A delicious, healthy alternative to the additive laden commercial versions, this Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce is super easy to whip up and way more tasty!
I have a confession to make…most of the time I can’t stand BBQ sauce…all too often it is sickly sweet and kind of chemical tasting. I nearly always avoid it when I am in a restaurant or at a BBQ for fear of having something totally delicious completely and utterly ruined by it!
Not to mention the fact that so many commercial BBQ sauces are packed full of additives and absolutely laden with sugar!!
The thing is though, barbecue sauce can be absolutely lovely…homemade BBQ sauce in particular, if made right, tastes complete and utterly delicious and has the total opposite effect of the sickly sweet versions – making a lovely dish taste even better!
But even good homemade BBQ sauces can be quite high in sugar and/or include ingredients that are full of additives. I wanted to create a BBQ sauce that was totally delicious, but much lower in sugar (and completely free from refined sugar), as well as being full of natural healthy ingredients and suitable for as many different dietary needs as possible.
The result is my Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce – which I think is just a wonderful BBQ sauce in its own right, but the fact that it’s healthy too is a total bonus! I’ve used tinned tomatoes as the base of my recipe (rather than tomato ketchup, as so many recipes use), I’ve then added onion and garlic, which are pretty standard in most barbecue sauce recipes, a little maple syrup for sweetness, apple cider vinegar for sharpness, smoked paprika for that gorgeous smoky flavour, and just a touch of cayenne pepper for a little peppery kick (you can leave the cayenne pepper out if you don’t like it, or add in a little chilli instead).
I’ve used tamari (gluten free soy sauce) for depth and that umami flavour, rather than Worcestershire sauce, as most recipes tend to use. This is partly because I prefer it and partly to make this BBQ sauce suitable for those following a vegetarian/vegan diet (Worcestershire sauce generally contains anchovies) and / or a gluten free diet (many brands of Worcestershire sauce contain gluten). Feel free to use Worcestershire sauce or normal soy sauce instead of tamari if that works better for you.
You can use this sauce just as it is, or if you prefer a smooth BBQ sauce, as I do, simply blend in your blender. Used my Froothie Optimum G2.3 Blender, which turned this into a super smooth sauce in less than 2 minutes on the Fruit and Veg setting (check out my Froothie review for more details).
This delicious Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce is perfect with all your barbecue favourites, from burgers to sausages, kebabs to slow cooked pulled pork, and of course delicious with veggie burgers too! But I made this batch especially to go with my Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders…
This Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce will keep in an airtight container for about a week in the fridge. (I like to use an old jam jar or passata bottle.) It won’t keep as long as the commercial barbecue sauces, due to the low sugar content and because it doesn’t contain preservatives – a short shelf life is a good thing in this case! Though this BBQ sauce is so yummy, you will probably find it won’t be around long enough for you to be worrying about shelf life! If you need this BBQ sauce to last longer (perhaps because you’ve made a massive batch), simply freeze it.
Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce (Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil coconut oil or rapeseed oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes / passata
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- Place the oil and onions in a medium saucepan and fry gently over a low heat, covered with a lid, for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic and fry for one more minute, then add the paprika and cayenne pepper and fry for a further minute – add a little water if it seems too dry.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil then reduce and cook on a low heat for 20-30 minutes until thick and syrupy
- Serve just as it is, or blend in your blender for 1-2 minutes until smooth. (If using a Froothie Optimum 2.3, blend on the Fruit and Veg setting)
- Serve with all your BBQ favourites.
Need more BBQ inspiration? Check out my collection of easy peasy BBQ recipes!
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