Feb 08, 2018 | by Jackie Dowling

8 Homemade Dressings and Sauces to Get You Out of an Olive Oil Rut

With little time for cooking, let alone grocery shopping, it's not uncommon to cut corners in the kitchen. One of the best time-savers: olive oil. It's the go-to ingredient for dressing salad, marinating a chicken, or sautéing vegetables. While we love a good EVOO, the same flavor over and over again can get a little boring.  That's why we're grateful that this week's feature foodie, Jodi Kay of Happy Hearted Kitchen, is sharing how to bring out your meal's natural flavors instead of drowning them.

Using fruits, seeds, and tons of tahini, these homemade dressing, sauce, and spread recipes are not only healthy, but most can also be made quickly and easily using a blender. 

With a hint of citrus, this six-ingredient dressing takes you to the tropics. By adding water as you blend, you can control the consistency to either make it thicker for more of a spread-like paste or thinner for a dressing you can easily drizzle. The honey cuts the bitterness of the lemon for the perfect balance of sweet and sour. 

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If having your kitchen smell like the inside of a bakery isn’t enough, the charred taste of roasted almonds is sure to convince you to make this recipe. With garlic, roasted red peppers, and a kick of chili, this is not your average tomato sauce. Just sauté the ingredients, blend in the tomatoes, and enjoy.

With just five ingredients, this slightly sweetened yogurt-tahini dressing will come together in minutes because we guarantee you already have most of the ingredients in your fridge. This recipe calls for drizzling the dressing over roasted pumpkin and dukkah, but really, you can add it to any veggie dish. 

How good is ginger-sesame dressing from the local sushi joint? It's definitely not the iceberg lettuce that makes it one of the tastiest salads. But now you can re-create your favorite dressing at home with this homemade ginger-sesame sauce, made with miso, tamari, rice vinegar, and brown rice syrup. Or make your own sushi and dunk away in the comfort of your own home where no one can judge you. 

Shallots (they're basically just tiny onions) and garlic get popped in the oven to give this vinaigrette a restaurant-worthy flavor. Once roasted, their soft consistency allows for easy puréeing with the red wine vinegar, mustard, honey, and seasonings. You’ll be motivated to make salads just to taste this sweet topping.

Don't just settle for ketchup and mustard on build-your-own-burger night. This homemade aioli will take it to the next level. By soaking the sunflower seeds in water ahead of time, they blend smoothly with the garlic, lemon zest, and olive oil. With a base that is high in protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, this spread is your sugar-free answer to all condiment cravings.

This everyday dressing is exactly what it sounds like: a perfect combination of flavors for any salad that stays fresh in the fridge for days. While it calls for Dijon mustard, take your pick and mix it up with any spicy, mild, or honey version.

Too creamy, too many anchovies, too salty… we finally found a Caesar dressing that is just right. On top of a balanced mix of lemon, garlic, mustard, and tamari, this recipe has its own spin with the addition of hemp seeds and kalamata olives.