Next-level braai sauces that aren’t pink sauce

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Next-level braai sauces that aren't pink sauce

There’s no denying that a good old bottle of tomato sauce has a welcome place at most braais, but doesn’t mean it’s the only sauce out there. We’re rounding up some of the most impressive (and deceptively easy) sauces you can whip up to steal the show at your next braai.

Salsa verde

Salsa verde literally means “green sauce”. While there are numerous recipes for it out there, it’s easy to riff and make entirely your own. When it comes to braaied meat, the punchy herb sauce will cut through any richness and make the meal that much more refined. Hannah’s version below is a great base recipe, but feel free to play around with what you’ve got available. Omit the capers if you don’t have (or don’t like them), swap out the vinegar for any other acid, such as lemon juice, and mix and match the selection of herbs listed.

Braaied rib-eye with salsa verde

Get the recipe for braaied rib-eye with salsa verde here.

Barbecue sauce

At its core, barbeque sauce is just a gussied up tomato sauce, which means that wherever you use old T-sauce, you can use barbeque. The real bonus to barbeque sauce is that it makes a great marinade, as well as a serving sauce. Everything from steaks and boeries, to burgers and chicken wings will flourish with a basting or dunk in barbeque sauce.

Home-made BBQ sauce

Get the recipe for homemade BBQ sauce here.


Another version of the tomato flavour profile we all love so much, chakalaka is the true MVP of a braai. This version by The Lazy Makoti keeps it pretty simple but is so good, you might make want to double up and store it in the fridge for later.

The Lazy Makoti’s sticky ribs and chakalaka

Get the recipe for sticky ribs and chakalaka here.


Often when we think of peri-peri sauce, marinated chicken comes straight to mind. Yet, this fiery chilli sauce also makes for a great condiment for things beyond chicken, too. Steak and braaied fish play nicely with peri-peri, as do veggies such as cauliflower and mielies. Abi’s basic recipe below proves that this sauce works double-time as both a marinade and dipping sauce. Make double so that you’ve always got some nearby.

Chicken espetada with peri-peri

Chicken espetada with peri-peri recipe
Get the recipe for chicken espetada with peri-peri here.

Spicy yoghurt sauce

While we’ll always have a place reserved in our hearts for mayonnaise, a spicy yoghurt dressing is the lighter upgrade your braai needs. This creamy jalapeno dressing features the tiniest blob of mayo, but the bulk of the sauce is made from yoghurt and fresh chillies. Play around with the combination of chillies, or swap in a chilli sauce or atchar too – the cooling qualities of the yoghurt will work well with any added spice. Soft herbs like parsley, coriander and mint would also be a treat in this.

Chicken schnitzel salad with creamy jalapeño dressing

Get the recipe for chicken schnitzel salad with creamy jalapeño dressing here.




Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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