Taste-Test: GF Sauces & Savoury Condiments

From bananas and beetroot to chilli, piccalilli and pineapple, these are the latest, greatest and most exciting gluten-free sauces and savoury condiments to try today:

Side Sauces

Italian Organic Smoky Ketchup

Mr Organic

Thick and rich with organic Italian tomatoes, this is a properly delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free table sauce that balances the natural sweetness of tomatoes with a deep and intense smoky hit. In 2010, Mr Organic’s traditional Ketchup picked up the highest Great Taste Award of any tomato ketchup and I don’t doubt this exciting new addition won’t earn equally impressive accolades. But the best bit? As with all four of their ketchups, 600g of tomatoes are packed into each 100g of Mr Organic’s ketchup, making it not only one of the tastiest gluten-free sauces but one of the healthiest ketchups around. Click here to find out more. 

Caramelised Onion Ketchup

The Sauce Shop*

Producing ten fresh-tasting sauces made by hand using natural ingredients, the Sauce Shop are an exciting newcomer to the market and, having only been trading since last year, have already made a name for themselves as a healthy alternative to your typical table sauce. Their ‘hero’ product is Nottinghamshire sauce, a mushroom ketchup inspired by the story of HP Sauce. Their Caramelised Onion Ketchup is equally impressive. Rich and earthy with an oozing heaviness and sweet oniony flavour, this offers an exciting alternative to traditional tomato-based ketchup and works just as well with sausages and bacon sandwiches as a pizza topping.  Read more here.

Banana Habanero

Mr Vikki’s

Mr Vikki’s Banana Habanero might have taken four years to perfect but it was worth the wait. Named one of the Top 50 Winners of Great Taste 2013, the sweet and sour notes of fresh banana, fresh ginger and vinegar have an underlying heat that burns off any unwanted sweetness and tastes great spread over pretty much everything. Read more here

Parsley Sauce

Thornleys

As a family-owned business with three generations of coeliacs, Thornleys know and understand the difficulties facing those with allergies – each of their sauces approved by the Coeliac Association and made using only natural ingredients that are free from additives, preservatives, colours, MSG, gluten and wheat. There are currently five dry powder recipe mixes available (Creamy Chicken & Herb Sauce, Parsley Sauce, Spaghetti Carbonara, Tuna & Pasta Bake and Chilli Con Carne), and for something so easy to put together, the quality and diversity of the individual recipe mixes is extraordinary – and makes singling out just one sauce an almost impossible decision. However, because of its sheer simplicity (just add 300ml milk and bring to the boil) and subtle balance of flavours, Thornley’s Parsley Sauce does deserve a special mention. Light and creamy with the fresh taste of parsley and a hint of lemon, it’s difficult enough to find a parsley sauce that hasn’t been thickened with flour and yet this easy, gluten-free version offers proper restaurant-quality cooking in minutes. Click here to find out more.

Hot Piccalilli

Claire’s Handmade

As makers of the finest preserves, chutneys, relishes and other condiments, Claire’s Handmade has won numerous Great Taste Awards and other accolades for their traditionally-made, all-natural products. The extensive range and variety of unusual ingredients and flavour combinations  is impressive (Jalapeño Jam and Fig & Apple Chutney with Armagnac to name just a couple), but it’s their delivery of the classics which really makes them stand out from the crowd. I’ve taste-tested a number of different Piccalilli’s and this Hot version is by far the best yet. Creamy and crunchy, Claire’s Handmade combine all the expected flavours of turmeric and mustard with cauliflower, onion, cucumber and a tingling chilli-kick for a pleasing twist on this timeless classic. Click here to find out more here.

Beetroot & Horseradish Relish

The Bay Tree

Stocking their extensive range of artisan chutneys, accompaniments, sauces and dressings to independent retailers, farm shops and delicatessens for over 20 years, The Bay Tree certainly know a thing or two about what makes a good gluten-free sauce. Their aim? To produce inventive products that capture the freshness and flavour of homemade tastes. And no where is this more true than their Great Taste Award-winning Beetroot & Horseradish Relish. Sweet and tangy with a slight crunch from the shredded beetroot, this is an unusual and exciting condiment that’s just as delicious with sausages and sandwiches as it is in more sophisticated and Scandinavian-inspired dishes such as smoked and cured fish. Beetroot really doesn’t get better than this. Click here to find out more.

Billy’s Champion Chilli Jam

Scarlett & Mustard

Billy’s Champion Chilli Jam is a vibrant relish containing all the sweetness and heat of a chilli sauce, with the silky smoothness of a jam. Named after the owner’s stepson William (AKA Billy) who can consume a kilo in a week, Scarlett & Mustard decided to add ‘Champion’ to the name after it won a Great Taste Gold Award before it had even hit the shelves. Each of their products are made from the finest, locally sourced natural ingredients, with no additives, preservatives or flavourings to worry about either. Read more here

Pak Chong Hot Chilli Sauce

Coconut Kitchen

Another Great Taste Award winner but this time we’re talking Thai. Named after the town where Preechaya
 (Head Chef at The Coconut Kitchen) grew up, this sauce is inspired by her garden – think hot red chillies with tomatoes and pineapples, softening the heat of the silky smooth sauce into a sweet, pleasant warmth. Read more here

Stir-In Sauces

Walden Farms Alfredo Pasta Sauce

Sous Chef

A cheesy, creamy, indulgent pasta sauce that’s gluten-free AND calorie-free? It may seem too good to be true, but the Alfredo Pasta Sauce from Sous Chef is every bit as good as it sounds. Not only that but it’s fat-free, sugar-free, carbohydrate-free and cholesterol-free to boot. In fact, the whole thing is so guilt-free it’s practically healthy. Even the £4.50 price tag is surprisingly reasonable when you consider each 340g jar serves six comfortably. I was more than happy to make up my calories by stirring the sauce into a trough of spaghetti and fried bacon, but you can also add to a cauliflower or chicken bake for a lower-calorie meal that’s as every bit as big on taste. Find out more here.

Puttanesca Pasta Sauce

Mr Organic

Another entry from Mr Organic but as Italy’s largest 100% organic tomato manufacturer, it’s hardly surprising that they’re just as good with a tomato-based pasta sauce as they are a ketchup. Every 350g jar is low in sodium with no added sugar, capturing all the natural goodness of the tomatoes from Mr Organic’s own production site in Italy, located just South of Rome. Pasta Puttanesca (AKA ‘whore’s pasta’ because of its apparent popularity with the working girls of Naples) is one of my all-time favourite dishes and this jarred version does not disappoint. Packed full of rich olives (10%), organic sun-ripened tomatoes (77%), capers, Italian herbs and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, there’s nowhere to hide with this traditional recipe and the quality of ingredients is evident with every mouthful. Italian pasta sauces, made in Italy by Italians. It doesn’t get much more authentic. Or delicious. Click here to find out more.

Red Wine & Port Finishing Sauce

My Secret Kitchen

The fruity, warm flavours of this finishing sauce have a luxurious Christmas feel which, when reduced, create a deep, adult sauciness sure to impress at any dinner party. Although designed to be added at the end of cooking, it can also be reduced over a high heat and used to glaze meats and hearty vegetables, or added to ragouts and bolognese sauces. It’s greatest trick? It makes sausages and mash into something of a masterpiece. Read more here

*While none of their sauces contain gluten and they do not handle gluten while cooking, the Sauce Shop do not claim to be gluten-free as they produce their sauces in a home kitchen where there may be products containing gluten present.

Know of any other great gluten-free sauces or savoury condiments? Please share your comments and recommendations below.

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