This easy Whole30 BBQ sauce is smoky, sweet, and flavor packed! Made with real ingredients and sweetened with dates, making it Paleo approved as well. Great for grilling, slow cooker meats, tacos, and as a dipping sauce.
I've always been on the hunt for a really good (and clean) store bought BBQ sauce, but just haven't found one that I love. I mean, sure, there are some really good store bought ones that are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, but that's not what I'm looking for.
I want one that is made with clean ingredients AND tastes good, and that's what I love about this homemade BBQ sauce! It's easy to make, slightly smoky, slightly sweet, and tastes just like you want a BBQ sauce to taste. This BBQ sauce is both Whole30 and Paleo, meaning it's vegan, gluten free, grain free, and made with real food!
My absolute favorite thing to use this BBQ sauce for is my pulled pork alongside some creamy coleslaw! But don't stop there... it's delicious on grilled chicken (or grilled shrimp), baked BBQ chicken, brushed on some cauliflower steaks, tacos, quesadillas, ribs, and burgers.
How to Make this Whole30 BBQ Sauce
1. Soak the dates in hot water for 15 minutes (save this water as you will use it to thin out the BBQ sauce).
2. Add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend on high until sauce is smooth. Add additional water to thin sauce if desired.
3. Place BBQ sauce in a small saucepan and heat over med-low heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
You can either serve this Whole30 BBQ sauce immediately, or allow to cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.
This healthy Whole30 BBQ sauce requires a few staple ingredients that you most likely already have on hand, especially if you're used to making Whole30 or Paleo recipes. A full list of ingredients and amounts can be found below. Here are a few specific notes.
DATES - With all my recipes that call for dates, I recommend Medjool dates. They are sweeter and have a more caramel-like flavor to them. You can however use Deglet Noor if that's what you have on hand.
TOMATO PASTE - Because tomatoes are on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) dirty dozen list, I recommend organic tomato paste.
What to Use This BBQ Sauce With
There are lots of ways to use this Paleo and Whole30 BBQ sauce. Here are just a few of my favorites!
- Pulled pork, or pulled chicken, with homemade creamy coleslaw (make it a filling meal with some roasted sweet potatoes on the side).
- BBQ chicken tacos (use Siete tortillas for a Whole30/Paleo approved tortilla).
- Brush on your favorite meats before and after grilling.
- Add to a burger patty along with some bacon for a BBQ bacon burger.
Store this Whole30 BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the fridge (I prefer a mason jar). It will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
You can also store in the freezer in a freezer safe container for up to 3 month. Thaw at room temperature, or in the fridge. Tip: Freeze in an ice cube tray so you have individual serving sizes if needed.
Most of them are. They are made with loads of refined sugars, artificial flavors, preservatives, and thickeners. There are some healthy versions out there, but why not try to make your own!? Nothing beats the flavor of homemade sauces, even if there are some cleaner ones at the store.
Most of them are not because they contain added sugar, gluten, and processed ingredients. All ingredients in this recipe are both Whole30 and Paleo approved.
This makes about 2 cups of BBQ sauce.
More Healthy Homemade Sauces
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! I would so appreciate you leaving a star rating and/or comment below. And don't forget to share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Whole30 BBQ Sauce (Paleo)
- 1 food processor
- 1 small saucepan
- 8 pitted dates
- 2- 6 oz. cans tomato paste
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ½ -¾ cup water (see notes)
- Soak the dates in HOT water for 15 minutes. Save the water as you will use this to thin the BBQ sauce.
- Add soaked dates and remaining ingredients to a food processor (start with ½ cup water). Blend on high speed until ingredients are mixed and BBQ sauce is smooth (scrape down sides of food processor if needed). Add additional water if you'd like a thinner consistency.
- Transfer to a small sauce pan and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. This helps the flavors meld together.
- Serve immediately, or allow to cool before transfering to the fridge.
- A smaller food processor (7 or 8 cups max) works best.
- Start by adding ½ cup water. You can add more based on how thin you want your BBQ sauce to be.
- After sauce has simmered, taste the BBQ sauce. If you'd like it spicier or more smoky, you can add a little extra smoked paprika and/or chili powder.
- If you aren't needing this to be Whole 30, but do want a Paleo BBQ sauce, you can add a little honey to get more sweetness if desired. Note: Honey is NOT Whole 30 approved.
- Serving size is based on 2 tbsp. sized servings.
- Sauce should be stored in an airtight container (I prefer a mason jar) in the fridge and will stay good for up to 2 weeks.
- This recipe makes about 2 cups.