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Slow cooker butternut squash BBQ sauce that skips the sugar

If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it’s BBQ: a dinner that pleases everyone. BBQ sauce it the best condiment, makes any meal more flavorful and is perfect for dipping. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like putting high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar or molasses on my dinner plate, but all four of those sweeteners are in just one bottle of BBQ sauce!


Image: Erin Plunkett/SheKnows

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I made this BBQ sauce to have a Whole30 ready condiment, but now I think I’ll never go back. Make it in bulk and store it in small freezer containers. I guess you could say the only downside of this sauce is it does spoil faster than the sugary stuff. But you know what? Real food spoils; it’s just what it does. If you want food where you can pronounce all the ingredients, it will go bad faster than its chemically laced counterparts.

Image: Erin Plunkett/SheKnows

Oh, and have I mentioned the best part yet? This is a slow cooker recipe. Just set it, and forget it. All you have to do is chop up some vegetables and then purée them once they’re cooked. Why buy a sauce that’s pumped with corn syrup when you can make one that just uses apples for sweetness?

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Healthy BBQ sauce recipe


1 small yellow onion, diced
1 red apple, skin on, diced
10 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons mustard
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon smoked salt
1 cup water


  1. In a slow cooker, combine all of the ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, until the vegetables are fork tender.
  3. Purée the mixture using a stick blender.
  4. Portion the sauce into air-tight containers once cooled.

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