Summer Sauce Recipes for Grilled Meat


Secret’s in the sauce, and we’re not talking about the felony-warranting “Fried Green Tomatoes” kind. Now that the grills have been fired up and summer is here, it’s time to perfect your sauce making and basting skills so that you can impress all of your BBQ and picnic guests.

Anyone who’s anyone knows that there are three versatile sauces that work with nearly every protein: barbecue, chimichurri, and romesco. You’re probably more familiar with the first one (#iwantmybabybackbabybackribs), though chimichurri and romesco offer herbaceous and peppery (respectively) departures from what your taste buds interpret as “tried and true.” And trying something new is always a good thing.

We’ve broken down the tasty trio below, including recipes and dishes where these sauces shine. Check them out!

BBQ Sauce

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What is barbecue sauce?

The ingredients differ by region and part of the globe, but (excepting white BBQ sauce) most include some variation of tomato paste, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, spices, and a sweet component like sugar or molasses. The sauce is extremely versatile, as it can be used as a dip, marinade, baste, or condiment. Get our Basic Barbecue Sauce recipe.

Related Reading: A Guide to Regional BBQ Sauces of America | Chowhound Recommends Our Favorite BBQ Sauces | The Best Keto & Paleo Barbecue Sauce to Buy

Dish Suggestion: Easy BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs

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Honestly, why should you ever mess up a good thing when you have it? These fall-off-the-bone ribs will put those annoyingly catchy Chili’s commercials to shame. But this BBQ sauce will also shine on chicken, pork shoulder, and even burgers. Get our Easy BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs recipe.

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Want to level up your barbecue sauce game with the addition of bourbon? Get our Bourbon-Bacon Barbecue Sauce recipe (also good on basically everything).

Chimichurri Sauce

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What is chimichurri sauce?

Used primarily in South American (Argentinian, predominantly) and Mexican dishes, this parsley-heavy sauce is blended with garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and red pepper flakes for a perfect component to grilled red meat, chicken, shrimp, or fish. Get our Argentine Chimichurri recipe.

Dish Suggestion: Argentine Grilled Tri-Tip

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Chimichurri shines as a cool topping on a hot piece of steak. An Argentinian tri-tip is a perfect option because it’s not only geographically thematic, but also capable of handling an excess amount of sauce. Get our Argentine Grilled Tri-Tip recipe.

Romesco Sauce

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What is romesco sauce?

Originating in northeastern Spain, this nut and red pepper-based sauce pairs perfectly with seafood but also works with pork and chicken. Common ingredients also include garlic, sunflower oil, vinegar, and other nuts and peppers, though you can essentially tailor it to meet your needs. Get our Romesco Sauce recipe.

Dish Suggestion: Roasted Shrimp with Romesco Sauce

Shrimp love a tomato bath, especially if it’s chock-full of spices, garlic, pine nuts, and other Spanish-derived flavors. Give them a dunk in this zesty romesco, which can also be used as a dip for fresh bread. Get our Roasted Shrimp with Romesco Sauce recipe.

Read More: Curtis Stone’s Easy Steak Sauce Is Fantastic | 9 Delicious Vegan Sauces to Put on Everything

Related Video: Smoked Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

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