Three Light, Warm Sauces

These light, warm sauces are homemade alternatives to enhance your meals without sabotaging a perfectly balanced and healthy diet.
Three Light, Warm Sauces

Last update: 27 September, 2018

Light, warm sauces are a good alternative for complementing any recipe. Oftentimes, when it comes to watching your waistline and figure, light, warm sauces are usually omitted from the menu to avoid excess fat, calories, sodium, and sugar.

Light, warm sauces and how to make them

These recipes use many different ingredients, from the most common to more unusual ones. In any case, it’s always better to choose quality products, such as olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.

You’ll also need vegetables and fresh fruits, as well as slightly processed dairy products. In addition, you should select condiments and spices without preservatives, as natural ingredients are always best.

Currently, there are plenty of ready-to-use options on the market for light, warm sauces. They’re practical solutions for when you need to cook and are running short on time. Although, there’s no guarantee as to the quality of their ingredients. Also, they won’t taste the same as a homemade sauce.

Bechamel sauce

bechamel in sauce pan along with ingredients light warm sauces

Bechamel is one of the most popular recipes in Spanish cuisine. It’s perfect for covering cannelloni, lasagne, and for vegetable creams. With less milk, you can even use it for croquettes. Furthermore, it contains a good amount of protein.

The secret to a good bechamel is to use the same amount of flour and butter. If you want a thicker sauce, add equal parts of both ingredients to maintain a perfect texture.


  • 2 pints of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces of flour
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat.
  2. In a pan, melt the butter.
  3. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and oil. Stir continuously over a medium heat, until the flour becomes a golden color.
  4. Remove from the heat and wait for it to cool a little.
  5. Slowly pour the boiling milk into the flour mixture, while stirring with a wooden spoon to remove any lumps.
  6. Return to a low heat for a few minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  8. Stir for 10 minutes or until the desired texture is obtained.

Tomato and basil sauce

tomatoes with bowl of tomato sauce

This light, warm sauce is ideal to accompany quick dinners. And it’s perfect for pizzas, stews, and many pasta dishes. It’s also used in pisto manchego, a typical Spanish dish that contains chopped vegetables such as: peppers, carrots, garlic, zucchini, and eggplant.


  • 2.2 pounds of ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Firstly, and with the tip of a knife, mark a cross at the base of each tomato and blanch them for 15 seconds.
  2. Then, place them in a bowl with ice water and peel them.
  3. Cut them in half, remove their seeds, and chop them into squares.
  4. Peel and chop the onions and garlic cloves.
  5. Next, finely chop the basil.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan, and then sauté the onions for five minutes, with a pinch of salt.
  7. Then, add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, and vinegar.
  8. Cook over a low heat for about 45 minutes or until the liquid evaporates.
  9. Finally, add the basil, with salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything thoroughly with a wooden spoon for at least 10 minutes.

Spanish sauce

This sauce is a classic example of light, warm sauces. It’s used with meatballs, casseroles, and meat stews. The key to success with this sauce, is to use a good beef broth.


  • 2 pints of beef broth
  • 3.5 ounces of beef scraps
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A bay leaf
  • sprigs of parsley
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove
  • 1 small glass of sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Firstly, wash the vegetables, and peel and cut them into pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion with a pinch of salt, until golden brown.
  3. Add all of the vegetables and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  4. Next, add the flour and sauté for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the beef scraps and stir with a wooden spoon for one minute.
  6. Then, add the broth, along with the parsley, garlic, bay leaf, clove, and sherry. Stir thoroughly, so it’s well mixed.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat, put the mixture in the blender and blend everything until it’s finely ground.
  9. Return to a low heat, uncovered, for at least five minutes until the sauce thickens.
  10. Add salt to taste.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.