How to Make Sauce: Tips for Great Taste and Better Nutrition

Are your meals missing that “wow” factor? Whether it’s pesto on your pasta or caramel cream on your brownie sundae, adding a drizzle of savory or sweet sauce can be a simple solution to take your meals from good to great. As a registered dietitian and mom, I enjoy a good, flavorful sauce – and I love finding ways to make it just as nutritious as it is delicious. Want to know my secret? Check out these tips and tricks.

Find the Best Base

While simmering a sauce on the stove, consider your base. It’s easy to reach for the butter and cheese, but you’ll get better bang for your nutritional buck by reaching for milk or yogurt first; yogurt is an easy substitution for some of the fat, and milk boasts key nutrients that make any mac and cheese recipe healthier. And remember, it isn’t all about what to remove to boost nutrition. With this Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce, it is more about adding nutrient-rich foods and adjusting quantities to ramp up the nutrition and keep the flavor.

Consider Your Added Ingredients

When cutting calories, sometimes you are cutting creaminess. Instead, focus on using ingredients where a little goes a long way. Look for an aged cheese that adds aroma and flavor in just a small amount. And fresh herbs and spices along with a creamy dairy base can really dress up your dish. If you’re looking for healthier options, look for sauces on the DASH diet, a great eating plan that provides nutrients and flavor.

Think Beyond the Stove

When it comes to making a great sauce, consider something cool. Greek yogurt is a great base for a salad dressing that can easily become a dip. Pair some of our other favorites with your fresh veggies. Also, don’t forget sweet – you can pair some favorite fruits with a little ricotta or vanilla sauce to add more protein to your dessert.

Whether you’re a lover of a beurre blanc or fan of a classic ranch dressing, I hope I’ve inspired you to cook up something in your kitchen. Learn more ways to enhance your dishes with dairy and check out our family favorites for inspiration.

By Katie McKee, MCN, RDN, LD

Katie has always loved teaching others about the power of nutrition. She has a background in journalism as a reporter, writer and editor and has been part of the Dairy MAX team since 2015. When she's not working, Katie enjoys cooking and spending time with her young son and family. Learn more about Katie

Get Content Like This in Your Inbox.