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Kitchen Guide: Six Sauces to Raise Your Stay-at-Home Cooking Game

by Stephanie Koathes Aug 31, 2020

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2020 has put a crimp in our dining out plans.

From many restaurants being closed completely for weeks to takeout only options, to limited capacity dining, it’s been a weird year for those who love dining out. While most restaurants have reopened, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases means that lots of us are uncomfortable hitting our favourite eateries.

This has certainly been a year for cooking at home!

You can easily level up your cooking game with sauces and condiments to make your dishes closer to restaurant quality.

Add these six timeless sauces to your recipe book to bring flavour and flair to whatever you’re whipping up in the kitchen.


A basic pesto sauce is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Pine nuts can easily be swapped out for another kind of nuts such as pistachio or even walnuts. Blend up ½ cup parmesan, ½ cup toasted nuts, two cloves of garlic, five ounces fresh basil, ¼ cup olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt. In no time you’ll have fresh pesto to top pasta or spread on sandwiches.

Related: Four Reasons You Should Include Okra in Your Diet


Gremolata certainly sounds gourmet, but don’t let the name fool you, it’s an easy condiment to make. All you need is garlic, lemon, and parsley. Combine the zest of one lemon with ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley and three cloves of garlic, minced. Voila, you have gremolata to use with meat dishes, fish or over roasted vegetables.  


Velouté is a sauce made by combining a white roux (made with flour and butter) and a light-coloured stock such as chicken, fish, or vegetable stock. Velouté is one of the five mother sauces in classic French cooking, meaning it is used as a base for several other sauces.

Related: Six Places to Go for Great Pizza

Enchilada sauce

Chances are you already have some of the spices needed to make a simple red enchilada sauce. Flour, garlic powder, chilli powder, vegetable oil and a few other easy to find things, come together for a quick, delicious sauce with a little heat. Use this enchilada sauce recipe to make a dish outside of your normal weekly menu.


Aioli is pretty much tangy, creamy and delicious garlic sauce. Aioli is traditionally made with garlic ground down in a mortar and pestle, then emulsified with olive oil. Nowadays, people often think of garlic-flavoured mayonnaise when they think of aioli. Traditional aioli is a bit labour intensive, to say the least, but this recipe will help you whip up your own easy version in no time.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo, also known as salsa fresca, is made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, salt, and a splash of lime juice. This is a great, simple condiment to whip up. Pico de Gallo is perfect with chips, on top of salads, burgers or if you’re trying your hand at a simple Mexican dish like quesadillas.

Happy cooking!

Don’t forget to check out our articles on how four Kingston restaurants are coping with a new dining normal and how Stush in the Bush used the COVID downtime to get creative.

Sources: Taste of Home, Food Network, The Spruce Eats, The Kitchn