Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce

Most brands of BBQ sauce are loaded with sugar or corn syrup. Here’s a healthier alternative. This smoky & flavorful sugar-free BBQ sauce is perfect for slathering on slabs of plant protein or simmering with a pot of beans.

Sweetener-Free BBQ Sauce

Makes About 2 Cups
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Active Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes, 15 oz
  • 1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo sauce, or sub chipotle paste or powder, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion, or 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper, smoky varieties are great for this
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 3/4 cup organic veggie broth or water, or more to thin


  • Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes in a small pot.
  • Store in the fridge for a week, or as long as you would store an open can of tomato sauce.
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Yummy ways to use this BBQ Sauce:


  1. Tried the BBQ sauce tonight and loved it! I was out of liquid smoke and only had one jalapeño but it was still delicious. The flavor is complex and has a lovely tomato tang. Plan on a good half hour to make it, as it was a bit time-consuming (lots of ingredients and quite a bit of mincing), but it’s well worth the time.

    • Thanks for trying it out, I’ve tinkered with this recipe a little since you made it, I cut all the time consuming steps out and it’s pretty easy now, just throw everything into a blender! I replaced the jalapeño with a canned chipotle pepper which has a smokier flavor, and reduced the tomato paste. Last time I made it a whole 6 oz can felt like way too much.

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  5. Does this tomato sauce count as a condiment or marinara sauce??? Like 2 oz/meal???

  6. Pati Hall

    I found a recipe that uses fresh pineapple for the sweetener – I was amazed how it added that little bit of sweetness. It was 20 ozs of pineapple and the sauce made 5 cups. Still figuring out how much of that constituted of my fruit allowance.

    Can’t wait to try your recipe next.

    • Nice! Technically we aren’t allowed to blend fruit, but that might work for some people, myself included. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Daphne Eck

    I’m definitely going to try this! I’ve been looking in every grocery store I visit and have yet to find a sugar free BBQ sauce in SE portland (or costco)! Where do you get it?

    • I’ve found sugar free BBQ sauces in Portland, try co-ops and Whole Foods. Did you see my post about storebought brands of sugar free BBQ sauce?

      • I did! I haven’t found them at my Whole Foods but it’s pretty small. I should try another location.

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