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The Ultimate Vegan Sauce Guide: Ingredient Substitutes, Kitchen Equipment, and 37 Recipes Recipes You Need to Try Now!

We’ve all heard the saying—

The secret is in the sauce. 

This couldn’t be more true! 

A killer sauce can transform an average meal into a recipe worthy of a Michelin star. 

Sauces can be creamy, indulgent, zesty, or healthy. 

If you are looking to improve your sauce game in the kitchen... 

then keep reading. 

We’ll be showing you all of our tips and tricks to make 

The. 

Ultimate. 

Vegan. 

Sauces! 

Here’s what we’ll be going over: 

  • The Key to Sauces: Vegan Ingredient Substitutes to Try
  • Your Sauce Toolkit: Everything You’ll Need to Cook Today
  • 37 Vegan Sauce Recipes: Dips, Dressings, and Glazes

Ready?

Let’s go!

Vegan Baked Ziti with Almond Ricotta & Tomato Cream Sauce from Ali of Wholesome Crumbs

The Key to Sauces: Vegan Ingredient Substitutes to Try

Even though it seems like the majority of sauces would be vegan— 

They often have sneaky animal-derived ingredients in them. 

Here are the most common non-vegan ingredients found in popular store-bought dressings, dips, sauces, and glazes: 

  • Milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Heavy cream
  • Sour cream
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Cheese 

If you’re purchasing different sauces from the store... 

here’s our number one tip:

make sure to thoroughly check the ingredient list! 

See if there are any animal-derived ingredients hiding around. 

Here are just a few seemingly harmless sauces that have animal derived ingredients: 

  • Worcestershire sauce—the saltiness comes from anchovies!
  • Horseradish sauce. Even though horseradish is vegan, it contains milk-based cream. 
  • Balsamic Vinaigrettes. This is an easy vinaigrette to make vegan, but many store-bought brands contain honey or even egg. 

Even seemingly harmless sauces like Worcestershire sauce has anchovies in it! 

Of course, the best way to make sure what you’re eating is 100% vegan—

Is to make it from scratch. 

Here are the ingredients and supplies you can stock up on at home to make equally creamy and delicious sauces that are healthy and animal-friendly: 

Milk and Heavy Cream Replacement: 

To replace milk or heavy cream in common sauce recipes-- 

use your favorite plant-based milk! 

Coconut, oat, almond, soy, and cashew milk are all widely available at your local grocery store. 

Honey Replacement: 

The best way to replace honey is by using agave nectar or maple syrup. 

Agave nectar is the most like honey in taste and texture. 

Want an added boost of sweetness?

Maple syrup will be your go-to vegan swap!

Buttermilk Replacement: 

In order to make a buttermilk alternative that is vegan, there are a few hacks you can try. 

Here’s one that’s easy peasy lemon-squeezy.

Literally.

Just add two tablespoons of lemon juice to your favorite plant milk. 

All you have to do is stir it in and let it stand for 5 minutes so that it curdles. 

Cheese Replacement: 

To get the cheesy flavor that is in a lot of sauce and dip recipes, the best ingredients to have on hand are: 

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Cashews

Cashews add the creaminess and create the perfect base for many sauces, while nutritional yeast adds in a nutty and “cheesy” flavor that you’ll love. 

Sour Cream Replacement: 

The best sour cream replacements are either full-fat coconut milk or cashews! 

Soaking cashews and then blending them up with lemon, vinegar, and a bit of salt can make the perfect thick sour cream substitute. 

Egg Replacement: 

There are tons of vegan egg replacements you can use for sauces! 

Here are a few easy ones: 

  • ¼ cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • Flax seed (1 tbsp of flax seed soaked in 3 tbsp of water for 5 minutes)
  • ¼ cup of pureed silken tofu 

A few other ingredients you may want to have on hand if you are looking to make creamy sauces are: 

Vegan Gingerbread Donuts + Chai Glaze from Shanika of Orchids and Sweet Tea

Your Sauce Toolkit: Everything You’ll Need to Cook Today

To be successful in the kitchen—

You will need to make sure you’re well equipped. 

Here is the list for everything you’ll need to create the sauces, dips, and glazes of your dreams! Hand Blender (or Immersion Blender)

Hand blenders and immersion blenders are popular for a few different reasons: 

  • They’re inexpensive
  • They’re super compact
  • They are extremely versatile
  • They’re fast
  • They’re easy to clean

When it comes to making sauces, a hand blender will let you effortlessly blend down your ingredients without the hassle of transferring everything to a big blender. 

Here is a great hand blender from Cuisinart to try out. 

1. Splatter Screen

Making different sauces and dressing at home isn’t necessarily the tidiest hobby… 

If your kitchen resembles something like a tornado—

You’re probably doing it right. 

However, a splatter screen is a handy tool that will keep liquids from flying out all over your stove top and kitchen counters. 

This splatter screen from KitchenAid is only $20!

2. Saucepan

In order to make spectacular sauce—

You will need a spectacular saucepan! 

Luckily, you probably already have a saucepan in your cupboards. 

However, if you’re on the hunt for a new one... 

this dreamy sage-colored saucepan from World Market is the perfect size. 

3. Whisks

Once you become a sauce-connoisseur—

You’ll know that you can never own too many whisks. 

You can get whisks that are made of stainless steel or silicone. 

Both will work for whipping up sauces! 

Try to get a variety so you always have one handy. This 3-pack silicone set will get the job done. 

4. Wooden spoon

Wooden spoons can be safely used so that they do not scratch any of your pans. 

In addition, they do not transfer heat like metal spoons. (Making them perfect for taste-testing!) 

Pick up this eco-friendly wooden kitchen basics set from Earth Hero. 

5. Silicone Spatula

When it comes to making sauces, a silicone spatula is going to be your new best friend. 

These spatulas are gentle on your cookware, can be tossed in the dishwasher, and don’t transfer heat like metal spatulas. 

Unlike wooden spatulas—

They are also less likely to take on smells and colors from the sauce. 

This blush spatula set from Etsy is positively adorable. 

6. Sauce Ladle

When your sauce is all ready to serve, you’ll need a sauce ladle to serve it! 

This silicone sauce ladle from GIR comes in a variety of different colors to match your other kitchenware. 

7. Sauce Serving Set

If you are planning on offering a variety of different sauces, dips, and glazes—

Then you need a sauce serving set!

These serving bowls from Restaurantware can be served together with a bamboo tray, or separately if you are just offering one or two sauces. 

8. Mason Jars

If you are making sauces from scratch, you’re definitely going to be making more than one serving. 

To store your delectable sauces, stock up on a few mason jars

9. Apron

Okay, okay— 

This one might not be 100% necessary. 

But if you don’t have an apron at home already, here is your excuse to go get one! 

These vegan aprons from Cafe Press are adorable. 

Vegan Caramelized Onion Aioli with Fresh Sage from Sophia of Veggies Don't Bite

37 Vegan Sauce Recipes: Dips, Dressings, and Glazes

Now you know all of the ingredients and equipment that you will need to make tasty and healthy vegan recipes. 

A huge bonus about whipping up a sauce at home?

There are no hidden preservatives or ingredients that you can’t even pronounce— 

It will all come right for your kitchen. 

Are you ready for the best vegan sauce recipes to try today? 

Let’s go! 

Delicious Dip Recipes

A mouthwatering dip can take bland bites like chips or pretzels— 

And turn them into a snack you can’t walk away from! 

Serving up an excellent dip as an appetizer  or bringing it along to a house party for a potluck is simple and scrumptious. 

Here are the best vegan dip recipes:

  1. Tzatziki is a yummy Middle Eastern dip usually served cold. Many bases for this dip include yogurt, but this recipe by Nora Cooks is dairy-free and uses tofu as a base. 
  2. A staple recipe you’ll want to perfect is a classic fries dipping sauce. This recipe by Vegan Heaven is packed with Cajun flavors and pairs perfectly with sweet potato fries. 
  3. If you’re on the hunt for more savory flavors, then whip up this vegan caramelized onion and sage aioli by Veggies Don’t Bite. 
  4. If you haven’t tried dipping cauliflower bites or tofu-nuggets in this honey mustard dip, prepare to be amazed.

Vegan Cashew Caesar Salad Dressing from Bree of Bree's Vegan Life

Delectable Dressing Recipes

If you hear the word “salad” and sigh a little bit—

You’re not alone. 

The truth is that there are a ton of bland and boring salads out there, and you’ve probably eaten too many of them. 

The good news? 

The right salad dressing can turn a boring meal you feel like you have to eat into a scrumptious meal you can’t wait to devour! 

Here are the best vegan dressing recipes to try: 

  1. Who doesn’t need a classic buffalo sauce recipe in their arsenal? This recipe by Erin Lives Whole can be used as a dip, sauce, or spread. 
  2. Happy Kitchen has created the perfect go-to sauce recipe for buddha bowls, salads, falafel, and more.  
  3. For a bit of a sweet and spicy duo, check out this mango dressing by Keeping the Peas. 
  4. Finally, an Italian dressing recipe that’s actually healthy for you! Charming Food has crafted the perfect vegan alternative to this classic dressing. 
  5. Creamy and refreshing, this not-so-honey maple dijon recipe by The Simple Veganista is super tasty. 
  6. Bree’s Vegan Life has concocted the perfect copycat caesar salad dressing. It uses cashews to create that creamy texture we all know and love. 
  7. Nothing beats the sweet acidity of a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Evolving Table has a simple 3-ingredient recipe that’s tough to beat. 
  8. In search of those summertime flavors? This strawberry vinaigrette by Food Faith Fitness will brighten your tastebuds! 
  9. This vinaigrette by The Clean Eating Couple has refreshing flavors such as lemon and basil. 
  10. For a dressing over more savory dishes, try out this warm red onion dressing recipe by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures. 
  11. This tasty miso ginger dressing recipe by Cookin Canuck adds a zing to your everyday salad. 
  12. It’s true, all vegans love avocado. You won’t be able to get enough of this avocado lime dressing by Real and Vibrant. 
  13. With just 5 ingredients and ready in less than 5 minutes, this greek salad dressing recipe by Avocado Centric needs to be in your repertoire. 
  14. Sweet and tart, this citrus vinaigrette from Berly’s Kitchen will brighten your meals. 
  15. This vegan green goddess recipe by Cotter Crunch tastes good on everything. 

Vegan Bechamel Sauce from Maria of Food by Maria

Sweet, Savory, and Salty Sauce Recipes

Sauces can transform tasteless dishes into the most mouthwatering masterpieces! 

Here are the best vegan sauce recipes to try out:

  1. This Chinese garlic sauce recipe by Ela Vegan is the perfect addition to quick stir fries and rice dishes. 
  2. Eat With Clarity has crafted the perfect Thai peanut sauce recipe. Throw out your other recipes, because this one can be a dip, dressing, or noodle sauce. 
  3. Infused with Middle Eastern flavors, this creamy roasted red pepper tahini sauce from Zen and Zaatar will transform a simple pasta dish. 
  4. For a simple dinner that tastes fancy, look no further than adding this vegan tomato basil pasta sauce to your penne dish. 
  5. Made with cauliflowers and cashews, this vegan alfredo sauce by Vegan Huggs is super satisfying. 
  6. If you’re looking for an easy sauce to accompany your Mexican cuisine, look no further than this creamy green enchilada sauce by Abras Kitchen. 
  7. Although bechamel sauce is traditionally used in French cuisine, this vegan recipe can be used for veggies, mac and cheese, and everything in between. 
  8. For a flavorful base to your pizzas, stir up this white pizza sauce recipe by Vegan in the Freezer. 
  9. This creamy lemon garlic cashew sauce by Zested Lemon can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes! 
  10. Filled with a deep umami flavor, this easy teriyaki recipe by A Virtual Vegan is great with tofu, stir-fries, and more. 
  11. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish that this magic mushroom sauce doesn’t pair well with. 
  12. Food by Ayaka creates the ultimate vegan mac and cheese recipe with her secret sauce. 

Vegan Banana Pancakes and Peanut Butter Sauce from Shanika of Orchids and Sweet Tea

Dessert Glaze and Sauce Recipes

No recipe list is complete without a bit of dessert inspiration! 

Here are the best vegan glaze and sauce recipes for the sweet tooths in your life. 

  1. This peanut butter sauce by Shanika is seriously underrated. 
  2. Dolloped onto a creamy scoop of vegan ice cream, the caramel sauce by Nora Cooks is the stuff of dreams. 
  3. When it comes to chocolate sauce, there are no bad ideas. Drizzle this sauce by Vegan Blueberry over ice cream, crepes, strawberries, you name it. 
  4. This vegan chocolate marble glaze by Delight Fuel is both mesmerizing and tasty. 
  5. In search of a more refreshing spin? This lemon glaze from Veg News will brighten your day. 
  6. You can’t go wrong with this sweet cashew glaze by Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures. 

Magic Mushroom Sauce from The Endless Meal

Vegan Sauces to Spice Up Your Cooking

When it comes to vegan sauces, you can have it all—

A tasty treat that will have you craving meals all week long, 

and healthy options your whole family can enjoy.

With the proper tools, the right vegan substitute ingredients, and a few mind blowing recipes—

You’re on the path to mastering the art of sauces, dressings, dips, and glazes! 

Interested in learning more about vegan cooking? 

Check out our article all about unfamiliar vegan ingredients

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