Condiments are used as food enhancers to improve any dish’s flavor, texture, and color. The most common condiments are spices, pickles, sauces, or dressings that can accompany meals for that extra punch.
We’ve gathered a list of condiments you should always have on hand. Everyone has condiments they prefer, but odds are you haven’t tried all the amazing options on this list. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Types of Condiments
Almond sauce is a smooth paste made from almonds. You can use this sauce as a condiment for roasted vegetables or grilled meats. Some people even use the almond sauce as a salad dressing.
Almond sauce takes the mildly sweet flavor of almonds and transforms it into a rich and creamy spread.
Balsamic vinegar is a type of flavored vinegar. This deep brown vinegar is made from distilled wine and fermented grape juice. It has bold and complex flavors and a tart aftertaste. Real balsamic vinegar is aged in American white oak barrels for months or even years, and it can be very expensive.
Balsamic vinegar has become a popular condiment for salad bars. People love this low-fat condiment as part of a heart-healthy diet. Some people also believe that balsamic vinegar can contribute to weight loss and a glowing complexion.
Barbecue sauce combines many different ingredients and spices, including vinegar, tomato paste, sugar, spices, and mayonnaise. This sauce is ideal for marinades, basting, and BBQ-style cooking. It is a distinctly American condiment slathered on classic foods like pork ribs and many other foods.
Caesar dressing is one of the best salad dressings in the world. It has a rich, lemon-like flavor and is easy to make in the kitchen.
The best Caesar salad dressing has anchovies and garlic and creates an emulsion with raw egg yolks, mustard, and two oil types.
Here’s our favorite Caesar salad dressing recipe.
Caramel is made by heating a sugar and water mixture until the ingredients caramelize.
Whether you want to add sweetness to a cake or topping to your breakfast pancakes, caramel is a great condiment for any kitchen. You can also turn liquid caramel into a hard candy.
Chimichurri is an olive oil-based condiment traditionally used on grilled meat. Chimichurri sauce has parsley, garlic, and olive oil. To make the best Chimichurri sauce, you can blend these ingredients in a pestle or mortar. It’s the base for many Argentinean dishes.
Homemade chocolate sauce is very easy to make and rivals any sweet condiment you’ll buy at the store. You can drizzle chocolate sauce on your favorite desserts. It’s a great way to bring the taste of chocolate to banana splits and ice cream.
Cocktail sauce is a simple sauce used to make marinades for every type of seafood. It contains honey, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Check our favorite recipe for homemade cocktail sauce.
Dijon mustard is a type of prepared mustard that originated in Dijon, France. It is popular as a condiment and an ingredient in many recipes. You will often see it used in sauces and vinaigrettes and sauces. Unlike the bright yellow American-style mustard, Dijon mustard is a pale yellow. French-inspired dishes that feature Dijon mustard are called “à la dijonnaise.” It is spicy and delicious, making it great for sandwiches, hot dogs, and similar meals.
This mustard has a slightly creamy consistency and is sold in jars and squeeze bottles. One of the most popular Dijon mustard brands is Grey-Poupon. While mustard is typically gluten-free, sensitive ones should always read the label.
Fish sauce is a common condiment for Thai cuisine; however, you can add this salty condiment to any rice or noodle-based dish.
The salty, savory condiment adds flavor to popular dishes, such as pad thai, stir-fries, and marinated meats. It can even serve as a base for homemade salad dressing.
The name might seem off-putting for those unfamiliar with the condiment. Fish sauce is comparable to more common condiments such as soy sauce and Worcestershire. This flavor-packed liquid is a great addition to your pantry.
French dressing is a ketchup-based salad dressing, but you can also add it to other dishes. It is traditionally whisked together in the bottom of a salad bowl.
You can coat the salad with French dressing after adding lettuce and other salad ingredients to the bowl,
. It’s a great homemade condiment that can be stored in a jar to use for a few days.
Guacamole is a tasty dip made from mashed avocados, lemon juice, and salt. You can also add lime slices, chopped onions, and tomatoes to enhance the flavor.
This condiment is a staple of Mexican cuisine and uses rich, natural flavors of avocado to complement a variety of dishes.
Honey is a thick, golden liquid produced by bees from the nectar secreted from flowering plants. The sweet flavors of honey are perfect for hot drinks, cakes, and other foods or beverages needing extra sweetness.
Honey mustard is one of the most common dipping sauces in the United States. It adds a tangy twist to traditional yellow mustard.
This sweet-and-sour sauce has honey, vinegar, or lemon juice. It’s popular to use on hotdogs, sandwiches, and salads. You can make honey mustard by hand in just minutes.
Horseradish is a plant that has several different names. It’s known as “Moringa pungens” and “Moringa oleifera” in Egypt. The plan is highly spicy and delicious when used as a sauce or marinade.
Hot sauces add spiciness to your meal. The exact ingredients may vary between brands, though many use red hot chili peppers as a base.
Despite its name, Italian dressing is most popular in North America. It is a vinaigrette-style herbal salad dressing.
Many types of jellies are commonly added to sandwiches, toast, or baked desserts.
It’s a sweet condiment made from cooked fruit. To make jelly, you have to cook a fruit with sugar in a pan over medium-high heat. Serve jelly on its own or mixed with other ingredients such as ice cream or milk.
Ketchup is a tomato-based condiment that is a staple of American cuisine. It is very popular with French fries, hot dogs, and burgers. Some people also love it with mac and cheese.
People love pouring maple syrup on a serving of pancakes. It’s a concentrated sweetener made from the sap of the maple tree. Maple syrup comes in different color-coded grades for quality and price. Darker grades of syrup have more heat and flavor, so they’re usually a higher price as well.
Marinara sauce is a red tomato-based sauce. It works well for many different recipes, such as pizza, pasta dishes, and stir-fry.
Mayonnaise is a tangy, egg-based condiment used for sandwiches, salads, and French fries. It adds flavor and texture to already-delicious dishes.
Olive oil comes from olives and is a versatile condiment. People make olive oil by pressing down whole olives.
You can use olive oil in cooking, soaps, medicine, and as a fuel for traditional lamps. Olive oil is popular around the world. People can also use olive oil as a dipping sauce for bread, drizzling on pasta, or salad dressing.
Oyster sauce has a distinctive, salty flavor popular in Asian cuisine. You can use the oyster sauce to flavor seafood, meat, and vegetables. It’s a dark brown condiment that mixes oyster extracts with water and thickening agents such as corn starch.
Peanut butter is a paste made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts. It contains additional ingredients that improve the taste or texture, such as sweeteners, salt, or emulsifiers. It can also include crushed peanuts and is one of the world’s most popular spreads.
While almost everyone loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter has many different uses. Use peanut butter as a dipping sauce for apples, celery, and crackers.
Satay Peanut Sauce
Satay sauce is a spicy peanut sauce. While it’s most commonly associated with Thai cuisine, it’s enjoyed throughout Asia and has Indonesian roots. It’s best known as the peanut sauce for satay, a tasty appetizer of marinated grilled meat on a skewer.
Making a delicious satay sauce from scratch is simple and easy. There’s no cooking involved with this sauce, you’ll simply mix all of the ingredients in a food processor, adjust the seasoning, and you’re done.
Most American versions of satay sauce start with peanut butter. They also feature fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind paste, and cayenne pepper to give satay its signature flavor and spiciness. Different ingredients come together to create a unique peanut sauce customized to your taste and useful in many ways.
Pesto is a herbaceous, salty, garlicky sauce made of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and aged cheese such as Parmesan. It comes from Liguria region in Italy, where much of the country’s basil is grown. Pesto comes from “pestare,” which means to crush or pound in Italian.
You can toss this condiment with pasta for a simply delicious dish. The no-cook condiment is especially suited for summer since the chief ingredient is fresh basil.
Our favorite pesto recipe is classic and uses only the key ingredients for a simple but flavorful result. While traditional pestos are prepared in a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor or blender to keep things quick and easy.
There are many ways to use pesto. One little pesto jar can transform your dinner. You can spread pesto on cheese toasties to make them next level or use pesto as a salad dressing. You can also thin out the pesto a little by adding a spoonful or two of hot water to use as a dipping sauce.
This condiment infuses truffles into an oil base to produce a sweet and savory flavor. When made with real truffles, this condiment can be pricey.
You can add truffle oil to everything, from pasta to fries, and use it as a finishing touch to a meal.
Ranch is at the top of Americans’ favorite salad dressings list, but it might shine brighter as a dip. It is versatile and goes with absolutely everything.
This type of condiment comes together in about five minutes and uses a combination of mayo, buttermilk, sour cream, herbs, and spices. You can serve ranch dressing with raw vegetables, fried chicken wings, green salads, pasta salads, and coleslaw. Also, you can use ranch be as a marinade and sandwich spread.
Relish is a popular condiment made from pickled herbs and veggies. You can use relish as a salad ingredient, though it is more commonly used as a condiment on hot dogs. But you don’t need to stop there because relish is also great in deviled eggs, potato salad, and pasta. Making homemade relish is a great way to use onions, cucumbers, and peppers from your garden during peak season.
If you want to be traditional, use white distilled vinegar; otherwise, you can use apple cider or white wine vinegar.
Salsa originally comes from Mexican cuisine and is a tomato and onion-based sauce. You can add salsa to tacos, tortilla chips, and even omelets.
This is a Chinese sauce made from fermented soybean. It has a strong, salty taste and is suitable in small quantities.
This is a spicy condiment derived from red hot chili peppers. It has a spicy flavor similar to Tabasco sauce but with extra spice from the red chilies. Sriracha contains red jalapeño, Fresno peppers, vinegar, and garlic.
You can pour steak sauce on the side of a steak dish. There are many different brands of steak sauce, but the majority use vinegar, tomatoes, and spices to enhance the flavor of the meat.
Sweet and sour sauce
Traditionally used in Chinese cuisine, the sweet and sour sauce is now famous worldwide. Recipes vary by region, but this condiment produces sweet and sour flavors.
This condiment uses sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, horseradish, and minced capers. You can use tartar sauce exclusively for seafood dishes, such as fish and chips.
Teriyaki sauce complements many Japanese dishes and is a primary ingredient in Teriyaki chicken, among other things.
Thousand Island dressing
This is a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, ketchup, and spices such as basil, parsley, and dill. The exact ingredients may vary by brand and region, but a thousand island dressing usually has a creamy texture and tangy flavor.
There are many brands of vegan mayonnaise available, or you can make one at home. Since mayo is bland, it’s a perfect blank canvas for other condiments like Sriracha and chimichurri. Adding spices makes vegan mayo the perfect dipping sauce. You can use vegan mayo to make this Egg Salad Sandwich that will satisfy your cravings for an old familiar favorite.
Tahini contains roasted sesame seeds ground into a smooth butter, and it’s very easy to make homemade Tahini. Some people like eating it straight, but it’s also delicious mixed into recipes for salad dressings, hummus, dips, and sauces. Try it in this protein-packed crispy falafel and vegan tofu burgers with tahini dressing.
Whipped cream can be bought in a jar or made fresh at home. Either way, whipped cream is a fantastic condiment to add extra sweetness to your cake, ice cream, or fruit salad.
It contains a mixture of sugar and heavy cream. Its frothy and light texture makes it perfect for pies, cakes, or other desserts.
Mint Chutney Sauce
A bit of chutney sauce is common as a base in Indian cuisine. It contains various ingredients, including nuts, yogurt, and fruits. You can make mint chutney by grinding fresh ingredients together. This condiment is a delicious addition to samosas and rice dishes.
Cream cheese is a spread for many breakfast foods and baked goods in Europe and North America. Its flavor is similar to that of mascarpone cheese.
It’s a dairy product made with milk and eggs. It’s used as an ingredient in dips, topping on desserts, or as a spread for bagels.