set aside for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes.
Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

1 large orange, 4 small clementines or 2 large tangerines, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Place all the ingredients in a wide-mouth mason jar or cup that will fit an immersion blender without splashing. Then, blend until the orange is fully blended and the sauce is thick and creamy. Adjust seasoning to taste. Finally, place a lid on the jar. Allow the flavors to develop for one hour or more in the refrigerator. The dressing will keep for about a week.

Click here for a printable version of these recipes!

  • warriorinside

    Thai peanut is too heavily dependent on spice to be flavorful. Make it without the spice (I absolutely cannot stand any food in the pepper family and leave it out) and it came out flat and flavorless, even doubling the ginger and lime. The peanut butter just overwhelmed everything else and without salt, it was tasteless and sticky. Not a fan. Will have to try the others.

    • DrLudwig

      @warriorinside yes, the whole point of a Thai peanut sauce is the spice, so without the salt and spice it will not be a tasty sauce. I suggest trying one of the other sauces instead. If you like Ginger, then perhaps the Ginger Tahini or the Ginger Soy Vinaigrette, or for a nut sauce, perhaps the Cashew Balsamic.
      — Chef Dawn