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Dressings & Sauces

Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce

You're going to want to smear this sauce on everything.

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Before you reach for a store-bought barbecue sauce, why not make your own? It’s easier than you might think, and you can totally customize your version to make it extra-flavorful, full of the ingredients you prefer, and even add in a few unique twists. The perfect place to start? This Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce.

Defined by its brilliant hue and its grill-friendly tang, consider this sauce your go-to companion for all of the cookouts you’re planning and grilling you’ll be doing throughout the summer.

This tart sauce makes the perfect addition to all of your favorite grilling recipes. Hisbiscus is the star ingredient, but the addition of staple flavors like tomato, molasses, and apple cider vinegar make it somewhat familiar. It’s equally delicious on meat-centric dishes, like our Tropical Grilled Chicken or Grilled Chicken Panzanella Skewers, as it is on plant-based proteins and meals. You can serve the sauce along with plant proteins like tempeh or tofu, drizzle it over pizzas made with your favorite toppings, and use it for dipping (our Chickpea Nuggets are made for dips). Or, spread some over grilled fruit for a combo that’s sweet, smoky, and saucy.

However you enjoy it, this hibiscus barbecue sauce will give you a new twist to try, without cracking open a store-bought bottled sauce.

Hibiscus Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1 ½ cups
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
35 min


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 6 oz organic tomato paste
  • ¾ cup hibiscus petals, soaked and rinsed thoroughly
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, onion powder and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in hibiscus, vinegar, molasses, Dijon, honey and ¾ cup water. Simmer 15 minutes, until hibiscus has softened and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat
    and cool slightly.
  2. Transfer to a high-speed blender and blend on high for 1 minute; until smooth. Brush on chicken, pork, shrimp, veggies or fruit before grilling. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 179
  • Carbohydrate Content 33 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 4 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 4 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0.6 g
  • Sodium Content 223 mg
  • Sugar Content 20 g