Vegan Date-Sweetened Barbecue Sauce

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Believe it or not, making barbecue sauce is a lot easier than it seems. You just need the right ingredients that are properly portioned. Too much sweetness or too much spice can ruin the sauce. Just like a good soup, the perfect sauce requires balance. Fortunately for you, this completely vegan date-sweetened barbecue sauce is the perfect addition to any backyard cookout.

Sometimes the best tasting foods are made with the simplest ingredients. This barbecue sauce is read in under an hour and is like the much healthier version of a big bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s. It may not come as a surprise to you, but a bottle of that barbecue sauce does not contain the healthiest ingredients. It contains high fructose corn syrup and regular can sugar, offering whopping 16 grams of sugar per two tablespoons. That’s quite a lot!

The good news is that this sauce is much healthier, tastier, and contains a fraction of the sugar content, offering 4.6 grams of sugar per four tablespoons. The best way to enjoy this barbecue sauce is the way you enjoy eating it. We recommend putting a large dollop on vegan burger or tofu sandwhich loaded with pickles and coleslaw. Are you drooling just thinking about that meal? We are, so let’s get straight to the recipe! Let us know how you like it in the comments below.

Vegan Date-Sweetened Barbecue Sauce
  • Prep Time:10m
  • Cook Time:40m
  • Total Time:50m


  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 c dates, pitted and chopped
  • 3/4 c water
  • 2 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion in a little olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add the tomato paste and smoked paprika and cook, stirring constantly, for three more minutes.
  3. Pour in the remaining ingredients, except the seat salt and pepper, and increase the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can season with sea salt and pepper, and optional cayenne pepper, during this process until it is to your liking.
  5. Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the contents into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  6. You can now transfer your sauce to a bottle and refrigerate. It will stay fresh for up to one week.


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