There's a comforting familiarity to store-bought condiments—not only is that bottle of ketchup or jar of mayonnaise easy, but it always tastes the same. But the truth is that that consistent taste is often pretty mediocre. Making your own condiments gives you access to a vibrant palette of flavors that you'll never find in the supermarket. From barbecue sauce to guacamole, we've rounded up 40 of our favorite homemade condiment recipe.
Let's start with those two staples: ketchup and mayonnaise. Rather than a sweet, one-note ketchup you find at the store, try our version with smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mayonnaise might seem intimidating, but it's actually unbelievably easy to make—using an immersion blender you can whip it up in just 20 seconds with egg, mustard, vinegar, and canola oil. Adding garlic to the basic recipe gets you a tangy aïoli.
Compound butter is great for slathering on meat, seafood, or corn on the cob. Our seaweed butter, perfect for accompanying king crab legs, is made with white miso, ground nori, and Chinese hot mustard. For an another oceanic umami bomb, bonito flakes make a butter that will highlight the beefiness of a good steak.
Indian cuisine can be very spicy, and to counteract that it has many cooling condiments. Our cilantro-mint chutney is earthy, bright, and tangy—it’s a perfect complement for classic fried samosas. For taming a fiery curry, try kheera ka raita, a cucumber-tomato yogurt sauce.
Find all of these condiments and more in our collection of 40 global condiment recipes.
This tangy, fresh-tasting ketchup is easy to make at home.
Mayonnaise might seem like a foreign substance that you have to buy, but it’s actually incredibly fast and easy to make at home with an immersion blender.
This tangy dip, which makes a perfect sauce for steamed crab legs, gets a sweet-and-sour kick from ketchup, brandy, and sour cream.
With capers, shallots, and fresh parsley, this homemade classic boasts bigger flavor than the stuff most supermarkets sell in a jar. Get the recipe for Tartar Sauce »
Store-bought hot sauce can’t compare to the homemade version.
We developed this compound butter to accompany a gleaming Grilled Seafood Tower, but it works as well simply tossed with boiled noodles as a simple weeknight pasta dinner. Get the recipe for Seaweed Butter
While Brock insists that store-bought barbecue sauce will work perfectly well, a homemade version takes very little time and you can customize it to your tastes or whatever it is you’re cooking.
Use this fiery, smoky sauce to slather a gleaming Grilled Seafood Tower, to amp up ketchup for kicky burgers, or spoon a little over eggs for a breakfast that will truly wake you up.
This bright, tangy chutney is a great complement to samosas or curry.
Bright, earthy and spicy, this garlicky cilantro sauce hits all the right notes for a summer-time cook-out.
Roasted Garlic Chipotle Mayonnaise
Blue cheese dip is perfect for a traditional chicken wing, but this minty yogurt sauce is a great alternative if you want to mix things up.
This popular Japanese condiment, flavored with Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard powder, is the key sauce on a fried pork tonkatsu sandwich.
New York chef David Burke adds smokiness to his sauce with coffee beans.
This spicy sauce, made with tofu, red pepper paste, and soybean paste, is typically used in Korean cooking as a condiment for leaf-wrapped rice and meats.
Author Mei Chin’s fried tofu and bacon fritters are delicious plain or with sesame oil for dipping. But we love them with this classic sauce, which combines fresh herbs with a creamy base.
This simple recipe showcases the pure flavor of ripe avocados.
This quick and easy D.I.Y. pantry staple makes a great spread for sandwiches or dip for frites.
Truffle butter is an easy, elegant spread to pair with good bread.
This fragrant sauce is a bright accent to briny oysters, but it’s also delicious with clams, steamed crab legs, and shrimp.
This spicy, fragrant sauce is made from cilantro buds, Thai chiles, and fish sauce.
Use this salt from Jonathon Sawyer, chef of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, on game meats, veggies, or wherever you want a fragrant, foresty, and slightly Nordic note.
Austin, Texas, chef Andrew Wiseheart of Gardner uses this butter for poaching vegetables, but it would also be divine on grilled steak.
This salt from Ari Taymor of L.A.’s Alma gets its smoky-bright flavor from charred citrus zest. It’s great on meat and fish—and potato chips, too.
The fragrant charcoal-like dust in this clever morning mishap lends a nutty, smoky element to spice mixes and sauces, ice cream, chicken, and roasted vegetables.
Raw minced garlic combines with parsley and lemon zest in this vibrant garnish that cuts through the richness of grilled meats and fish, as well as osso buco, a specialty of its birthplace, Milan.
All around the world, fermented cabbage has been a life sustaining bridge between the fall harvest and the first green shoots of spring. There’s Eastern Europe’s sauerkraut, Korea’s kimchi, and Latin America’s lightly fermented curtido. This spicy slaw is a riff on that last condiment; it’s sweet but not too funky, and perfect alongside grilled fish or as a condiment for tacos.
This basic raita is a cooling counterpoint to fiery foods, thanks to its foundation of full-fat yogurt, cucumber, and mint. Plum tomatoes add a hint of acid, Thai chiles heat, and cumin a slight earthiness.
A bright, piquant mustard emulsion is one of several bold sauces that traditionally accompany pickled herring in Sweden. The sweet-tart fish is bathed in the piquant dressing, then heaped atop crunchy crispbread and devoured—ideally between shots of aquavit, especially at Swedish Midsummer celebrations.
This thick, spicy horseradish sauce enhances all kinds of smoked and cured fish. In Sweden it’s traditionally dolloped over pickled herring, where the creaminess of the sauce offsets the vinegary fish. The combination of sweet-tart fish and assertive sauce is a mainstay of the country’s Midsummer celebrations.
This apple butter contains nothing more than slow-roasted apples and a splash of cider.