A multi-purpose super fresh but robust, herby, citrusy, spicy Green Sauce that has the power to make everything better and is made in a food processor in minutes. Keep a jar in the fridge and you are seconds away from amping up any meal!
Green Sauce. The sauce that you need to have stashed away in a jar in the fridge, ready to amp up meals and snacks throughout the week.
And ooops! Tell me it's not just me that buys bunches and bunches of fresh herbs with all good intentions of using them, then finds them unused, wilted and slimy in the back of the fridge the week after?
Well now you never need to throw those fresh herbs away again. Whip up this Green Sauce whenever you have an over abundance of them and dollop it on all the things. It's so quick and easy to make!
This sauce is E-verything. It's fresh, light, bright and zippy. It's herby, citrusy, spicy, tangy, slightly brine-y (thank you capers!) and packed with flavour. It makes a wonderfully, fresh alternative to heavier, creamy sauces.
How to make Green Sauce
FOR INGREDIENTS & FULL INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST
All of the ingredients go in to a food processor, or a blender if you want it super smooth. I like it a little bit chunky so use my food processor.
And Green Sauce comes out. Easy. You just need to adjust the amount of blending and the amount of water to get the texture that is right for you, or just use exactly the quantities given in the recipe and it will turn out similar to how mine is in my photos.
- works best with the leafier herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint, basil or dill, but you can throw in a few teaspoons of leaves from tougher herbs like rosemary and thyme too if you like their flavour. They can be overpowering though, so start with just a few and add more to taste.
- tender stems are ok to use but discard any that are even slightly woody or tough
- don't even think about skipping the capers. They really add something special to this sauce!
- use fresh lemon and lime juice. It's way better than the bottled variety
- make the sauce as thick or thin as you like by adjusting the amount of water
- make the sauce smooth or chunky. Your sauce, your choice!
- make half the recipe if you don't think you will use it all in a week
- to make it spicier, leave the seeds in the chili, or use a hotter variety of chili. To make it milder, remove the seeds and membranes from the chili.
Things I like to use this sauce on:
- Vegan Meal Prep with Black Beans & Rice
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- pasta, rice or grain bowls
- vegan crab cakes
- Grilled Baby Potatoes
- roasted vegetables
- vegan black bean burgers
- sweet potato fries
- Slow Cooker Black Beans
- avocado toast
- soups and stews
- under the tomatoes for a wicked bruschetta
- as a marinade for tofu or seitan
- as a dip
- with anything you grill, especially corn ?
- roasted potatoes
There it is anointing a pile of baby roasted potatoes ..... I might have *almost* eaten the entire bowl right after ...
Ways to adapt my Green Sauce
This is your sauce! It isn't a strict recipe. Feel free to adapt it to suit your own taste, preferences and whatever ingredients you have available.
You could try adding:
- some fresh, ripe avocado
- a dollop or two of coconut cream
- tahini or cashew butter instead of the miso
- some of my vegan feta cheese, either blended in or crumbled and stirred through
- different nuts. Walnuts or pistachios would be great.
- seeds. Switch the nuts for toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or pine nuts
- switch up the spices. Cumin would make a lovely addition.
And if you're really into sauces you might want to check out my:
- Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Fiery Habanero Hot Sauce
- Vegan BBQ Sauce
- Healthy Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Easy Teriyaki Sauce
- Peanut Sauce
- 2½ packed cups / 75 g / about 2 bunches fresh soft herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, dill , let at least 50% be parsley and/or cilantro then bulk it out with the rest (or just use all parsley and cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup / 75 g cashew nuts , see notes for nut-free or other nut suggestions *
- 1 small serrano chili pepper , or 1 jalapeno ** (use just half to start if you are worried about the heat then add more to taste)
- 1½ tablespoons white miso , OPTIONAL - you can omit if you don't have it or tahini or cashew butter work well instead
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , add more in place of the water for a richer, oilier sauce - see recipe notes for oil-free option ***
- 4 - 6 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup / 60 g capers , see notes for alternative ****
- salt , to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)
- pepper , to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup , OPTIONAL if you want to add a little sweetness (taste first then decide)
- Add everything, except the capers, and only half of the water to a food processor and process to the kind of texture you want. You can serve this sauce smooth or chunky. To keep it chunkier it's better to pulse the food processor rather than run it on full power. If you want it really, really smooth then you could use a high powered blender instead.
- Add the remaining water gradually, pulsing in between additions until you get the thickness you want.
- Add the capers and pulse again a few times to break them up into small pieces. Little chunks of them are nice so don't obliterate them.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Go easy on the salt and taste as you go because the capers are quite salty. It's best to stir it in unless you don't mind the sauce getting blended a bit more.
- Decant into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Greg Finn says
Fantastic sauce. Our whole family is now addicted to it.
I really loved this recipe! Can the sauce be frozen? it made so much and I don’t want to waste a drop!
A Virtual Vegan says
I'm so pleased you are enjoying it! I haven't actually tried freezing it. Tender herbs can get a bit slimy when frozen then defrosted but you might get away with it as they are blended up.
Maybe you could test some in an ice cube tray and if it doesn't taste as fresh and delicious when you defrost you could pop them out into soups, stews, rice dishes etc to use them up?
Let me know how it goes!
I've been eyeing this green sauce for a while and finally decided to make it. I had to make it cashew-free because a household member has a potentially fatal allergy to cashews. I used a combination of canned white beans (!!) and toasted pumpkin seeds—and it worked wonderfully!
I poured the sauce over a bean/veggie salad consisting of chickpeas, edamame, black olives, cauliflower, hemp hearts, bell peppers. It was so refreshing and so satisfying. (I used a combo of predominantly parsley and cilantro but with just a few mint leaves.)
This is absolutely amazing! Thank you for creating this I love it!
A Virtual Vegan says
I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!
Question: pickled capers or non? I've seen both, I've had both, and I actually prefer the ones just in a brine, but the pickled ones are good in salad.
Melanie McDonald says
Good question! I just checked and mine are pickled in salt and vinegar brine. I would imagine either would be good in it though. Maybe if yours are just brined, add a tiny dash of vinegar to taste if you feel it needs it.
I just made it... I have been looking at it for a few days and WOW I'm so glad I did! This sauce is fabulous! I can taste every flavour! Ummm I would give this 6 stars if I could... what an addition this is to potatoes and I can hardly wait to add it to salads and everything else I can think of... crackers, rice, veggies! It really good way to use up your herbs! Thank you so much!!! You are the best!
Melanie McDonald says
Aaaww thank you Sherry! I'm so pleased you are enjoying it. It's truly multi-purpose, so have fun putting it on EVERYTHING!
This was unbelievably good - loved it! Didn't put the molasses in cuz I loved all the other flavors. Will probably try it with molasses some time just to try it. Going to make your roasted potatoes against my better judgment - I'll probably sit down and eat it all before anyone else can taste!
Melanie McDonald says
I'm really pleased you enjoyed it! I will warn you, that this and a pile of of roast potatoes in front of you is a dangerous combination! ;O)
I think you might have misread the recipe when it comes to molasses. It's not in the recipe and wouldn't work at all. Maple syrup is optional if you want a little sweetness. Maybe you meant that?
Delicious!!! I could just eat this by the spoonful. I used walnuts because of a cashew allergy and it came out great.
Kerstin Decker says
so this green sauce reminds of my childhood in Germany, when my mother made this sauce every spring with new small potatoes and boiled beef. She also served it over white asparagus. She used a lot of herbs and sorrell, just like you did. Now that I am a plant based foodie, this comes so good in place. So made it today and I am so in heaven and memories. It is definitely on my often make for a meal plan, thank you, it is soooooo ! good
Melanie McDonald says
I'm really pleased you enjoyed it Kerstin, and I love that it brings back those memories for you!