Finishing sauces, such as béchamel, velouté, espagnole, sauce tomat and hollandaise, are the easiest and quickest technique to use to enhance recipes. Culinary trends, however, continue to evolve and consumers crave new choices.
Restaurants want to give consumers what they desire with new signature sauces, such as yogurt, Alfredo, cheese and cream based. These new recipes provide a convenient way for restaurants to satisfy consumers’ appetites and add complementary flavors, moisture, visual interest and texture, allowing operators to create market separation.
Alfredo-based sauced pastas are priced 6.1% more in price compared to marinara-based pasta dishes, and cream-based sauce options are priced 26% greater, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor.
Here’s a look at sauce offerings on menus today:
- Driven by global influences and a consumer desire to eat healthy, yogurt sauces are making moves on menus. Fast casual restaurant chain b.good offered a Curry & Grilled Avocado Bowl with quinoa, kale, sauteed vegetables, cauliflower, roasted red pepper, peas, almonds, curry and mint-yogurt sauce; and chef Jose Andres, at his pop-up restaurant in the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., offered Kimchi-wa Bowl with rice, sweet potato, carrot, cabbage, edamame, bok choy and garlic-yogurt sauce, topped with scallions, sesame seeds, corn nuts, kimchi and soy-ginger dressing.
- The secret to creamy Alfredo sauce is butter and heavy cream. Casual dining restaurant Zio’s Italian Kitchen introduced The Stuffed Meatball Trio with three meatballs stuffed with provolone and topped with tomato, Alfredo and spicy Alfredo sauces; and quick service restaurant chain Stevi B’s The Ultimate Pizza Buffet debuted Alfredo Lasagna Pizza with spinach Alfredo sauce, sausage and cavatappi pasta.
- Cheese is a perfect ingredient in a sauce as it pairs with many foods. Casual dining restaurant P.J. Whelihan’s Pub & Restaurant added Chorizo Stuffed Chicken Boats with three breaded chicken boats filled with chorizo, American cheese sauce, pico de gallo, guacamole, harissa salsa and fresh jalapenos; and quick service restaurant Charleys Philly Steaks added Smoky Chipotle Fries with cooked-to-order fries topped with bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese sauce, chipotle sauce and chives.
- Cream sauces can come across as old-fashioned, but updating them up makes them craveable. Casual dining restaurant Nixta served four flautas with oyster mushroom and cheese filling served on a mound of raw spinach and mushrooms with crema de hongos (mushroom cream sauce); and casual dining restaurant Applebee’s added Firecracker Shrimp Cavatappi with fried Sriracha shrimp, grilled zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion, and cavatappi pasta in Parmesan-Sriracha cream sauce.
This post is sponsored by Land O'Lakes Foodservice