If you’ve had a copy of The Paleo Healing Cookbook since before it was even called that… then you’ve known and loved this recipe for my nightshade free sweet & tangy BBQ Sauce since 2015.
For the rest of you lovely people, consider this my gift to you! My husband has always said that it was worth buying my cookbook for this recipe alone and… to be honest, he’s not wrong.
This simple and utterly non-photogenic recipe for nightshade free BBQ sauce is probably the one that I’m most proud of, not just from the recipe development of my cookbook, but of all my time blogging and recipe testing.
I’m not one to toot my own proverbial horn, but this recipe was beyond a labor of love. It was days of stinking up my kitchen-without-an-extractor-hood with vinegar, an endless array of empty pantry items and close to 30-something iterations before I finally had a BBQ sauce that made us all go: THIS IS THE ONE.
(My chili-less chili recipes come close, because honestly at that point I had to dub myself some kind of kitchen wizard – my Hearty & Homestyle Nightshade Chili is proof of that magic!)
So, this nightshade free BBQ sauce is kind of my kitchen baby. It’s got no nightshades or seed spices – when ketchup and mustard are usually the backbone of many a BBQ sauce! – and it’s totally AIP. But, most importantly, it looks, tastes and acts just like NORMAL BBQ sauce.
Which means that unlike the more common AIP fruit based sauces, it works on the grill and under the broiler, not just as a last minute condiment you add to your plate. So you can use my nightshade free BBQ sauce for marinading and basting just like back in the days when BBQ sauce was actually convenient as well as delicious.
It is thick, rich, tangy and sweet, but has a lovely hint of bite that balances that sweetness. It’s basically the perfect BBQ Sauce… and also the special diet equivalent of a damn unicorn.
Years after I finally nailed this recipe, my nightshade free BBQ sauce has still has never failed me.
“Normal” eaters can’t tell the difference between this gloriousness or the usual grocery store options & those of us who can’t tolerate nightshades or mustard high five each other on the way to getting second piles of ribs or shrimp skewers or chicken legs or pulled pork or…. you get the idea.
At first glance, it may look like a lot of ingredients, but the recipe is so, so easy: just blend, then simmer aaaand you’re done. But that flavor balance from the layering of these ingredients is pure, alchemical kitchen gold. You’re gonna have to trust me on this.
I usually make a double batch, since it keeps (almost) forever in the fridge. You won’t regret doing the same!Print
The Ultimate Sweet & Tangy Nightshade Free BBQ Sauce
Looking for a nightshade free bbq sauce that’s rich, sweet & tangy? This is it. This AIP BBQ Sauce from The Paleo Healing Cookbook looks, tastes & acts just like your old favorite recipe.
I usually make a double batch, since it keeps in the fridge for weeks.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups / 480 ml 1x
- Category: sauces, condiments
- Method: stove top
- 1 cup / 140 g diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml unsweetened applesauce, about one 4 oz single serving cup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp / 90 ml coconut aminos, see notes for substitution
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp / 90 ml honey
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml unsulphured blackstrap molasses
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp / 14 g ground ginger
- 1 tbsp / 15 g smoked salt, I like hickory, mesquite or alderwood
- 1 tsp / 5 ml gluten free fish sauce, optional
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml rendered & strained bacon fat, optional, for added smoky flavor
BLEND: Add all ingredients except the bacon fat to a blender and process until smooth and combined, scraping down the sides a few times as needed.
SIMMER: Pour the blended BBQ sauce mixture into a saucepan over medium heat, heating gently until the bbq sauce comes to a simmer. Add the bacon fat and stir until it melts and combines evenly with the bbq sauce.
THICKEN: Reduce the heat so that the BBQ sauce simmers gently but doesn’t boil or splash and cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens and darkens to a rich, deep brown hue. Don’t worry about the foam that you may see on the top of the sauce at the beginning – just keep stirring regularly and it will dissipate as the sauce cooks, reduces and thickens. If you like your BBQ sauce with a bit more tanginess, add additional apple cider vinegar, to taste, then cook for an additional 5 minutes at the end.
STORE: Pour the finished nightshade free BBQ sauce carefully into jars to cool. You can keep the BBQ sauce in the fridge for up to 2 months. You can use it straight from the fridge as a marinade or when directly added to hot foods, but you may want to gently reheat it to use on the side.