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20 Best Mediterranean Sauces

20 Best Mediterranean Sauces

Explore the best Mediterranean sauces in this collection, along with our top 5 suggested picks and creative inspirations for how to make the most of them.

The Mediterranean is renowned for its beautiful scenery, long history, and delicious food. The food in this region is known for its balanced flavors, bright colors, and interesting textures. 

Central to this culinary tradition is the captivating Mediterranean sauces, which not only add flavor and complexity to dishes but also reflect the different cultures of the Mediterranean countries. From Spain’s sunny beaches to Greece’s rocky coastlines, these sauces can transform simple ingredients into amazing meals.

If you’re new to Mediterranean cuisine and want to explore its world of sauces, we’ve gathered this list of the best Mediterranean sauces for you.

Top 5 Recipe Picks

No time to lose? Let’s make it quick. Here are the faves:

  1. #2 Salmoriglio is simple to make with only 6 ingredients. 
  2. #8 Pistou is based on a traditional Provençal sauce, which gives it a unique flavor.
  3. #11 Puttanesca Sauce takes only 30 minutes, from start to finish. 
  4. #15 Salsa Verde is bright and herbaceous, with an umami depth from the anchovies. 
  5. #19 Béchamel uses traditional ingredients and methods for making the sauce.

Ways To Use Mediterranean Sauces

Mediterranean sauces are known for their vibrant flavors and versatility. Here are some ways you can use them to enhance your meals:

  • Pasta. Toss sauces like pesto, marinara, or puttanesca with pasta, veggies, and protein.
  • Grilled meats. Marinade meats with sauces like chimichurri or tzatziki before grilling.
  • Sandwiches and wraps. Spread hummus, tahini, or pepper spread on sandwiches.
  • Dips. Serve hummus, baba ganoush, or tzatziki with veggies and pita.
  • Salad dressings. Mix pesto, tapenade, or vinaigrette into salads.
  • Roasted vegetables. Drizzle harissa over roasted veggies.
  • Pizza. Use pesto or tapenade as a pizza base and top as desired.
  • Fish and seafood. Pair yogurt sauce or tomato sauce with fish.
  • Stuffed vegetables. Fill veggies with grains and sauce, and bake.
  • Quinoa or grain bowls. Drizzle sauce over grains, add veggies, cheese, and more.

Best Mediterranean Sauces

1. Romesco

This recipe for Romesco sauce is easy to make and uses simple ingredients you already have on hand. The sauce is thickened with almonds and bread, giving it a rich and creamy texture.

2. Salmoriglio

This Southern Italian sauce includes olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt. It’s used as a condiment for grilled fish or meats, but it can also be used as a marinade or salad dressing.

3. Basil Pesto

This authentic basil pesto recipe comes together in 10 minutes with fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil. It’s ideal for pasta, sandwiches, or dipping vegetables.

4. Aioli

Aioli is a creamy Mediterranean sauce that elevates sandwiches, fries, seafood, and veggies with its rich garlic-infused taste. You can either crush or mince the garlic, and the lemon juice can be either freshly squeezed or from a bottle.

5. Chermoula

Chermoula is a North African sauce featuring fresh herbs, garlic, citrus, and warm spices. While its traditional use involves marinating seafood or meats, it can also serve as a dip or flavor enhancer for vegetables.

6. Harissa

Harissa is a North African chili sauce with dried red chilies, garlic, citrus, olive oil, and spices. It has a smoky, spicy flavor and is used to flavor tagines, soups, and stews.

7. Pipérade

Piperade is a classic Gascon and Basque dish with sautéed onions, green peppers, and tomatoes flavored with Espelette pepper. It’s served as a side dish or appetizer or as a filling for omelets or crepes.

8. Pistou

A simple yet flavorful sauce from the Provence region of France, pistou calls for basil, garlic, olive oil, and salt. It’s often served as a garnish on vegetable soup or pasta or as a dip for vegetables.

9. Sauce Rouille

Rouille sauce is a French mayonnaise flavored with saffron, garlic, and cayenne pepper. It’s served with seafood dishes, such as bouillabaisse, but it also works well as a dip for vegetables or a spread for sandwiches.

10. Alioli Garlic Sauce

Alioli is a garlic mayonnaise sauce from Spain. It’s made by blending garlic, salt, water, and lemon juice together, then slowly adding olive oil until the sauce thickens.

11. Puttanesca Sauce

This recipe is quick and easy to make. The anchovies, olives, and capers add a briny, umami depth to the sauce, while the garlic and chili pepper flakes give it a bit of heat.

12. Marinara Sauce

This tomato-based sauce is ideal for pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes. The key to the sauce is to use high-quality ingredients and simmer it for a long time to allow the flavors to develop.

13. Arrabbiata Sauce

Arrabbiata sauce is best served with pasta and is known for its spicy flavor. The name “arrabbiata” means “angry” in Italian, and this is said to be a reference to the heat of the sauce.

14. Sofrito

Sofrito is a Spanish and Latin American culinary staple, a flavorful base of aromatic vegetables and herbs. Roughly chopped vegetables are blended in a food processor until they create a thick paste.

15. Salsa Verde

Italian salsa verde has a zingy, herby flavor that is perfect for dipping bread, topping meats and fish, or adding to salads and sandwiches. Prepare the sauce in advance and keep it refrigerated for a maximum of two weeks.

16. Gremolata

Gremolata is a simple and versatile condiment that can be used to liven up any dish, from grilled meats and fish to roasted vegetables and pasta. It’s also a great way to add a pop of color to your plate.

17. Samfaina

Samfaina is cooked slowly over low heat until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together. It can be served as a side dish or as a base for fideuà (a Catalan noodle dish) or arròs negre (a Catalan black rice dish).

18. Alfredo Sauce

This easy recipe shows you how to make classic Alfredo sauce from scratch in 15 minutes! It adds a touch of cornstarch to thicken the sauce and make it more versatile. 

19. Béchamel

This recipe requires only three ingredients. Achieving a delicious béchamel sauce involves cooking the roux until it reaches a light golden brown color, avoiding excessive darkness, which could result in a bitter flavor. 

20. La Sauce Vierge

This sauce uses fresh, seasonal ingredients that are in season in the Mediterranean region, where the sauce originated. It’s best made a few hours in advance to allow the flavors to meld.

The bottom line

These Mediterranean sauces are made with fresh ingredients like olive oil, herbs, and spices. They add different flavors and excitement to dishes like pasta, grilled meats, vegetables, seafood, and other Mediterranean favorites. Using these sauces in your cooking can help you experience the diverse flavors of Mediterranean cuisine–so don’t miss out on these sauces!

More About Mediterranean

20 Best Mediterranean Sauces

20 Best Mediterranean Sauces

These Mediterranean sauces will add a Mediterranean twist to your cooking, ranging from romesco to béchamel.


  • Romesco
  • Salmoriglio
  • Basil Pesto
  • Aioli
  • Chermoula
  • Harissa
  • Pipérade
  • Pistou
  • Sauce Rouille
  • Alioli Garlic Sauce
  • Puttanesca Sauce
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Arrabbiata Sauce
  • Sofrito
  • Salsa Verde
  • Gremolata
  • Samfaina
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Béchamel
  • La Sauce Vierge


  1. Find your favorite sauce from our Mediterranean Sauces list.
  2. Gather all the ingredients needed.
  3. If you love it, don't forget to share where you got it!

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