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Keto Sauces, Salsas & Dressings: Where to Buy & Recipes

Kaleena Lundmark

IN THIS ARTICLE
  • Keto Sauce, Salsa, & Dressing FAQs
  • The Top Keto Sauces To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store
  • Top Keto Sauce Recipes
  • 5 Ingredient Keto Sauces
  • The Top Keto Salsas To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store
  • Top Keto Salsa Recipes
  • 5 Ingredient Keto Salsa Recipes
  • The Top Keto Salad Dressings To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store
  • Top Keto Salad Dressing Recipes
  • 5 Ingredient Keto Salad Dressing Recipes

Keto Sauces, Salsas & Dressings

05-01-20


Want to embrace keto without sacrificing flavor?  We don’t blame you, and the good news is you don’t have to give up the flavorful sauces and dressings you love in order to tackle a keto lifestyle.  We’ve rounded up the top keto sauces, salsas, and salad dressings that will satisfy your cravings without derailing your diet. So whether you want to make your own or pick one up on your next trip to the store, we’ve got you covered.

Keto Sauce, Salsa, & Dressing FAQs

  • Is salsa OK to eat on keto diet?

Salsa is such an easy and flavorful condiment, great for adding a little Mexican flair to your favorite keto meals.  The simple answer is yes, salsa can fit in a keto diet.  Not only is salsa delicious, but it also adds a nutritious punch- here are a few facts about typical salsa ingredients:

  • Tomatoes are loaded with Vitamin C and Potassium, plus they are a source of fiber which helps you feel full and reduces cravings.  
  • Salsa packs a flavor punch without adding a ton of sodium or sugar, so it’s great for those who are watching their carb and salt intake.  
  • Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a phytonutrient loaded with antioxidant activity. 1 
  • What’s more, the peppers used in salsa contain capsaicin which is also a component with health promoting benefits and has been linked to an increased metabolic rate. 2 3  

Tomatoes are technically a fruit, but their carbs are still relatively low, with only four grams of carbs per half cup of fresh tomatoes.  So, if you make your own salsa (scroll down for our top salsa recipes), and you eat ¼ cup, you’d only be getting 2-3 grams of carbs.  Homemade salsa is ideal because you control everything that goes in it, so you can make sure to keep your salsa keto-friendly.

But, you may not have time to always make your own, right?  You’ve got a busy lifestyle and sometimes the only option is store-bought.  No problem!  There are plenty of ready-to-eat salsas that are low in carbs as well, just be sure to check the label.  You want to avoid any varieties with added sugars, fruit, or fruit juices.  We’ve rounded up our favorite keto salsas you can find at the grocery store below.

  • Is balsamic vinegar Keto friendly?

The answer is: it depends.  The carb levels of balsamic vinegars vary greatly, so it really depends on which one you choose.  Most have 3-6 grams of net carbs per tablespoon, so you’ll have to decide if that fits in your keto diet carb allowance.  If you are short on carbs and find it difficult to stay under your carb limit, you may want to steer clear of balsamic vinegar, because it can add unnecessary carbs.  If you have carbs to spare and love the taste of balsamic, then you can definitely include it in a ketogenic diet.

Other vinegars typically have no carbs at all - so choosing white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar would all give you less carbs than balsamic.  The difference with balsamic is that it is made from grapes that are cooked down and then fermented.  While most of the sugar from the grapes is used up during fermentation, there is still some left at the end of the fermentation process which is what gives balsamic vinegar a sweet taste and higher carb levels than other vinegars.

  • Is ranch dressing OK on keto?

Ranch is the ultimate creamy salad dressing and a favorite dipping sauce for many, so we’re happy to tell you that yes, it is keto-friendly.  Homemade ranch is usually a combination of mayonnaise, buttermilk, and seasonings, so it is high in fat and low in carbohydrates.  Some store-bought versions may be a little higher in carbs than homemade, but even store-bought varieties tend to be low in carbs.  Take Original Hidden Valley Ranch - 2 tablespoons has just 2 grams of net carbs and 14 grams of fat.

When looking for ranch dressing at the grocery store, avoid low fat or “light” versions, as many have added sugars to replace the fat.  Plus, we want to focus on eating higher fat foods, since fat is a staple of the ketogenic diet.  We’ve included some of our favorite grocery store ranch dressing options below.

  • Can you eat hot sauce on keto?

Hot sauce is typically made of peppers, vinegar, and salt, all of which are keto-friendly.  Just like any other sauce, if you plan to buy it at the store, check the label to make sure it doesn’t have any added sugars.  Some flavored hot sauces have sugar or fruit added that increases the carbs, so try to stick with traditional hot sauce.  Steer clear of “sweet chili” sauces, since they typically have lots of added sugar.

Peppers tend to be a lower-carb vegetable - jalapeno peppers have just 0.5g net carbs per pepper, so you can definitely enjoy hot sauce on your favorite keto meals. We’ve listed some of our top hot sauce picks below, and they all have a negligible amount of carbs, so you can spice up your meals without worrying about maxing out your carbs. 

  • Can you have tomato sauce on the keto diet?

Tomatoes are a tricky one since they are a fruit, but the quick answer is yes, you can have tomatoes and tomato products on a keto diet.  Tomatoes are great because even though they have some carbohydrates, they also have fiber, so their net carbs usually range between 3-6 grams per serving.  

When looking for tomato sauce, opt to make your own when you can.  That way you can control the sugar content, or add some keto-friendly sweeteners if needed.  Store-bought options are all over the board, with most sauces having a fair amount of sugar, so just make sure to look for added sugar on the label.  If you are buying plain tomato sauce to use in a recipe, Hunt’s tomato sauce has 3 grams of net carbs per ¼ cup, so it could easily fit into your keto diet.  And as always, we’ve got you covered with some keto-friendly tomato sauces on our list below.

  • Is Salsa Keto?

Yes, as we talked about above salsa is definitely keto friendly!  Salsa usually only has a few grams of carbs per serving and is loaded with nutritious ingredients, so you can add a burst of flavor to your meals without any guilt.  Just be sure to choose a salsa without any added sugar.  Here are our top 5 ways to eat salsa:

  • Serve it with scrambled eggs for a tex-mex breakfast.
  • Mix it with cauliflower rice for a spin on Spanish rice.
  • Spoon it over grilled chicken or fish.
  • Use it for taco night, filling lettuce cups with taco meat, salsa, and guacamole.
  • Mix it with mayo (and a little water to thin) for a tasty salad dressing.

  • Is Soy Sauce Keto?

Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and wheat, both of which have a significant amount of carbohydrates.  Luckily, most of the carbohydrates are fermented dureing processing, so once it reaches your hands, it only has a small number of carbs.  Traditional soy sauce also contains gluten from wheat, so if you’re avoiding gluten, it is not a good option.  There are a couple of gluten-free soy sauce alternatives that are commonly used, including coconut aminos and tamari, so here’s a breakdown of the carbs for each type and whether it can fit in a keto diet.

Soy Sauce: (Kikkoman) 

  • Net Carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Contains gluten
  • Is it keto-friendly?  Yes!

Coconut Aminos: (Coconut secret)

  • Net Carbs: 3 grams per tablespoon
  • Gluten-free
  • Is it keto-friendly?  It can be, especially if you’re using a very small amount to flavor a dish.  But it adds up quickly, so if you plan on using a significant amount, you’d be better off choosing a lower carb option.

Tamari: (San-J)

  • Net Carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon
  • Gluten-free
  • Is it keto-friendly?  Yes!
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The Top Keto Sauces To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store

We get it - you love using sauces, but don’t have the time or energy to make your own.  The good news is, you don’t have to make your own!  There are lots of great options for low carb sauces that you can find at your local store or online.  While we can’t tell you which kinds will be available at your favorite grocery store, we can assure you that all of the choices below can be found online and some of them in your local stores.  There are lots of online shopping choices, but we’ve found the websites that carry the biggest variety of keto sauces include Amazon and Thrive Market.  So let’s get started and take a peek at the top keto sauces available.

    • Soy Sauce - Great for adding flavor to your favorite savory recipes, below are a couple of good choices for soy sauces, although most types at the store are keto-friendly, so shop away!
      • Kikkoman - Net Carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon
      • La Choy - Net Carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon

    • Hot Sauce - If you’re looking to add some heat to your meal, look no further. This keto-friendly sauce is easy to find and so versatile.  It adds great flavor without any carbs.
      • Tapatio - Net Carbs:0 grams per tablespoon
      • Tabasco and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce - Net Carbs: 0 grams per tablespoon
      • Frank’s Red Hot - Net Carbs: 0 grams per tablespoon

    • Wing Sauce - Wings are the perfect low carb appetizer, but we won’t blame you if they’re your main dish!  As a bonus, they fit well in a keto diet, especially since traditional wing sauce doesn’t add many carbs.
      • Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce - Net Carbs: 0 grams per tablespoon
      • Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Wing Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram net carb per tablespoon
      • Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per tablespoon

    • Spaghetti Sauce - Spaghetti is a staple for many dinner rotations, and while you may not be able to eat traditional spaghetti noodles, you can still enjoy spaghetti sauce tossed with vegetable noodles like zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) or serve tossed with spaghetti squash.  Many jarred spaghetti sauces contain added sugar adding too many carbs for a keto diet - Prego Traditional Sauce has 11 grams of net carbs per ½ cup - but there are more and more options that are lower in carbs, so shop around to find one that works for you.
      • Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce - Net Carbs: 2.5 grams per ¼ cup
      • Classico Tomato Basil - Net Carbs: 3 grams per ¼ cup
      • Rao’s Homemade Vodka Sauce - Net Carbs: 3 grams per ¼ cup
      • Ragu Simply Traditional Pasta Sauce - Net Carbs: 4.5 grams per ¼ cup
      • Newman’s Own Tomato Basil Sauce - Net Carbs: 4 grams per ¼ cup

    • Pesto - Basil pesto adds a fresh and herby flavor to fish, chicken, and vegetables, making it a great addition to any meal.  Made by blending oil, herbs, nuts, and parmesan, its ingredients are keto-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about it derailing your diet.
      • Barilla Pesto - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
      • Amore Pesto Paste - Net Carbs: 0 grams per 2 tablespoons
      • Delallo Simply Pesto - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons

    • Enchilada Sauce - If you are a fan of southwest flavors, you need some keto-friendly enchilada sauce in your life.  Add it to your favorite casserole or skillet meal, or simmer your favorite meat and vegetables in it with a sprinkle of cheese on top.
      • Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce - Net Carbs: 4 grams per ¼ cup
      • Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce - Net Carbs: 3 grams per ¼ cup
      • Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce - Net Carbs: 3 grams per ¼ cup

    • Ketchup - While most people use ketchup as a dip, it's a staple for many of our favorite keto meals, like burgers.  You may think ketchup is off limits on keto, but there are a few no sugar added ketchups that can work.  Give them all a try and narrow down which is your favorite!
      • Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 1 tablespoon
      • G Hughes Sugar-Free Ketchup - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon
      • The New Primal Tomato Ketchup - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 1 tablespoon

    • Barbecue Sauce - Perfect for spooning on top of meat on the grill or using as a dip, BBQ sauces typically have added sugars for sweetness.  If you’re looking for a keto version, we’ve got your back with a couple of keto-friendly barbeque sauces.
      • Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon
      • Oh So Sweet Super BBQ Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon
      • Stevia Sweet BBQ Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon

    • Steak Sauce - If you’ve been missing your favorite steak sauce since making the switch to keto, don’t feel like you need to deprive yourself.  Regular steak sauce is pretty low in carbs, but does usually have added sugars.  There are some great keto steak sauces, so you don’t need to feel like you are missing out!
      • Primal Kitchen Steak Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon
      • G Hughes Sugar-Free Steak Sauce - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon

  • Pizza Sauce - Last (but certainly not least!) is low carb pizza sauce.  While you could always use spaghetti sauce to make a keto pizza, it usually contains more liquid which could make your crust soggy.  Our favorite way to enjoy keto pizza sauce?  Spread some sauce over a cauliflower pizza crust, top with cheese and enjoy!
      • Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce - Net Carbs: 3 grams per ¼ cup

Top Keto Sauce Recipes

Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or just learning to cook, low carb sauces don’t have to be difficult to make.  Most have simple ingredients and require ust a few easy steps to make your favorite keto sauce.  One benefit of making your own sauces at home is that you can better control the amount of carbs, protein, and fat to ensure you stay on track with your keto goals.  Here are some of our favorite sauces to get you started!

Marinara Sauce - We love how easy this recipe is, and you don’t even need to cook it. Toss it with zoodles, or make your own keto pizza!


Cheese Sauce - Who doesn’t need a creamy, dreamy cheese sauce recipe?  Use it to toss with your favorite veggie noodles, or as a dip for chips.  No matter how you serve it, it is utterly divine!


Spaghetti Sauce with Meat - If you’re looking for a hearty sauce, this one’s for you!  It takes just 30 minutes to throw together, and is full of flavor.


Chimichurri Sauce - Chimichurri sauce is made by combining different herbs with olive oil and spices.  It is amazing spooned over grilled meats or tossed with roasted vegetables.  


Barbecue Sauce - We love BBQ sauce, in all of its sticky, sweet glory.  But, most are not great for keto because of their high sugar content.  Enter this homemade BBQ sauce - not only is it delicious, but it won’t throw your carbs over the limit.


Pizza Sauce - Prefer a pizza sauce you can make yourself?  Here’s an easy pizza sauce recipe that is added on top of a delicious keto supreme pizza burger.

5 Ingredient Keto Sauces

To make things even easier, here are a few 5 ingredient (plus seasonings!) recipes to get you started towards keto sauce success.

Basil Pesto 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup brazil nuts (or macadamia nuts)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (try ¼ teaspoon of each to start)  

How to Make It: Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until it is smooth.

Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire
  • ½ teaspoon powdered monkfruit
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon EACH paprika and garlic powder

How to Make It: Mix all the ingredients together, adjust seasonings if needed, and serve!

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup powdered monkfruit
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

How to Make It: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add monkfruit, cooking until the mixture starts to turn golden brown.  Watch it closely as it cooks - it will go from perfect to burned pretty quickly!  Once the butter-monkfruit mixture is light brown, stir in cream and salt, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer, cooking for 7-10 minutes until it is a caramel brown color and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Then, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Allow to cool slightly and serve!

The Top Keto Salsas To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store

Lucky for us, keto salsas are pretty easy to track down at most stores, so there are lots of options to choose from.  As always, be sure to check labels in case there are hidden sugars lurking in there.  Otherwise, happy shopping!

  • Herdez Salsa Casera - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Herdez Salsa Verde - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Frontera Roasted Habanero Salsa - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Tostitos Avocado Salsa - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Newman’s Own Mild Chunky Salsa - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons

Top Keto Salsa Recipes

Salsa couldn’t be easier to make at home.  All you need is a blender, and you can whip up a batch in no time.  

Traditional Salsa - Sometimes you don’t want to mess with a good thing (and who can blame you?!?), so here’s the traditional salsa you know and love.


Roasted Red Pepper Salsa - For a twist on the original, try this version that substitutes red bell peppers for tomatoes.  Its chunky texture and slightly sweet flavor will hit the spot!


Berry Salsa - This refreshing salsa is the perfect blend of salty and sweet, and it is so versatile.  You could scoop it up with cucumber slices, pork rinds, or jicama, or serve it over fish or chicken, or add it to a taco salad.  This is one you are sure to enjoy!


Avocado Salsa - Rich and creamy, this low carb salsa will take your meal from blah to amazing. The recipe makes enough to share, but you may want to keep it all for yourself. 


Pico de Gallo - Add a refreshing kick to your meal by making your own pico de gallo. All you need is a knife and a few minutes to throw together this easy keto salsa.

Chipotle Salsa - If you like some serious heat with a smoky flavor, you’re going to love this salsa.  If you’re not a huge fan of spice, cut back on the chipotle chiles by half. They’ll still give your salsa a smoky flavor without too much heat!

5 Ingredient Keto Salsa Recipes 

When you’re running short on time, these 5 ingredient salsas come to the rescue.

Simple Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt

How to Make It: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  If you like it a little chunkier, pulse it several times instead of blending.

Guacamole - While guac is not technically a salsa, it’s wonderful paired with salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large avocados
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon EACH garlic powder and salt
  • Juice of 1 lime (about a tablespoon)

How to make it: Smash the avocado until it is relatively smooth, then mix in red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings.

The Top Keto Salad Dressings To Buy Online & At A Grocery Store

Salad dressings can be tricky on keto, since many of them have hidden sugars that will add too many carbs.  Don’t worry, we’ve scoured the shelves and found the best keto salad dressings that taste great and won’t add excess carbs.

  • Tessemae’s Organic Balsamic Dressing - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 1 tablespoon
  • Primal Kitchen Italian Vinaigrette - Net Carbs: <1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Kraft Classic Ranch Dressing - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Sir Kensington’s Classic Ranch Dressing - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Tessemae’s Organic Cream Caesar - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Primal Kitchen Thousand Island Dressing - Net Carbs: 2 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Tessemae’s Creamy Green Goddess - Net Carbs: 1 gram per 2 tablespoons
  • Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard Vinaigrette - Net Carbs: 3 grams per 2 tablespoons
  • Daiya Blue Cheeze Dressing - Net Carbs:1 gram per 2 tablespoons

Top Keto Salad Dressing Recipes

Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients, dressings are a cinch to make at home.  All you do is combine the ingredients, shake or whisk them together, and you’re ready to go!

Ranch Dressing- Always a crowd favorite, ranch couldn’t be easier to make at home, and we’ve got a simple recipe to get you started.


Caesar Dressing- Salty, creamy caesar dressing is delicious on a bed of crispy lettuce, and luckily, it’s not too challenging to make.  Don’t let the anchovy paste scare you - it gives this dressing its signature flavor, and once it’s all mixed together, you won’t be able to tell it's there!


Blue Cheese Dressing - If you love tangy blue cheese, this recipe is sure to become your new favorite.  It’s thick and creamy, and thanks to Greek yogurt, it has added protein to keep you feeling full.


Italian Dressing - For a simple, no-fuss dressing, this is a good one to try.  Just combine everything in a jar and shake it up and you’re ready to eat!


Raspberry Vinaigrette - If you’re looking for a slightly sweet dressing, raspberry vinaigrette is where it’s at.  It is amazing paired with mixed greens and feta cheese, or you could spoon it over baked cod or chicken for a slightly sweet sauce.


Thousand Island Dressing - Thousand Island is great mixed with lettuce, and if you’ve never put it on a hamburger, brace yourself - it takes it to the next level!

5 Ingredient Keto Salad Dressing Recipes

When you need a low carb salad dressing in a hurry, we’ve got you covered with 5 ingredient salad dressings that are simple without sacrificing on taste.

Jalapeno Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed cilantro
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ -1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed

How to Make It: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Greek Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon EACH oregano and black pepper

How to Make It: Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.

Sesame Ginger Dressing

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

How to Make It: Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined.

With all the options for keto sauces, salsas, and dressings, we hope you are ready to get saucy and find some new low carb favorites.  Whether you are searching the store shelves, ordering online, or getting ready to whip up your own in the kitchen, there’s a delicious and low carb option for every situation and craving.  Enjoy!

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Kaleena Lundmark
Kaleena Lundmark is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food photographer. She also is the founder of The Crowded Table, a website dedicated to helping busy moms make easy paleo meals. You can find her recipes and get inspiration for kid-friendly meals thecrowdedtable.com

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