This BBQ sauce is made without ketchup or tomatoes and is 100% delicious! Easy to make with simple ingredients. Use in all your favorite BBQ recipes. It’s sweet + tangy!
No matter if you are allergic to tomatoes or avoiding nightshades, you will love how easy it is to make this tomato free BBQ sauce. It works in all your favorite cookout recipes including on chicken, ribs, on the grill, in the oven, and even as a dipping sauce.
Free from: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard (optional), lupin, sulfites, and more
Why you’ll love this recipe
If you’ve never made BBQ sauce from scratch before you are missing out! It is so simple, quick, and way healthier than anything you’d find in a jar.
- Free of nightshades and tomatoes
- Comes together in 20 minutes
- Use as a glaze for meats or tofu, toss shredded pork butt in this sauce, or use as a dipping sauce!
Try it out on pizza for a fun twist!
Tomato Free BBQ Sauce Ingredients
This recipe is really adaptable and customizable. Want more heat? Add more chili! Want less? Add none. For allergy substitutions, see below.
- Sweet Potato - This is the base of our sauce. It gives it body, flavor, and thickness. You can also make this with pumpkin puree if you would like to try that! I personally prefer the flavor of a sweet potato.
- Honey / Maple Syrup - Added for sweetness. Use whichever you have on hand or which you prefer. For an allergy friendly maple syrup, check out Anderson’s Maple Syrup.
You’re also going to need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, mustard powder, salt
If you are totally avoiding all nightshades, you will want to not use paprika or chili powder in this recipe. The smoked paprika was added for both heat and smoky flavor. You can substitute for a few drops of liquid smoke, an equal amount of cumin powder, or smoked tea (lapsang souchong).
If you don’t have powdered mustard, feel free to use a teaspoon of yellow mustard.
However, if you are allergic to mustard, you will want to omit the ingredient entirely.
If you are vegan, use maple syrup in place of the honey.
For the full recipe with measurements, please see the recipe card below.
Start with your sweet potatoes. Peel them, cut them into large chunks, and place them in a pot of water to boil. Cook them on medium-high until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Drain the water and mash the sweet potatoes.
In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients, including the mashed sweet potatoes.
Blend on medium-high until a smooth sauce is achieved. For me, this was on speed 6 for about a minute of blending.
Transfer the sauce to a medium pot and place on a low heat. Cook this down for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. The sauce will be done with a finger will leave a clear path on the back of a spoon. Just be careful as this is hot!
That’s it! The sauce is now done and ready to use. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container to keep it in the fridge, but make sure you let it cool down first.
Top Tips for Tomato Free BBQ Sauce
- Don't overcook the sweet potatoes. Cook them until they are fork tender but no more. You don't want them watered down. Remove them from the water as soon as they are cooked.
- If you like a spicier BBQ Sauce, feel free to add as much red pepper flakes as you like! This recipe is just a general guideline for how spicy it is.
- If you can't use nightshades for spice, add cumin for a really nice smokey flavor!
How to Store
Keep the cooled BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. It won’t last as long as store-bought sauces because there are no preservatives in this sauce.
More tomato free recipes
If you try these out, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, dietary friendly recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Sauce pot
- blender or food processor
- Storage jar
- cutting board
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 cup sweet potatoes cooked and mashed
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon honey / maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika see notes for alternatives
- 1 teaspoon ground garlic
- ½ teaspoon chili powder see notes for alternatives
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder see notes for alternatives
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water
- In a medium sized pot on the stove, boil your peeled and roughly chopped sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and mash lightly with a fork. Set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend on medium-high speed for 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth.
- Transfer the sauce to a sauce pot and cook down for 15 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
- Use sauce immediately or store in the fridge for 1 month. Use this BBQ sauce just as you would tomato based sauces. Can be baked, broiled, bbq’ed, or used as a dipping sauce. Enjoy!
- Makes generous 2 cups of sauce