Canada’s food guide

Lip smacking BBQ drumsticks

These delicious drumsticks are coated in heavenly homemade barbecue sauce. Sweetened with Medjool dates, this is guaranteed to be your go-to sauce. Use it with grilled meats and turn up the heat factor if you like things extra spicy.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 5 mL (1 tsp) canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) chopped fresh thyme
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) chili powder
  • 1 mL (1/4 tsp) fresh ground pepper
  • 500 mL (2 cups) tomato passata
  • 175 mL (3/4 cup) chopped pitted Medjool dates
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) cider vinegar
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) hot pepper sauce
  • 10 skinless chicken drumsticks (about 1 kg/2 lbs)
  1. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, thyme, chili powder and pepper for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato passata, dates, vinegar, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Scrape into blender and purée until smooth. Makes about 625 mL (2 1/2 cups) of sauce.
  2. Place drumsticks on greased grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn and grill for 5 minutes more. Start brushing with about 250 mL (1 cup) of sauce, turning often and basting for about more 10 minutes *.
  3. Serve with some of the remaining sauce, if desired. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for up to 2 weeks.


  • You can use the same amount of skinless, bone-in chicken thighs instead of drumsticks.
  • Food safety move: measure out 250 mL (1 cup) of the sauce for basting the chicken. Cover and save the rest in the fridge for later.
  • Passata is cooked tomatoes that have been crushed and strained, and it's usually sold in a tall glass jar.
  • Try using less of the ingredients that are high in added sodium, sugars or saturated fat. Adding salt or sugars directly to your recipe? Remember, a little often goes a long way.