A good sauce can improve most foods. That simple poached chicken breast and those quick roasted vegetables are crying out for a little saucy accessory.

Occasionally, that means whipping up a quick pan sauce; other times it means breaking into your stash of compound butter. Below, we’ve gathered several recipes to improve your homemade condiment cache. You can put these sauces on, truly, anything.

Salsa Verde, above. The Italian-style sauce comes together in about five minutes and lends color and punch to anything it graces. We spooned it over a simple pan-fried cod fillet, but try it on chicken, pork, roasted vegetables and drizzled over bean- and grain-based salads. Also feel free to play with the ratio and types of herbs — when we made it, we were out of fresh mint and subbed in dry instead.



(Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick)

Everything Oil. It’s infused with garlic, chile, bay and thyme. Use the oil in marinades, brush it on toast, drizzle over roasted vegetables or into bowls of soup, or saute fish or chicken in it.



(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Lemon, Garlic and Herb Yogurt. A yogurt sauce makes most things better, especially when it’s as simple as stirring together Greek-style yogurt, dill, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

All-Purpose Barbecue Sauce. Some people love barbecue sauce so much that they pour it on way more than meat from a grill. Tacos, pizza, french fries, chicken nuggets, steaks, roasted cauliflower — nothing is sacred. If that sounds like you, then you’ll probably enjoy this homemade version made with ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Miso Dressing. Super simple, yet versatile enough to use on leafy greens, roasted vegetables, meat, tofu and noodles.



(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Go-To Salted Caramel Sauce. We said sauces to put on anything, and we meant it! Here’s one for your sweet things: It’s salty enough to have character and bitter enough to make it endearing.

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