The Best Low-Sugar BBQ Sauce

The Best Low-Sugar BBQ Sauce

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Traditional BBQ sauces, while delicious, are typically crammed with sugar and other ingredients that aren’t necessarily necessary. Naturally, ours uses dates to add a sweetness that tames the spice.

Date syrup is perfect for BBQ sauce, as it compliments the smokey, dark caramel flavors from the soy and cider. It’s a perfect marinade, dipping sauce or BBQ primer to throw on any number of veggies or meats.

Here, we coated some skewered chicken thighs in a thin layer of sauce and threw them in the oven under the broiler for a little under 10 minutes. When they came out, we added a touch more sauce, as well as some fresh mint and cilantro to brighten it up.

The whole recipe is refined sugar-free, paleo, and Whole30-approved.


  • ¼ cup Just Date Syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, plus 1 teaspoon sauce
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until combined.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the bbq sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until slightly reduced and thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Recipes & Photos: Renee Lynn Frojo