Paleo Barbecue Sauce (Whole30)

4 minute read

This the perfect tangy, savory and slightly spicy barbecue sauce for all your grilled meats, veggies, sandwiches, wings and more! I love to make my own barbecue sauce because in doing so I can control the flavor whether I’m feeling a bit more sweet or spicy that day! This fantastic simple sauce is amazing, is Paleo and Whole30 friendly and comes together in less than 15-minutes!

Why Organic Ingredients?

Although not everything I buy is organic, a good majority of it is, why?  Well, it has to do with GMO’s and pesticides.  Many of the condiments and products out on market shelves are derived from either hybridized or genetically modified (GM) ingredients (tomatoes, corn, soy), and many of these are grown conventionally and are treated with toxic chemicals like glyphosate (RoundUp.)

With ketchup being the first and most abundant ingredient in my barbecue sauce, I always buy an unsweetened, organic ketchup.  Year after year, tomatoes make it on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list as a food that is considered toxic due it the exposure to pesticides and more.  So if it is available to you, try and source certain organic foods to reduce you and your family’s exposure to these toxins.

Environmental Impact

Across the globe, over 80% of all the GMO and conventional crops that are cultivated have been modified against herbicides such as RoundUp.  This means that the crops have had their DNA altered so that they are resistant against chemicals like RoundUp allowing for these toxic chemicals to be sprayed on the crops, killing other plants and pests without harming the crop itself.  The problem with chemicals like glyphosate is that they are now part of the food you eat, and have given rise to “superbugs” and “superweeds” that have become resistant to it and can now only be killed with chemicals that are even more toxic like 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange) shown to correlate with thyroid disorders, hormonal disorders, decreased fertility, birth defects, and cancer [1].

Human Impact

In recent studies, there have been indications of the negative impact GMO foods are having when consumed.  These foods are showing that they may have toxicity on organs, organ systems, and immune health [2]. Consuming foods that have been genetically modified exposes you to a slurry of toxic chemicals, like glyphosate, that has been shown to be carcinogenic [3]. 

Why Paleo?

With so many lifestyle options, why did I choose to make this barbecue sauce Paleo and Whole30 friendly?

1. Sugar.  Refine white sugar (white beet sugar) has a few characteristics that I find undesirable, so I avoid it at all costs.

  • GMO: white beets or sugar beets are genetically modified to be herbicide resistant and grown with glyphosates (RoundUP)
  • Ultra Refine: sugar beets are highly refine to produce the sugar products used in so many foods: condiments, cereals, snacks, breads, candies and more.

2.  Organic.  By choosing to make my own sauce at home, I am able to choose the quality of the ingredients that go into my sauce.  Choosing ingredients such as raw organic apple cider vinegar, organic no sugar added ketchup, and more I know that what I am serving my family is the cleanest, most nutritionally dense food I can.

3.  Whole Food Ingredients: Processed and ultra refined foods such as sugar, salt, flours and oils are inflammatory to the body and are void of nutrients.  The refinement process eliminates the bioavailable nutrients in these foods and although some of these foods have been “fortified” (where the food companies try to add the nutrients back in) these are typically synthetic and are not as available to the body and are not absorbed.

Choosing minimally processed ingredients maintains nutrient density, is more bioavailable to the body, and is does not have the inflammatory properties ultra refined foods do.

So grab your ingredients and let’s make some barbecue sauce!

Paleo Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

Makes 16 ounces

1 cup No Sugar Organic Ketchup

1/4 cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

¼ cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Unsulphured Organic Molasses*

¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup or Pure Honey* (opt)

1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard or Whole Grain Mustard

1-2 Tbsp Chipotle Sauce (make sure it is sugar free)

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Onion Powder

½ tsp Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt or Pink Salt

1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

* Use pure maple syrup for vegan and vegetarian lifestyles

*Omit Honey and Molasses for Whole30

How to Make Paleo Barbecue Sauce

1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium pot or saucepan and whisk to evenly combine.

2. Heat over low-medium heat until it comes to a light simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow for all the spices and flavors to meld together.

3. Serve and store the remaining sauce in an airtight container.


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Q: Is it necessary to heat homemade barbecue sauce?

A: Yes, this steps helps to make sure all the beautiful spices enhance the flavor of the barbecue sauce.

Q: How long will homemade barbecue sauce last?

A: I keep mine stored in a mason jar with a lid in the fridge up to two-weeks. It is great to use as a pizza sauce, on turkey wraps and sandwiches, on anything grilled, and more!

Q: I prefer my barbecue sauce to be a little less tangy, should I just omit the apple cider vinegar?

A: My rule of thumb is to add a little and taste it until you find your perfect level of tanginess. You can also balance the acidity of the ACV with a little more honey as well!

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products and kitchen gear I love. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Almond Milk and Cookies!


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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.

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