This tangy, homemade slow cooker BBQ sauce has no added sugar, it’s also gluten-free, whole30 compliant, and paleo but still packed with flavor.
Homemade anything is better than store-bought because you control the ingredients. Instead of sugar I used chopped dates for a natural sweetener. Honey or maple syrup good substitutions if you’re paleo but not whole30.
Yes, you can make this on the stove: This can also be made on the stove. Throw all the ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until blended. Turn heat to low and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. It’s better though made in the slow cooker. Heating the ingredients low and slow for a couple of hours really unlocks the flavors.
TANGY. This sauce is not for everyone. It is tangy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Soon I will make a sweet barbecue sauce but for now, it’s tangy.
I’m listing the liquid smoke as optional but I always use it. A little liquid smoke goes a long way. Just 1/4 tsp will make it fairly smokey in my opinion. If you’re on the fence about this then omit it all together or lower the measurement to 1/8 tsp. If you want your sauce a little sweeter then add more dates. If it’s too thick, add more water.
I used an immersion blender but you can use whatever you have whether it be immersion blender, food processor, or regular blender.Print
Slow Cooker Tangy BBQ Sauce (Paleo/Whole30)
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 5 mins
- Yield: 3 1/2 cups
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
- 5-6 fresh dates, chopped (optional)
- Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker.
- Stir to mix well.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6.
- Blend in food processor or immersion blender until smooth.
This makes approximately 3 1/2 cups of BBQ sauce. Store this in an air-tight container in the frig for up to 2 weeks. Or you can freeze it. If you end of making modifications to the taste of the sauce, let me know in the comments below what you did. Curious minds want to know.