Whip up these easy Paleo sauces to instantly upgrade your favorite healthy dishes.
Like everything, indulgent, rich, creamy, salty, sweet sauces should, of course, be enjoyed in moderation. Although the Paleo lifestyle foregoes the heavy cream and wheat flour, there are plenty of Paleo-friendly, indulgent sauces to liven up your dishes.
The 5 French Mother Sauces
There are five types of sauces in the culinary world, also called the five “French Mother” sauces. These five sauces are considered to be the building blocks for any and all types of sauce.
Béchamel starts with a roux, including flour and fat mixed together and used to thicken soups, stews, and sauces. To the roux, milk is added to create a classic béchamel sauce. From there, you can add cheese, spices, herbs, and more.
Velouté also starts with a roux, but turkey, chicken or even mushroom stock is added to create more of a gravy effect. A white sauce, velouté does not typically include dairy like its sister white sauce, béchamel.
Espagnole is a brown sauce that starts with mirepoix: a mix of carrots, celery and onion sautéed in fat. Beef stock is added, as are red wine, tomato paste, herbs and spices. It’s a classic sauce that pairs well with beef, lamb, and other rich dishes.
Tomato sauce is probably the most popular and recognizable of sauces; most of us have been enjoying tomato sauce since childhood. Tomato sauce relies on the breakdown, reduction and concentration of tomatoes for its flavor.
Hollandaise uses emulsification, the technique of using a binding agent to blend two items that do not mix well together. For hollandaise, it’s butter and lemon. This is a masterful sauce and technique – you don’t want to break your sauce. To make a successful hollandaise, you must temper your eggs so that they do not curdle.
Although not included in the classic five, pestos, pistous and chimichurris, as well as sweet sauces like fruit and chocolate sauces, arguably deserve a place on this list.
The 5 Essential Paleo Sauces
Classic cooking techniques, like building a proper sauce, are more of a foundation than a rule. Once you know how a classic roux works and what it can do for a sauce, you become more comfortable with experimenting.
You may think these classic Mother Sauces do not leave room for Paleo-friendly preparations, but here are some fantastic versions of these classics.
Think of Paleo elements that can give your sauce a creamy effect. Blended cauliflower, avocado, cashews, mustard – even a Paleo-friendly roux made from arrowroot and butter or coconut oil will have you back on the delicious, creamy sauce wagon.
Pestos and Pistous
Think of these herbaceous sauces like an equation: you have garlic, oil, and lemon. Then simply plug in herbs, greens, spices and nuts if you desire.
Sugar-Free Tomato Sauce
Tomato sauce in its basic form is already Paleo. There are many variations and additions that make this classic sing. Just make sure to leave out the sugar found in some recipes.
Use the drippings from a roast, sautéed veggies, reducing vinegars – all sauces that you can make stovetop and use as glazes and gravies. With pan sauces, we merge velouté and espagnole from the classic sauce world.
Hollandaise and Aiolis
These are easily made Paleo. Use of high-quality egg yolks, oil or grass-fed butter, and acid make for a Paleo version of this rich classic. Adding herbs, spices and other additions is a fun way to spice up this saucy staple.
(Check Out More Paleo Recipe Ideas: 21 Deliciously Healthy Paleo Salads)