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These three easy sauce recipes go with everything, and are perfect for your Memorial Day BBQ—and all the summer grilling sessions to come.

Secret’s in the sauce, and we’re not talking about the felony-warranting “Fried Green Tomatoes” kind. Grills are getting fired up everywhere as summer officially approaches. Therefore, it’s time to perfect your sauce making and basting skills so that you can impress all of your BBQ and socially distant 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 | The Best Store-Bought 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).

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Chimichurri Sauce


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. It just so happens to be naturally keto-friendly too. Get our Argentine Chimichurri recipe. And if you’re down with all the fresh herbs but want something a little creamier and spicier too, try Peruvian aji verde sauce; it works with all the same things as chimichurri.

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.

Related Reading: How to Have a Keto BBQ | The Best Places to Buy Meat Online


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.

Related Reading: The Best Places to Buy Fresh Seafood Online

Everything Else You Need to Know

Our Best Grilling Tips, Techniques, Tricks, and Tools to Boost Your BBQ IQ
Joey is a NYC-based writer/editor, TV/radio personality, editor-at-large for Chowhound, author of "Basic Bitchen," and host of "Dish This." His work has been featured in outlets like Food & Wine, People, InStyle, Travel+Leisure, and BuzzFeed. Prior to a career in editorial, he served as the lead publicist for hit TLC shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," "My Strange Addiction," and "My Crazy Obsession." In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, visiting the beaches of Naples, Fla. (his hometown), worshipping Beyoncé, eating sour candy, writing depressing poetry, interior design, and perfecting his stand-up comedy routine. He's also been struck by lightning—quite the shocking experience.
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