There's nothing like good, store-bought sauce to liven up a dish with ease—except, maybe, store-bought sauces made by women!
condiment queens
Photography by Kate Mathis
| Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Red Duck Foods

Originally started by Jessica Hilbert, Shannon Oliver, and Karen Bonner as a business-school project, this company now stocks its organic taco sauces in Whole Foods stores nationwide (and boasts other flavorful condiments like barbecue sauce and ketchup). The earthy Curry Ketchup ($6 for 14 ounces) is a cult fave.

Thai and True

The easiest way to make your tom yum goong taste like the real deal? The authentic sauces by Thailand native Susie Kasem. The Red Curry Paste ($5.75 for six ounces)—rich with lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime—adds instant depth to stir-fries and soups.

Marshall’s Haute Sauce

Sarah Marshall makes her complex, creative, and additive-free hot sauces by hand in small batches with ingredients from local farmers. The Smoked Habañero Barbeque ($11 for eight ounces) offers a bite of heat tempered by sweet carrots and molasses.

Mesa de Vida

Before she learned to cook, Kirsten Helle Sandoval relied on spice packets to emulate the global dishes she craved. Now she makes and markets her own blends that use real, fresh ingredients. Pick up a jar of North African ($9 for nine ounces) and, before you know it, you'll be whipping up shakshuka for breakfast on any given Tuesday.

Bunches & Bunches

Founded by veteran chef Tamalpais Roth-McCormick, this brand is known for its award-winning deeply flavorful Mexican-inspired sauces. Snag the Smoked Oaxacan Mole ($13 for 15 ounces), which is simmered for hours with a ton of chiles, to transform everything from veggie soup to nachos.