Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce – No Sugar Added

4.34 from 9 votes
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This Mango BBQ Sauce gets a spicy kick from jalapeño and is naturally sweetened with mango and caramelized onions. There are no added sugars in this recipe, making it a great one for anyone on a low sugar, keto, or paleo diet!

Mango Jalapeno BBQ Sauce drizzled over slices of grilled chicken

Every January my family does a 10-day sugar detox. I know I know, these darn fad diets and challenges! But for us it’s a great way for us to start the year feeling fresh and the commitment is doable. But we also don’t want to have a flavorless food experience. So we made this mango BBQ sauce with natural sweetness and free of added sugars. You can also visit our full list of our favorite styles of BBQ sauce.


We combine savory, heat, sweet, and seasoning to balance the flavors. You can modify however you want, for example to avoid heat.

  • Unsalted Butter and Olive Oil for sautéing.
  • Savory Flavors: Caramelized yellow onion, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste
  • Heat: Jalapeño (stems and seeds removed), cayenne pepper
  • Acid: Apple cider vinegar, lime juice
  • Sweet: Frozen mango cubes (or you can cut up a fresh mango)
  • Seasoning: smoked paprika, dry mustard, kosher salt, black pepper

We are using frozen mangos because they are available all year. You can also use fresh mango if they are ripe.

Optional: If you want to add some sugar to it then consider using honey, molasses, or even maple syrup.

Mango Jalapeño BBQ Sauce in a mason jar

Our Definition of No Sugar Added

Many who participate in detoxes or various diets have different definitions of sugars. To some, any sweetener is a no-no (even natural sweeteners like honey). To others, things like honey and maple syrup are okay, but they say no to refined sugar, like granulated sugar or molasses, or other things like that.

We’re in the former group. For us, natural sweetness found in real food, dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, are all okay. But processed or refined sugars (like brown sugar, cane syrup, white sugar, etc.) are all no-no.

Please consider your own restrictions when using this recipe.

  • This recipe contains no “added sugar”. Meaning every ingredient in it has no sugar added to it that is not natural (like fruit).
  • The sweetness in this comes naturally from: a) the caramelized onions, which add great natural sweetness, and b) the mango.

Adding Natural Sweetness to BBQ Sauce

For most people, BBQ sauces are best when they are balanced. To add some natural sweet flavors and avoid the sauce from tasting flat we are using both caramelized onions as well as ripe mangos.

Caramelized onions in a large pot
When you cook diced onions for longer than 20 minutes on low (or med-low) it will bring out great natural sweetness that adds incredible flavor to this sauce. 

How to Make No Sugar Added BBQ Sauce

  1. Caramelize onions: In a large pot set to medium heat cook onions until soft, starting to caramelize, and sweet to the taste.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeño and stir together for 2 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the mango cubes have softened.
  4. Blend: Using a hand immersion blender, or countertop blender, blend your sauce until smooth and there are no chunks.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. If too thick add water or more apple cider vinegar.

See recipe for details.

Variations on Mango BBQ Sauce

If you’re flexible with this Mango BBQ Sauce, and able to add some additional sweeteners, we recommend 2-3 tablespoons of either honey, maple syrup, or molasses. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

You can also add Worcestershire sauce for some kick (which we do), but note that most Worcestershire sauces may contain sugar as an ingredient. It’s super minimal in the grand scheme of the recipe, but feel free to leave it out if you’re going hard core!!!

Either way, whatever you may or may not add, I applaud you for trying something new and taking care of your body!

*Please not that I am nooooooo nutritionist! So take my advice and recipes with a grain of salt. If you are on a specific diet please use your own discretion or consult your own nutritionist. 

Recipes for your Mango BBQ Sauce

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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Now on 2nd edition

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Mango Jalapeno BBQ Sauce
4.34 from 9 votes

Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce With Jalapeño

A Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce that is naturally sweetened with a kick of heat from the jalapeño. This is a no-sugar-added bbq sauce.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 cups sauce


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1  jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (*with no added sugar, see notes)
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup mango cubes, (I use frozen)

Optional additions (if not too strict about added sweeteners)

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, (adds great kick)
  • 2 tablespoons honey, Maple Syrup, or Molasses (or a combination of 2-3 of these)


  • Caramelize Onions: In a large pot set to medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft (golden/starting to caramelize), and sweet to the taste (at least 20 minutes). *you may need to adjust the heat and turn it down if they are browning too fast.
  • Sauté: Next add the garlic and jalapeño and stir together for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the mango cubes have softened.
  • Blend: Using a hand immersion blender, or countertop blender, blend your sauce until smooth and there are no chunks.
  • Season: Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. If too thick add water or more apple cider vinegar. If you’re flexible on sweetness, add some sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, etc. to your taste preferences).



Make sure to read your labels. Many tomato sauces have added sugar. Make sure to use a brand that does not add any sugar.
Same with the Worcestershire sauce. Many of them contain added sugar.


Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1051mg | Potassium: 934mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 2713IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: bbq sauce, Sauce
Cuisine: barbecue, bbq, sauces
Servings: 2 cups sauce
Calories: 294
Keyword: mango bbq sauce, mango jalapeno sauce, no sugar added bbq sauce
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Trying this this weekend with a pork shoulder I’m making. I’m wondering if adding a bit of tequila would make for an interesting twist on this…