Easy sauce recipes to elevate any meal from pasta to fried chicken

The sauce can make or break a dish. From chef Michael Angeloni, these tasty and easy sauce recipes will add that made-from-scratch flavour to any meal. 

Easy sauce recipes | Hot honey sauce, tomato sauce and ranch dressing

"Sauce is the glue that holds a great dish together," says Michael Angeloni, co-owner and executive chef of Open Concept Hospitality (Amano Trattoria, Union Chicken). "I look at a sauce as anything from a beautiful chicken gravy, a tomato sauce, to an amazing salad dressing. Taking the time to make a really good sauce can make something simple, like a lovely piece of fried chicken, turn into something truly amazing!"

Here, Angeloni shares three of his go-to sauce recipes so you can take your meal to the next level. Try his ranch dressing over a beautiful ceasar salad loaded with all the accoutrements. Meanwhile, the hot maple honey sauce is made for dipping. And elevate any plate of pasta with this homemade tomato sauce recipe. However you use them, these sauce recipes will kick any meal up a notch.

Hot Maple Honey Sauce

Easy sauce recipes | Hot maple honey sauce

500 ml

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ Tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup hot sauce (Louisiana style, similar to Frank’s Red Hot)


  1. Add the honey, maple syrup, garlic and chili to a pot and bring to a boil (do not let it boil over). Once at a boil, turn off.
  2. Remove from heat, add thyme and let steep for 20–30 mins. Allow to cool.
  3. Once cooled, strain into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the hot sauce and enjoy!

Michael Angeloni's Ranch Dressing

Easy sauce recipes | ranch dressing over a caesar salad

250 ml

Preparation time 15 minutes


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 1–2 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • ¼ tsp celery salt
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients well. Start with 1 Tbsp of buttermilk and add more if you like the consistency looser.

Nonna’s Tomato Sauce

Easy sauce recipes | Nonna's Tomato Sauce

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 2 hours


  • 2 cans (500 ml each) whole tomatoes
  • 1 small Spanish onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in half
  • 1 bunch basil
  • Salt and white sugar, to taste


  1. In a pot, sweat out the onions and garlic.
  2. Add the cans of tomatoes, celery and carrots, and let simmer for 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, turn off the heat and add the sugar, salt and basil.
  4. Remove the celery and carrots, and then pass the sauce through a food mill.
  5. Check the seasoning and adjust with more salt and sugar if needed.