Prime grilling season is in full swing and everyone is on the hunt for the perfect barbecue sauce. You don’t need to feel limited by the sauce selection at your local store. Creating your own concoction is easier than you think and sourcing your own ingredients means that you can actually control just how healthy your sauce is. After scouring the web, LivingHealthy has found 10 of the tastiest barbecue sauce recipes that are actually good for you. Whether you don’t do gluten, dairy, nut or grain, or you are cutting calories or eating clean, raw or paleo, there are several delicious options out there. So what are you waiting for? Fire up that grill and slather away!
The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce
Inspired by Kansas City barbecue, this homemade sauce is sweet, thick, smoky, tangy, and takes less than 5 minutes to make!
Key ingredients: Tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey or agave nectar, tomato paste, molasses, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: In addition to being gluten-free and vegan, this mostly tomato-based barbecue sauce is a great source of vitamin C, biotin and vitamin K.
Mango BBQ Sauce
A fruity addition to meat, seafood, veggies and even pizza, this Hawaiian-inspired recipe definitely isn’t run-of-the-mill.
Key ingredients: Red onion, garlic, mangoes, olive oil, tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, chili paste.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Besides the fact that this sauce is vegetarian and gluten-free, mangoes are a great source of fiber, vitamins C and E and high in the disease-fighting antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
Smoky Hot BBQ Sauce
Concocted by a ketchup-hater, this hot, spicy and smoky accompaniment is great for dressing up meat or dipping.
Key ingredients: Onion, garlic, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, date paste, unsweetened applesauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lime, coconut aminos, fish sauce, fresh ginger, cloves, cinnamon, paprika, chipotle peppers, liquid smoke.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Tomatoes bring to the table vitamin C, biotin and vitamin K, and the recipe is both paleo and WHOLE30 friendly.
Skinny Ms. Barbecue Sauce
A fabulous-tasting, lower-calorie alternative to the traditional barbecue sauce that goes great on chicken and pulled pork.
Key ingredients: Canola or olive oil, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, honey, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, chili powder, sea salt.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: While most traditional barbecue sauces are packed with fat and calories, this 100 percent clean version weighs in at only 2 grams of fat and 66 calories per serving.
The World’s Best BBQ Sauce
Tasting sweet without added sugar, this spicy sauce is made with nutrient-rich bone broth.
Key ingredients: Grass-fed butter or coconut oil, sweet onion, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, dry mustard, oregano, basil, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, tomato paste, homemade chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, stevia powder.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: This recipe is sugar-free, and bone broth adds lots of essential nutrients like healthy fats, proteins and minerals.
Clean Eating BBQ Sauce
The search for a clean-eating barbecue sauce is over!
Key ingredients: Tomato sauce, tomato paste, low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos, olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, unsulfured molasses, honey, balsamic vinegar
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Made with only clean ingredients, this sauce’s tomato sauce and paste base add vitamin C, biotin and vitamin K.
Peach BBQ Sauce
Delicious on meat or as a dipping sauce, even kids will be begging for more of this peachy keen concoction.
Key ingredients: Canned or fresh peaches, tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon lest, spicy mustard, paprika, water, ketchup, Sorghum or molasses
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Peaches are high in vitamin A and C as well as fiber, and despite adding sweetness, they are relatively low in calories.
Paleo BBQ Sauce
Perfect for anyone on a caveman diet, this beef-broth based sauce will jazz up all your meat and veggies.
Key ingredients: Beef broth, garlic, tomato paste, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, paprika, onion powder, cumin, sea salt, cayenne.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: paleo-friendly, this recipe can be made extra nutrient-rich if you make your own beef broth.
Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce
Made with wholesome ingredients, this sweet and smoky sauce is great for barbecues and also barbecue chicken pizza.
Key ingredients: Organic tomato sauce and paste, apple cider vinegar, coconut palm sugar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses or raw honey, ground mustard, smoked paprika, paprika, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, Himalayan sea salt, pepper.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Dairy-, egg-, gluten- and nut-free, this sauce is super clean as well as paleo-friendly!
Raw Blender BBQ Sauce
A raw barbecue sauce that’s perfect for slathering on your meats and veggies.
Key ingredients: Organic diced tomatoes, garlic (8 cloves!) molasses, honey, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, sea salt.
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: This raw sauce is gluten-, grain- and dairy-free; apple cider vinegar contains malic acid (with anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties) while garlic adds a kick of B6.