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Better Barbeque Sauce Recipe

I’m a fan of a better barbeque sauce. Too many are sickly sweet, or use ketchup as a base. This one does neither. It’s relatively low-carb, AND it’s got a hearty bone broth as a base.

(You do remember how good bone broth is for you, don’t you?)

This recipe for a Better Barbeque Sauce comes from The Garden of Eating, one of my top-five recommended cookbooks.

Better Barbeque Sauce

The Players

Click here to see where to find organic, bulk spices.

The How-To

1. Heat oil in a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Bring to a low boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring periodically until mixture thickens, 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Pour into wide-mouth glass jar; allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks or freeze.


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(photo by my_amii)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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39 Responses to Better Barbeque Sauce Recipe
  1. Tara
    April 15, 2010 | 10:52 pm

    Wow! Just today I was wishing for a nourishing bbq sauce and here it is!
    .-= Tara´s last blog post …French Toast =-.

  2. Natural Health Goodies
    April 15, 2010 | 11:55 pm

    That sounds mighty tasty – I need to stock up on some of those ingredients and give ‘er a rip.
    .-= Natural Health Goodies´s last blog post …Spring is Calling and So is My Square Foot Garden =-.

  3. barbara
    April 16, 2010 | 10:13 am

    New to your site. Lots of good information on food! Have you written about the food safety bill before the senate? Bill S 510? Thought because you are interested in food that you would have some comments about it — couldn’t find any on your site. I for one am totally against it and believe that more people need to know about it. — barbara

  4. austingunter
    April 16, 2010 | 12:47 pm

    @jangunter Better Barbecue Sauce with Bone Broth base

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. Lovelyn
    April 16, 2010 | 4:19 pm

    Great recipe. I can’t wait to try it.
    .-= Lovelyn´s last blog post …Fiction Friday =-.

  6. CCW_wellness
    April 16, 2010 | 7:47 pm

    Better Barbeque Sauce Recipe

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Kate
    April 16, 2010 | 8:35 pm

    AH!!! Yes!!! I have searched over and over again for a halfway decent BBQ sauce that didn’t include ketchup, liquid smoke, or other ingredients I don’t have and/or don’t want to use. This is perfect. I may make a few changes based on our tastes, but YAY! Thank you for a good place to start! I got a good quality pork roast and there is going to be pulled pork at my house next week. Oh yes. And now I have sauce to go with it.
    .-= Kate´s last blog post …Artificial Baby Milk: What’s In It? =-.

    • KristenM
      April 16, 2010 | 9:19 pm

      I’ve sometimes used Worcestershire sauce instead of the soy sauce. We like it that way, too.

  8. Maureen Wheeler
    April 17, 2010 | 8:21 am

    I LOVE THIS! I bone broth base – just perfect. Thank you so much for posting. I’m off to buy the cookbook.

    • KristenM
      April 19, 2010 | 11:40 am

      Neat, isn’t it? Why use ketchup and liquid smoke when you can use nutrient-dense REAL food?

  9. Jassica
    April 17, 2010 | 11:50 am

    Thanks, that looks good! I can’t wait to try it. Just hope it passes the husband test. Last batch of healthy BBQ sauce I made he hated. :-( Still have some in the freezer.

    • KristenM
      April 19, 2010 | 11:39 am

      Jassica — That’s why I like to tweak recipes. Get one that forms the base idea, then add or take away based on our preferences.

  10. Lisa
    April 18, 2010 | 10:33 pm

    This looks great! I’m always looking for new ways to include broth in our food.
    Has anyone tried it with chicken broth?

    • KristenM
      April 19, 2010 | 11:39 am

      Lisa — The recipe as it appears in the cookbook presents the option for either chicken broth OR beef broth. I like the beef broth because it provides that “meatier” flavor, but chicken broth works well, too. :)

  11. Chef Rachel
    April 19, 2010 | 12:36 pm

    Thank you for posting my favorite bbq sauce recipe (from my Garden of Eating cookbook). I appreciate your support of my work!

    Chef Rachel

  12. ChefRachelM
    April 19, 2010 | 12:37 pm

    Great paleo & primal diet bbq sauce recipe using honey & stevia:

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  13. sippitysup
    April 20, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    The color alone has sold me. GREG

    • KristenM
      April 22, 2010 | 8:26 pm

      Aw, that’s just Photoshop (or in my case, GIMP).

  14. MamaB
    April 22, 2010 | 7:48 am

    Nice. I love Stevia, and am always looking for ways to use it. I like that you still used some honey for that little bit of stickiness that a good barbecue sauce has.
    .-= MamaB´s last blog post …Not the most amazing chocolate chip cookie in the world =-.

  15. Erica
    April 22, 2010 | 8:20 pm

    Oooh, this looks awesome!

    Any thoughts on using molasses instead of honey?

    • KristenM
      April 22, 2010 | 8:27 pm

      Why not? It sounds like it would be good.

  16. thepinkpeppercorn
    May 29, 2010 | 11:17 am

    Awesome! I’ve been looking for a bbq sauce recipe!
    .-= thepinkpeppercorn´s last blog post …super moist chocolate cake & to-die-for nutella frosting =-.

  17. Karen C.
    June 24, 2010 | 2:55 pm

    I made sloppy joes using this sauce with grass fed ground beef. It turned out awesome!

  18. Katie
    September 13, 2010 | 6:42 pm

    That sounds delicious! I’ve been making something in that family with onions, chicken broth, dijon, and honey to go on chicken for a while. It’s fantastic, so I imagine this bbq sauce is pretty good, too. I’ll give it a try soon–thanks for sharing!

  19. Mike Tyler via Facebook
    February 25, 2011 | 8:18 pm

    I saved the recipe! My last (first) batch of homemade organic BBQ sauce was a bit too sweet, and didn’t have our beloved bone broth!

  20. BodyandMind Retreats via Facebook
    February 26, 2011 | 2:18 am

    Excellent! Thank you!

  21. Debra allen
    February 26, 2011 | 8:04 am

    I absolutely LOVE this site! Thanks for promoting REAL food!

  22. Charlene
    May 10, 2011 | 7:51 pm

    Approx how much does this make?

  23. Recette barbecue
    May 22, 2011 | 5:44 pm

    I LOVE THIS! I bone broth base – just perfect.

    June 12, 2011 | 12:04 pm

    This recipe sounds and looks delicious. Can this recipe be canned and how would you do it?

  25. Scott
    February 13, 2012 | 6:58 pm

    Why all the hate on ketchup from the commenters? I’d love to see our Food Renegade twist this recipe and make a healthy ketchup. It’d really sell with my kids (and the adults in our families with child-like tastes).

  26. Tina
    March 12, 2013 | 5:11 am

    Any suggestions on how to make a vegetarian option for this BBQ sauce?? It looks delicious just cant use the bone broth. Thanks!

    • KristenM
      April 4, 2013 | 6:41 pm

      Use vegetable broth?

  27. Kelly
    April 4, 2013 | 4:34 pm

    Canned toamto paste? Really? Have you found another way to do this without the BPA lined canned products? The acidity in tomatoes makes even more BPA leach into the food. I was let down when I read that because I need a good BBQ sauce recipe and assumed you’d never use canned.

    • KristenM
      April 4, 2013 | 6:41 pm

      I home can my tomato products, or buy Bionaturae Organic Tomato Paste from my grocery store since it’s BPA-free, organic, and comes in glass jars that my kiddos like drinking out of!

  28. Heather S.
    April 6, 2013 | 10:13 am

    My husband can’t tolerate onions/garlic and with the large amount of onions in this recipe, I’m not sure I can just leave it out. Any ideas? :)

  29. NJH
    June 2, 2013 | 3:52 am

    Beef broth? I’ve read many of your articles and, given your knowledge and priorities made the assumption you must be vegan.

    There are wholesome alternatives to beef broth etc and they’re worth a look if you really value your health.


  30. Jen K.
    September 12, 2013 | 11:03 am

    Can’t wait to try this! I’ll be making two batches, more than likely, one following this recipe and one with added pepper flakes for a spicy zip! Does the ACV help preserve the bone broth for up to 2 weeks? I only ask because I make a big batch weekly (and it’s the end of the week). I’d love for this to last two weeks for me to be able to use it in other recipes.

    Thanks, Food Renegade – I’m addicted to your meatballs. Best recipe for quick, nutrient-packed lunch for the kiddos that they LOVE.

  31. Houston
    September 17, 2013 | 2:31 pm

    I’m curious, is the photo at the top of the recipe an actual pic of your finished product?

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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