54 condiments you should add to your next meal

JFXie/FlickrWhipped cream is classic.
  • Everyone has a few condiments they love.
  • We rounded up dozens you should try.
  • Whipped cream is good even right out of the can.
  • Honey Dill doesn’t sound like a combination that should work, but it really does.

With so many condiments out there, it feels like there’s one for every meal. There’s sweet, savoury, thin, thick, and everything in between.

While it’s already not easy to have a favourite condiment, just wait until you learn about ones you don’t know yet. Here is a list of nearly every condiment you could ever need – but maybe haven’t tried.

Of course it’s impossible to list every condiment known to man, but these are definitely notable.


Mayonnaise is often used on sandwiches or to dip things in.

Su-Lin / FlickrIt’s typically made using egg yolks.

Made from egg yolk, oil, and vinegar, mayonnaise is a creamy addition to any dish. It has many different uses around the world, often being used as a sandwich spread in the US and as something to dip fries in around Europe.


There are few dishes soy sauce doesn’t make better.

ShutterstockIt’s often served with sushi.

Soy sauce is a simple condiment that turns anything from rice to vegetables, into an extraordinary meal. It’s made of fermented soybeans, salt, and water and gives an umami kick to any food.


The only question is what kind of mustard to choose.

Flickr/kristenIozaDijon mustard is one of the popular choices.

Crushed up mustard plant seeds provide the starting point for mustard. There are dozens of types of mustards used all over the world including honey mustard and dijon. In the US, you’ll often find them on top of a hot dog or sandwich.


Ketchup can be added to anything from french fries to sausages.

T.Dallas/ShutterstockIt’s perfect for dipping.

Fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, you can name any savoury food and it’s bound to taste good with some ketchup on it. Made up of tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and spices, the traditional condiment is likely a variation on a Chinese fermented fish sauce, according to National Geographic.


Fish sauce is a sweet addition to any meal.

ShutterstockIt’s commonly used in pad thai.

If you love pad thai, you’re already a fish sauce convert. The sauce is popular in a variety of Asian dishes. It’s created by coating fish in salt and leaving them to ferment. It makes a great addition to a chicken marinade or a dipping sauce.


Chutney is the base of some of your favourite foods.

FlickrThere are so many flavours.

A bit of chutney sauce or dry paste is typically used as a base in Indian cuisine. They can be made from a variety of ingredients from yogurt to nuts to spices. They are made by grinding fresh ingredients together.

Mint chutney is a delicious addition to samosas and coconut chutney can be added to rice.


Thousand island dressing has about a thousand tasty ingredients.

Flickr/jnd90745It’s a popular salad dressing.

With mayonnaise as its base, thousand island dressing combines ingredients such as olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, and mustard, just to name a few. It’s often used to top salads, but is even more commonly known as a “special sauce” on burgers and sandwiches.


Tartar sauce is kind of like a fancier version of mayonnaise.

jeffreyw/FlickrIt’s often paired with fish.

Tartar sauce is created with a base of either mayonnaise or aioli with diced pickles and various spices mixed in. Though its origins are unclear, today it makes a creamy topping for fried fish or a dipping sauce for fries.


Vinegar comes in all kinds, each more delicious than the last.

Veganbaking.net/FlickrApple cider vinegar is one of many types.

Balsamic, rice, red wine, there are so many different types of vinegar out there to try. They are the base of many other condiments but can be a delicious topping to a salad, sandwich, french fries and more.


Barbecue sauce is a sweet addition to any meat.

ShutterstockIt’s a great choice for grilled meats.

The origins of barbecue sauce are hard to trace and the sweet sauce can vary based on where in the US it is made, but many sauces features a tomato based with molasses or brown sugar added.

It can be added to nearly anything including smoked meats, burgers, wraps, wings, and more.


There’s something magical about the taste of truffle oil.

Joshua Resnick/ ShutterstockIt’s a key ingredient of truffle fries.

While some are created artificially, traditional truffle oil is made by infusing oil with truffles. It’s on the pricey side, but a little bit goes a long way.

It’s added from everything from fries to pasta and is usually seen as a finishing touch to any meal. The result is salty and savoury.


Once you discover aioli there’s no looking back.

Flickr/foodistaIt’s the perfect dipping sauce.

Take garlic, mix in some olive oil, maybe an egg or two and you have aioli. It can also be punched up with chilli, extra garlic, paprika, or any other spice. It is the dipping sauce fries were made for.


Harissa is red hot on any plate.

Wikimedia CommonsIt’s sometimes served with couscous.

Combining a variety of peppers including roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, and serrano peppers with herbs such as coriander seeds, harissa is as spicy as it is delicious. Its recipe and uses can vary between regions but it’s commonly added to rice dishes, soups, and to meat dishes.


Recreate some of your favourite dishes with brown sauce.

Flickr/tavallaiA drizzle goes a long way.

Brown sauce has a variety of uses and is commonly found in the UK and Ireland. It’s made up of tomatoes, molasses, dates, apples, vinegar, and a variety of spices. It’s a perfect addition to an English breakfast and can be added to red meats.


There’s a reason Sriracha is the trendiest condiment on the market.

Flickr/joyosityIt’s also perfect for drizzling onto popcorn.

This spicy sauce is made up of just a few simple ingredients including chilli peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. Although some may see it as a trendy new ingredient, it’s been used for nearly a century in Vietnamese and Thai cooking.

You can add it to anything, but it tastes best when cutting through saucy foods like pho and stir-fry and even fried food like spring rolls.


A little wasabi goes a long way.

PANORAMe / ShutterstockIt’s commonly served with sushi.

Although we typically see Wasabi in paste form, it’s actually a plant, in the same family as mustard and horseradish, giving it its signature taste.

While people in Western countries may be used to seeing wasabi paste on the side of dishes such as sushi, in Japan, wasabi is just thrown right between the fish and the rice, giving it a spicy kick.


Salsa can be eaten on top of dishes or as a dip.

Shawn Allen/FlickrSometimes it has a spicy kick.

Originating in Mexico, salsa is made by combining chopped ingredients such as chilies and onions. When it’s a dip, it’s often tomato-based but, when used as a topping, it can be made with anything from pineapples to corn.

Salsa can be added to anything but is often used on tacos or tostadas.


Relish is most often found on a hot dog.

MSPhotographic/ShutterstockIt adds texture and flavour to any dish.

Relish can be any fruit or vegetables cooked and pickled. It is most often pickled cucumber and is commonly added to hamburgers and hot dogs.

The condiment became popular thanks to the Pennsylvania Dutch.


Sweet chilli sauce adds a kick to just about anything.

Flickr/mackarusYou can dip fried calamari in it, too.

Sweet chilli sauce is often paired with eggs rolls, spring rolls, and lettuce wraps. It is made from red chile peppers, rice wine vinegar, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar or honey. It is particularly popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and has started to become popular in the US.


Peri Peri is full of pepper.

Flickr/palmtreezswayinIt pairs well with chicken.

Peri-peri sauce is made from the African bird’s eye chilli and is often used on meats like chicken.

Africa’s bird’s eye chilli is the hottest pepper grown the continent but is hard to find elsewhere, so most modern recipes call for red bell pepper, chilli, paprika, black pepper, vinegar, oregano, and salt.


Horseradish has surprising origins.

Flickr/dongkwanIt has a kick.

Horseradish had many uses dating back to 1500 B.C. including an aphrodisiac, back pain medicine, and cough syrup. By the 1890s the horseradish market was thriving and it’s still used today.

Horseradish sauce is made with horseradish, sour cream, Dijon, and mayonnaise.


From salad to pizza, ranch is often used as a condiment.

EvelynGiggles/FlickrIt’s not only used on salads.

Ranch is most commonly used as a dressing or as a dipping sauce for pizza and wings.

The creamy dressing apparently dates back to the 1950s, when a couple living in a ranch called Hidden Valley were making a dry mix that everyone they knew became obsessed with. People would add their own mayonnaise or buttermilk at home.

It is basically comprised of dry herbs and mayonnaise.


Tahini is a sesame-based condiment.

Flickr/notahipsterIt can be used as a dressing or a dip.

Tahini paste is made with crushed sesame seeds and oil. It can sometimes be used as a nut-butter alternative and it’s also a key ingredient in hummus. When made into a sauce, it can top rice bowls and even be added to smoothies.


Who doesn’t need some hot sauce in their lives?

Steve Snodgrass/FlickrThere are so many levels of spice you can taste.

Hot sauce can be added to eggs, used as a sauce for wings, or poured on basically anything.

There are hundreds of types of hot sauces but the basic ingredients of any hot sauce are chilies, garlic, onions, salt, and oil.

Chillis, in general, have a history in Mexico and Bolivia, so hot sauce likely originated there.


Hoisin Sauce has glazed right into our lives.

Chansak Joe/ShutterstockIt pairs well with fried dumplings.

This sauce, which is a bit sweet and a bit sour, is made from soybeans, water, flour, garlic, and chilli.

It is often paired with shrimp, pork, and chicken and is a necessary ingredient in Peking duck.

The city of Peking is located in China, and the sauce most likely originated there.


Jam is sweet and is known for spreading perfectly on just about any type of bread.

Flickr/shoozYou can even get lingonberry jam.

Jam is a sweet spread, mostly used on toast that has a long history.

A recipe for jam first appeared in the world’s first known cookbook De Re Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking) in 1st century AD. It just got more and more popular from there.

At that time, it was just fruit heated with sugar or honey.

Now, you can make or buy jam in almost any flavour imaginable.


Not only is peanut butter incredibly filling, but it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Photo-Dave/ iStockIt can be spread on top of toast.

It is likely that the peanut plant was first discovered in South America, and it seems as if South American Inca Indians were the first to crush up peanuts, making it peanut butter.

The peanut butter we know and love now was created by Dr. John Harvey Kellog in 1895. A doctor in St. Louis reportedly used the peanut butter as a protein supplement for his older patients.

Peanut butter was formally introduced at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904.

Most peanut butter today is made with peanuts, sugar, and oil and you can even make it at home.


Pesto is often used a sauce for pasta but can be put on anything.

Andrey Starostin/ShutterstockIt pairs well with pasta.

Pesto originated in Genoa, Italy in the 16th century.

It is most commonly made with basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, and garlic but more recently people have begun making pesto with kale,almonds, and lots of other alternatives.

It can be mixed with pasta, slathered on a sandwich, or simple used as a dip.


A drop of toasted sesame oil and you’re all set.

ShutterstockSometimes it’s used when making scallion pancakes

The use of sesame oil dates back to 600 B.C.

It is now used for tempura and stir fry but can add an interesting taste to any dish.


With glutinous rice as an ingredient, gochujang is bound to be good.

Flickr/anokarinaIt’s a type of chilli paste.

Originating in Korea, gochujang is another chilli paste, with a twist.

Ingredients such as glutinous rice and chilli powder keep this condiment fresh. You can use it to marinade meat or simple as a spicy dipping sauce.


Hailing from down under, try Vegemite if you dare.

Sir Mildred Pierce / FlickrIt’s commonly spread on toast.

Vegemite is a very popular Australian spread that is mostly put on toast and is made from leftover brewer’s yeast extract.

The spread has existed since 1922 and can be found in nine out of 10 pantries in Australia. Still people have some seriously strong opinions about the stuff.


Miso is a base for many dishes.

Flickr/www.bluewaikiki.comMiso soup wouldn’t be the same without it.

Miso’s origin goes back to China in 4th century B.C. It was introduced in Japan during 7th century B.C. It is made from fermenting soybeans, wheat, alcohol, and salt.

It’s the not-so-secret ingredient behind miso soup, but when used in paste form, you can use it to marinade meat or even to add to baked goods.


Caesar dressing is the key part of a popular salad.

SQUAMISH / iStockIt’s the real hero of Caesar salad.

No, Caesar salad dressing doesn’t have anything to do with Julius Caesar. In fact, the popular dressing was in invented in Mexico.

Legend has it that in 1924 in Tijuana, a restaurant owner Caesar Cardini noticed that lots of Americans were coming to Mexico to get away from Prohibition. On the Fourth of July, Cardini threw together a dressing with the only things he had in his kitchen and Caesar dressing was created.

Now, the dressing is commonly made with garlic, anchovy paste, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and mayonnaise. It can be used to top salads, but is also used in wraps and sandwiches.


Steak sauce is A1.

Mike Mozart/FlickrIt’s a staple at most steakhouses.

Steak sauce is generally made with ketchup, onion, garlic, water, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, and soy sauce.

As its name implies it is typically used for steak but can also be used for hamburger and chilli.

It seems as if the sauce was invented in the 1830s by Henderson William Brand who was a cook for King George IV.


What’s better than pancakes and maple syrup?

Maple syrup seems to go hand in hand with waffles and pancakes.

Maple syrup has been around for about 300 years but the actual story of its discovery is disputed. Since syrup comes directly from maple trees it’s likely more than one someone just discovered it one day..

Syrup most commonly comes from Vermont, New York, or Canada.


Whipped cream is good even right out of the can.

JFXie/FlickrPut it on your waffles or ice cream sundaes.

The French term for whipped cream was first written in print 1692. The process to get whipped cream used to be a lot more difficult before it became more easily available in the 19th century.

You can make your own by mixing sugar and whipping cream together in a cold bowl.


Oyster sauce is a great compliment to soy sauce.

Flickr/John ThompsonIt’s a tasty way to add flavour to vegetables.

Oyster sauce happened by accident. In 1888 Lee Kum Sheung, a restaurant owner in South China, left a pot of oyster soup over the flame and it boiled into a gravy. And oyster sauce was born.

Making your own is a little complicated but the ingredients needed are oysters, soy sauce, and salt. Today it’s often added to stir frys and can add a salty kick to rice dishes.


Sour cream can be a cool relief from heat.

farbled/ShutterstockIt adds some creaminess to any dish.

Sour cream can be added to virtually any food.

It is made by adding lactic acid-producing bacteria to cream. Some sour creams sold in the store contain rennet, gelatin, flavoring agents, vegetable enzymes, sodium citrate, and salt.

It likely originated at the beginning of the 20th century in Eastern Europe.

Today people use it to top everything from dumplings to burritos and use it to make cookies.


Gravy is more than just a Thanksgiving staple.

Glory Foods/FlickrIt’s a holiday favourite.

Gravy might be associated with Thanksgiving in America, but it really can be used all year around.

No one really seems to know the origin, but at the end of the day, it is a pretty simple sauce.

It basically is just flour and beef or chicken stock, but lots of premixed packages are now sold where all you have to do is add water. It makes a perfect topping for potatoes or meat.


Everything tastes better with a little butter.

FlickrEspecially when melted.

Butter was first referenced 4,500 years ago on a limestone tablet. It was mostly used in India and was first used in religious ceremonies. It was used in ancient Greece cosmetically.

Butter is made by churning milk or cream until the butterfat separates from the liquid and you can butter.

It’s no secret that you can use butter on top of nearly anything from bread to potatoes to steak.


Currywurst sauce accompanies an iconic dish.

Currywurst sauce as it is known is really just curry ketchup. It’s the main event in an iconic German fast-food called, you guessed it, currywurst. Currywurst is a fried sausage doused in this sauce and often served with french fries.


Cream cheese is one cool spread.

INSIDERPlus, cream cheese can be mixed with so many flavours and toppings.

Cream cheese was apparently invented in 1872 when William Lawrence tried to recreate Neufchatel (a French cheese) but ended up with cream cheese.

Cream cheese is made with cream, milk, and lactic acid and makes a perfect companion to bagels, sandwiches, and more.


Chimichurri is often green but can also be red.

ShutterstockIt goes with meat.

This sauce pairs best with meat and is made with chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. It’s popular in Argentina and Uruguay. Though the green version is most often seen, when tomatoes and bell pepper are added, it makes chimichurri rojo.


Hollandaise Sauce is beloved in France.

avlxyz/FlickrEggs Benedict wouldn’t be the same without it.

You get hollandaise if you mix together egg yolk, butter, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne papper.

Hollandaise comes from Normandy, France. The sauce is first mentioned in a 1651 cookbook called “The French Cook.” The rest was history.


Olive oil is very useful.

Matthew Eisman/Getty ImagesIt adds some smooth flavour.

Olives themselves have a very long history, most likely originating in the Mediterranean 6,000 years ago. Olive oil was known to be used in Spain, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

The process of getting olive oil from olives is a bit complicated but this is a simple version: olives are (supposed to be) hand-picked, pressed into a paste, mixed with water, put through a machine that discards of the paste and collects the liquid, and the liquid is refined.

Today you can certainly cook with it but it also makes a delicious addition to pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread.


Teriyaki sauce pairs with lots of things.

ShutterstockIt adds a bit of sweetness to any dish.

People believe that teriyaki sauce originated in Hawaii when Japanese immigrants settled there. Teriyaki was originally thought of as a cooking method in Japan but in Hawaii, they are said to have blended soy sauce with pineapple juice as an early version of the sauce.

The marinade is now made with soy sauce, water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, oil, onions, garlic powder, and ginger.


Chocolate syrup adds sweetness to sundaes.

Flickr/photogmateoIt’s a sundae staple.

Chocolate syrup actually had a medical start. Hershey’s chocolate powder was mixed with medicine to hide the taste. It was also used for people with a disease because it added extra calories and had caffeine-like properties.

As chocolate, in general, began becoming more popular at the beginning of the 20th century, Hershey’s started selling chocolate syrup (still with medicine) at pharmacies in either single or double strength. Eventually, chocolate syrup became primarily known as a chocolate-y treat.

Today it’s used to top ice cream and other desserts or make chocolate milk.


When in doubt, tzatziki it out.

Klearchos Kapoutsis/FlickrIt’s a crucial part of a gyro.

Tzatziki originated in the Mediterranean but has become a popular part of Greek, Turkish, and Persian foods.

It is typically made with yogurt, cucumbers, dill, lemon juice, and olive oil. It’s a perfect toping for a gyro or other meat dishes and also makes a great dip.


Hummus isn’t just a dip.

Flickr/Hungry DudesIt’s perfect for dipping carrots into.

It is a bit difficult to pin down the exact origin of hummus, but the chickpea originated in Turkey.

Hummus is commonly served with Middle Eastern dishes and can be easily made at home with chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, water, and olive oil. You can dip pita or veggies into it, but it’s also great for topping sandwiches, rice dishes, and meat.


Ponzu is a thin salty sauce.

Flickr/dongkwanIt’s got a thin consistency.

Ponzu can be made with just five ingredients: soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon vest, mirin, katsuobushi, and kombu.

We often see it used in poke bowls but it can be added as a sauce to many things.

The origin is a bit of a mystery but it seems to have originated in Japan.


Honey Dill doesn’t sound like a combination that should work but it really does.

ShutterstockDried dill is a key ingredient.

This little-known condiment comes from Manitoba, Canada. It is produced by Greetalia and is hard to find outside of the province.

If you want to try this at home, mix mayonnaise, dill weed, and honey. It tops anything from fries to chicken.


What would shrimp be without cocktail sauce?

Flickr/jeffreywwCocktail sauce and shrimp is a classic appetizer.

No one seems to sure about where this sauce came from, but one account is that in the late 1800s- early 1900s Ernest Arbogast at the Palm Court at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco used a sauce similar to the one we know today on a dish called “oysters Kirkpatrick.” That sauce had ketchup, chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and A.1. steak sauce.

Current recipes list ketchup, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and hot sauce as ingredients.


Nutella is a popular hazelnut and chocolate spread.

Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesIt’s a sweet addition to toast.

Though this rich spread originated in Italy during World War II, it’s now loved the world over. It’s made with chocolate, hazelnuts, skim milk, and sugar. You can often find it topping bread or pancakes or eaten with a spoon.


Honey can sweeten up any dish.

ShutterstockYou can add it to yogurt, too.

Honey is a naturally occuring product from bees and as such, people have been eating it for more than 10,000 years. Today, you can find it sweetening up tea, topping toast, or added to oatmeal.

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