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5 Make-Ahead Sauces for Ultra Fast Weeknight Dinners

Need to rescue a dry piece of chicken or a really boring dinner? These simple sauces will save dinner, and make everything a whole lot tastier. All of these sauces can be made in advance and stored in the fridge or the freezer, ready to be plucked out for that busy weeknight dinner.

1. Best Marinara Sauce Yet

When you make this marinara sauce, make a large batch, because it really is that good. Use what you need for dinner, then pack the rest into ziplock bags and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Once you've defrosted your pouch of marinara sauce you can use it on flatbread pizzas, serve it with pasta, or with grilled chicken and Parmesan.

Best Marinara Sauce Yet

Photo by Holiday Baker

2. Chef John's Mushroom Gravy

If homemade gravy scares you, then this recipe is going to change all that. This 5-ingredient gravy is as easy as it gets. You can make a batch ahead of time and keep it in ziplock bags in the freezer to serve over steaks, roast chicken, meatloaf or pork chops.

Chef Johns Mushroom Gravy

Photo by KGora

3. Thai Peanut Sauce

This no-cook peanut sauce is ready in 15 minutes. You can make it ahead and store it in a mason jar in the fridge for up to three days. Add it to noddle salads, use it in a stir-fry, or serve it with some grilled meat.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Photo by Meredith

4. Kathy's Award Winning Barbecue Sauce

Sure, you could buy barbecue sauce at the store, but homemade barbecue sauce is so much better. This sauce can be made in your slow cooker, making it even easier. Once you make it, store it in an airtight jar in the fridge and use it on wings, grilled steak, shredded beef etc.

Kathys Award-Winning Barbeque Sauce

Photo by GodivaGirl

5. Chimichurri Sauce

This exotic sounding sauce with garlic, parsley and oregano is a cinch to make. Think of it as a more versatile pesto. It's delicious with meat and fish, and makes any sandwich taste incredible. If you find yourself grilling a lot this summer, this is the special sauce that makes every meal special. Make a batch and store in the fridge for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Chimichurri Sauce

Photo by Raquel Teixeira


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About Vicky McDonald

Always looking for more cheese! I love to bake, potter about the garden, and drink lemony gin & tonics in the sun. I also blog at