Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

When searching the grocery isle for a barbecue sauce I was shocked to find that a typical sauce has 16 grams of sugar in each 2 tablespoon serving. This means that 2/3 of the bottle is sugar! Pour a measly 2 tablespoons of sauce on your favorite black bean burger and you’ve just dumped 4 sugar packets on what you thought was a healthy meal.


Healthy BBQ Sauce


Luckily you can make your own sauce to add flavor to you black bean burger, sweet potato quinoa burger or lentil amaze-balls.

The mix of ingredients in this recipe provides a ton of flavor. If you like a sweeter sauce add up to 10 pitted dates, though you’ll have plenty of flavor with 6 dates. This recipe is easy to make – simply toss all ingredients in a food processor and puree.

Tomato paste is the base of this sauce. It’s made by cooking tomatoes for a long period of time to reach a thick consistency. While this technically makes it a processed food, interestingly it boosts the availability of lycopene (the red pigment). Lycopene has been connected to improved immune function, skin health, heart health, prostate cancer prevention and mental health.


Vegan Meat Balls


Healthy BBQ Sauce

Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

Avoid the sugar-packed store-bought BBQ sauce with the simple and flavorful recipe. Packed full of good-for-you whole food, plant-based ingredients.
5 from 4 votes
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Servings: 12


  • 1 12 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
  • 6-10 pitted dates
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Adjust dates based on sweetness preference. Puree until smooth. 
  • Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. 
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