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Use these home-made sauces for quick meals on a budget

How many of you have opened up your fridge only to find a few odd tomatoes, half an onion and maybe some leftover rice? Then you head to the freezer and find that there is even less to work with! Putting together a meal in the last days of the month needn’t be a dreary affair, with a few pantry staples and these quick-as-a-flash home-made sauces, dinner will be just as tasty as when the kitchen was still fully stocked after pay-day.

By Jana du Plessis


Starting with a roux (cooking a small amount of flour in melted butter), this is the mother of all sauces. Add some cheese and mix it with pasta and mushrooms to make our smoky mushroom mac ‘n’ cheese, or keep it simple and cover some veg with a blanket of creamy deliciousness.


This one is for those last bits of peanut butter stuck in the jar to avoid it going to waste. Mix the ingredients for the sauce straight in the jar, give it a shake and there you go! Drizzle it over our roast butternut or our peanut chicken noodles.


Tomato sauce must be every South African household’s favourite condiment. From burgers to sandwiches, chip dipping to hot dog smearing, we all love a squirt of the saucy red stuff. When in a pickle it’s easy to make your own with a tin of tomatoes, some sauteed onions and a few dashes and splashes of pantry seasoning. Make our thick tomato stew – perfect for a hearty meat dish or keep it light and dipping-friendly for crumbed chicken bits.


Technically it’s more of a spread than a sauce, but it’s so yummy, cheap and delicious, we just had to give it a mention. A simple blend of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic makes hummus a veggie protein powerhouse along with providing some healthy fats and fibre. Keep a jar of it in your fridge to eat with veggies, on top of toast or just have it by the spoonful when hunger strikes!

What’s your go-to sauce for tasty, easy and delicious recipes? Please share with us in the comments below.

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