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5 Flavor-Packed Sauces to Jump-Start a Week of Meals

Food52 logo Food52 4/16/2018 Katie Macdonald
a bowl of food on a table © Provided by Food52

Does anyone else remember the time—probably around 2010—when calling something “the sauce” wasn’t lame? I was in high school, and I remember awkwardly using the term to describe a TV show I loved. It’s safe to say I was not very saucy.

Some things stand the test of time, and “the sauce” is not one of them. But want to know something genuinely timeless? ACTUAL sauce.

I don’t mean in a historical sense (although, hey, we can go there), but more in the you-make-a-batch-and-it-lasts-all-week sense. No matter whether you prefer creamy yogurt sauces, spicy zhug, or tried-and-true tomato, you can build a whole slew of meals around one sauce. It’s versatile like that, not subject to passing fads. And to prove it, here are five sauces that have still got it all week long.

Tomato Sauce

We’re big, big fans of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter. Simply add fresh or canned tomatoes with butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow but steady simmer for about 45 minutes. And here’s where that’ll take you:

a bowl of food on a plate: Entomatadas (Cheese-Filled, Tomato Sauce-Smothered Tortillas) © Provided by Food52 Entomatadas (Cheese-Filled, Tomato Sauce-Smothered Tortillas)

Entomatadas (Cheese-Filled, Tomato Sauce-Smothered Tortillas) by Sarah Jampel

a bowl of soup: Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce © Provided by Food52 Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce by ieatthepeach a close up of a plate of pizza: Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic © Provided by Food52 Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic Braised Chicken Thighs with Tomato and Garlic by Merrill Stubbs a pizza sitting on a plate: How to Make Any Kind of Baked Pasta (& Live a Happy Life) © Provided by Food52 How to Make Any Kind of Baked Pasta (& Live a Happy Life) How to Make Any Kind of Baked Pasta (& Live a Happy Life) by Sarah Jampel a close up of a pizza: Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Feta © Provided by Food52 Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Feta Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Feta by thirschfeld

Xo sauce

Fatty, briny, garlicky XO sauce is so overtly rich that it steals the show from almost every pasta/vegetable/grain/fish it meets. Let it turn these dishes into gold:

a plate of food on a table: Shrimp with Coconut Milk Grits & XO Sauce © Provided by Food52 Shrimp with Coconut Milk Grits & XO Sauce

Shrimp with Coconut Milk Grits & XO Sauce by Alicia Lu

a bowl of food on a plate: Dale Talde's Grilled Scallops with XO-Pineapple Fried Rice © Provided by Food52 Dale Talde's Grilled Scallops with XO-Pineapple Fried Rice Dale Talde's Grilled Scallops with XO-Pineapple Fried Rice by Top Chef a plate of food: Daniel Patterson's Poached Scrambled Eggs © Provided by Food52 Daniel Patterson's Poached Scrambled Eggs Daniel Patterson's Poached Scrambled Eggs by Genius Recipes

a bowl of food on a table: XO Sauce with Broccoli Rabe © Provided by Food52 XO Sauce with Broccoli Rabe

XO Sauce with Broccoli Rabe by Leslie Stephens

Yogurt sauce

As recipe author/salad wizard EmilyC sums it up: “This yogurt dressing takes 5 minutes to make, can be assembled, shaken, and stored in a jar, and is easily made thicker or thinner by adding more yogurt or more oil. It can also be jazzed up in countless ways: fresh herbs, spices, roasted garlic, tahini, you name it!” Here’s how we’d like it:

a bowl of salad: Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Tahini Yogurt Sauce © Provided by Food52 Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Tahini Yogurt Sauce Mushroom Lentil Tacos with Tahini Yogurt Sauce by Kendra Vaculin a plate of food on a table: Spiced Roast Chicken with Za'atar Yogurt © Provided by Food52 Spiced Roast Chicken with Za'atar Yogurt Spiced Roast Chicken with Za'atar Yogurt by BurntCream a bowl of food on a table: Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Cauliflower and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce © Provided by Food52 Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Cauliflower and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce Sheet Pan Lamb Meatballs with Cauliflower and Tahini-Yogu... by EmilyC a plate of food on a table: Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga © Provided by Food52 Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga Chopped Kitchen Sink Salad with Yogurt Dressing & Bottarga by Sara Jenkins

Zhug

Made from fresh parsley and cilantro pulsed with spices and hot peppers, zhug is like a fresh, fiery Middle Eastern pesto. Just adjust the heat to your taste buds and dollop it on eggs, spread onto sandwiches, or try it with one of these recipes:

a bunch of food sitting on a table: Malawach (Yemenite Jewish Pancakes) © Provided by Food52 Malawach (Yemenite Jewish Pancakes)

Malawach (Yemenite Jewish Pancakes) by Lyna Vuong

a plate of food on a table: No-Gadget Falafel © Provided by Food52 No-Gadget Falafel No-Gadget Falafel by Izy Hossack food on a table: Baked Chicken Shawarma © Provided by Food52 Baked Chicken Shawarma Baked Chicken Shawarma by Miranda Keyes

a close up of food: A Medley of Roasted Potatoes with Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper © Provided by Food52 A Medley of Roasted Potatoes with Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper

A Medley of Roasted Potatoes with Homemade Za'atar & Aleppo Pepper by onetribegourmet

Chutney

Hot, tart, sweet, or a tasty mixture of all three, chutneys are flavor bombs that turn up the volume on any dish. Whether your chutney starts with herbs, vegetables, or nuts, it’s an easy way to build a week of meals:

a close up of food: Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers © Provided by Food52 Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers by Sonali aka the Foodie Physi... a close up of food: Vegetable-Stuffed Snack Cakes © Provided by Food52 Vegetable-Stuffed Snack Cakes Vegetable-Stuffed Snack Cakes by Food52 a plate of food on a table: Pastrami © Provided by Food52 Pastrami Pastrami by Michael Anthony many different types of food on a table: Mumbai Vegetable Sandwich with Cilantro Chutney © Provided by Food52 Mumbai Vegetable Sandwich with Cilantro Chutney Mumbai Vegetable Sandwich with Cilantro Chutney by Annada Rathi

a plate of food on a table: Flaky Baked Samosas © Provided by Food52 Flaky Baked Samosas

Flaky Baked Samosas by Kendra Vaculin

Related gallery: 11 One-Pot Pastas To Make With What's In The Fridge

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