Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe | Naturally Sweetened with California Prunes (Low Sugar + Paleo Friendly)

Recipe by Alison Needham for California Prunes 

This low sugar easy BBQ Sauce recipe is refined sugar-free, tangy, delicious – and sweetened with California Prunes! Use it to glaze meats on the grill, make pulled chicken or pork, stir into baked beans, or as a dip for fries and nuggets. It will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator. Naturally sweetened | Paleo-friendly | Gluten-free option 

Servings: 2.5 Cups
Prep Time:
Cook Time:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups prune purée
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke, optional


Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the bourbon, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the paste darkens slightly. Add the prune purée, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Stir in the liquid smoke, if using. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if desired.


Making prune purée is easy. Here’s a simple recipe.

16 ounces pitted prunes + 1/2 cup hot water

Combine the prunes and water in a blender. Pulse to combine, then blend until a paste consistency forms, scraping the sides if necessary. Store the purée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.