The Healthiest & Quickest Ways to Add Major Flavor to Your Meals

Sometimes, a recipe just calls for a little something extra to add a bit more flavor, spice, and kick to it to really elevate the dish. And that’s where our healthy condiments, seasonings, and sauces recipes come in. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy way to jazz up a salad that won’t load on tons of extra calories or just want to liven up your go-to pasta, chicken, and steak dinners, these recipes will come in handy. Not only do they bring complex flavors to your dishes, but they’re all good for you, and there’s nothing better than knowing your home-cooked meals not only taste great, but actually are healthy for you.

Prepare to truly wow with these healthy condiments, seasonings, and sauces that are quick ways to add some major flavor to your meals!

1

Blackening Spice

Paleo blackened tilapia with garlic lime butterMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you’re looking for something new and zesty to coat your meat, fish, or veggies, look no further than this potent blend of seasonings that’s very easy to make: all you have to do is simply cook it over high heat until it transforms into a dark, savory crust. Mastering the art of the blackening spice is great too, as you can customize the seasoning as you see fit, whether you’re in the mood for something less spicy or want a bit more smokiness.

Get our recipe for a Blackening Spice.

2

Pepperonata

bowl of pepperonataShutterstock

This dish is best described as a magical pepper trifecta, which already most likely has your mouth watering. It’s a spicy, tangy, and sweet dish made of sliced peppers that pairs great with pastas, salads, or sandwiches. It basically adds a tasty pop of spice and flavor to pretty much anything! You can use any types of peppers too, but ideally, you want the freshest batch of red, yellow, green and orange peppers for your pepperonata.

Get our recipe for Pepperonata.

3

Chimichurri Sauce

Paleo scallops with chimichurriMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

In case you’re unfamiliar, chimichurri is an herb-based, jalapeño infused sauce from Argentina. You can find it dressing up many different types of dishes, from grilled meats and fish to roasted vegetables, sandwiches, and even a fried egg. It’s hands-down one of the best condiments and once you make it, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to spread it on everything.

Get our recipe for Chimichurri Sauce.

4

Chili Powder

Healthy crockpot chilliMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you’re whipping up a big pot of chili, it’s important to note just how essential a good chili powder is to the whole meal. Our recipe is an easy, beginner-level powder, that simply just needs two different dried chiles toasted and then put into a coffee grinder. That’s all it takes to have your own secret, spicy powder

Get our recipe for Chili Powder.

5

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Shutterstock

Choosing to eat a salad is always the healthier option, right? Well, that isn’t always the case thanks to the highly caloric dressings the lettuce ends up drowning in. In our ranch dressing recipe, we spike the ranch with yogurt and fresh herbs in place of mayo. So now, you have a much lighter, still packed with flavor ranch dressing.

Get our recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing.

6

Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce in wooden bowl with wooden spoonShutterstock

This classic tomato sauce recipe is everything you would want—it’s bright, sweet, and lightly acidic, making it the perfect tomato sauce for pizzas, spaghetti, topping chicken parm, or pouring it over polenta or grits and roasted vegetables. The recipe itself is simple, but you still have plenty of complex options when it comes to how you dress it up.

Get our recipe for the ultimate Tomato Sauce.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

7

Pico de Gallo

Bowl of salsaShutterstock

Pico de Gallo is the most versatile of all salsas, as it’s much milder on the spice scale. It’s a chunky mix of fresh tomato, onions, peppers, and cilantro that come together for a sauce that’s simply delicious, whether it’s scattered on tacos or nachos, added to eggs and salads, put on sandwiches, or rolled into a burrito. You can even just eat it with some homemade tortilla chips!

Get our recipe for Pico de Gallo.

8

Pesto

PestoShutterstock

The best way to bring maximum flavor impact with minimum effort is with a homemade pesto sauce. This recipe makes enough to dress a big pasta dish, spread on turkey sandwiches and swirl into soups and salad dressing. Pro tip: in order to keep the pesto as fresh and possible and still, you know, green, add a thin layer of oil on top before refrigerating.

Get our recipe for Pesto.

9

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized OnionShutterstock

The addition of syrupy sweet slow-cooked caramelized onions is always a good idea. In this caramelized onions recipe, you can cook them for as long as you would like, so if you’re in the moo0d for an oniony jam (this takes around 45 minutes), be sure to add an extra onion or two and keep the flame low. If you want a quick added layer of sweetness but don’t plan on cooking the onions for too long, add a splash of balsamic vinegar when they’re in their final stages of cooking.

Get our recipe for Caramelized Onions.

10

Sweet and Sour Onions

baby balsamic pearl onions in dish with spoonShutterstock

If you’re thinking of serving up some greasy potato chips with your next steak or roast chicken dish, swap in these onions instead. Caramelized pearl onions are not only more filling and satisfying than a standard helping of chips, but you get the sweet and savory combo in one easy, tasty dish.

Get our recipe for Sweet and Sour Onions.

11

Pickled Jalapeños

pickled jalapeños in bowlShutterstock

These peppers—when pickled, specifically—have a truly complex and versatile taste that make for the perfect sandwich, burger, stir-fry, and pizzas topping. You can even just put them on a piece of toast for a spicy, sweet kick, too.

Get our recipe for Pickled Jalapeños.

12

Pickled Onions

pickled red onion in a light brown ceramic bowlShutterstock

As you can tell, pickling is for more than just pickles. Here, we take on raw onions, which can be harsh and overpowering, but in a vinegar solution, they turn more into a sweet-spicy flavor. These make one of the best condiments for sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and burgers, or even just as a healthy snack on their own.

Get our recipe for Pickled Onions.

13

Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

watermelon radish meat salad with ginger-lime vinaigretteShutterstock

This tangy, vegan-friendly ginger-lime vinaigrette is not only simple and easy to make, but much more exciting and elaborate in ingredients than the average bottled balsamic vinegar dressing. You can put this dressing on a salad, over a fish fillet, scallops, grilled steak, or even use it as a marinade for a chicken before roasting.

Get our recipe for Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette Dressing.

14

Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette

plated salad of lettuce strawberries chicken with balsamic vinaigretteShutterstock

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is a classic and knowing how to make the most versatile of dressings is a pretty amazing kitchen skill to have. You can tweak this recipe to your liking, too. For a sweeter thank, swap out the Dijon mustard for a little maple syrup. For some spice, instead of using black pepper, go for some red pepper. Your salads are about to be the tastiest they ever have been.

Get our recipe for Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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