“It’s not been easy to find a healthy one of these, but after scouring the stores I finally did find it!”
Today I’m deviating from my normal stance of eating only whole foods. Okay, well I never said to eat only whole foods. That would be highly impractical and virtually impossible for all of us to put into practice.
While I still stand behind the idea that eating natural, unprocessed foods is one of the healthiest things we can do for our bodies, I get that we can’t do that all the time. We have appointments to make, meetings to attend, and other responsibilities that pull us away from the kitchen. To expect everyone to make all their food from scratch all the time is ridiculous.
So I’ve been on a mission to find healthy, store-bought sauces that I feel I can stand behind.
Because to be perfectly honest, I’ve pretty much only stocked tomato sauce and soy sauce in my pantry – staples I can’t live without – for the longest time because I didn’t know what else to buy. I didn’t want all the sodium, sugar, and preservatives that come in most store-bought sauces.
Today I’m really happy to share that I’ve found some great options for you!
And many of these can be found in your local grocery store. Though if you want to purchase through my links – where I’d get a commission! – I’d never object to that haha. (For details about these affiliate links, please visit my Disclosure page.)
7 Healthy Store-Bought Sauces
I’m a Texan now, so I have to put BBQ sauce first on the list.
Most BBQ sauces are loaded with sodium and sugar, two things I’ve written posts about in the past and you definitely don’t want too much of. For the heck of it, I googled BBQ sauce and looked at the nutritional label of a very popular brand found in grocery stores. In just 2 Tbsp, it has:
- 12g sugar
- 340mg sodium
- 14g carbohydrate
- 60 calories
In just 2 Tablespoons!!! And it’s not like we’re just eating this stuff out of the bottle. If your sauce has this much stuff in it, just imagine how much your whole meal does.
Which is why I’m happy to say I’ve found a BBQ sauce that is way (WAY!) better for you:
Organic Annie’s BBQ Sauce (serving size, 2 Tbsp)
Annie’s is a brand I love and whose products I have used many times. Because their BBQ sauce has way less additives, you can indulge with less regret. Here are the stats:
- 5g sugar
- 200mg sodium
- 6g carbohydrate
- 35 calories
Now it’s time for a cookout!
My all-time favorite food to eat is Chinese take-out. It’s what I have for my birthday dinner every year and is my ultimate go-to comfort food. There’s something about teriyaki sauce that I can’t resist.
Which is why it’s so gosh darn bad for you.
Teriyaki sauce is chock full of sodium and sugar (are you sensing a pattern?). So I’ve scoured the stores for good healthier options and have been successful!
I actually have two for you! (woo bonus!) Both have only 2g of sugar in a Tbsp and less sodium than many popular brands:
Simply balanced teriyaki sauce – (serving size, 1 Tbsp)
This teriyaki sauce can be found at target and is one of the healthiest I’ve found on the market.
- 2g sugar
- 280mg sodium
- 15 calories
Primal kitchen soy-free teriyaki sauce and marinade (serving size, 1 Tbsp)
Just a heads up, this one is made up of coconut aminos so only buy it if you like those! Personally, I’m not a big fan. But I wanted to throw it out there for all you soy-intolerant folks.
- 2g sugar
- 210mg sodium
- 10 calories
Marinara sauce is best known for it’s hidden sugars. It still seems crazy to me that tomato sauce has tons of added sugar, but apparently that’s why it tastes so good. Until now!
Amy’s Organic Tomato and Basil Sauce – Light in Sodium (serving size, 1/2 cup)
I’m a fan of this one because it’s sugar AND sodium are way lower than most brands. Often when a food is labeled “low sodium” they ramp up the sugar and other unhealthy ingredients instead. Not in this case! It’s definitely one of the healthiest pasta sauces out on the market – just be sure you do get the one that’s “Light in Sodium.”
- 6g sugar
- 250mg sodium
- 90 calories
Okay, now this one was hard. Alfredo sauce is known for being creamy and calorie-laden. In this case, “light” is the word to look for. While it’s pretty much impossible to find a store-bought alfredo sauce with less than 350mg of sodium, I did find one with surprisingly few calories!
Classico Light Alfredo Sauce (serving size, 1/4 cup)
Found in most local grocery stores, Classico Light Alfredo Sauce wins the low-calorie competition here. It has only 40 calories per 1/4 cup serving! That’s pretty darn good and definitely hits the “healthy store-bought sauces” criteria.
- 1g sugar
- 360mg sodium
- 40 calories
Pesto is one of my favorite sauces. Good on practically everything, from pasta to roasted vegetables, it’s a great one to keep stocked for a quick and tasty dinner.
Pesto contains oil, Parmesan cheese, and nuts – none of which are low calorie. However, depending on the type and amount of oil and nuts, you can get a good serving of needed healthy fats. It all comes down to the brand you choose.
Delallo Simply Pesto Traditional Basil (Serving size, 1/4 cup)
While at first glance, this pesto is still high calorie and high fat, that’s because of the ingredients I mentioned above. What I like about this pesto is that it uses only olive oil (no canola!) and that it has no saturated or trans fats. Overall, the ingredients are very clean, making it a pesto sauce you can feel good about eating.
- 2g sugar
- 310mg sodium
- 25g fat
- 240 calories
Lemon Garlic Sauce
I wanted to include something a little different on this list of healthy store-bought sauces. While lemon garlic sauce may not be “traditional”, it’s perfect for marinating and adding a touch of flavor when needed. So I hunted around for a lemon garlic sauce and found one! This healthy store-bought sauce can boost the flavor of a bland chicken breast or be brushed over veggies to add a little punch.
Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Sauce (serving size, 1 Tbsp)
With no added sugar, this lemon garlic sauce by Tessemae’s is the perfect flavor addition to practically anything. It also only has ingredients I can pronounce!
- 0g sugar
- 65mg sodium
- 90 calories
If you’ve looked at lots of nutritional labels like me, then you know that it’s nearly impossible to find a healthy store-bought tikka masala sauce.
It’s not been easy to find a healthy one of these, but after scouring the stores I finally did it!
Stonewall Kitchen Tikka Masala Simmering Sauce (serving size, 1/2 cup)
This tikka masala is similar to many others in calories and fat content, but takes the win due to it’s MUCH lower sodium. Seriously, I found one that had 590mg of sodium per 1/2 cup serving! This one clocks in at just 350mg of sodium.
- 5g sugar
- 350mg sodium
- 12g fat
- 160 calories
Not too shabby!
What’s your favorite type of sauce to throw in a dish? Like I said, teriyaki is my absolute favorite. Share yours in the comments below!