5-Minute Sunshine Sauce

Sunshine sauce in jar with a spoon.

Sunshine Sauce for the wintery win! I am obsessed with this liquid sunshiney gold.

A few weeks ago, I shared on my Instagram stories that I was doing some meal prep, and I got many responses from people asking to talk more about the recipe(s) that I was using for meal prep. So consider this your intro to a few meal prep posts that will be coming your way soon. Whee!

If you ask me (which, you’re reading my blog, so, I mean, you kinda did ask me), one of the major flaws of “meal prep” aka cook your veggies and protein and portion them out in containers for the week is that IT IS SO BORING. And bland. And sauce-less. Most of the meal prep that I see looks like a beautiful rainbow of color that is dry, flat, and flavor-less.

WHERE DAT SAUCE AT, PEOPLE? This is what meal prep is missing. This is what Pinch of Yum is going to bring to the meal prep game. We need some good healthy, flavor-packin sauces up in those Tupperwares.

Which is why I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to my new favorite 5-Minute Sunshine Sauce.

It’s not new, actually – I first made it as a really basic Italian dressing for this pasta salad way back here, and in the last few months, I have gone back to the dressing / sauce in that pasta salad post again. And again. And again.

It’s just too good. And too easy. And too ready-for-anything.

How To Make Our Sunshine Sauce (35 SEC):

Ingredients in food processor.
Blended sauce ingredients.

The basic Sunshine Sauce crew includes:

  • olive oil
  • vinegar (or lemon juice would be fine, but sometimes there is no fresh lemon hanging around in your kitchen, which brings us back to vinegar)
  • salt
  • dried oregano and basil
  • garlic! very important

That’s it. For real.

You can always add fresh herbs if you want to take it up a notch – you know, freshness, color, flavor, that kind of thing. But to me, the true beauty of Sunshine Sauce is that it can exist with only pantry ingredients. Even when you have ALMOST NOTHING in your kitchen, I bet you can find what you need to make a little jar-sized batch of this sauce.

Sauce in food processor.
Sunshine Sauce dripping off the spoon.

This sauce totally drenched my meal prep situation involving spicy chicken and rice and beans, and I mean that in a good way, and you’ll be seeing that recipe soon. But really, this sauce needed its own post.

I make it often enough (weekly, at this point?) to justify a dedicated internet home for this 5-minute-vegan-no-grocery-shopping-required miracle. Roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, salad, chicken, ALL OF IT. I am hard-pressed to find a food that does not benefit from a steady drizzle of bright and zippy sunshine.

5 Minute Sunshine Sauce, you beauty, you.

Sunshine Sauce in jar with spoon.

5-Minute Sunshine Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings (2-3 tablespoons each)


5-Minute Vegan Sunshine Sauce – this stuff is liquid gold! ☀ made with olive oil, vinegar, spices, garlic, and a hint of salt. SO yummy!


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs optional (see notes)
  • fresh lemon (see notes)


  1. Blitz everything up in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. ☀
  2. Serve on everything! Roasted vegetables, salads, meal prep… it is so versatile and SO yummy.


Pantry upgrade: I wanted this recipe to be very pantry friendly which is why I didn’t add fresh herbs and lemon to the base recipe (I don’t always have them on hand). BUT. If you do have fresh lemon, add it! It’s delicious. And definitely add fresh herbs if you have them! I like to throw a handful of parsley or basil in for Italian recipes, and cilantro for Mexican recipes.

Storing and Re-Using: This keeps in a jar in the fridge for about one week. If it separates, just shake it up again. If the oil turns solid in the fridge, just let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes OR run the jar under warm water and shake again. If it’s too thick or gloppy, add a little more water.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: sunshine sauce, vegan sunshine sauce, lemon sauce

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Edit 5/21/18: A previous version of this recipe listed a higher salt measurement, but I reduced it based on your feedback and because it was intended for a very coarse salt which most people are not using. If you are worried about the salt, a good rule of thumb is to just add salt 1/4 teaspoon at a time and adjust to taste. As always, thanks for your feedback! It helps make recipes better.

One More Thing!

19 sauces that make everything better.

This recipe is part of our Sauces That Make Everything Better roundup. Check it out!

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