5-Minute Sunshine Sauce

19 reviews / 4.3 average

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.

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Sunshine Sauce in jar with spoon.

5-Minute Sunshine Sauce

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings (2-3 tablespoons each) 1x


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.

  • 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!

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

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    OMG YES! I completely agree about the sans-sauce meal prep sadness. I’ve been on the hunt for good, freezable (key word) sauce recipes that I can use on veggies and fish. As a single person, I pretty much ignore any recipe that doesn’t provide for the possibility of freezing leftovers or pre-prepped ingredients.

    If you can perhaps work up a magical, freezable cheese sauce and/or butter-and-herb sauce, you would be providing the answer to my kitchen wishes =)

    Thanks for being awesome! Of all of the food blogs I follow, yours is definitely my favorite <3

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Lindsay! Long-time reader, and I love your recipes. Lately, I’ve had a hard time recalling recipes and finding them later since the titles are starting to go away from ingredients or description and more towards “detox” or “sunshine”, etc. While that is a fantastic description for this sauce, is there a way to find these recipes again later by searching for the ingredients? Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Adrienne! If you search by ingredients, those recipes should still come up in search results. For example, today, if you searched olive oil, it would be the 4th result (coming in just after the recipes with “olive oil” in the title name). Another option would be to browse by category. If you clicked on “Sauces” from the menu in the recipes section, you should see today’s post at the top of the list. Hope that helps! And for the record, I’m always going back and forth on how I want content titles to be, and sometimes “Olive Oil Garlic Herb Sauce” or “Herb Vinaigrette” doesn’t appeal to me as much as a name that’s more fun and sticky such as Sunshine Sauce. 🙂 I appreciate hearing your feedback! Thanks!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I totally agree about the lack of sauce with meal prep. That was definitely something I struggled with! This sauce looks so simple and delicious, I’m sure I’ll be making it a lot!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Dang I love your blog Lindsay, even if I don’t try the recipes you crack me up. Officially. Every week. Can you come to NZ sometime? Visit me! It’ll be fun! Promise. xx Peace and polkadots ~ Buffy

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Absolutely love that you shared this! Going to make it soon. Wondering if you’ve tried making it with any other kinds of vinegar and how those might change the flavor profile (a little or a lot)? Thanks!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Totally agree about the bland chicken breast meal prep meals, but I would assume most people who do that are also trying to eat healthy.

    At 295 kcals, 33g of fat (!!) and 930 mg of sodium, this recipe isn’t really a healthy addition. Perhaps the recipe makes more than 5 servings?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Jamie Kemen

      My guess is like a dressing, two tablespoons of this sauce would be about a serving. Meal preppers need fats too, and one could always cut serving in half for less.

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Morgan Henderson

    Hey Lindsey– I’ve been using your recipes for meal prepping for a couple months now! Lemongrass pork meatballs, quick pickled carrots, and magic green sauce on a bed of roasted sweet potatoes. No lack of flavour there! I’m stoked to see how this sauce turns out.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Toni J

    So I was just thinking of your amazing saucy creativity this morning when I was delighting in one of your other epic sauces that I re-purpose, cz I’m kind of the queen of repurposing sauces. Probably my all-time fave, it’s from February 2016, the sauce from green shakshuka with rice. I love it in that reciipe, but I have eaten three meals in the last two days (yep, it’s that good!) of that green sauce baked in a casserole with roasted barramundi fillets and potatoes. (Things like broccoli also work in this casserole. But I was rushing.) Anyway. Grateful to see a new POY sauce to join all your other awesome ones. I am sure this is wonderful! You Rock, girl!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Woah, a sauce with dried herbs?!?! I’m always craving pesto but it’s just not possible in the winter when there’s no basil… Til now. Definitely making this soon!!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Nicole Gutierrez

    Sauce Rules! I m glad I am not the only person who looks at meal preps and feel a lil sad there is no fun to it…This is perfect! The name is very cute too.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I tried this, it’s pretty yummy. However, here’s a suggestion to improve things a bit – Use the packaged lemon juice that comes in a lemon-shaped yellow plastic container. This can last in your fridge for months, so it’s very pantry friendly, and gives quite an improvement over white vinegar, which I pretty much use only for cleaning the kitchen. Yes, I made two batches and did a side-by-side comparison.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Great post. Do you do product reviews or endorsements? I’m wondering because given how much food you prep and cook you probably have some great tips on what’s a good buy and what isn’t. Can you recommend a good food processor that’s easy to clean?

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    since this was posted, i must have it in my fridge because it is so delicious. so today as i made my popcorn to watch “the crown” i thought, why not, and instead of melted butter, sprinkled some sunshine sauce over the cooked popcorn, followed by parmesan. yum!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I made this for last night’s buddha bowls. So bright and zippy with pantry ingredients. A little goes a long way. There were five of us and there’s lots left over. Looking forward to using on other things. And yes, it’s like vinaigrette but to me the flavors tasted a little more full than the dressings I make.

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    IMO 2 tsp is way too much and I like salty things. I followed recipe exactly and it was WAY to salty. I am going to dilute down with some more EVOO. Other flavors are good.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Erin, I agree with you. Too much salt for sure and I think fresh herbs would be much better. I doctored my batch up with some more vinegar and a touch of water to try to cut the salt.