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Zero Waste Food | Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce

Swapping similar ingredients in a recipe is a great way to use up things you already have on hand and reduce waste. Check out this modification on a favorite recipe of ours that helps us use up lots of things in our fridge and freezer to prevent them from being tossed into the compost or trash. Best of all, this spicy mango barbecue sauce recipe is delicious!

A few years ago, I attended a cooking class in Chicago and learned to make this peach BBQ sauce. It is delicious, and I’ve coveted the recipe since that class.

The recipe is perfect for summer when markets are flush with fresh peaches. It’s also great for those peaches that never quite ripen and go from hard to mealy overnight. Ugh!

Outside of peach season, I’ve used frozen peaches, but I’ve also substituted mangoes for peaches; the recipe is just as delicious! I’m a big fan of substituting with ingredients I have on hand to save money and reduce food waste.

Last weekend, as I scanned the freezer for ingredients that needed some love, I stumbled on a bag of frozen mangoes I packed away months ago. I often freeze fruit when I suspect we won’t finish it before they went bad. 

We often use frozen fruit for smoothies. However, I had a bunch of spice rub left after making these chicken fingers, so the mango BBQ sauce was the perfect way to use up the fruit and pair with chicken already in our freezer.

This sauce takes a little bit of time to make because it needs to simmer, so it’s not something I typically make on a busy weeknight. Last Sunday, I made a large batch of the mango BBQ sauce and bottled it up into a few upcycled glass containers. I kept one in the fridge for the week and put the other in the freezer. Pulling fresh sauces, soups and other homemade food from the freezer is the best! 

The sauce has a bit of a kick, but you could make it less spicy by reducing the crushed red peppers. It’s so fresh, tasty and healthy. It’s always a huge hit when we serve it to friends.

I definitely recommend giving it a try. If you like it, make a bit extra and toss some in a jar or bottle in the freezer. You’ll be pumped when a busy week creeps up on you and you can pull it out of the freezer to have a fresh weekday meal for basically no work!


Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce

Spicy Mango BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cups chopped mangoes, I used frozen
  • 2 tsp dried cilantro


  1. Over medium heat, cook the olive oil in a sauce pan.
  2. Saute the garlic about 1 minute.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook until the mangoes are soft (fork-tender), about 30-35 minutes.
  4. Puree the mixture in a blender or with a hand blender (immersion blender).
  5. Serve warm or room temperature with the chicken.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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