Fresh Summer Sauces for the Grill

The best part of summer cooking is using fresh ingredients and, of course, the grill.  We love sitting on our deck and eating dinner when it’s shady and there is a nice breeze.  My favorite part of the grill is that you can cook proteins and vegetables on there, and make everything gluten-free and allergy friendly pretty easily.  I also like to make it uncomplicated.  Just add protein (or veggies), grill, and serve some sides with it.  One of my favorite things to do is to grill something simple but have a delicious dipping sauce on the side.

One summer favorite for us is tzatziki sauce.  We love to use this easy sauce for dipping veggies, with grilled chicken sausages, or with grilled chicken. I love the flavor of fresh dill which is featured prominently in this dish.

It’s pretty simple, really:

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (if you are a little short of the amount you need, you can even make up the difference by adding mayo in.  Just don’t make it too mayo-heavy!)
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cucumber – finely dice just 2 tablespoons of cucumber to add into the sauce and chop the rest into sticks for dipping
  • Pinch of salt

I always give it a taste after I stir to make sure it has a good dill flavor and enough salt.

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I served my tzatziki sauce with grilled garlic-flavored chicken sausage and cucumber sticks. Grilled chicken would be really yummy with this, as well.  I didn’t have Greek yogurt due to a shopping mishap, and made it with light sour cream – came out great! This makes enough for 4 people if they eat a smaller portion or 2 people if they have generous portions.

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Another favorite that I made recently was avocado-ranch burger sauce.  It’s as good as it sounds and super simple.  I hauled out my mini food processor and got to work.  First, after removing the skin and pit, I roughly chopped one ripe avocado and placed it in the food processor.  Then, I added half of a cup of sour cream and two tablespoons of ranch dressing.  THAT’S IT.

I pulsed it all together until it was  smooth and creamy.  My kids even asked for a taste which was super unusual for them.  I served this with cheeseburgers from the grill – beef burgers for me on a bed of lettuce, and turkey burgers for my allergic-to-beef husband.  I thought it was delicious with beef, but I was told it paired perfectly with the turkey burger.  The melted cheese on the burger under the sauce was an added bonus.  This sauce would also be yummy with grilled chicken topped with a slice of melted cheese, or anything involving bacon.

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