The Mediterranean region is renowned for its vibrant cuisine, and one of the highlights is its variety of delicious sauces and dips.
Whether you’re looking for something to pair with grilled meats or want something to add a bit of flavor to your salad, these 16 Mediterranean sauces and dips are sure to hit the spot.
From creamy hummus to tangy tzatziki, these sauces and dips will add a touch of Mediterranean flair to any dish.
And the best part is that they are all easy to make at home.
So get ready to tantalize your taste buds with these flavorful Mediterranean sauces and dips!
What Are Mediterranean Sauces?
The term “Mediterranean sauce” refers to a wide range of sauces that are typically found in the Mediterranean region.
These sauces have been eaten in this part of the world for thousands of years, and they’ve been made from a variety of ingredients, including olive oil, vinegar, garlic, onions, tomatoes and various herbs.
Many people think that these sauces are only used as dips or condiments for food; however, many dishes are prepared using them as well.
16 Best Mediterranean Sauces & Dips
The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its variety of delicious sauces and dips.
Here are sixteen of the best sauces and dips that you can make to give your meals a taste of the Mediterranean:
Romesco sauce is a traditional Spanish sauce made from roasted red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, almonds, and olive oil.
It has a rich flavor that pairs well with fish or vegetables.
The sauce can be served hot or cold and is often used as a dip for breads or chips.
Romesco sauce can be used in many different recipes to add flavor and texture to dishes.
Try it on grilled vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant, spread it on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise, use it as a topping for fish tacos, mix it into pasta dishes for added creaminess, or serve it alongside grilled meats like chicken or steak.
For an extra kick of flavor, try adding some smoked paprika to the recipe.
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce or dip made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and herbs.
It is often served as an accompaniment to grilled meats or vegetables.
The creamy texture of the yogurt combined with the crunchy texture of the cucumber makes it a refreshing and flavorful addition to any meal.
Tzatziki can be used in many different ways.
It can be served as a dip for pita bread or crudités, spread on sandwiches or wraps, drizzled over roasted vegetables or salads, stirred into soups for extra flavor and creaminess, used as a marinade for chicken or fish dishes, and even added to sauces for pasta dishes.
For an easy tzatziki recipe that requires minimal ingredients and preparation time try mixing together plain Greek yogurt with grated cucumber (squeeze out excess liquid), minced garlic cloves, fresh dill (or other herbs like mint), lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste and some extra virgin olive oil.
Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and salt.
It is usually served over pasta or used as a dip for breads and vegetables.
Pesto can be used in many different recipes to add flavor and texture.
Try adding it to your favorite pizza recipe for an extra kick of flavor.
You can also use pesto as a marinade for grilled chicken or fish dishes.
For a light summer meal, mix together cooked pasta with pesto and top with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.
Or try using pesto as the base of a creamy soup by blending it with vegetable broth and cream.
4. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is a classic Italian sauce made from fresh herbs, garlic, capers, anchovies, and olive oil.
It is typically served as an accompaniment to fish or meat dishes but can also be used as a condiment for sandwiches or as a dip for vegetables.
- Traditional Salsa Verde: This classic recipe combines parsley, capers, anchovies, garlic and olive oil into a flavorful sauce that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and fish.
- Avocado Salsa Verde: For a creamy twist on the traditional salsa verde recipe, try adding mashed avocado to the mix! The avocado adds richness and creaminess to the sauce while still allowing the flavor of the herbs to shine through.
- Roasted Red Pepper Salsa Verde: Roasting red peppers brings out their sweetness and adds depth of flavor to this version of salsa verde. Combine roasted red peppers with parsley, capers, anchovies and garlic for an extra special take on this classic Italian sauce!
5. Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is a Middle Eastern dip or spread made from mashed cooked eggplant, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
It is typically served as an appetizer with pita bread or vegetables.
Baba ganoush can be used as a dip for raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, and cucumbers.
It can also be used as a sandwich spread or topping for grilled meats such as chicken or lamb.
Additionally, it can be added to salads and wraps for extra flavor and texture.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
It is popular in the Mediterranean region and beyond.
Hummus can be served as a dip for vegetables or pita bread, used as a sandwich spread or topping for salads.
It can also be used as an ingredient in other dishes such as falafel and shawarma.
Hummus is high in protein and fiber and makes an excellent addition to any meal.
Aioli is a traditional Mediterranean sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and egg yolks. It is often referred to as “garlic mayonnaise” due to its creamy texture and flavor. The name comes from the Provençal word for garlic, ail.
Aioli is commonly used as a dip or spread for breads and vegetables. It can also be used as a condiment on sandwiches or burgers, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats such as steak or chicken. Additionally, it can be mixed with other ingredients such as herbs and spices to create unique flavors.
Matbucha is a traditional Moroccan condiment made from cooked tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, garlic, and spices.
It is usually served as an accompaniment to couscous or other dishes.
The name matbucha comes from the Arabic word for “cooked” and it is also known as chakchouka in some parts of North Africa.
Matbucha can be used as a dip for breads or crackers, spread on sandwiches or wraps, stirred into soups and stews, spooned over grilled meats or fish, added to salads for extra flavor and texture, or simply enjoyed with pita chips.
There are many variations of matbucha depending on the region where it is prepared.
Some recipes call for adding olives or capers while others include cumin or paprika for extra flavor.
Some cooks even add honey to sweeten the sauce slightly.
No matter what ingredients you choose to use in your version of matbucha, it will always be delicious!
Rouille is a traditional Provençal sauce made from garlic, olive oil, saffron, and chili peppers. It is typically served with fish dishes such as bouillabaisse or brandade de morue.
The name rouille comes from the French word for rust, referring to the reddish-orange color of the sauce.
Rouille is most commonly used as a condiment for fish dishes like bouillabaisse and brandade de morue. It can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or toast, or mixed into mayonnaise to give it an extra kick of flavor.
While traditional rouille recipes call for garlic, olive oil, saffron and chili peppers, there are many variations that use different ingredients such as tomatoes, herbs and spices. Some versions even include breadcrumbs or potatoes to thicken the sauce.
Zhug is a spicy condiment that originated in Yemen and is popular throughout the Middle East. It is made from fresh herbs, spices, garlic, and chili peppers blended together into a paste.
The ingredients are then mixed with olive oil to create a thick sauce.
Zhug can be used as a dip for breads or vegetables, as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish, or as an ingredient in soups and stews. It can also be added to hummus for extra flavor.
There are many variations of zhug depending on the region it comes from. In Israel it is known as skhug (or s’chug) and has more of a tomato base than other versions; in Lebanon it is called harif and includes more cumin; while in Egypt it is called da’ahir and contains more parsley than other recipes.
Moutabel is a traditional Middle Eastern dip or sauce made from roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
It is popular in many countries throughout the Mediterranean region and is often served as an appetizer or side dish.
Moutabel can be used as a dip for vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumbers. It can also be spread on sandwiches or wraps for added flavor.
Additionally, it makes a great topping for grilled meats like chicken or lamb.
There are many variations of moutabel that include different ingredients such as yogurt, cumin and parsley.
Some recipes call for adding hot peppers to give the dip some heat while others use smoked paprika to add smokiness to the flavor profile.
Other variations include adding feta cheese or olives to create a more complex flavor profile.
12. Béarnaise Sauce
Béarnaise sauce is a classic French sauce made from clarified butter, egg yolks, white wine vinegar, shallots, tarragon and other herbs.
It is an emulsified sauce that has a creamy texture and a mild flavor with hints of tarragon.
- Common Uses: Béarnaise sauce is commonly served over steak or fish dishes such as salmon or trout. It can also be used to top vegetables like asparagus or green beans.
- Variations: There are many variations on the traditional béarnaise recipe including adding different herbs such as chervil, parsley or chives; using different vinegars such as sherry vinegar; and adding garlic for extra flavor. Some recipes also call for cream instead of butter to create a richer version of the sauce.
Muhammara is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made from roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses.
It has a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of heat from the pepper and spices.
The name muhammara comes from the Arabic word for “reddened,” which refers to the color of the dip.
- Common Uses: Muhammara is most commonly served as an appetizer or side dish alongside other Mediterranean dishes such as hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, and falafel. It can also be used as a spread on sandwiches or wraps or as a topping for grilled meats and vegetables.
- Variations: While traditional muhammara recipes call for roasted red peppers, some variations use fresh bell peppers instead. Other ingredients that can be added to customize the flavor include garlic, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley leaves, and pine nuts.
Taramasalata is a Greek dip made from fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, and breadcrumbs.
It is usually served as an appetizer or side dish with pita bread or vegetables.
The name taramasalata comes from the Greek words for “fish” (tarama) and “sauce” (salata).
- Common Uses: Taramasalata can be used as a dip for raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, and peppers. It can also be spread on toast or crackers for a light snack. Additionally, it makes an excellent accompaniment to grilled meats such as lamb chops or chicken kebabs.
- Variations: There are many variations of taramasalata that use different ingredients to achieve different flavors. Some recipes call for mayonnaise instead of olive oil; others add garlic or herbs like dill or parsley; still others use yogurt in place of the breadcrumbs. In some parts of Greece, taramasalata is made with smoked cod roe instead of carp roe for a smokier flavor profile.
Silan is a thick, syrupy date syrup made from dates that are boiled in water until they become soft and then blended into a paste.
It is commonly used as a sweetener or condiment in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Common Uses: Silan can be used to sweeten desserts such as baklava, halva, and other pastries. It can also be added to savory dishes like hummus or tahini sauce for an extra layer of flavor. In addition, it can be drizzled over yogurt or ice cream for a unique twist on traditional toppings.
- Variations: There are several variations of silan available depending on the type of dates used and how long they are cooked for. For example, dark silan is made with black dates that have been cooked longer than light silan which is made with yellow dates that have been cooked less time. Additionally, some recipes call for adding spices such as cardamom or cinnamon to give the syrup an extra kick of flavor.
Toum is a traditional Middle Eastern garlic sauce made with garlic, lemon juice, and oil.
It is creamy in texture and has a strong garlicky flavor.
The name toum comes from the Arabic word for garlic, which is thoom.
- Common Uses: Toum can be used as a dip or spread on sandwiches and wraps, as well as a condiment for grilled meats and vegetables. It can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and salads.
- Variations: There are many variations of toum that include different ingredients such as yogurt or mayonnaise to give it a creamier texture; herbs such as parsley or cilantro; spices like cumin or paprika; nuts like walnuts or almonds; and even fruits like pomegranate seeds for added sweetness.
Mediterranean Sauces for Chicken
- Pesto Sauce: Pesto is a classic Mediterranean sauce made from fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. It’s perfect for adding flavor to chicken dishes. To make pesto sauce, simply blend the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Serve over grilled or baked chicken for an easy and delicious meal.
- Tapenade Sauce: Tapenade is a traditional Mediterranean condiment made with olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. This flavorful sauce can be used as a marinade or topping for chicken dishes. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste-like consistency. Spread over cooked chicken breasts or thighs before serving for an extra burst of flavor!
- Romesco Sauce: Romesco is another popular Mediterranean sauce that pairs perfectly with chicken dishes. It’s made from roasted red peppers blended with almonds, garlic cloves, tomato paste and sherry vinegar to create a creamy yet tangy sauce that adds depth to any dish it touches! To make romesco sauce at home just combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth then serve over grilled or roasted chicken for an easy yet impressive meal!
Mediterranean Sauces for Fish
- Salsa Verde: Salsa verde is a bright green Italian-style sauce made from fresh herbs such as parsley and basil blended together with capers, anchovies, garlic and olive oil. This zesty condiment adds a punch of flavor to any seafood dish without overpowering it. To make salsa verde at home simply combine chopped parsley leaves with capers, anchovy fillets (optional), minced garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor or blender until smooth then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving over your favorite fish dish.
- Chermoula Sauce: Chermoula is an aromatic North African marinade traditionally used on seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or pan-seared salmon fillets but can also be used as a dipping sauce or spread on sandwiches or wraps too! The base of
16 Best Mediterranean Sauces & Dips
- Romesco Sauce
- Salsa Verde
- Baba Ganoush
- Rouille Sauce
- Béarnaise Sauce
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a sauce recipe in 20 minutes or less!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.