Sauces are an important part of most meals and make or break how good the dish turns out to be.
Once you’ve learned the basics of cooking, you’ll find many ways to take your meals from good to great.
One of them is to incorporate different types of sauces. Here’s a list of some of the more common types of sauces and how you might use them in your next recipe.
Use these ideas as starting points to create your own special sauce!
1. Bordelaise Sauce
The first on the list of the different types of sauces is the Bordelaise Sauce.
A rich and velvety sauce made with shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, dry red wine, and beef or veal broth.
It is traditionally served with beef filet mignon. Moreso, the sauce is generally prepared in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat for an hour.
It is important not to let the sauce come to a boil, or it will curdle. The dish should be served immediately as the sauce will continue to thicken over time.
2. Steak Sauce
Steak sauce is the second on our list of different types of sauces. Good steak sauce is a must for a perfect steak.
There are many different varieties, but the most common is likely horse-radish sauce. It contains horseradish which gives the sauce its distinctive bite.
Plus, steak sauce can be used on any meat and with any type of side dish. Also, it’s great for dipping onion rings or for making sandwiches with tomatoes and lettuce (a BLT).
Demi-glace is another one of the different types of sauces commonly used in French cuisine.
It’s a highly concentrated, rich brown sauce that’s made by slowly reducing stock (usually beef).
It can be served alone or with other ingredients, such as onion and garlic. However, if you want to make your own demi-glace, you’ll need to simmer the liquid for several hours.
This should be done over low heat until the broth evaporates and you’re left with browned bits on the bottom.
Then, you blend these bits into a smooth paste before adding butter and seasonings.
4. Meuniere Sauce
The sauce meuniere is a classic French sauce typically made with a pan-seared fish filet and sauteed onion.
The onion is first cooked in butter or oil until translucent; it is allowed to be reduced by half.
When the onion has been cooked, all the liquid evaporates, and the pan is deglazed with broth for extra flavor.
Next, the butter is removed from the pan and mashed into a mixture of egg yolks and heavy cream that are whisked together.
This is done in a separate bowl and whisked until smooth before being poured back into the now-empty pan on the stove.
Remember, it should be over low heat. It’s important not to let this sauce cook too long, or you risk curdling it.
There’s more to come on the different types of sauces. Anticipate!
5. Chocolate Sauce
A sauce is a food item that is used as an accompaniment or spread. Sauces often add flavor, moisture, and texture to foods.
Sauces are typically liquid or sometimes semi-solid emulsions, which are oil, water, and egg mixtures.
Also, sauces may be sweet, savory, cold, or hot (warm). The consistency and flavors of a sauce depend upon what type it is; in general, however, sauces are thick liquids that cling easily to food.
They may be smooth or rough textured, depending on the ingredients used in their preparation.
Also, they may contain pieces of solid food such as fruits, vegetables, or meat.
6. Caramel Sauce
Cream and caramelized sugar combine to make the caramel sauce, which is thick, smooth, and golden brown in color. Another relish sauce of the different types of sauces we have.
Depending on the individual’s preference, other variations are produced using liqueurs, butter, vanilla, or fruit purees.
Salted caramel sauce might be ideal if you prefer a saltier version. The sauce, like other sweet sauces, goes well with various sweets.
This includes puddings, cookies, cakes, pies, and more. It excels particularly well when used as ice cream toppings.
In contrast to other sweet sauces, this one may be a little more difficult to produce.
This is because it can occasionally turn out excessively black (with a bitter taste) or too thin/thick.
However, if you want to make the sauce thicker, you can add cornstarch before adding it to the mixture on the stovetop.
Likewise, if you want your caramel sauce thinner, add water instead of cornstarch before adding it to the mixture on the stovetop.
The consistency will depend on what you’re using your caramel for.
7. Cranberry Sauce
They became popular due to their red color, tart flavor, and ability to preserve without refrigeration.
Cranberry sauce is one way that people use cranberries throughout the year.
This sauce is made with whole or crushed cranberries boiled in water. Sugar is added for sweetness, but it can also be added with less sugar or not at all, depending on preference.
Afterward, you should cook the mixture over medium heat to prepare it thoroughly.
Please get a candy thermometer to check the mixture’s temperature if at all feasible (ideally 325 to 350 degrees F).
You can add more cream or boil your sauce for an additional 5 to 10 minutes if it’s too thin.
Nothing can stop you from trying a luscious caramel sauce with only 3 ingredients. What a yummy sauce from our list of numerous types of sauces!
8. Oyster Sauce
Fish sauce and oysters have a salty flavor but completely distinct components. Here is a detailed explanation of what oyster sauce is.
In essence, the sauce contains oyster extract, thus the name. Actually, it looks like corn starch and has a thick consistency with a virtually black tint.
However, this sauce has a milder flavor than fish sauce. But it still enhances the umami and savory flavors of various foods, including both meat and vegetable dishes.
Also, oyster sauce is a necessary ingredient in Chinese stir-fried noodle dishes. It could occasionally be added as a topping.
This condiment is also well-liked in Asian countries, including Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Let’s find out more about the different types of sauces.
A bottle of Worcestershire sauce can be found in many homes across the country, even if they don’t know what’s in it.
Worcestershire is a thick and tangy sauce with an intense flavor. It was created by mixing soy sauce and anchovy paste with spirits to sell at his restaurant.
The first commercial production took place two years later after the first production, and today there are dozens of variations on the original recipe.
You must be wowed by the different types of sauces we have! We are actually getting started.
10. Bolognese Sauce
Next up, Bolognese sauce! The original recipe called for beef, pork, and tomatoes (tomatoes were not added until later). The sauce varies in thickness depending on the addition of milk or wine.
In addition, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and herbs are also used as flavoring agents. Seasonings such as salt and pepper can be added for taste.
Traditionally, this dish would be made in Italy using lard or olive oil, but today, butter or olive oil may be used instead.
11. Amatriciana Sauce
The origin story goes that in 1943, the owner of a restaurant called Ristorante Amatriciana was accused by the Nazis of hiding Jews.
They thought he hid a Jewish girl and her mother who escaped from Rome.
When they found out he didn’t actually have any Jews on his property, they threatened to confiscate his restaurant.
Shrewdly, he improvised and created this dish to trick them into thinking he had been cooking with lots of tomato sauce. Meanwhile, he had just added a dash here or there.
It was just enough for flavor but not enough for them to notice anything amiss. Different types of sauces, different stories!
12. Cream, Hollandaise, and White Sauces
Cream sauce, hollandaise, and white sauce are three common sauces in the kitchen. And yes! They are also on the list of our different sauce types.
The cream sauce is made by mixing fat (butter or oil) with flour and cooking until the mixture starts to thicken.
Then, the cream is added, and all ingredients are mixed together as the temperature rises.
Hollandaise is made from egg yolk and butter whisked together over a double boiler until they become fluffy and light yellow.
Finally, the white sauce can be made from either butter or oil with flour for thickening that is mixed into the milk. It may also be water or stock, depending on your desired thickness.
13. Sweet Chili Sauce
As the name depicts, another sweet sauce from the list of different types of sauces.
Known as a hot and sweet Thai chili sauce, this condiment can be used as a dipping sauce or in stir-fries. The flavor is spicy and sweet, with just the right amount of tanginess.
Also, this versatile sauce can be found at most grocery stores or in Asian markets. This type of sauce goes well on anything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza.
Though, you might want to add some other flavors, like garlic, ginger, or lime juice, before using this recipe for those dishes.
If you’re looking for a spicy sauce that packs a punch, Sriracha is the way to go. It’s made with red chiles, garlic, sugar, and vinegar.
Often, sriracha is used as a dipping sauce or topping on dishes like eggs, fried rice, noodles, and even pizza.
If you can’t find Sriracha at the grocery store near you, many restaurants will also serve it with their meals.
Looking for different types of sauces to use next time? You can’t go wrong with sriracha!
15. Mustard Sauce
What is mustard sauce? Mustard sauce is a type of sauce that can be served as a condiment or used as an ingredient.
It’s usually made with vinegar, ground mustard, and other spices.
Normally, the base flavor may be tangy or sweet, but it always has the rich taste of mustard.
You can use this versatile and unique sauce out of the different types of sauces on our list for meat dishes, sandwiches, salads, and more.
And how can Mayonnaise be found missing from the different types of sauces list? This is a type of sauce that originates from France.
The word mayonnaise comes from the French word for mother and love, as a mother’s love is best expressed in food.
Furthermore, this sauce emulates egg yolk, oil, vinegar, or lemon juice. Mayonnaise can be made by hand or with an electric mixer using a whisk attachment.
It can be used as a sandwich spread or as an ingredient in dressings. Also, it can be used as dips or sauces such as tartar sauce or to make potato salad creamier.
17. Tartar Sauce
Since Mayonnaise sauce is on the list of different types of sauces, why not Tartar?
Mayonnaise is the base for tartar sauce, including chopped pickles, lemon juice, and herbs (dill or tarragon) (or vinegar).
Furthermore, they go well with fish sandwiches, fish & chips, and other seafood-based cuisines.
Gherkins, or pickled cucumbers, may be combined with dill, capers, and lemon juice by residents in the United Kingdom.
Aioli can be used in place of mayo if you don’t care for it (a cold sauce made with garlic and olive oil).
Making tartar at home is simple—you must combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
Plus, you can add an egg yolk for extra flavor and consistency. Tartar sauce can be flavored with herbs like tarragon or shallots.
If you want the best tartar sauce, make your own mayonnaise and carefully chop the pickles. It’s a bit more work, but worth it in the end.
18. Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce being on the list of different types of sauce shouldn’t be a surprise, right? Plus, it’s super easy to make!
The best way to make tomato sauce is by simmering it on low heat for about an hour and stirring occasionally.
Also, you can also add some salt, garlic, basil, or oregano for added flavor. Tomato sauce is a staple in many cultures and can be served in various dishes.
It’s a great topping for any pasta dish, pizza, or even rice cakes! You can also use it as the base for soup, like the minestrone.
19. Marinara Sauce
The main ingredients in Marinara sauce, which goes well with pasta, soups, and pizza, are tomatoes, onions, basil, oregano, and garlic.
However, as pasta sauce also contains meat and vegetables, and tomatoes, Marinara differs from the latter in several ways.
Additionally, meat or fish pairs well with marinara. Depending on how you prepare it, Marinara can have a thick and creamy texture in addition to being chunky or silky.
With a faint hint of garlic and onion, its primary flavor profile is comparable to that of fresh tomatoes.
With this guide, making a simple Marinara sauce couldn’t be simpler. It’s a rich, red sauce that is flavored with garlic, tomatoes, and onions.
It typically contains a small number of anchovies for the meaty flavor and a touch of sugar.
Marinara sauce is great on pasta, pizza, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Thus, worthy of being on the list of different types of sauces!
20. Taco Sauce
Tacos must be the first food that comes to mind when discussing traditional Mexican cuisine.
However, eating tacos without the corresponding sauce would be a waste. Consequently, what is it, and how is the sauce made?
Taco sauce is a bright orange-red color with a soupy consistency that mostly contains tomatoes as its main ingredient.
Green pepper, chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, and herbs are used to flavor the sauce.
Whether spicy or tangy, the sauce’s flavor elevates your taco to a whole new level of pleasure.
Please feel free to use taco sauce on items other than tacos, such as nachos, quesadillas, burritos, or tortilla chips. Enjoy your taco sauce being on the list of different types of sauces!
21. Béchamel Sauce
Béchamel Sauce is not left out of the different types of sauces you can make.
This is a white sauce made from milk, butter, and flour. It is the basis for many other creamy dishes such as cheese soufflé and lasagna.
However, the recipe can vary slightly depending on what you are trying to achieve.
But generally, the ingredients include butter, salt, and pepper, ground nutmeg (optional), all-purpose flour, and milk heated in a saucepan until thickened.
Heat should be low enough that the mixture doesn’t boil or burn. Béchamel Sauce will thicken as it cools down, so make sure not to let it get too thick before removing it from the heat.
22. Velouté Sauce
Velouté sauce is a white sauce made with chicken or fish broth, butter, flour, and heavy cream.
It is often used as a base for other sauces. It has a light, rich flavor and can be seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
Sometimes the sauce is also thickened by adding egg yolks. White wine or sherry can also be added for additional flavor.
Velouté sauce can be served warm or cold. Why not try veloute sauce today and see why it’s on the list of the different types of sauces here?
23. Soy Sauce
For the uninitiated, soy sauce is a fermented liquid made from boiled soybeans and wheat, among other ingredients.
While not everyone is a fan of this salty liquid, there are many dishes that would be incomplete without it.
Here are some guidelines on using soy sauce: don’t douse your food in it; only add a little at first and then gradually more if needed.
Always add the liquid before the food has had time to cook fully (exceptions being fried or steamed dishes).
Also, salt content will vary depending on the brand, so you may want to adjust accordingly.
24. Cocktail Sauce
And then we have cocktail sauce next on the different types of sauces list.
There are two very common varieties of cocktail sauce: one that uses ketchup as the base ingredient. And another that uses tomato paste as the base ingredient.
The recipes vary depending on which ingredients they use and how much.
However, both versions usually have mixed horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco.
25. Barbecue Sauce
A common condiment in American cuisine, particularly in the South, is barbecue sauce (abbreviated as BBQ sauce). It is a versatile dish because it can marinate, baste, or top BBQ meat.
The basic ingredients are tomato paste (or ketchup), vinegar, or mayonnaise, though the list of ingredients varies.
Onion powder, liquid smoke, spices, and sweeteners are additional typical ingredients (sugar or molasses).
The sauce’s typical flavor profile is tangy; however, depending on the components, some may be sweet or smokey.
Additionally, a good barbecue sauce should be smooth, thick, and dark brown in color. There is still debate over BBQ sauce’s precise ancestry.
Many assert that the first American colonies were the source of the original sauce.
While others think German settlers might have created it in the 18th century, this is the last but not least of our list of different types of sauces.
Unsurprisingly, there are so many different types of sauces out there. The question is, what type suits your needs?
Ketchup or mustard-based sauce will be perfect if you want something spicy but not too hot.
However, if you’re looking for a smoky flavor profile, try barbecue sauce. A tomato-based sauce will do the trick if you need something sweet and sour.
Whether you’re watching your calories or simply looking to add something new to your meal, there are many options for sauce.
For example, you can turn a simple side salad into an exciting meal by drizzling on some balsamic vinaigrette.
The right sauces can take your food from bland to bold and flavorful!