Katie's Healthy Bites: 4 No-Cook Summer Sauces

I get bored with ho-hum BBQ sauce and bottled marinades, so I looked around the globe for inspiration, then built up an arsenal of creative sauces to pair with veggies, meats and fish.

A sliced pork chop topped with a herb mixture and placed beside coleslaw

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

One of my favorite parts of the summer is grilling with friends and family. I get bored with ho-hum BBQ sauce and bottled marinades, so I looked around the globe for inspiration, then built up an arsenal of simple, creative sauces to pair with veggies, meats and fish.

These four simple sauces are very versatile. I've revamped them from their traditional recipes to encourage you to play around and make them your own. Get creative with the herbs, punch up the heat with different chiles or play around with different types of citrus. No matter the variation, these simple sauces with add pizazz to your next cookout.


Traditionally made with lemon zest, parsley and garlic and served with meat and fish, this version is great with grilled veggies as well.

Orange Gremolata
Yeild: 4 servings

• 1 orange, zested
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Finely chop all ingredients to combine. Serve as a garnish or condiment.

Nutrition Info Per Serving:
Calories: 5
Protein: .25 grams
Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Fat: 0 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 16 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
More Gremolata Recipes to Try:

This Argentinean sauce or condiment for meat is traditionally made with chopped parsley or cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, onion and red pepper flakes. Its also a fun word to say! Add horseradish to this version to give it some extra heat.

Horseradish Chimichurri
Yield: 8 servings

• 1 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 tbsp fresh horseradish or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 2 cups (packed) stemmed fresh parsley
• 1 cup (packed) chives
• Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine (can add a little water for a smoother consistency). Serve with meat, chicken or fish. Chimichurri can also be used as a marinade.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 27
Protein: .6 grams
Carbohydrates: 2.2 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Saturated Fat: .25 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 16 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
More Chimichurri Recipes to Try:
Romesco Sauce

Romesco sauce originated in Spain,  and traditionally includes nuts and peppers. It compliments fish.

Walnut Romesco
Yield: 8 servings

• 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
• 1 slice whole grain bread, crust removed
• 1-2 large garlic cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
• 1 cup coarsely chopped drained roasted red peppers
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a food processor -- add a little water if you prefer a smoother consistency. Serve with grilled shrimp, fish or even chicken and meat.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 52
Protein: 8 grams
Carbohydrate: 2.7 grams
Total Fat: 4.5 grams
Saturated Fat: .47 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 150 milligrams
Fiber: .45 grams
More Romesco Recipes to Try:
Italian Salsa Verde

An Italian salsa verde is a green sauce that is comprised mostly of fresh herbs. It can be used as a dip for crudites, grilled shrimp or bread, and it's also delicious served with grilled fish, chicken or lamb.

Italian Summer Herb Salsa Verde
Yield: 8 servings

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 lemons, juiced and zest of one
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1 large garlic cloves
• 1 shallot, peeled
• 1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 3/4 cup chopped mint
• 1-2 tbsp capers


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or finely chop them by hand.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 44
Protein: .75 grams
Carbohydrate: 3.5 grams
Fat: 3.6 grams
Saturated Fat: .5 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 24 milligrams
Fiber: .9 grams
More Italian Salsa Verde Recipes to Try:

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

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