For many, barbecue sauce is the cause of debate. There’s team no sauce, team vinegary sauce, team sweet tomato sauce, blah, blah, blah. Personally, I don’t care – if you make your food taste good, that’s all that matters. Albeit, I grew up with the sweet, smoky, tomato-based variety of barbecue sauce, so that’s what we’re sharing with you today.

Most modern barbecue sauces are basically smoky, heavily-spiced, and sweeter versions of ketchup – which I have no problem with. Our version follows this pattern, as the main ingredients are the same ones that go into our ketchup, only this one contains higher amounts of sweetener & vinegar as well as the addition of liquid smoke and few other alterations.

Barbecue sauces represent a mesh of culture, with each style having its own unique origins. For example, early German explorers landed on the coast of the Carolinas, and being that Germans love their mustard, most “Carolina BBQ Sauces” are mustard & vinegar based. However, nowadays, each style has kind of merged into the other one, creating one master sauce, or a less original sauce depending on how you look at it.

All historical mumbo-jumbo aside, we’re giving this lectin-rich, sugar-filled condiment a makeover that’ll everyone can get down with but no one will notice.

As I’ve gone on about before, the only part of tomatoes that contain troublesome lectins are the peels & seeds of the fruit. Tomato paste contains neither of those parts and is made solely from the meat of a tomato – buy a BPA-free can and you’re in the clear. If you’re still concerned after all that, buy your tomato paste from Italy, where they rarely include seeds or peels in their tomato products. And that’s advice straight from the man, Dr. Gundry.

To make matters sugar-free, we use Swerve, which is a simple, erythritol and oligosaccharide based sweetener. Unlike straight up erythritol, Swerve replaces sugar 1:1, which means you use less product to acheive the same level of sweetness. If you’d like to know more about how it’s made, check out their about page, which will decode any mysteries you may have.

All in all, this barbecue sauce is:

  • Smoky, sweet, & salty
  • Tangy & maple-infused
  • Thick
  • Easy to make & takes only 5 minutes
  • Perfect for barbecue jackfruit, pizza, and mac ’n’ cheese (yeah, I said it)

If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

Keep it Saucy Baby,


Smoky Maple Barbecue Sauce (sugar-free, Plant Paradox-friendly, vegan & gluten-free)

  • Servings: About 2 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Classic thick & sweet tomato-based bbq sauce with an LA upgrade.


  • 2 cans tomato paste (12 oz in total)
  • 5 oz water
  • 3 oz Swerve or other low-carb sweetener
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (we use rice vinegar)*
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp yellow mustard powder or 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of xanthan gum (optional)*


  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  2. Before using, I recommend heating it up in a pot over medium-low heat until it’s lightly bubbly.
  3. Use alongside bbq jackfruit, atop of mac ‘n’ cheese, or even on top of pizza.

*Almost any vinegar will work, such as: rice, apple cider, distilled, white wine, or red wine vinegars.

*Xanthan gum makes the sauce a little smoother – but it’ll still be great without it.

4 thoughts on “ Smoky Maple Barbecue Sauce (sugar-free, Plant Paradox-friendly, vegan & gluten-free) ”

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