24 Sauces, Spreads, Oils, and Condiments That Will Make Your Guests Say ‘Yes, Chef’

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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One tester said: “This was super good! I love a vodka sauce, but it’s hard to find a solid store-bought brand that tastes similar to restaurant versions. It did the job for the cost!”

Yo Mama’s Original Marinara Sauce

Yo Mama’s

Original Marinara (12.5 oz.)

Why we love it: As a brand that accommodates dietary restrictions with products that are gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sodium, and more, Yo Mama’s uses flavor enhancers like salt sparingly—but you wouldn’t even know it. Enjoy it as-is, or stir in red pepper flakes for additional heat, as one tester recommends.

One tester said: “I largely eat low-sodium for health-condition-related reasons, and I’m always looking for a jarred sauce that doesn’t taste like blandified ass. This was lovely in that respect; I wouldn’t know anything was missing. I got fresh tomato taste, a garlic-forward punch (you have to like garlic to like this sauce, take note!), and a really distinct, fab herbiness.”

Gluten-free, vegan

PF Chang’s Sauces

P.F. Chang’s

Home Menu Sauce (14 oz.)

Why we love them: Stir-fries are a great addition to anyone’s weeknight dinner rotation, and PF Chang’s line of sauces, with flavors like teriyaki and Mongolian barbecue, makes it even easier to whip one up. They blend nicely with bowls of veggies, proteins, and starches. One tester noted how well the sauce clung to their food, which, you know, is the good sign.

One tester said: “It was perfectly sweet and spicy without being too much, and was easy to integrate into what I was cooking. I would definitely reach for this again, as well as use it to marinate meat.”

Blank Slate Kitchen Zhug

Blank Slate Kitchen

Zhug (6 fl. oz.)

Why we love it: For what one tester called an “instant flavor bomb,” look no further than Blank Slate Kitchen’s Zhug. It’s a green, herby pepper sauce that pairs well with pizza, sandwiches, grain bowls, meats, noodles, and more, albeit in small doses if you’re heat-sensitive. (“You don’t need a lot to go a long way,” another tester advised.)

One tester said: “Holy heaven, is this delicious! So spicy! Lemony! Herbaceous! I loved tasting it out of the jar, but if you were to add this to vegetables, fish, protein, rice—whatever!—you’d have a meal worth crowing about.”

Dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegan

Häxan Ferments Hot Sauce

Häxan Ferments

Fermented Hot Sauce (multiple flavors) (4 oz.)

Why we love it: With mouth- (and potentially eye-) watering flavors like Cherry Bomb, Pumpkin Habanero, and Tomatillo Poblano, these hot sauces earned a perfect score from our testers for their ability to deliver complexity and heat in equal measure.

One tester said: “Whew! These pack a punch but they’re GOOD. I’m Thai with an inherent flair for heat and these are delicious! My favorite by far was the Cherry Bomb because of its subtle sweetness to cut a bit of the heat, but I thoroughly enjoyed the other flavors as well.”

Dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian

Fly By Jing’s Chengdu Crunch

Fly By Jing

Chengdu Crunch (6 oz.)

Why we love it: Whether you’re a chili crisp devotee or trying it for the first time, Fly by Jing’s newest sauce drives home the point that you really can put this stuff on anything. Testers woke up their eggs, salads, and avocado toasts with a scoop, which added spice, savoriness, and texture without overpowering the rest of the meal.


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