Paleo Gochujang Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)

4 minute read

Gochujang is a staple in many Korean dishes, and this deliciously sweet and spicy sauce is perfection without all the refined sugar—and it’s gluten-free! With 3 simple steps and in less than 10 minutes, this Korean pepper paste is ready to elevate all your favorite foods!

Finding gluten-free gochujang can be a challenge, and finding one that actually tastes good is another. I created this recipe to accommodate my way of eating without sacrificing flavor or spice. Plus, it’s so easy to make that you may never go back to store-bought again.

Why Korean Red Peppers are So Good For You!

Korean red pepper flakes, aka gochugaru, are a coarsely ground pepper that is made from sun-dried Korean red peppers. This spice is front and center in many Korean dishes including kimchi, gochujang and is great in soups. Most would describe gochugaru as slightly spicy with a delicate sweetness and a bit of smokiness from the drying process.  It is a lovely way to add flavor with a hint of spice without going overboard.

Hot peppers are rated based on the level of capsaicin in the pepper to determine its Scoville Heat Units (SHU’s) which is then placed on the Scoville Scale to compare.  Our little Korean red pepper is low on the Scoville scale with a 1,000-1,500 SHU [1].  To learn more about the Scoville scale click HERE.  Fun fact: If you grow your own peppers, did you know that you can make them spicer by aggravating the plant?  Yep, if you pluck a few leaves or even peppers off the plant, it will produce more capsaicin to protect itself yielding a hotter pepper, and I was actually able to test this out this past summer. A sweet friend of mine, Jami, sprouted and started her own Korean red pepper plant and gifted it to me!


  • Vitamin A (beta-carotene): A fat soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant supporting healthy vision, immune function, cell growth, and brain function.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): A powerful antioxidant that supports healthy immune function, and the absorption of non-heme iron.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate): Essential vitamin that supports healthy metabolism, and is key in breaking down homocysteine, and amino acid that is harmful in high concentrations [1].
  • Vitamin B12: Essential in the formation of DNA and red blood cells, and increases the absorption of nutrients [2].


  • Potassium: An essential electrolyte necessary in nervous system function, metabolism,  hydration, and in regulating your heartbeat [3].
  • Iron: An essential mineral that your body needs and in plants we find non-heme iron.  Nature has a way of helping us out since non-heme iron is more difficult for our bodies to absorb [4],  pairing it with vitamin C, also found in Korean red peppers, increases the absorption of the non-heme iron in our diets.


  • Carotenoids: Compounds that have been shown to help reduce the risk of disease and support the immune system.
  • Capsaicinoids: Compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to support heart health and supports a healthy metabolism.
  • Flavonoids: Phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties that help to neutralized and reduce oxidative stress. Antioxidants like flavonoids have been shown to help prevent disease such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

So grab some gochugaru flakes and let’s get cooking!

Paleo Gochujang Sauce (Paleo, Whole30, Keto) Ingredients

Makes 24-26 ounces

2 cups Filtered Water

3/4 cup Gochugaru Flakes (Korean pepper flakes)

1/3 cup Unsalted Smooth Tahini

¼-½ cup Pure Maple Syrup or Pure Raw Honey*

2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch or Tapioca Starch

*Omit maple syrup or honey for Keto/Whole30

How to Make Paleo Gochujang Sauce

1. Add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over low/medim heat until lightly simering, 

2. Simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the arrowroot/tapioca starch to bloom while stirring constantly.

3. Transfer to a glass jar and cool.


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Q: Can I use the Paleo gochujang sauce right away?
A: Yes! Of course!

Q: How do you store Paleo gochujang sauce?

A: Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, preferably a mason jar, up to 2-weeks.

Q: How do you make Paleo gochujang sauce spicer? milder?

A: To make gochujang sauce spicer, I typically add minced habanero or cayenne pepper powder. To make gochujang more mild, try adding a bit more maple syrup or honey as sweet defeats heat.

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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