How to Make Homemade Sauces

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After a long day, being creative in the kitchen can be a challenge. Even though you know that the dreaded question, "What's for dinner?" is coming your way, it's not always easy to come up with an answer — especially if you don't have the basics covered. When your cupboard leaves a lot to be desired, nothing takes your cooking game up a notch like making classic sauces from scratch. By learning how to whip up a few common sauces, you can turn even the most simple ingredients into amazing meals. Plus, you can keep batches on hand for future too-busy-to-cook nights. Suddenly, knowing what to make for dinner won't seem so intimidating.

(Image: eHow)

Concoct a Classic Tomato Sauce

Fresh tomatoes, aromatic basil and chopped garlic come together in this simple but flavorful Italian-style tomato sauce that will have your taste buds singing arias. Ladle it over pasta, or better yet, throw it on a pizza crust as a bright-tasting base for your favorite toppings!

(Image: Sweet Caroline's Cooking)

Blow Away Bottled Barbecue Sauce for Homemade

Searching for a barbecue sauce that tastes great, has no artificial preservatives and is super simple to make? Look no further, because this 30-minute barbecue sauce will save you time and add zest to your meat dishes. Put it on slow cooker pulled pork for an easy, no-hassle dinner that everyone will love.

(Image: Julia Mueller)

Improve Any Meal With Cheese Sauce

Beer cheese sauce takes tasty to a new level. This savory sauce is delicious on pretty much anything, including veggies. Pour it over some steamed broccoli or even a baked potato the next time you need to add something extra to your sides. Yes please!

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Improve Your Pasta Sauce

Reward your mouth with this roasted garlic pasta sauce. Rich-tasting roasted garlic really creates dynamic and delicious flavor for only a few extra minutes of prep time. Plus, the healthy benefits of garlic are tough to beat.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Increase Flavor With a Balsamic Reduction

While balsamic vinegar is most famous for its role in salad dressings, this kitchen staple has so much more to offer. In minutes, it can be turned into a sweet, tangy sauce that will transform even a ho-hum dish into something gourmet. Try it on grilled summer vegetables like zucchini or eggplant, or even as a drizzle over strawberries for something sweet.

(Image: Julia Mueller)

Heat Things Up with Buffalo Sauce

Bring the taste of your favorite hot wing spot home with buffalo chicken sauce. This recipe makes a phenomenal dip for chicken tenders, chopped veggies or quintessential chicken wings. Just be sure to have extra napkins around.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

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