30+ DIY Condiments to Stop Buying & Make at Home

They’re not a nutritious addition to our meals, necessarily, but toppings and spreads like mayonnaise, mustard, and pesto make meals so much better. Add some of these homemade condiments to your pantry for a flavor boost! 

Go here to learn more about making your own jams and jellies.

ketchup, mustard, and mayo in small brown bowls from above.

Can I make you think for a moment? If you pondered your family’s eating habits and figured out the one prepared item, one of the pantry essentials that is used the most in your household, what would it be?

I asked a similar question of my readers awhile back and got a variety of answers: ketchup, salsa, ranch dressing, Miracle Whip*, barbecue sauce, bread, spicy mustard…

  • Now, think about the trash and plastic you could eliminate from the waste stream.
  • The chemicals (in many cases) you could remove from your family’s diet.
  • And the trips to the store you could avoid if you made that one item at home.

What if instead of depending on Heinz and Kraft and Pace to fulfill your family’s desire for that must-have item, you made it yourself?

Of course, you’ll likely need the help of a farmer or two for some of the ingredients necessary to make your version, but removing that whole step of manufacturing your favorite staple foods is better for the environment and very likely better for your health.

It gives you the opportunity to choose organic or sustainably farmed items. And it teaches the younger generation that food, real food, doesn’t have to come with a label.

The Handcrafted Pantry

Ready to DIY your pantry with more wholesome ingredients? Check out my ebook, The Handcrafted Pantry! Filled with delicious recipes for some of your favorite condiments, snacks, and toppings, it’s the guide you need to start skipping packaged products and embrace homemade.

Homemade Condiments

I’ve already converted to making many of my own condiments and sauces. In fact, a guest of ours once asked, as I was making up a batch of homemade salad dressing, “Do you make your own salad dressing…every time you have a salad??” 

Actually, I make enough to last for a week or so, but yes, all of my salad dressings are homemade. 

We’ve still got a long way to go toward eliminating all prepared foods, but it’s a start. And I can tell you that it has been a painless conversion.

In most cases, all you need to do is commit to a half an hour or so of combining ingredients to replace some of your pantry essentials.

And that half-hour in the kitchen will generally net you way more of your favorite condiment than what you’d get at the store – for less money.

In the case of ketchup, it will take longer, but that’s because it needs to cook down. There’s not much active work needed during that stage.

*I’m not a fan myself, but I found this recipe for homemade Miracle Whip. Even that can be created in your kitchen!

Breaking the Store Bought Habit

Long before Best Foods decided to bottle up their popular sandwich spread, someone was making that from scratch.

Same with so many of the things we buy ready made these days. What if I told you that making some of those staple foods isn’t only possible, but easy to do at home?

Certainly it takes a little shift in thinking, but that’s easy for someone as clever as you, right? Homemade condiments, here you come!

Why Switch to Homemade Condiments?

  • Less packaging
  • Avoid unpronounceable ingredients and GMOs
  • Tastes better
  • You’re not at the mercy of big food producers. Run out of mayo? Simple enough to whip up a quick batch!
  • You can choose ingredients you love.

Below you’ll find a collection of some of the homemade condiments we love, along with links to even more great recipes.

spicy mustard in a jar.


I start with mustard because it is one of the easiest homemade condiments to make and a great place to start if this is all foreign to you. Three ingredients (if you count water) and five minutes of hands-on effort and boom!

Here’s my recipe, but consider fiddling with it once you’ve made it a couple of times. Try white wine or ale instead of water, or add some spices to kick it up!

homemade mayonnaise in a glass dish.


Another sandwich topping that we are used to scooping from a jar, mayonnaise has a reputation for being difficult to make–not because the steps are involved, but because the egg and oil sometimes don’t emulsify. Years ago, a reader tipped me off to an almost infallible way to make mayonnaise and I’ve been using that method ever since!

spoon in a teal bowl of pink spicy mayo

Spicy Mayo

This dipping sauce is SO simple to make but packs a punch of flavor. Use it for dipping fries, sushi, or tossing with ahi to make a homemade spicy poke!

red ketchup in a white dish with canning jars surrounding it


This ketchup recipe a great substitute for your favorite store bought brand. You can make it with tomatoes OR, as I do, with tamarillos. This recipe is safe for canning, but you could also halve the recipe and just keep it in your fridge.

homemade sour cream in a green bowl.

Sour Cream

This is my new favorite thing. As we peck away at making more of our own ingredients at home, I’ve discovered that DIY sour cream is crazy easy. In fact, my husband has taken to making it! Not that he’s incompetent — he’s a great cook — but he’s habitual.

There are two ways to make it, with slightly differing results. Each requires only two ingredients! Try this sour cream recipe or this recipe for creme fraiche. (The creme fraiche sounds fancy, but it tastes just like our favorite store bought brand.)

HOMEMADE ranch dressing in a jar with lid off.

Salad Dressing

The salad dressing section in my grocery store is about ten feet long and five feet high. There are flavors that appeal to every taste bud! But those bottled dressings come with wonky ingredients and yet another disposable bottle.

Instead, try your hand at making your own salad dressing. Switching out to this one homemade condiment will save you a bundle if you eat a lot of salad! 

Our go to is this Caesar ranch dressing. We also like this buttermilk ranch dressing. In the springtime, try making this creamy salad dressing made with fresh radish leaves.

french onion dip in a brown bowl from above, with chips.

Onion Dip

If you usually buy your onion dip pre-made or as a little mix in packet, homemade dip is going to blow your mind. It’s all we make anymore. Try this French onion dip or opt for green onion dip — whichever strikes your fancy!

bowl of fresh garden salsa surrounded by round tortilla chips.


I’m trying to remember if fresh salsa was even available at supermarkets when I was growing up. I don’t think so. And yet it’s standard fare these days.

Five ingredients and a little bit of chopping and you can kiss those little plastic containers goodbye. (You’ll definitely want to keep this recipe on hand for summer garden season!)

Or try something a little different and make a batch of tomatillo salsa. For a sweet alternative to salsa that goes well with chicken or fish, try this pineapple salsa! I fermented mine, but if you’re not into that, no need.

If you’re a fan of cooked salsa, this salsa recipe is for you.

jar of pickled jalapeno peppers.

Pickled Jalapeños

My son loves topping his meals with a little heat. These easy pickled jalapeños are a great stand in for the canned variety.

sliced onion in a jar.

Pickled Red Onions

Add flavor to your favorite sandwiches with these easy pickled red onions. Slice them up, cover them with a brine, and they’ll be ready to use in just a few days.

Hot Pepper Relish

Another favorite way to add heat to meals? This fermented hot pepper relish. I use it as an easy-to-grab ingredient for spicing up homemade chili or curry.

jars of zucchini relish, ready for lids.

Hamburger Relish

Made from summer’s favorite abundant crop, zucchini, this hamburger relish tastes just like your favorite store-bought version. 

homemade peanut butter on a slice of bread with strawberries on a white plate

DIY Peanut Butter

If your family is a fan of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this is probably one of the most-used pantry essentials in your kitchen. You’ll need a blender for this one, but making homemade peanut butter is about as easy as it gets. Here’s how.

creamy hummus on a platter with pita chips, carrots, and green olives.


Hummus is a fairly new introduction in the United States. Unless you grew up in a Greek or Middle Eastern family, it’s likely that the first taste of hummus you had came straight from the supermarket. But good news! Hummus is super easy to make.

And you can switch it up like we do with this spicy chipotle hummus recipe or this roasted red pepper hummus. You will need a food processor or blender of you want that creamy texture, though my son managed to make hummus while he was away at college, patiently smashing it with a spoon.

radish greens pesto in a glass jar.


Great as a topping for pasta, pesto also works well to make sandwiches and wraps just that much better. Try classic basil pesto or this garlic lemon basil sauce. For something a little bit different, whip up a batch of radish leaf pesto.

cilantro sauce in a jar with a spoon.

Cilantro Sauce

This light and flavorful cilantro sauce is perfect for taco night, but it’s delicious spread in sandwiches and wraps, too. 

jar of cherry jam, lid off.

Jam and Jelly

Making jams and jellies is a bit more involved, but if you’ve been wanting to delve into home canning, this is the best place to start. If you know how to chop and mix ingredients, making jam won’t be difficult for you. If you don’t want to go through the canning process, you can just refrigerate your jam, but it won’t last as long. 

hot fudge sundae in a tall glass dish

Hot Fudge Sauce

Everyone needs a little treat once in awhile, right? Store bought hot fudge sauce is usually heavy on GMO corn syrup or sugar. Make your own with some simple ingredients and a little bit of cooking time a

nd you’ll be in hot fudge heaven.


mayo, ketchup and mustard on wooden spoons

Originally published March 2015; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Kris Bordessa is an award-winning National Geographic author and a certified Master Food Preserver. Read more about Kris and how she got started with this site here. If you want to send Kris a quick message, you can get in touch here.

13 comments… add one
  • Carol Jul 1, 2023 @ 19:18

    I count 17 IF you count the spicy mayo as separate….. Title says 30+ (I don’t count the variations of jam/jelly…it is still jam/jelly) Also, there is no recipe for the spicy mayo or the hamburger relish.
    I LOVE the idea of cilantro sauce! Love cilantro!
    Thanks for the list

    • AttainableSustainable Jul 5, 2023 @ 9:28

      Whoops, that was an oversight, the links for spicy mayo and relish are added!

  • Brenda Jun 8, 2023 @ 3:38

    Is it possible to purchase any of your work in a hard copy format? I am not interested in E books and do not use them (out of site/out of mind).

  • Jen May 12, 2023 @ 22:23

    Your mayo and the easy method in making it is brilliant, we make it every week now as we go through it so quickly! I’m going to make the ceaser dressing next!

    • AttainableSustainable May 18, 2023 @ 6:37

      I’m so glad you love it!

  • Susan Mar 24, 2022 @ 12:42

    Sriracha Aioli
    Make the mayonnaise recipe add a good amount of Sriracha to taste and put in a jar. It lasts a good amount of time in the fridge. It’s great on tacos, burritos, salads, and sandwiches.

    • AttainableSustainable Mar 29, 2022 @ 7:50

      Yes! Sounds delicious 🙂

  • Jen @ The Easy Homestead Apr 21, 2015 @ 0:59

    I am totally trying your 60 second mayo! We have tried making it before and it just didn’t taste good. Your’s looks awesome!

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 21, 2015 @ 10:28

      Please report back. My family has been VERY picky about this, and this recipe is one that they’ll use.

  • Angi @ SchneiderPeeps Mar 17, 2015 @ 3:54

    I’m totally going to try your mayonnaise tip! Mayonnaise is one of the last few condiments I still buy.

  • John Mar 16, 2015 @ 8:29

    I didn’t realize salsa was so easy to make at home! I eat a lot of chips and salsa and will definitely be trying some recipes out in the future.

  • Melissa Mar 15, 2015 @ 3:50

    Thank you for these reminders! Homemade is *always better than store purchased…but sometimes I slide back a bit and forget/go for the convenience factor :-/ I’m working on that 🙂

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