Step it Up a Notch: 5 Vegan Sauces & Dressings That Will Take Your Meals To The Next Level

For years we were making meals with limited use of toppings. For salads, we would simply use olive oil and apple cider vinegar with some salt and pepper to taste. For burgers and sandwiches we would use avacado.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with our simple solutions, but it certainly doesn’t compare to mixing a few more ingredients together to take your sauce or dressing to the next level.

It is our belief that a good quality topping is the difference between an average meal and a meal that you will remember and really enjoy. It was only recently we started to give this area of our cooking more attention. As minimalists, we’re not interested in spending a ton of time or using lots of different ingredients in our recipes. Luckily, there are lots of sauce recipes that are simple, but taste amazing.

By the end of this post, you’ll have 5 more sauces and dressings that you can use to enhance your meals. We’ve sourced these recipes from some of the most talented vegan bloggers around the world and we hope you enjoy these sauces as much as we have.

Just before we go on, here’s a few common objections you might have about making sauces:

Objection 1 – I don’t have enough time

No time? No problem. The Minimalist Vegan lifestyle is all about efficiency, so most of the sauces listed below take around 5 minutes.

Objection 2 – I don’t have the right tools

You don’t need a top of the range food processor, thermomix or high end blender for these recipes. Any blender or food processor will do just fine. Or if it comes down to it, finely chop the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl.

Objection 3 – Will this really only take 5 minutes?

For the most part, yes. No cooking is required as all of the meals are raw. So if you have the ingredients, it’s just a matter of throwing them in a mixer and serving 🙂

So as you can see, there’s really no excuse to add these sauces into your weekly rotation. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive into the recipes.

Vegan Peanut Sauce

_M9A6640We love, love, love peanut sauces (well I have a slightly uncontrollable obsession), and we’re stoked with this recipe by Angela Liddon over at Oh She Glows. This sauce takes no time to make and is a great compliment to burgers and wraps.


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (or almond or sunflower seed butter)
  • 2.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or coconut aminos)
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Add all sauce ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust ingredients to taste if desired. The sauce will thicken up as it sits. The peanut sauce will store in the fridge for at least a week.

Vegan Barbecue Sauce

_M9A6629I love barbecue sauce, but Masha is not much of a fan. So I went on a hunt to find a recipe that would convert her. We originally found this recipe in The Blender Girl Cookbook, written by Tess Masters. You should definitely pick up this book if you haven’t already.

Makes 1 1/3 cups (360g)


  • 1/2 cup (120ml) unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • 1 (6-ounce/170g) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 11/4 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon natural salt


Throw all of the ingredients into your blender and puree on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and well combined. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Vegan Basil Chickpea Salad Dressing

_M9A6635If you’re anything like us, you probably make lots of salads. However, salads get pretty boring without some awesome toppings, and this one is no exception. We’re glad we stumbled across this dressing by Caitlin over at The Vegan Chickpea.


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1.5 cups chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil(optional)
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup vegetable broth (depending on desired thickness)


Place ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth and creamy. Done!

Vegan Mayo

_M9A6646What would we do without Vegan Mayo? We pretty much slap this sauce on anything. We credit Emily von Euw from This Rawsome Vegan Life for the original recipe.


  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • Water, as needed


Blend all the ingredients until smooth, adding water or other liquid as needed and adjusting to your taste.

Vegan Sweet Mustard Dressing

_M9A6642This sweet mustard dressing is finger licking good and is the perfect compliment for cooked soy and vegetable meals. The original recipe can be found on Veggieful, by the talented Madison.


  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • BIG pinch salt
  • BIG pinch freshly cracked black pepper


Add all ingredients to a processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Over to you

So there’s our list of 5 vegan sauces we make on a regular basis. Give them a try and let us know what you think.

Do you have some special vegan sauce or topping up your sleeve? If you do, make sure to share them in the comments below.

2 comments… add one
  • Larisa 03/03/2015 Reply

    Love the chickpea dressing idea. Especially for summer when I have way too much basil and have already made too much pesto! Which is another great began topping idea…vegan pesto with walnuts and nutritional yeast!

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