Healthy Orange Sauce Recipe (Refined Sugar Free)

GFGluten Free

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Better than takeout, this Healthy Orange Sauce Recipe is free from Gluten, Preservatives, and Refined Sugar! Use it with your favorite protein source for a tasty and easy dinner.

Goodbye, takeout. And hello, Healthy Orange Sauce!

overhead shot of orange sauce with oranges

Sweet, Sticky, and oh-so-flavorful, Orage Sauce is one of those things that is just so satisfying. Whether you’re going out to eat at a Chinese restaurant or chilling with a takeout box while watching Netflix, I’m pretty sure most of us have enjoyed it at one point or another.

orange sauce in glass jar with oranges

The one thing I really don’t like about Orange Sauce? The ingredients — oops. Okay, let’s clarify: I’m all for the yummy Orange, salty Soy, and tangy Garlic flavors, but the refined sugar and preservatives? Yeah, I’ll pass on those.

That’s why I created this healthy Orange Sauce recipe to share with you all! This version is refined sugar free, but still tastes just like the original condiment we all know and love. Plus it’s made from only 10 plant-based ingredients!

ingredients for orange sauce

I also tested two different varieties of this sauce – one using Maple Syrup, and the other using Medjool Dates as the natural sweetener. As you can see in the image below, the Maple Syrup (left) version looks a lot more like a traditional Orange Sauce, while the version sweetened with Dates (right) is a lot thicker. I personally preferred the sauce made with Maple Syrup, but have included both versions in the recipe below!

orange sauce variations in glass jars

Whether you’re using this sauce in some Orange Tofu Buddha Bowls, or just using it as a condiment with some steamed veggies and rice, you’re sure to love this recipe! It’s great for Meal Prep too – make a batch of it at the beginning of the week, and it’ll keep well in the fridge for up to 10 days. 

pouring orange sauce into glass jar

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂


Healthy Orange Sauce (Refined Sugar Free)

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4.9 from 9 reviews

Better than takeout, this Healthy Orange Sauce Recipe is free from Gluten, Preservatives, and Refined Sugar! Use it with your favorite protein source for a tasty and easy dinner.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: ~ 2 1/2 cups


  • ½ cup Maple Syrup (see notes for option with Dates)
  • 1 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, with pulp (about 45 oranges)
  • Zest of 1 Orange (about 1 tsp)
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp Reduced Sodium Tamari (see notes for substitutions)
  • ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • ¾ of a small Yellow Onion
  • ½” knob of Ginger (no need to peel)
  • Pinch of Red Chile Flakes, optional
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch, Arrowroot, or Tapioca powder (I used Cornstarch)


  1. Add all ingredients, except for the Cornstarch, to a blender and process for 60 seconds, or until smooth.
  2. Pour the Orange Sauce into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring if the sauce starts to “bubble over.”
  3. Mix the Cornstarch with a small splash of Water in a small bowl.
  4. Once the Orange Sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat to low-medium, keeping a simmer.
  5. Pour the Cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until noticeably thickened. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Note: Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken more as it cools!)
  6. Once the sauce reaches room temperature, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.


  • To make this sauce with Medjool Dates instead, omit the Maple Syrup and add 1 cup of pitted & packed Dated to the blender with the remaining ingredients. The resulting sauce will be a lot thicker, so you do not need to cook it on the stovetop. I would, however, suggest that you heat it up with your veggies or protein before you use it, to cook off some of the raw garlic and onion flavors.
  • Orange Juice from a carton may be used instead of Fresh Orange Juice, but this will affect the final flavor.
  • Tamari may be substituted with Soy Sauce (not GF), Liquid Aminos, or Coconut Aminos.

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. I made this last night. Very easy to make and delicious. I have a question…i accidentally left this out overnight in about 58 degrees… should it be ok to condone today do you think?

    1. Glad you liked it! Did you have it in an airtight container? Generally speaking most sauces can be kept outside of a refrigerator for long periods of time.

  2. Can I use Lemmon instead of vinegar? If so would it be the same measurementS?
    Also can I use Agarve syrup instead of maple’s?

    1. Swapping vinegar with lemon juice won’t be quite the same, it’ll start going in a different flavor direction but swapping agave for maple syrup should be fine!

  3. This looks wonderful! I will be making it tomorrow for a grain bowl with tofu and veggies. I always like to sautée my aromatics first in a tiny bit of oil, so I will definitely do that here. I will try with half the maple syrup at first and then add more to taste. Most orange sauces are a bit too sweet for my taste. I will also add a bit of sesame oil-less than a teaspoon. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Yummy!!! i made this today for lunch for my husband and I. So delicious and satisifying – thank you for all your hard work!

  5. hi is it fine if i use gf soy sauce, i messed up the ingredients and it’s the only one i have available rn :/

  6. I made a half batch of this sauce today for meal prep (I have a really tiny food processor). It’s delicious I was licking the pot! Can’t wait to eat it on Monday with the baked tofu 🙂

  7. Hey, your recipes and style are fabulous! You’re a truly glowing person. I made a modified version with dates that turned out amazing!
    1 Cup dates
    1/2 C water
    1/2 C Braggs Liquid Aminos
    1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar (Made with rice vinegar once but didn’t taste different to me so back to ACV)
    1/2 inch of Ginger (didn’t peel)
    3 Cloves of Garlic
    1/2 small yellow onion
    1 whole medium orange quartered with the skin still on (just remove the pedicel or remaining stem on top)
    -Blend it all up until it’s smooth and then heat it up in a sauce pan until it bubbles, simmer 5 minutes, and done. Always seems to taste better after a night in the fridge. It’s so thick I can turn the jar upside down and the sauce doesn’t move, but easily coats steamed veggies. Thanks again for the inspiration! Hope you try my version sometime 🙂

  8. I made this! I used a bit less than the stated amount of maple syrup as my OJ was very sweet and tasty. I left out the red pepper flakes because I’m a child, lol. I think the rice vinegar makes it more tangy like sweet and sour sauce. Not having to mince the garlic and ginger was really convenient.

    I made it a second time without using a blender, so I minced the garlic and ginger and sauteed them, left out the onion, reduced the rice vinegar to 1 tablespoon, used 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and added a drop of sesame oil. It tasted more like classic takeout orange sauce to me. I think this will be my version going forward. I have been eating it over tofu and cauliflower wings OMG. So tasty.

  9. I ended up using about half as much sugar, it turned out delicious! Can’t wait to make your Orange tofu buhhda bowls tonight, this was my first time trying orange sauce and it really is amazing!

    1. Hi Hannah! I believe you could, but I would dissolve it in a little water first to make a “syrup.” Sugar is also sweeter than maple syrup, so I would reduce to taste

  10. I just made this. It’s so delicious!! I added in a splash more orange juice and doubled the amount of syrup, and it was perfect for me. I served it with rice and edamame on the side, so good! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  11. Oh my goodness. I might just have to go buy a giant bag of oranges, make a huge batch of this stuff, and just lather it on myself. (You get the idea) This sauce is seriously addictive. I’ve been eating it by the fingerful for the past 10 minutes waiting for my brown rice to finish cooking. You are officially my favorite, Caitlin. I’m in love.

  12. Can’t wait to try this! Should I skip the cornstarch if I use the dates instead of maple syrup? Thanks!