The 8 Best Healthy Barbecue Sauce Recipes

At the heart of many an excellent cookout is flavour. It’s what it always comes down to. Just consider the very competitive nature of your local Rib Fest and all those banners and tables set up with trophies to advertise how delicious their food is and to woo you to their booths. They each owe their many trophies in huge part to their barbecue sauces just as much as to their grilling abilities.

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It’s good fun to go to a Rib Fest a few times over the summer. You go with a buddy or two, buy a few beers, and absolutely devour the delicious ribs, chicken, and pulled pork. Consider though that in addition to your monthly Rib Fests you’re barbecuing a few times a week and probably getting together on weekends for cookouts with those same friends. All that barbecue sauce, delicious as it is, starts to add up. It can be difficult to stick with lifestyle, dietary, and fitness goals in the face of such enticing food. Don’t worry though; the Gnome has got your back. We’ve put together this fabulous list of the most delicious and interesting barbecue sauces that you can easily throw together at home. When you’re making your own barbecue sauce its not only easy to make it perfectly to your taste, its easy to make it significantly healthier. When you’re making your barbecue sauce yourself you can substitute anything in a recipe for what ever suits your lifestyle. For example choose an all-natural or sugar-free variety of ketchup or gluten-free mustard. Play around with what makes you happy and have fun!

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Healthy, diet-friendly food will always mean different things to different people, especially to those with very specific restrictions or goals. Some people follow low-carb diets, gluten-free diets, low-sugar diets, etc, and some are just trying in general to be more conscientious about their food choices. This list has a variety of recipes that will all be healthier for you than your typical store-bought BBQ sauce. No matter what your flavour of healthy eating is you’re sure to find a few recipes here to fire up your taste buds and inspire your next cookout!

 

The Super Easy Sauce

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With just three main ingredients and no cooking required this barbecue sauce whips up fast. This sweet and simple sauce is great for when you suddenly realize your pantry is out but you need bbq sauce asap. Just toss the ingredients in a bowl, mix together, and you’re good to go. Dinner is saved.

Get ONE CUP of ketchup (you should definitely go with a brand that’s low in sugar or use tomato paste instead)

Add ONE QUARTER CUP of molasses OR honey

Add ONE CUP of cider vinegar

Add ONE TABLESPOON of Worcestershire Sauce

OPTIONAL: Add One Tablespoon of Soy Sauce AND/OR One Tablespoon of your Choice of Hot Sauce

Mix and enjoy!


The Guilt-Free yet Decadent Sauce

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Created with the purpose of being low-sugar but with a taste to run with the best of them this recipe gets its sweetness from honey or pure maple syrup and calls for ingredients like Cirio to get the best quality and flavour. Naturally GF and low-sodium, and crafted to have less sugar than a commercial bottle this versatile sauce just might end up on everything you BBQ from now on.

Get TWO CUPS of tomato sauce

Add FOUR TABLESPOONS of Cirio tomato puree

Crush up TWO CLOVES of garlic and add to the mix

Add ONE TABLESPOON of paprika

Add FOUR TABLESPOONS of honey

Add THREE TABLESPOONS of balsamic vinegar

Add ONE TABLESPOON of Worcestershire sauce

Add just a PINCH of salt and pepper

Chop up ONE large onion (as thoroughly as you can)

Get a pan and a bit of oil, throw the onion in and cook low for about 4-5 minutes. Add everything else in, mix and simmer for another 3-4 minutes. YOU’RE DONE! Do keep refrigerated (if by some miracle there is any left over).


The Smokey Sauce

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This smoky barbecue sauce is scrumptious on everything from turkey burgers to pizza. The natural liquid smoke used is what gives this sauce its edge while the chipotle powder can be substituted with smoked paprika to keep the heat low. This sauce will last in the fridge for up to two weeks but we’re sure you’ll have used it all up long before then.

Get ONE CUP of tomato paste (check the organic section at your local store for the really good stuff)

Add 2/3 OF A CUP of water

Add a HALF CUP of apple cider vinegar

Add a QUARTER CUP of honey

Add a QUARTER CUP of unsulfured molasses

Add TWO TEASPOONS of hickory liquid smoke

Add TWO TEASPOONS of Worcestershire sauce

Add a HALF TEASPOON of onion powder

Add a HALF TEASPOON of salt

Add a QUARTER TEASPOON of fine chipotle powder

Add pepper to taste

Throw all of the above in a saucepan and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it and stir every now and then. Enjoy!


The Tangy Tango Sauce

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You can whip up a batch of this tangy barbecue sauce in just under twenty minutes all told. Combine your ingredients in a saucepan to simmer for just fifteen minutes. Up the heat with more red pepper flakes or make it gluten-free with a GF soy sauce. Once cool this nirvana is headed straight for your plate.

Get TWO CUPS of ketchup

Add THREE TABLESPOONS of brown sugar

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of soy sauce

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of Worcestershire sauce

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of apple cider vinegar

Add dry red pepper flakes TO TASTE

Add THREE minced cloves of garlic

Simmer in a pan on low or medium heat for about 15 minutes and you’re set!


The Health Buff Sauce

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Carefully created and taste-tested to be the most delicious healthy barbecue sauce out there. This sauce has a beautifully complex flavour that’s sweetened by raw honey and taken to the next level with the addition of liquid smoke (It says optional, but you definitely don’t want to neglect to add the delicious smokey flavour). You may have to take to the Internet to find liquid smoke but we promise you its worth it.

Get TWO TABLESPOONS of olive oil

Finely chop ONE medium sized onion

Finely chop FOUR garlic cloves

Add THREE TEASPOONS of ground chilli powder

Add a QUARTER TEASPOON of ground paprika

Add a QUARTER TEASPOON of salt

Add ONE TEASPOON of pepper

Add ONE PINCH of cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)

Add ONE CUP of ketchup (once again, look out for the lower sugar content brands)

Add a QUARTER CUP of honey

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of apple cider vinegar

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of plain yellow mustard

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of Worcestershire sauce

OPTIONAL Add TWO TEASPOONS of liquid smoke

Throw it all in a nonstick pan on medium heat and cook at first for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently and thoroughly. Afterward simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it and come back to stir occasionally.


The Quick but Healthy Sauce

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This irresistible barbecue sauce has no processed sugar and blows many store-bought competitors out of the water. Easily make this sauce vegan and add even more depth of flavour by using maple syrup instead of honey.  This recipe requires no stovetop time so once the ingredients are mixed and have some time to blend together its all set to grace your plate in whatever manner you please.

Get a HALF CUP of tomato paste

Add a HALF CUP of water

Add FOUR TABLESPOONS of Worcestershire sauce

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of apple cider vinegar

Add a HALF TEASPOON of garlic powder

Add a HALF TEASPOON of salt

Add TWO TABLESPOONS of honey (or if you want to go the vegan route you can use maple syrup)

Add ONE TEASPOON of black pepper

Mix into a bowl and you’re ready to go!


The “Wait, There’s Blueberries in this Sauce??” Sauce

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This sauce finds its way onto our list due to the abundance of good, fresh ingredients that it calls for such as blueberries and jalapeno peppers. Toss in a good bourbon and we’re hooked. You will be too. This sauce comes together easily and does absolute justice to a filet mignon.

Get ONE AND A HALF TEASPOONS of canola oil

Chop ONE HALF of a small red onion

Seed and chop ONE jalapeno pepper

Get ONE QUARTER CUP of bourbon of your choice

Get ONE CUP of either fresh or frozen blueberries

Get ONE QUARTER CUP of ketchup (bonus points if you can get the variety with reduced sugar, similar to the above)

Get THREE TABLESPOONS of cider vinegar

Get ONE TABLESPOON of brown sugar

Get ONE AND A HALF TEASPOONS of molasses

Get ONE PINCH of ground up allspice

Get ONE TABLESPOON of chopped thyme

Get ONE TABLESPOON of extra-virgin olive oil

Get a THREE QUARTER TEASPOON of salt

Get a HALF TEASPOON of ground pepper

Start by heating up oil in a saucepan on medium and then adding the onion. Stir for about 2-4 minutes until it’s starting to turn brown. Add the garlic and jalapeno while stiring for another 30 seconds. Next, add the bourbon and turn the heat up to high. Bring it to a boil and let it cook until most of the liquid is gone, leaving a nice concentrated concoction (should be 3-5 minutes). Finally, stir in the blueberries, vinegar, ketchup, molasses, allspice, and sugar. Bring it to a boil once again and turn down the heat to let it simmer. Give it about 15 minutes until it’s a nice thick sauce. Be sure to stir occasionally during this last part


The Low-Cal Superstar Sauce

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With a low calorie count per serving and low-sugar as well, you’ll find yourself slathering everything you cook with this bold and spicy sauce. This recipe strikes a delightful balance of sweet from the molasses and maple syrup with the perfect blend of spices to surpass all your traditional barbecue sauce expectations and win a permanent place in your fridge.

Mince up TWO cloves of garlic

Get ONE HALF TEASPOON of olive oil (or coconut oil if you prefer)

Chop ONE QUARTER of a small yellow onion

Get ONE CAN of tomato sauce

Get TWO TABLESPOONS of tomato paste

Get THREE TABLESPOONS of maple syrup

Get ONE AND A HALF TABLESPOONS of molasses

Get ONE TEASPOON of apple cider vinegar

Get ONE TEASPOON of tamari

Get ONE TEASPOON of dijon mustard

Get a HALF TEASPOON of paprika

Get a QUARTER TEASPOON of cayenne pepper

Get a HALF TEASPOON of chili powder

Get a HALF TEASPOON of ground pepper

Throw in a DASH of cinnamon

Start with a saucepan on medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion first and saute it while stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Next add in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, tamari and mustard (be sure to stir thoroughly). After that throw in the salt and all the spices (also stir thoroughly). Turn down to medium heat and allow it to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

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