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6 Scrumptious Low-Calorie Sauces

Full of flavor and low on calories, these healthy takes of your favorite sauces are perfect to drizzle over veggies, proteins, and carbs.

The right sauce can make all the difference when you're dieting. Sadly, most of our favorite dressings are high in calories, fat, and sugar, not to mention more than a few nasty additives we'd be better off without. Despair no more! These six scrumptious sauces are not only much lower in calories than their store-bought kin, they're also made with delicious, wholesome ingredients that will leave your taste buds dancing for joy.

1. Sweet and Sour Sauce

This Asian-inspired sauce is perfect for dipping spring rolls and pot stickers, and it makes a delectable glaze for chicken and shrimp! Did I mention it tastes even better than the bottled stuff for less than half the calories? Mmm hmm.

Ingredients

Orange Juice 1 cup


Natural Rice Vinegar 1/4 cup


Truvia brown sugar 1-1/2 tbsp


natural ketchup 2 tbsp


cold water 2 tbsp


cornstarch 1 tbsp


red pepper 1 dash


Directions
  1. Combine orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup in a small saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine water and cornstarch to make a slurry, then add to saucepan.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir until thickened.
  5. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 27
Total Fat0.1 g
Total Carbs7 g
Protein0 g

2. Pesto Sauce

I love traditional Italian pesto! Unfortunately, a two-tablespoon serving packs 100-160 calories—not the best bang for your dietary buck. This lighter version has less than 50 calories for the same amount, plus it has all that authentic flavor we love. Try it spread over salmon or chicken, mixed with pasta, or used as a dip with crisp breads!

Ingredients

Packed fresh basil leaves 2 cups


water 1/2 cup


grated parmessan cheese 1/4 cup


pine nuts (toasted) 2 tbsp


olive oil 1 tbsp


garlic 3 cloves


Kosher salt 1/2 tsp


Directions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden.
  2. Add toasted pine nuts and all other ingredients to a blender or food processer.
  3. Blend or process until smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 43
Total Fat3.8 g
Total Carbs1 g
Protein2 g
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3. Tzatziki Sauce

This classic Greek sauce is already pretty healthy, but it can be hard to find at some stores. But why buy what you can easily make at home? You won't run out of uses for it! Tzatziki is delicious in wraps and fish tacos, spread over turkey burgers, or used as a dip for chicken skewers, fresh vegetables, and pita chips.

Ingredients

Nonfat plain Greek yogurt 1 cup


Cucumber 1/2 cup


garlic clove 1 minced


fresh dill 1-1/2 tsp


kosher salt 1/4 tsp


white pepper (optional)


Directions
  1. Strain off excess liquid from yogurt, and add to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Peel one medium cucumber and scoop out seeds. Grate cucumber using a box grater and squeeze out excess liquid in a paper towel.
  3. Add cucumber, minced garlic, and remaining ingredients to yogurt, stirring until smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 20
Total Fat0.1 g
Total Carbs2 g
Protein3 g

4. Tartar Sauce

I can't tell you how many times I've checked the nutrition facts panel on a jar of tartar sauce, only to hang my head and put it back on the shelf. Well, no more! This tartar sauce is amazing—even better than the fast-food kind—for less than half the calories. Try it on salmon burgers, oven "fried" fish, and even in tuna or egg salad!

Ingredients

nonfat greek yogurt 1/2 cup


light mayo 1/4 cup


dill pickle (finely chopped) 1/4 cup


white or green onion (finely chopped) 3 tbsp


dijon mustard 1 tsp


pickle juice 1 tsp


lemon juice 1 tsp


Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, stirring until smooth.
  2. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 29
Total Fat1.8 g
Total Carbs2 g
Protein2 g

5. Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Tired of searching for a low-cal ranch dressing that tastes halfway decent? Look no further! This creamy dressing adds Mexican flare to salads, wraps, loaded baked potatoes, and more. It even makes an incredible marinade for chicken!

Ingredients

nonfat greek yogurt 1 cup


cilantro (chopped) 1/2 cup


Jalapeño (seeded and minced) 1 medium


Dry ranch dressing mix (optional) 2-3 tbsp


lime juice 1/4 cup


Directions
  1. Strain off excess liquid from Greek yogurt and add to blender along with remaining ingredients.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 19
Total Fat0 g
Total Carbs2 g
Protein3 g

6. Homemade Barbecue Sauce

This sweet and tangy sauce has fewer calories and less sugar than your typical bottled brand, and cuts out high-fructose corn syrup and other yucky additives. It's finger-lickin' good over pulled pork or slow-cooker chicken, mixed with turkey meatloaf, drizzled over salad, or slathered over flatbread pizza.

Ingredients

tomato sauce 1 cup


apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup


Worcestershire sauce 3 tbsp


truvia brown sugar 2 tbsp


Pyure organic stevia blend  2 tbsp


garlic powder 1 tsp


onion powder 1/2 tsp


mustard powder 1/2 tsp


Liquid smoke (optional) 1/4 tsp


hot pepper sauce (optional) 1 dash


Directions
  1. Add tomato sauce and remaining ingredients to a medium saucepan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring every so often until thickened.
  3. Store in the fridge up to one week.


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 25
Total Fat0.1 g
Total Carbs7 g
Protein0 g
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