The Healthy Summer Condiments Your Picnics, BBQs & Parties Need

Last Update: August 10, 2023

It’s the season of backyard hangs, family BBQs, graduation parties, and cocktail hours. While you’re freshening up your wine rack and stocking the freezer with prime cuts of meat, don’t forget to update your condiment stash in the fridge and pantry. Because while you can absolutely make ketchup, barbecue sauce, and mustard from scratch, it might not be the first DIY project on your summer bucket list, and that’s where we come in.

What Are Condiments?

Condiments (think mustard, soy sauce, or barbecue sauce) are typically added after cooking, and they accessorize a plate the same way a pair of earrings finishes your outfit. In short, condiments are simply non-negotiable for some dishes. (Would you eat a burger without ketchup or special sauce? Definitely not.) The word comes from the Latin condire, meaning ‘to preserve or or season’, and was first used in English to describe ‘pickling fluid, seasoning’ in the middle of the 15th century. Condiments are enjoyed around the world and many cuisines are associated with specific versions, like Parmesan in Italy or soy sauce in Japan.

Are Condiments Healthy

The short answer: not always. Using your sleuthing skills on nutrition labels is important when choosing condiments, because many conventional options include not-so-great ingredients like hydrogenated oils or added sugar. But at Thrive Market, our high standards means better-for-you condiments are available for every diet.

20 Condiments Your Kitchen Needs (and How to Use Them)

From unsweetened ketchup to black truffle mayonnaise, there’s a condiment for every summertime moment.


healthy summer condiments

Ketchup is best known as a sweet and tangy tomato-based condiment, but its origins began in China as a pickled fish sauce. Keep it classic or try something new—it’s up to you.

Member Favorites

  • Thrive Market Organic Ketchup: “Delicious! Perfect spice level.” —Katherine, Colorado
  • Primal Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Ketchup: “It’s so nice to be able to keep a clean, sugar free ketchup on hand during our Whole30! It’s tasty too!” —Elizabeth, Florida
  • Good Food for Good Organic Spicy Ketchup: “This provides the perfect level of spice and is nice and thick, just like ketchup should be. It’s a winner for sure!” —Kristin, Connecticut
  • The New Primal Noble Made Carrot Ketchup: “The taste is less acidic than tomato ketchup but still bright and a bit sweet. Less sodium, hooray!” —Julie, Illinois

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Give your guests a surprise at your next cookout—ketchup leather! It’s a chef truck to keep your burger from getting soggy and a snap to make.
  • Make a dressing for pink coleslaw (a recipe attributed to the South) by whisking ketchup with cider vinegar, sugar, and hot sauce.
  • Use ketchup as a base for glazes. Try blending it with soy sauce, sesame oil and sherry to make a sweet sauce for grilled chicken or salmon.


healthy summer condiments

Mustard makes your mouth pucker in the best way possible. The signature tang ranges from mild to spicy and jazzes up all kinds of recipes.

Member Favorites

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Mix grainy mustard with mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for a sandwich spread that pairs well with roast beef and chicken.
  • Whisk a spoonful into a honey mustard dressing, or use mustard to add extra flavor to an egg salad.
  • Spread mustard on rye crackers and top with sardines and flaky salt.


healthy summer condiments

Enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other recipes, get warm weather ready with our best spreads.

Member Favorites

  • Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayonnaise: “You would never know this is made from avocado oil—it has that traditional mayo flavor and texture.” —Lynne, Virginia
  • TRUFF Black Truffle Mayonnaise: “This is so creamy and smooth! The truffle flavor is perfect if you like it on the stronger side. I have been putting it on everything!” —Jessica, Colorado
  • Sir Kensington’s Classic Vegan Mayo: “I don’t remember why I tried this; now my go-to. I’m not a vegan, or even a vegetarian. It’s just better than regular mayonnaise.” —Mary, California

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Make your own sandwich spreads using mayo as a base. Try stirring in vibrant basil pesto, chipotle powder and lime, sriracha, chopped pickles, or grainy mustard for one-of-a-kind flavor.
  • For an extra-crisp crust, slather mayo on grilled cheese before grilling.
  • To thicken salad dressings, add a dollop of mayonnaise along with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bonus points for adding grated cheese!

Dressings and Marinades

healthy summer condiments

Ready-made dressings mean salad prep just got easier. Plus, there are options for every diet including keto, paleo, and Whole30®.

Member Favorites

  • Primal Kitchen Italian Vinaigrette & Marinade With Avocado Oil: “This is great as a pork chop marinade!” —Stephanie, Kansas
  • Sir Kensington’s Classic Ranch Dressing: “This stuff is amazing. I used it to make dairy free Buffalo chicken dip and it was perfect!” —Brittany, Pennsylvanie
  • Whole30 Buffalo Vinaigrette: “The best of both worlds of hot sauce and dressing!” —Rachel, Connecticut

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Before grilling, marinate shrimp, chicken, or vegetables in your favorite dressing for 1-2 hours.
  • Serve your favorite dip with crisp veggies like cucumber, red peppers, and carrots for an easy appetizer.

Dips and Spreads

healthy summer condiments

Done-for-you dips and spreads is how we like to roll when the days get long.

Member Favorites

  • Naya’s Roasted Red Pepper + Cauliflower Hummus: “I love this dipped in flax crackers or veggie straws! It’s a great healthy snack that doesn’t feel like you’re counting calories.” —Heather, Iowa
  • Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheeze Sauce: “I have been looking for a cheese sauce that was tasty and easy to use—found it with this product!” —Linda, Idaho
  • Thrive Market Organic Salsa, Mild: “When your 5-year-old will eat this then it’s automatically the best salsa! We eat this on almost everything!” —Arin, Texas
  • Kitchen & Love Basil Pesto Sauce: “This is the best jarred pesto I have found.” —Rebecca, Vermont

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Spoon salsa over scrambled eggs, top burrito bowls, or use it as a fresh base for Bloody Marys.
  • Toss pesto in a pot of pasta, drizzle it over roasted vegetables, or serve alongside grilled steak.

Pickled Vegetables

healthy summer condiments

Pickles (and pickled veggies) add an instant flavor upgrade to burgers, nachos, and cheese boards.

Member Favorites

  • Woodstock Organic Sweet Relish: “This relish is really good. I usually make my own every summer, but didn’t this year. This is a close second to my own relish!” —Kimm, Oregon
  • La Preferida Organic Jalapeño Nacho Slices: “Love that I can add jalapenos to meals without burning my mouth!” —Hannah, Minnesota
  • Rick’s Picks Spicy Green Bean Pickles: “These beans are delightful and addictive. Just enough kick to keep me from eating the whole jar in a single sitting.” —Dan, Massachusetts

Summer Cooking Ideas

  • Include pickled beets or green beans on your charcuterie or cheese board for extra tang.
  • Mix chopped pickles with ketchup and mayo for a DIY burger sauce.
  • Use pickled vegetables (like red onions) to top pita sandwiches or taco bowls.

5 Make-Ahead Condiment Recipes

If you have some extra time, these homemade mayos, pestos, and dips will make your next summer menu even more memorable.

Avocado Pesto With Chlorella

This superfood pesto uses classic ingredients like basil and garlic, then takes things up a notch with creamy avocado, chlorella, and nutritional yeast.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

This savory keto-friendly sauce is ready to drizzle on rice dishes, fish, or chicken. To make the recipe vegan, opt for the alternative sweetener.

Rosemary Hollandaise

Our take on the traditional French sauce uses ghee, mayo, mustard, lemon, and cayenne for a little kick.

Mark Sisson’s Spicy Sauce

Primal Kitchen founder Mark Sisson whips up a 4-ingredient dressing that spices things up with chipotle, lime, and garlic.

Immersion Blender Mayo

Get back to basics with an extra easy mayo you can make in the blender. This Whole30®- and keto-friendly recipe is ready for your favorite sandwich, dressing, and dips.

This article is related to:

BBQ Ideas, Healthy Condiments

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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