Magic Sauce

I call this the magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmy with deliciousness. It's magic like that. Technically, it's a riff on a chimichurri sauce - one that has veered off the rails in a big way.

Magic Sauce

I call this my magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmer with deliciousness. It's magic like that. Technically, it's a riff on a chimichurri sauce - one that veered off the rails in a big way. Much tweaking has rendered it a distant second cousin. If that. In fact, the hallmark of that sauce, parsley, I skip entirely. But I love this. Love love love. And I use it a hundred different ways. Magic sauce, it's real.

Magic Sauce Recipe

Double Up

Let's just start by putting one thing out there. You're best off making a double or triple batch. This is the sort of stuff you burn through in minutes. Not exaggerating. I cook eggs in it - scrambled, omelette, frittata, you name it. I drizzle it on soups. This time of year that means corn soups, brothy bean pots, or lunch time slurpy noodle bowls.
Magic Sauce Recipe
Magic Sauce Recipe

 I can also attest it's the sort of thing that makes baked potatoes even better than usual. And salads welcome it as well - particularly shaved salads, or ones made from spicy greens. You can use it to marinate or slather ingredients before grilling or roasting. And its the sort of dressing that turns a bowl full of farro or quinoa or soba noodles into something close to a full meal - just toss in another favorite seasonal ingredient or two.

Magic Sauce Recipe
This sauce is as versatile as a black dress. Although, it's not really the little black dress of sauces. Think more bohemian that that - earthy, intricate and interesting. Completely approachable. The way the garlic-perfumed oil suspends flecks of rosemary, thyme, and oregano is really nice. And the rusty red tint of the paprika makes everything this sauce touches look just that much more special.
Magic Sauce Recipe

If you do anything extra special with it, give a holler in the comments. I still have a half-full mason jar of it ready for business. -h

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Magic Sauce

3.72 from 139 votes

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed into a paste
  • 1 well-crumbled bay leaf
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4+ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Gently warm the olive oil over medium-low heat in a skillet or pan, until it is just hot. When hot remove from heat.
  2. While the oil is heating, lightly pound the rosemary, thyme, and oregano in a mortar and pestle.
  3. Stir the paprika, garlic, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt into the oil. Then add the bruised herbs and lemon juice.
  4. You can use this now, but know - the oil just gets better as it ages over a few days. Keep it in a refrigerator for up to a week/ten days-ish. It thickens up when cold, so if you need it in a liquid state, place it in the sun or in a warm place for a few minutes.
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
weeknight express
101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Post Your Comment

Recipe Rating


I have never commented on a recipe before, probably because I usually wing it and cook mediocre food. I just made this for the first time to follow your homemade pizza directions. It’s the best tasting thing I’ve ever made! Thanks for the secret sauce!5 stars


    Thanks JL!!

    Heidi Swanson

This is really good. Our favorite restaurant has a Spanish prawns appetizer and it’s very close to this. I will Be making that dish. I doubled The recipe so I’ll have some for other things. Added twice the garlic, more salt and fresh ground pepper. Tonight I used It on sweet dumpling squash, stuffed with porcini risotto, topped with poached eggs, drizzled with this sauce. So yummy5 stars


Used a little smoked paprika. Good recipe.

Jay Dee

This is just what I needed! I’m about to go on a two week sail, and the boat comes stocked with nothing and we leave everything behind at the end. So a few well chosen spice blends or sauces are the trick to having rich flavor and variety without a whole spice and condiment cupboard to work with! If I bring some spices from home and find some fresh herbs there, this will be one of those flavors we come back to the whole trip!


Toss with wheatberries and shrimp, throw some chopped celery in and fresh tomatoes…oh my! BTW I licked the pan I made it in! Amazing!


Wow! Totally magical, using my overgrown garden herbs! I think my paprika is not the sweet type–it doesn’t say, but the sauce turned out spicy–but it was so heavenly that I had to make another double batch to bring in for a colleague tomorrow!
I sauteed up some leeks, wax beans, and baby braising greens with some brown rice I made yesterday (with broth from my cranberry beans instead of half the water), and about a teaspoon of this. Best saute ever!


Made this magic sauce yesterday & used it as a salad dressing. Soooooo yummy!
A word to the wise though… Don’t let your oil get too hot. As instructed, I didn’t let it boil – but it still ended up being way too hot & burned the garlic instantly. It even looked like it burned the paprika. So, I had to do it a second time & I didn’t let the oil heat to such a high temp. Perfection.
Thanks Heidi for something truly different!


P.S. Have you tried freezing it?


Holy Moley! I was at the dentist today and half my mouth was numb so I stopped to get soup. It wound up being Potato Cheddar Bacon at the Salad Bar. I had read your post about a salad that you used this as salad dressing, and was intrigued for the second time about this Sauce. I made it, and added a couple tbs to the soup. I can tell you how WONDERFUL it made the soup. Can’t wait to make a spinach salad!
Thanks for the GREAT recipe.


Looks soooo good!


Sounds great! Could dried herbs be substituted instead of the fresh?


Wooah. Magic indeed. It might just find its way on pretty much everything that comes out of my kitchen for a while. xo

This post was written beautifully!


Heidi, it is an absolute pleasure to read and try your recipes.
At times it is hard to decide, which one is better.
This one will be one of my favorite ones, as it is very similar to the one my grandmother use to make.
You had mentioned that it would taste better when aged – but it was so good, I could not resist.
I tried on brown bread, grilled and again as a dip with paneer and chips
I think this will be a regular feature on our kitchen table
Thanks a ton!!
HS: As if I need another reason to eat more paneer. Great ideas.

Ashish Naithani

Your magic sauce sounds delicious. Looking forward to trying your recipe..

Stoned Chef

broke my preferred wrist- easy dinner tonight!
left-over grilled items with roasted sweet corn polenta and this yummy sauce to drizzle over everything! husband won’t know how we- the little guy and i- pulled it off! yum. kid had fun stripping herbs off their stems, too.


This sauce of yours looks like very much to one we make here in the Canary Islands. But we make it all raw and mashed in a morter. we omit the bay leave, the rosemary and the lemon. We add instead, seeds of cumin and vinegar. It is called “Mojo” and we have it with skin-on boiled potatoes or with fish. Although for fish it is better the green one, made only with garlic, salt oil, vinegar, cumin and quiet a lot of fresh coriander.


I made this sauce because the picture and recipe sounded so delicious. I tasted it right away and thought it was “good” then I put it in the fridge. Today, looking for a quick bite to eat, I had a slice of Easy Little Bread with pureed sweet peas slathered on it, a few drops of lemon juice sprinkled over the peas and magic sauce drizzled over all… that, my friends, was Magic! LOL! Thank you, Heidi! Love your site, your recipes and your books!


love you magic sauce… it sounds perfect and would love to dip a nice chunky bread and eat it just like that.


Just made this tonight and drizzled over pasta along with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil – delish. Looking forward to trying other reviewers suggestions…Thanks!


This looks amazing! I cannot wait to try this because I am such a sauce person. Was so happy to see this featured on Saveur’s links we love 🙂


Yum!! I make a similar sauce with marjoram in place of oregano, the addition of sage (and sometimes mint, depending) and swirl in a bit of grassfed butter before serving it warmed over something delicious. I haven’t tried the paprika addition- will do. Thanks for the post!

Amy Love @ Real Food Whole Health

Well now, I just magically happen to have all those ingredients either in my garden or cupboard. Can’t wait to make it.

Sharon Bernash Smith

Long time follower, first time commenting… I got so happy when I saw this “magic sauce” because I have every ingredient on hand.
I knew my husband wouldn’t like it, so, despite the warnings to double or triple it, I only made what the recipe called for since only I’d be eating it. I should have known. It’s been two days and it’s nearly gone. I’ve found a way to incorporate it into every meal.
I’ve used it as a spread in grilled cheese and over pasta with grated parmesan. But my favorite has been having several spoonfuls with eggs cooked with onions, tomatoes, and topped with pepper jack. Alongside a buttered sourdough English muffin is my idea of the most perfect breakfast.
After I finish it off tonight, I’m going to whip up another batch. This time, I’m going to triple it. Thanks so much for sharing.


how did you keep this a secret for so long? you have changed at least five hundred lives this week.

Magic Sauce on bread is not a valid dinner

I easily shy away from sauces because the number of ingredients tends to stress me out. Much in need of a “go to” sauce. Love the inspiration this brings to my kitchen now. Many thanks!


I made this tonight and put in on Dover Sole. I actually should have cooked the Sole in it as well! It is wonderful! Even my picky eater DH liked it! I think I will have it on eggs for Sunday breakfast!


Wow! Thanks for sharing your “Magic Sauce”. Looks easy and yummy. I want to try this for pan grilled chops or ribs. I’m sure my family will like it.


My goal today was to find some ingredients in my pantry to make a deelish appetizer to take to a b-day celebration tomorrow. The intriguing name of this sauce and its comparison to a LBD seized my attention. Then another comment about polenta and peppers reminded me its harvest time in MI. I could combine that bag of peppers I was gifted with yesterday with that wonderful Zingerman’s polenta and herbs from my garden to make cute little polenta tri-color pepper patties, drizzled with “magic sauce” and make my foodie friend a wonderful b-day gift; even tho’ I am broke, you have enriched my life again! Thanks Heidi!


My God! Heidi, this is an awesome recipe that will work great as a marinade for paneer/tofu before grilling. I love the idea of using this sauce with eggs.


From the Colorado State Extension Office on Oils and Botulism:
“Garlic, vegetable or herb in oil mixtures may support the growth of C. botulinum bacteria. For safety reasons, they should be made fresh. Leftovers should be frozen, refrigerated for use within 10 days, or discarded.”
I will modify this recpie to include smoked paprika from Penzeys and a bit more heat.

Patty Daley

I was planning a beans and tomato salad for tonight, think this sauce will go on it! By the way, I LOVE the first picture! (and all the other ones, but especially the first one!)


Just made and sampled this elixir – & I’m sure it’s been said- this gets BETTER???


I wonder if you could make this spicy with some pepper extract or something? Thanks for the recipe!

Grill Guy

I have a complaint about your magic sauce. I fed some to my dog and he turned into a lamp. And not a pretty lamp–one of those ugly brass and green glass things from the 80s. I’m changing his name to Miami Vice and putting him in the garage. It tasted delightful. I’m just saying: the magical part is for reals.

Bull Garlington

I made this sauce earlier this week and I have literally put it on every single meal I’ve made. I even had the same thing for lunch and dinner today (quinoa, veggies with some egg) because of this amazing sauce!! I am now out of olive oil and sauce, I will have to buy olive oil by the gallon now just to keep up!!


I made a batch of this sauce yesterday. I tried not to, I usually do not use oils for anything and I had no olive oil . . . and I kept looking at my computer and thinking of 101 cookbooks. That was a pretty sauce . . . the colors just jump at you . . . and I gave in! I made a batch and only half of it is left. We ate it on soba noodles and drizzled it on our eggs in the morning. It will probably get used up by tomorow . . . so I have to make more!
I am guilty however of ignoring measurements completely! My roomies call me an intuitive cook, I make just about everything and never measure a thing, not the rice, not the salt, noodles, herbs. I just add a pinch here and there of what feels right to me. I guiltily accept I measured nothing when I made the magic sauce of awesome, and it still turned out fantastic. I think I added a bit less paprika and more pepper flakes, it was very hot, but this household appreciates heat!


I made a batch of this sauce yesterday. I tried not to, I usually do not use oils for anything and I had no olive oil . . . and I kept looking at my computer and thinking of 101 cookbooks. That was a pretty sauce . . . the colors just jump at you . . . and I gave in! I made a batch and only half of it is left. We ate it on soba noodles and drizzled it on our eggs in the morning. It will probably get used up by tomorow . . . so I have to make more!
I am guilty however of ignoring measurements completely! My roomies call me an intuitive cook, I make just about everything and never measure a thing, not the rice, not the salt, noodles, herbs. I just add a pinch here and there of what feels right to me. I guiltily accept I measured nothing when I made the magic sauce of awesome, and it still turned out fantastic. I think I added a bit less paprika and more pepper flakes, it was very hot, but this household appreciates heat!


After a recent run on horrible dinners (and I am not a terrible cook!) this sauce has redeemed me in the eyes of my family! We have just consumed every last drop – doused on mashed potatoes – as a result of my 9 year old and 6 year old calling out repeatedly for, “more sauce! more sauce!”
I have been following your blog for years and every single thing of your’s I have made has been a success. It begs the question, why bother experimenting with anything else? Thank you, Heidi.
PS I love the way you write about food, just as much as the food itself. You have a true gift.


Magic, indeed – and it went perfectly with your delicious Little Quinoa Patties!


I made the Magic Sauce last night and it really is delicious. Loving all things lemon, I grated in the zest of half the lemon and it was extra good. My only concern is that putting fresh herbs and raw garlic in oil is a very risky proposition, and you are setting yourself up for botulism. If it is refrigerated it will be safe for up to a week, if frozen for much longer, but it is definately not shelf stable. Perhaps the Lemon juice acidifies the oil enough to make it safe, but without testing there is really no way to know. You could make this with dried herbs and dried minced garlic, and it would be shelf stable, but might not have the delicious flavor of the fresh herbs. Heidi, you are a leading voice and a respected blogger. Please tell people to make the sauce, keep refrigerated, and enjoy it with in a week.


mmm, i mixed this in with some tomatoes, white beans and prawns broiled in the oven this evening, so tasty. sopped up the rest of the sauce with some fresh bread. thanks!!


This sounds amazing. I love your tomato sauce recipe and cannot wait to try this one. I’m thinking it will be great with roasted chicken. Thanks!

Julie from Burnt Carrots

Tried this one out and loved it–it goes really well with chopped tomatoes, parmesan, and some gnocchi. Thanks for sharing!


I made a batch three days ago and have finished it already!! So good- ate it on eggs, rice and veggies, homemade vegepate, drizzled on crackers, pretty much everything I’ve eaten in the last three days- mmmmm. Serious deliciousness, Heidi! Am making a double batch for my mom and sister- I think they’ll love it as much as I did!


Love the first photo of the herbs and oil in the pan. Love this drizzled over a flank steak with a bottle of Chilean carmenere or malbec.

Wine Harlots

Hi Heidi,
Thanks for sharing this recipe. It goes well drizzled over chèvre—either plain or with herbs or spinach mixed in—and spread on fresh bread.


Your “magic” sauce looks very magical to me. This weekend, after trying this, I will know it it tastes “magical” too.

Sweet Hampers

Hi Heidi!
I’ve been a long time reader. Your recipes are soo amazing. Love the photos too! I recently moved from TX to SF and I got excited because you were in SF too! Thanks for your website!


I don’t have a mortar & pestle. What can I use instead to muddle the herbs?



Koko koko

My garden is still full of fresh herbs. Do you think a sauce like this would be OK frozen for the winter?


Awesome sauce. Would love to try it dipped on some crusty white bread. Maybe it’s the one dress you always seem to get comments on?


This looks amazing! I always thought chimichurri sauce left sommmmething to be desired and I think you have amped it up perfectly. Can’t wait to try it.


Absolutely love this sauce. Light, flavorful, versatile, delicious. Made it to our Top 10 on The Gourmet Review!

The Gourmet Review

Heidi you introduced me to the wonders of a good sauce. This looks awesome! Love taking everyday grains and beans and whatnot and adding something delicious and unexpected like this 🙂

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I think I just found the sauce for my swordfish tonight!


Heidi, I used this sauce for dipping crisp sweet potato fries, also as a bread topping.. and tonight it topped broiled eggplant and tomato. Fantastic! Thank you!!


I think I need some magic sauce. This is great I can’t wait to make a batch (or two as you suggest). This is definitely worth sharing.


Can this sauce be frozen successfully? I became obsessed with the sauce for the macaroni salad, and freeze it in little containers, and would love to do the same with this. I’m going home tonight and making this!


Sold 🙂 I cannot wait to make and devour this. Thanks!
Heidi xo

Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

one simple word… amazing. i tossed this sauce with homemade tofu noodles, (delicious, my favorite) sauteed mushrooms and arugula, pure perfection. let me not even get into the other numerous uses i’ve already found for it. this just might become a weekly have-to-do; like making homemade pasta sauce every Sunday. bliss 🙂


I cannot wait to make this. And, then drizzle it on everything.


Terrific. Wonderful! I added some finely chopped, oil cured sun dried tomatoes… It didn’t make it to the table, or the planned dish. We dipped bread and it was gone before dinner…


Wow! I just drizzled this over some homemade minestrone and it really takes it up a notch! Thank you so much for sharing!


Fabulous! I just drizzled this sauce over brown rice, a lightly fried egg, sauteed chard and New Mexico green chili. Enjoyed every bite, thank you!


This looks yummy! What kind of container would you suggest using to store this in the refrigerator?
HS: Hi Chika – I use a glass jar.


This looks really yummy. I was just thinking I wanted to find some new uses for the herbs in my garden before the first frost. I think this will be a hit.


I love your blog. I live in Buenos Aires. Have you ever visited Buenos Aires? We usually use chimichurri on steaks or on chorizo sandwichs (spanish sausage)
HS: I have Luli! Would love to visit again 🙂 Had a great time.


That’s sounds so good!
Kisses from Hong Kong,


Not content to wait until I had all the ingredients, I made this today using just the Olive Oil, Paprika, Lemon Juice, Garlic and Cayenne Pepper. I added a teaspoon of Organic Coconut Palm Sugar as well (I’m with you, Suz!) – It was DIVINE! Between Mr Tonic and I, we polished off the whole lot on lunch (mixed salad with boiled egg + pine nuts) and dinner (Soba noodles with Zucchini, Kale and Organic chicken thighs) alone! SO GOOD! Looking forward to trying the “full version”! xLouise

Louise (Table Tonic)

I made a bean soup with Anasazi beans, fresh corn, and ribbons of baby swiss chard from my garden. Before Magic Sauce…good soup; after Magic Sauce drizzled over…heavenly!


This sounds wonderful!! I was wondering if I would be able to freeze it?


Tried this last night. Thankfully tripled it…Sokol amazing! Forwarded link to friends.


I just made this and the smell alone knocked me out! I can’t wait to use it with a few changes (due to what I had on hand) Pink Salt, and Smoked Paprika. Thanks for a good recipe!


Thanks for sharing. This does sound like something one wants to make a staple in their pantry and keep on hand. I will have to try it.


I just made this and am really trying to follow your advice to let it sit for a day or two. It’s really hard because it’s soooooo incredibly yummy!!!


Goodness sakes girl, perfect name for this sauce! and the taste! So good on everything I’ve made for a few days. . Has been lots of fun. : ) Moving on to spiced tomato gratin tomorrow……mmmmm……different flavors. Thx again.


I was completely suspicious (it’s not pretty, is it?) until I saw you’d done us all the favour of underlining baked potatoes. Sold! Sign me up.


Oh my – for dinner tonight over smashed new potatoes and flash fried new corn with cumin…heaven…thank you


This sauce is made up of ingredients used a lot in Lebanese cooking; like a marinade for shish tawouk or all kinds of other grilled or braised dishes.


Yum! I just made it having read the recipe. Had to have it. Going to try it on popcorn with parmesan cheese. I think in a snifter it would be just as good. Harmonious flavors. Thanks!!!


I very much like this recipe as it combines lovely tastes. Thyme, rosemary, oregano and sweet paprika, hmmm… yummy!


Elsa – does chou frisé d’Ecosse help?


i think this sauce would work magic for ‘eggs in purgatoria’ – using it to season/cook a chunky yet loose tomato and pepper sauce in which to poach some eggs. with some bread to dunk in and soak up every last drop, you have the makings of a simple and rustic meal.


made this today as a marinade for chicken for the grill – sooooo yummy!!


OMGoodness, this IS pure goodness. It tastes great, sure, but the SMELL. To Die For. Tonight 1tsp drizzled over our chicken as it set up. Tossed the peas in the pot to catch the last few drops of heavenly flavour. Tomorrow…magic sauce to flavour a batch of hummus. Thank you Heidi, once again.


truly magical 🙂


This one will be a regular in my kitchen! Thanks

Orit Levi

What I love about your “amgis sauce” is NO SUGAR!!!!!!!
I’m always looking for things without sugar and grains.


This recipe looks like a real time saver at the end of a long day. Can I use dried herbs?


Might I make a small truckload of this and freeze one-cupfuls into hardy little zip-bags so there’s a deep quick supply at home / at hand? I know it’s not a lengthy sauce to cook up but I love making lots, using it, giving it, freezing it.
So, Heidi, what I’m asking is Would freezing muck up the magic?

Marsha in Iowa

    No! You’ll be fine :)!

    Heidi Swanson

Heidi- this looks amazing! I am going to make this tonite! It has all my favorite ingredients in it and I can already imagine all the recipes I will use this with! Thanks!


I just made this, but I lacked fresh oregano. I do, however, have basil! Tons and tons of basil. I made a quadruple batch. It’s LOVELY. I can’t wait to put it on greens.


I love chimichurri and i suppose heating it in the oil just helps to bring out even more of the flavours of the herbs and spices. Can’t wait to try this with chicken or maybe some slow cooked beef.

Adam Levy

Addition: What I ended up doing was broil chicken thighs with a simple honey glaze then drizzling the magic sauce over the top. HEAVENLY.


Just made this and put it on chicken before cooking. It was so delicious, truly magical =)


This is a really lovely sauce; the photographs are as per usual, superb too.
Enjoy your week-end and I look forward to your next post

Kate Abbott

tomorrow starts college football season and i can’t imagine a better dunking sauce for my grilled chicken. thanks times a million.
p.s. you’re awesome

lauren @ the talking kitchen

Oo, I think I will add some fresh marjoram and use this to make a mayo-free potato salad!


Here is a holler from this end of the world:
Brush several slices of bread with this sauce, liberally; cut the slices into 3 long fingers each; then place on a cookie sheet and grill carefully till crisp. To grill you must have an eye on the oven. If you can’t spare the eye, then bake in a super hot oven for 8-10 minutes.
these make very good boredom destroyers, tea time snack, pick-me-ups and so on.
If you have pizza bread, that’s good too.


The title of this and the intensity of the first picture totally drew me in! The flavors sound incredible.


This is exactly what I needed! I had chicken thighs and corn on the cob thawed and had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Perfection.


Well, there you go. I think I have to make this and systematically go down the list of things to put it in. Yum!


This sauce sounds great, and gives me another way to use my overabundance of herbs. One idea that comes to mind to try as a variation is to use smoky Spanish paprika instead of sweet paprika. Thanks for the magic and yet very practical sauce!

Michele Garcia

I literally was just sharing with my roommate how badly I wanted to start making a good chimichurri sauce to have around…then came online to find this! Thank you again, Heidi 🙂


I have just come home from the market with fresh cod. I will be using your sauce on it, since it sounds wonderful and everything is growing in my herb garden…I may add the parsley, just because I love it and I think it will be nice with the fish. Thank you for sharing!


I HAVE to give this a try, it truly does sounds magical!
I wonder how it pairs with mexican food.

lidia@ sugarslut

This does look fabulous! How long will it last in a jar in the fridge? In the event that it’s not all eaten in one sitting…..
I am thinking of making a whole bunch to give to friends.

Minnesota Red

wow amazing 🙂

Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City

This sounds amazing! I was going to do a “beer” can chicken this weekend for dinner using chicken stock instead of beer. This sounds like it would be an amazing thing to rub all over the skin and cavity.
Question: I don’t have the fresh herbs. What would be the compatible amounts of dried thyme/rosemary/oregano to use? Also, has anyone tried making this using kosher instead of fine-grain sea salt?


This looks right up my alley with all the herbs I have in my garden at this time. Your picture looks as tho it has red chunks of tomato in the mix-what is it exactly? did you put sun dried or roasted tomato in yours?

Teri C

Thanks for the great recipe! I used the magic sauce to saute boneless chicken thighs mushrooms and zucchini and added it all to a risotto. Even my husband was impressed.


I put this magic sauce on roasted chick peas and oh boy! Delish! Thanks Heidi and please keep them coming!

Allison from NY

Love this! Looks really delicious, and I love your photos.


I dare say this is just the thing to elevate ‘straight-up” kid food to “hoo-boy!” grown-up fare.
Cannot wait.


Wow this look incredible! It looks so flavorful and fresh, and your pictures are beautiful. I like that is keeps well for a while, or even that it gets better after a week or so. I just cook for one (me!), so anything that I can make on the weekend at home and bring up to school that’ll last me through the week is perfect! Thanks for another great post!

Toni @ Not Yet A Mommy Blog

Wow, just your descriptions make it sound heavenly, and then pictures to boot! I will definitely be trying this out.


So excited about this sauce that I forgot to comment. Wonderful…did I say wonderful?


This will make a great alternative to pesto. Not that I need an alternative – I love pesto – but I also like to have options! Besides, if you put the word magic in your recipe title… I’m going to make it. Period.


When I was a kid, I had a metal Hugga Bunch kid-sized play kitchen. I used to take my mom’s dried herbs and mix them into odd concoctions with oil and spices. I still remember the scent, dominated by rosemary, although I think I knew better than to taste anything I ever stirred up back then. I hope you don’t take it as an insult that your magic sauce brings to mind this childhood memory! I look forward to trying your more refined version. 🙂


I’m so happy I found this before the long weekend. I suspect this will be a fine alternative to harissa (which I adore, but at this point, I need a change of pace). I’ll be pulling carrots from my garden this weekend, so I’m thinking grated carrot and this sauce, topped with sunflower seeds and a light-handed sprinkling of goat cheese.


This sounds lovely and easy. Right up my alley. I really appreciate you telling all the things it can work with, since I’m not much of a gourmet cook. Any idea how long this will last? Ok, let me re-phrase that, since I”m sure a magic sauce disappears quickly! How long it will stay fresh in the fridge. 🙂

shirley moore

This is perfectly timed. I was wanting to start incorporating some good sauces into my cooking- rather, I have TONS of grains right now that are waiting to be cooked, and I want something versatile and easy. It strikes me as very Ethiopian, light and a little acidic with the lemon, clean, but still earthy. Yummy!


Yum!!!!! I always get excited when I see a new recipe posted on your website in my Google Reader feed. I always have more smoked paprika than sweet paprike around, so I wonder if that would be good in this or if it’s one of those things where the smokey flavor is just TOO MUCH and masks everything else. Either way I have BOTH in my kitchen now, so I will make this soon. Another comment mentioned polenta and peppers…mmm, that sounds good!


You have me convinced. This sounds amazing! Plus I know that I will like it as I have had and loved a parsley free chimichurri sauce before.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

This looks fantastic and I love the idea of it on eggs…. How long will this keep in the refrigerator? Days, weeks?


I love this! Sounds so simple but so, so flavorful — and sweet paprika is possibly my favorite spice of all time. Was going to make pasta with a pretty standard tomato & basil sauce tonight, but I might have to reconsider!

Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake

love the sound of this! i think just dunking crusty bread in this as an appetizer before the meal would be pure bliss.

laura @ glutton for nourishment


Denise | Chez Danisse

We didn’t even wait for the oil to cool but while still warm, we drizzled over freshly sliced garden tomatoes and then just sprinkled on some Maldon sea salt. The flavor, though still subtle, shone through … perfection. Thanks Heidi for such an inspired condiment.
BTW, hope you had a great time recently at the ice cream shop with David Lebovitz. I only wish!


I finished some hasselback potatoes with this lovely sauce last night. It seeped into all of the crispy little edges of the potatoes. So, so delicious.


Wow, I have all the ingredients to make this. A great use for my fresh herbs, too. Thanks for sharing! Love your blog.

Erin @ Hungry Times Two

I wonder if it’s necessary to heat the oil or just to keep the ingrediences some days in the fridge. So the oil can keep the unsaturated acids.
I love your pure recipes !


After reading about the magic sauce, I stumbled upon “Heather’s Quinoa,” which calls for pesto. I’m thinking that magic sauce might be a good substitute for the pesto in that one?


    Hi Jef – that’s a brilliant idea!

    Heidi Swanson

How on earth have I lived without this up to now?? Thanks, as always, Heidi, for another fantastic and useful recipe. I might swirl some of this into your baked farro risotto ….or any risotto… Just to finish it. And eggs…omg… Thank you!!!


I love the idea of a magic sauce! I can think of all sorts of things I would put this sauce on. Thanks for sharing!


Me thinks this will find its way over just picked corn on the cob tonight. Yummy recipe Heidi. Thanks!


This sauce does look magical! It’s full of lots of my favorite ingredients, so I’m not surprised 🙂


This does sound like magic sauce…looks so fabulous! I bet it is great just for dipping bread!

Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray

Seems several of us are confused over whether to use fresh or dried bay leaves?


Looks great! YOU are magic!


That sounds amazing. I just love the way you write about food! I just bought Super Natural Everyday last week and have already made three recipes to rave reviews. Buying it for everyone this Christmas!!

Jenn from Much to My Delight

How can I not make this, with a name like that?! I love all-purpose condiments, and this sounds like the perfect one to have on hand.

Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

Thinking to marinate pork chop with this sauce, I think it will do the magic and I will have very delicious pork chop. 🙂

love cooking

Thank you! This is the time of year when I’m feeling overwhelmed by all of the herbs that have grown, waiting to be used and cherished. This will certainly help! (I even found a bay plant which is full of leaves that will need to be processed before our long Minnesota winter sets in.)


Sorry. Just read the recipe again (drooling) and saw the last paragraph (can refrigerate for 7-10 days).
Yup, need a good mason jar with lid, one that I can permanently mark for this.

Anne J.

BTW, how long will it keep? Refrigerate, or room-temp for storage?
Must buy a good mason jar with lid now.

Anne J.

Okay, I already bookmarked your website and subscribed to your emails, but this page warrants a bookmark of it’s own! Inspired and inspiring prose, and the recipe looks delightful! I’m going to try this on so many different things, including just dunking olive bread in it. Mmmmmmm…..
Might just be the go-to recipe when I’m delayed getting supper started and need to patch something together in a hurry from whatever is thawed.
Thanks for this!

Anne J.

With that combo of spices and ingredients I’m sure it’s perfect! Great idea!

Simply Life

I’m going to have a reserve a couple of mason jars for this stuff – and go buy a gallon of good olive oil! This looks like an amazing sauce, well, anything with garlic, rosemary, and paprika is bound to be delicious! Thank you! ♥

Donna B.

Simple things are magic things. Magic things are simple things. Love your sauce.


Bay Leaf: this is a very stiff leaf. It does not become soft and pliable after cooking. You need to remove this prior to serving so someone will not choke on it. Some think Bay Leaf is poison, That is not true or otherwise we would not be using it for flavor. The caution is for the hazard of choking on it. I love Bay Leaf and use it often.


Mmm this does sound magic! Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Perfect timing on this “magic sauce” for me this morning! I had just pulled your Tasty Frittata from the oven, and up popped your sauce, magically 😉
I picked the herbs from my garden and stirred up the sauce…onto the delicious frittata, perfect! Thx for all the inspiration~


Very Magic !!


This is very similar to a base I use for Panzanella. After years of living in southern Italy I do miss the addition of fresh Bufala Mozzarella, which was a nice juxtaposition against the paprika. I started to use lemon juice vice vinegar because of our propinquity to the Sorrento coast, but a swirly drizzle of thick balsamic glaze on each serving is wonderful. Also, thanks for the response (years ago now) on my request for info on the camera you use – I’ve been snapping up a storm recently…


I too have heard that you cannot eat bay leaves, so I will assume that this isn’t true, and maybe that is just when it is whole in sauces. I will make sure to crumble it into very tiny pieces. Cant wait to try this sauce.

Viki Megna

I just LOVE your recipes. We live between Greece and France, and the seasonal ingrediants you use so often correspond with what is in our local markets as well. Thanks for the inspiration!


This recipe speaks to my heart! Love your site, and look forward to every email. I’m going out to my garden now to collect the herbs – doing a happy dance!


This looks absolutely amazing. I have a vegetarian to cook for and am slowly but surely showing EVERYONE in the house that meat-free can be just, if not more, satisfying. I just picked up your latest book too. I was looking lovely at it all the way home and my entire family thought I was mental! Anyway, I get goose bumps everytime I see a new post from you!!


This sounds perfect to drizzle over my chicken livers for dinner…or to cook them in…or to add to a pate…..or the salad or………I feel some experimenting coming on!

Jemma Ludley

I cannot wait to go and buy some rosemary. Mine did not make it through the winter in my wee herb garden. How can I resist?? I think I can taste Heidi’s Magic Soup coming on in early fall. God Bless.


Inspired by chimichurri but this is really an infused oil. Nothing wrong with that at all and I am making this as we speak. All of my herbs grown in my garden or pots. This is another excellent use of the fresh herbs. And I dry a ton of herbs also and I imagine my dry herbs will do as well this winter. Bravo!


I love you for this! I don’t want elaborate recipes every day and these types of things make me so confident in the kitchen. Thanks!


Fabulous! I have been looking for a sauce for adding a little something extra that doesn’t have tomatoes in it!! and it’s GF and dairy free to boot! 🙂
Just the thing- thanks Heidi!

Katie @ katiedidonline

This is magical indeed! Thank you, Heidi!


SOLD! Making it next week to dip my bread it, drizzle over salads, and mix into my pasta.


What a perfect combination of flavours – I can’t wait to try this!


Sounds really good and familiar…but what it really needs is a balance of something sweet…a bit of sugar of agave…or maple…or honey…or, or…


That looks incredible. I kind of want a spoon of it right now. And that’s coming from me, bleary-eyed and ready for gin & tonic and bed at 5:04 pm. Can’t wait to try when I’m back from holiday. xo


This looks so great! I think I might even enjoy dipping some freshly baked crusty bread in it 🙂

Anjali Shah @ The Picky Eater

This looks AMAZING, but I’m wondering what makes the sauce so red? It looks like you have some tomatoes or red peppers in there, but I don’t see anything in the recipe that’s red other than the paprika and red pepper flakes.
HS: Just the paprika 🙂


My husband and I visited Buenos Aires this summer and developed quite an infatuation with chimichurri sauce. I will definitely be trying out your “distant second cousin” version!


Can I use a fresh bay leaf or does it need to be dry? I can hardly wait to try this MAGIC sauce out. Aaaamaazzzing!!!

Jennie from Cole Camp

This looks amazing! have ordered all your books. i’m slowly moving towards being vegetarian and am using your recipes as inspiration. keep them coming!


I have no doubt that your magic sauce is as good as you make it out to be. All those herbs and spices! Perfection.

Cookie and Kate

Absolutely amazing.
Just as long as I can pour it over my head while standing in front of a fan, I’m IN.

Bev Weidner

How long will this stay good in the refrigerator?


i love the idea of comparing a sauce to a LBD

lynn @ the actor's diet

I’ve loved the red chile oil from SuperNatural Everyday and I think this looks like another winner. It just gives me a reason to buy those herb plans I’ve been eyeing at the market 😉


I’m loving the patina on the pan here…and the recipe looks like a must have on hand starting immediately : )

Beth Billups

Oh my goodness!! YUM! I love all your recipes and cannot wait to try this tonight! Thanks Heidi!


I am a huge believer in chimichurri even without the magic; so I could see this being good on just about anything. Bookmarked to try sometime soon.


Magic indeed. I have all the ingredients to make this sauce happen… EXCITING!


I think I am just in love with the name. I am all over this and I promise to share the results!


What a great magic sauce! Thanks for sharing 🙂


Love this magic sauce! It’s herb week at La Domestique, and I’m obsessed with sauces like chimichurri, pesto, and Italian salsa verde. I think your magic sauce would be lovely spooned over simply roasted fish.

la domestique

I have had something close to this. It was a olive oil dipping sauce. I love the versatility that you mentioned. Great recipe.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

Gorgeous flavours and wonderful versatility – magic!

Kelly at Inspired Edibles

Mmm, sounds heavenly. I’d drizzle a little right over fried eggs on top of some cheesy, creamy polenta.


I love things like this–magic little beauties that have so many uses. Thank goodness for my herb garden!


This sounds amazing! I can’t wait for the weather to cool so I can turn on my stove.

Maria @ Orchard Bloom

This sounds like another one of your recipes that we love. My children gobble up your kale and farro salad (except I make it with quinoa instead). Thank you!


Oh wow, this is definitely my type of sauce! I can just picture this with a beautiful piece of steak.. mmm..


That sounds like a wonderful flavor combination. And you’re right, it does sound versatile. I use those flavors on so many things. Yum.

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

Anything that you suggest making a triple batch of right off the bat…well, that instantly screams winner!
And love how versatile it looks…from being a dip, dressing, frying aid, you name it, looks like it will work. And it’s EASY…

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I love your magic sauce, heidi, and am intrigued by the enchanting title as well 🙂

Nisrine M.

Oh my goodness! I am making this tonight!!!! Stunning work Heidi!!!!
I’m just thinking about dipping homemade focaccia, or serving it on top of my endless bounty of zucchini!!!!


I was just stirring some polenta and green peppers in the kitchen, saying wistfully, ‘gosh, I really wish I had some sort of sauce to tie this altogether.’ The internet gods have spoken!


Thanks for sharing your secret magic sauce! Sounds like something that is a must-always-have.

Belinda @zomppa

I made one of my favorite meals tonight. Shrimp and grits. Sauteed the shrimp in this delightful sauce. Yummy!


I’ve noticed that my cooking lacks these ‘magic’ & versatile sauces/dressings that tie a dish together, so I’m truly grateful for your wonderful recipes (and gorgeous pictures).
I’m suffering from a garlic intolerance though; would you have any advice on that?


I’m ready to try this sauce. However, my experience with leaving garlic in a sauce too long is that it becomes bitter. The recipe doesn’t say to remove it. Or does the garlic become cooked in the oil, and then get milder, so it doesn’t have to be removed?

Caryl McColly

Hi Heidi,
I make, almost exclusively, all of my homemade meals from your website, for about two years now. I also made my mom, a long time cook, a huge fan. Your first name is well known in our conversation. “I made a Heidi recipe today,” and every time we finish one of your meals we say, “Heidi is the best, seriously.” I reference everyone seeking recipes to your site. Thanks so much, just wanted you to know how appreciated you are!
And I’m totes going to make this sauce.


If only my thyme hadn’t gone to seed… it’s so tiny I didn’t even see it until it was too late! I have tons of rosemary and oregano though… will have to get some thyme from my CSA to make this. It sounds amazing. Once again Heidi does not disappoint!


I like it and want to try it. My only question: what exactly do you mean by just hot?
HS: Well, not so hot that ingredients sizzle when they hit it.


I just love sauces like this – I can make it your way or I can modify it slightly based on what I have — love that!

Maggie at Eat Boutique

Artfully crafted post, you had me drooling at “shimmer”!

Suzy McQuown

Sounds AWESOME! However, I thought bay leaves were suppose to be removed from dishes once the flavor is extracted because the leaf itself isn’t edible? I could be completely mistaken and would love to know your thoughts on the topic…
Keep the lovely recipes coming! 🙂
HS: Nope, buy them at the grocery store, and it’s fine.

kelly. k.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.