An easy recipe of homemade smoky chipotle bbq sauce, date-sweetened. A healthy version of bbq sauce that has no refined sugar. Paleo and whole30 friendly.
Why you'll love this chipotle bbq sauce
- Sugar free - sweetness comes from caramel-like dates instead of high fructose corn syrup found in many commercial bbq sauces. The chipotle bbq sauce also has no molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar or honey.
- Healthy - fiber-rich dates are packed with potassium, magnesium and antioxidants to give a healthy boost to this homemade chipotle bbq sauce. Tangy, smoky, sweet, vegan, thick texture. Paleo and whole30 friendly.
- Easy recipe - just a quick simmer and your homemade sauce is ready to blend and enjoy!
- Perfect condiment - keep on hand to pair with chicken or your favorite protein. Or, simply swipe onto your favorite wrap or sandwich.
With the smoky flavor of chipotles, this homemade condiments is perfect on Homemade Gluten-Free Sloppy Joes, Balsamic Baked Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (vegan), or Vegan Chickpea Veggie Burgers. If you like sauces then one of my favorite recipes is my Easy Sticky Teriyaki Sauce and Marinade that I make with my Simple Teriyaki Chicken (easy 20 minute recipe). Enjoy!
Noteworthy ingredients and substitutions
- Onion - I like to use sweet onions since the bbq sauce will get its deep flavor from the tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Feel free to use whatever onion you have on hand.
- Puréed tomatoes - jarred puréed tomatoes (or passata) are available is jars or bottles. They contain only tomatoes, without additives like onions, garlic or spices. They add a nice base to the bbq sauce that compliments the dates and chipotle peppers.
- Dates - I like to use medjool dates because they are widely available in the grocery store and have a perfect natural sweetness to them. If your dates have dried, you can soak in hot water for 10 minutes before adding to the saucepan.
- Sun-dried tomatoes - you can use oil packed or substitute for dried. Sun dried tomatoes add a deep tomato flavor with no tomato paste.
- Apple cider vinegar - this adds tartness. You can also substitute for white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or white vinegar. This will slightly alter the finished taste but will still taste great.
- Chipotle chilis in adobe - these chipotle pepper with adobe sauce add a slightly spicy and sweet smokiness to the bbq sauce.
See recipe card for all ingredients and quantities.
How to make the best chipotle bbq sauce
- In small saucepan over medium heat, add onions and garlic and allow to sweat for 3-5 minutes to draw out their natural sweetness.
- Add tomatoes, dates, sun-dried tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, chipotle chilis, adobe sauce and ginger.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a slight boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Add bbq sauce to a high powered blender and blend until smooth. About 1 minute.
Tips, tricks and variations
Chunky bbq sauce - If you prefer your bbq sauce to be chunky, chop your onions, dates and sun-dried tomatoes evenly sized and skip the blending.
Adaptable - use as a marinade, dipping sauce, bbq mop sauce or swipe onto your favorite sandwich. You can also top your pizza, zest up you taco or add a rich and thick layer to your baked potato.
Spicy - want more zing? Add some finely chopped green jalapeños to the pot when simmering.
Storage - the homemade chipotle bbq sauce can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and can be frozen for up to a month. Make sure to leave at least a half-inch air space between the sauce and the lid when freezing.
This homemade chipotle sauce will last in the fridge for up to two weeks. Cool the sauce first, and place in an airtight jar. A mason jar works perfectly. You can also freeze the sauce for a month. Make sure to leave a half-inch space between the sauce and the jar lid before placing in the freezer.
Your bbq sauce should be plenty thick after simmering, but if it's still a little on the thin side then continue to simmer with the lid slightly open to allow moisture to escape. Make sure to keep an eye on it and mix often so the sauce doesn't stick. It will also thicken slightly when the sauce cools.
- Small saucepan
- High-speed blender
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