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The Best Condiments You Don’t Have But Your Pantry Needs

Three jars of homemade salad dressing
Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking to elevate your culinary adventures, it’s time to explore the world of unique and weird sauces (aka…delicious condiments).

While the classics like ketchup and mustard have their place, there’s a whole universe of different types of sauces waiting to be discovered. To help get your creative juices flowing. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best condiments that will take your meals to the next level.

Whether you’re a foodie seeking new flavors or simply want to spice up your pantry, these condiments are a must-try.

Harissa Paste

PUR Spices Original Harissa Paste on French fries
PUR Spices

Harissa is a North African chili paste known for its smoky, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor. It’s incredibly versatile and can add depth to a variety of dishes.

Mix harissa into couscous, blend it into hummus, or use it as a marinade for roasted vegetables and meats. It’s also a delightful addition to soups and stews.

PUR Spices Original Harissa Paste

This paste packs some heat with a blend of spices for a unique, powerful flavor.


Terrapin Ridge Farms Gourmet Truffle Aioli spread over potatoes.
Terrapin Ridge Farms

If you’re interested in trying some weird sauces and condiments that are mouth-wateringly delicious, don’t miss this one: aioli.

While your modern-day aioli is pretty much garlic mayonnaise, that doesn’t mean it’s anything short of delicious. It’s made with garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, olive oil, and a splash of mustard. Use it as a dip, sandwich spread, meat marinade, or anything else you want to make delicious.

Terrapin Ridge Farms Gourmet Truffle Aioli

Put it on sandwiches or use it as a dip for your French fries...or anything else you can think of.


A container of smoky Gochujang paste and a mixture of vegetables.

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that combines red chili peppers with fermented soybeans and glutinous rice. It delivers a deep, umami-rich heat with a touch of sweetness and smokiness…which is exactly what you want in the best condiments.

Toss it with stir-fried vegetables or make spicy dipping sauces for dumplings and Korean BBQ.

Sempio Vegan Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste

Perfect for marinating, dipping, and mixing with other of your favorite condiments.

Black Garlic Spread

A jar of MW Polar's black garlic spread.
MW Polar

As you experiment with different types of sauces, you can’t go wrong with garlic. Black garlic sauce is made from fermented black garlic cloves, resulting in a sweet and savory condiment with a molasses-like richness.

Use black garlic sauce as a glaze for roasted vegetables, a topping for grilled fish, or a unique twist on classic stir-fry dishes.

MW Polar Black Garlic Puree

Ready to spread, this black garlic puree will transform your home recipes.

Sriracha Sauce

Fix Hot Sriracha Sauce
Fix Hot Sauce

This sauce has exploded in popularity over the last few years, so much so that we’ve encountered a sriracha shortage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find this sauce on the shelves in places (or considered making your own sriracha when you’re desperate for the spicy tang).

This is easily one of the best condiments since you can add it on everything: meat, vegetables, carbs, and everything in between.

Fix Hot Sriracha Sauce

An addictive flavor with well-balanced heat.

Tahini Paste

Two jars of Tahini paste and a bowl of hummus.
Roots Circle

Tahini is a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds, offering a rich, nutty flavor that’s perfect for both sweet and savory dishes.

Use tahini as a base for salad dressings, a dip for veggies, a drizzle for falafel or shawarma, or as an ingredient in desserts like halva.

Roots Circle All-Natural Sesame Tahini Paste

Add tahini paste to hummus, halva, salad dressings, and more.

Sambal Oelek Chili Sauce

Roland Foods Store Sambal Oelek sauce.

Sambal oelek is an Indonesian chili paste made with fresh red chili peppers, vinegar, and salt. It’s pure, unadulterated heat with a vibrant chili flavor.

Add sambal oelek to noodle dishes, stir-fries, soups, and even scrambled eggs to bring a fiery punch to your meals.

Roland Foods Sambal Oelek Sauce

If you're a fan of sweet, tangy, salty, and spicy, you'll fall in love with Sambal Oelek sauce.

Hoisin Sauce

A bottle of hot hoisin sauce is added over steak.

Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savory condiment popular in Chinese cuisine. It’s a key component in many classic dishes like Moo Shu Pork and stir fry.

You can experiment with hoisin sauce on grilled meats, use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, or incorporate it into your stir-fries for a delightful flavor boost.

Fix Hoisin Hot Sauce

Cook up some delicious dishes with this sauce.

Expand your culinary horizons by introducing these exceptional condiments into your pantry or fridge. Whether you prefer fiery heat, smoky richness, or tangy sweetness, there’s a condiment on this list that will add a new dimension to your cooking repertoire.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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