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Calorie Count Blog

7 Low-Calorie Sauce Recipes

By +Carolyn Richardson on Oct 12, 2013 10:00 AM in Healthy Eating

For me it’s sauce season. Summer was all about exploiting the plethora of in-season fruit… but now that it’s Fall, I’m reminded of all the fragrant spices at my fingertips. While finding the most fresh spices my farmer’s market has to offer, learning how to mix them well to give familiar dishes a flavorful pick-me-up, is my latest food endeavor. Here are 7 sauces on my list that are under 120 calories per serving.

Mango Lime Sauce

Green onions, sweet fruit and a citrus twist is always a recipe for scrumptiousness. This sauce is great on not-so-fishy fish such as tilapia, salmon, and even shrimp. It’s also a great way to liven up a vegetable mix or drizzle over grilled kabobs. This sauce shouldn’t be stored more than a day or so before being eaten, but with it’s delightful flavor, it won’t be if you don’t make too much.

Chimichurri Sauce

This argentine pesto is a great turn from the often high-calorie pine nuts and parmesan concoction we all know and love. Try making two versions of this sauce, one as a dry rub without the red wine vinegar and olive oil for beef or potato dishes. Use the traditional recipe to add to rice pilaf or as a veggie sandwich spread or to top hard-boiled eggs.

Mustard Sauce

This sauce is high in sodium due to the mustard, but it will add some much needed zest to drab poultry dishes such as chicken or pork. Add to sandwiches, wraps, and root vegetables such as pureed carrots or turnips or use drizzle on slices of jicama.

Orange Sauce

Asian dishes are usually full of vegetables, a healthy amount of grains, and of course sauce of all kinds. While you can opt for add chili paste, soy sauce, or other simple sauces, we’re all fans of a little fruit addition. I love fresh-cut pineapple in a stir-fry but I’m even weaker for orange chicken. This sauce can be used as a marinade, dip, or added to any dish hot or cold.

Pineapple Salsa

Salsa has always been a go-to sauce for calorie counters as it’s simple ingredients are naturally low calorie. As long as you don’t go the way of adding sugar, oil, or salt, a basic salsa of tomato, chiles, cilantro and other herbs will get your salsa where it’s going. Add pineapple and some heat like chili powder or cayenne pepper and you’ve got yourself a sweet surprise. Use as you would traditional salsa, there are no rules on this one!

Homemade Pasta Sauce

This veggie-tized recipe is tasty and full of fiber unlike most pasta sauces. It also excludes the usual calorie-hikers of sugar and oil commonly added to ready-made pasta sauces. Try using Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes instead of having to add the oregano, basil, or other Italian seasonings if you’re pushed for time. Look for low-sodium versions though, as some may have an ample amount of added salt.

Garlic Garbanzo Sauce

If you haven’t clicked the link above, I’m not talking hummus here. Garbanzo sauce is usually used on pasta dishes. I’ve provided a creamy recipe above, but many people add pureed garbanzo beans to regular pasta sauce as well. So instead of that cheesy alfredo, try this recipe with your favorite Italian favorites.

Your thoughts...

What are your favorite sauces right around the 100 calorie mark?


Really ?  First there's hardly any complete recipes to make them & then they're loaded w/ sodium. Also in the newsletter is an article reporting the dangers of sodium. Please get your act together, unsubscribe.

I quickly glanced at the orange sauce and read "Sodium 903mg".  I then rubbed my eyes and looked again and yup, that's what it said.  I like this site and save your newsletters, but your credibility has just taken a huge hit.  I'm certainly not interested in looking at other recipes now, and I question your integrity in general for promoting something like this.  ESRD is very ugly, and sodium intake of this proportion will, of course, hurt your pressure and kidneys.  There is more to good health than calories.  This is beyond disappointing and you should be embarrassed.  I'm torn on whether to unsubscribe.   smh

"Drab poultry dishes such as chicken or pork"?  Last I checked, pork wasn't from a bird.  And why would either of these be "drab"?  If your meat doesn't taste good, you should be getting better meat or learning how to cook it properly.


Looks like most of the sodium in the orange sauce comes from the soy sauce.  I'd replace it with a low-sodium soy sauce.  Should take care of a lot of that.  :)

I'm confused by the recipe for chimichurri sauce. Are the numbers on the right side of the ingredient list supposed to indicate calories? if so the olive oil calories are way off! 1/4 cup olive oil is NOT 72 calories.

walkingsteph, the calories are per serving.

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