This 30-minute, Homemade BBQ Sauce is easy to make, with clean ingredients.  It’s savory, deep, and smoky, with little tang, and sweetness with a hint of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable! 

This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is  easy to make, in just 25 minutes! It's deep and smoky, tangy, sweet with a little bit of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable! 

There is nothing healthier than making your own Homemade BBQ Sauce. This way you can control the ingredients and keep it a little cleaner and healthier. Most often, store-bought BBQ sauce is loaded up with high fructose corn syrup and other “flavorings”, seasonings and colorings, which classifies it as a “highly processed food”- not good for gut health, and probably not the best food to consume regularly. So we like to make out own.

Why You’ll love this Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe

  1. It’s fast and easy! This recipe comes together in about 25 minutes!
  2. Simple ingredients: It’s made with simple, clean, basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand, and uses nothing overly processed.
  3. It has the Best flavor: Our BBQ Sauce tastes deep and savory, with the perfect amount of tang and sweetness, and just a hint of heat. It is perfectly balanced!
  4. It keeps up to 2 months in the fridge.  Hooray!


Ingredients in BBQ Sauce

This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is  easy to make, in just 25 minutes! It's deep and smoky, tangy, sweet with a little bit of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable! 

How to Make BBQ Sauce from Scratch

  1. Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Stir in thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, tomato paste, broth, vinegar, soy sauce, molasses, brown sugar salt and pepper
  3. Reduce: Simmer gently, uncovered,  for 10-ish  minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  4. Taste: Adjust salt, vinegar and sweetness to your liking. To add heat, use the adobo sauce from  canned chipotle peppers one tablespoon at a time, or add ground chipotle or cayenne to taste. Add a couple of drops of liquid smoke if you like!
  5. Store: in a sealed jar in the fridge, for up to 2 months!

This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is  easy to make, in just 25 minutes! It's deep and smoky, tangy, sweet with a little bit of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable! 

Ways to use BBQ Sauce!

Enjoy the BBQ Sauce and please let us know what you think of it!



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This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is  easy to make, in just 25 minutes! It's deep and smoky, tangy, sweet with a little bit of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable! 

Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews


This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is  easy to make, in just 25 minutes! It’s deep and smoky, tangy, sweet with a little bit of heat. Vegan, gluten-free adaptable!


Units Scale


  1. Finely chop shallot and garlic, or mince in a food processor.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add shallot and garlic and sauté, and stir continuously for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low, and cook until they are deeply golden, fragrant and softened, 5 more minutes.
  3.  Add thyme, smoked paprika, and garlic powder, and tomato paste and saute one minute to brown the tomato paste (this adds depth). Add broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and scrape up any browned bits. Add molasses,  brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer gently, uncovered,  for 10-ish  minutes, letting it reduce slightly, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
  5. Taste. Adjust salt, vinegar and sweetness to your liking. If it lacks depth, add salt, more soy sauce, or even a little miso paste. More brown sugar to taste.
  6. To add smoky heat, add a little chipotle powder to taste, or the adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers one tablespoon at a time, or cayenne to taste.
  7. Optional: For extra smoky, add liquid smoke, ¼ teaspoon at a time to desired effect. (I usually add 1 teaspoon)
  8. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge.


Keeps up to 2 months in the fridge and makes a great hostess gift.

Molasses really adds a beautiful deep color here.

Taste Test: If you have a favorite brand or BBQ sauce, I highly recommend this practice- taste them side by side, and see if you can get this recipe to match the one you love. Take some notes! This practice helps to really hone your taste buds.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 59
  • Sugar: 10.8 g
  • Sodium: 295.6 mg
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. Making for the third time today! So good!
    Question: what kind of molasses do you use? I have both Grandma’s Molasses, which has a milder flavor, and Wholesome brand, which has robust flavor and is listed as “blackstrap” on the nutrition label. I’ve been using Grandma’s, but am curious about blackstrap.

  2. Made this for bbq pizza with your sourdough pizza crust. It was fantastic! Definitely will make again. Thank you for your recipes.

  3. Another Hit! Added a finely diced chipotle pepper( in Adobo), because heat and smoke are my two favorites. Also balanced it with 2 tsp of shiro miso. Excellent. I can see where this, as a base, can go in many directions. Thanks again!

  4. Fantastic!! I made it with maple syrup and the adobo sauce from a can of chipotles, followed the recipe exactly and was blown away by the result. I made the tofu burgers with this sauce and it was a huge, huge hit! I highly recommend!

  5. Hello! You mention tomato sauce in the description and instructions but tomato paste in the ingredients. Which one?

  6. Made this to go along with your Crispy BBQ Tofu Sandwhich – both are 5 Star recipes! Never imagined making my own BBQ sauce but, let me tell you, it is amazing! Love knowing the ingredients and I had everything but liquid smoke, which I ordered through your link and don’t regret one bit. Liquid smoke?! What a fun and mysterious ingredient to have in my pantry 😊
    Again, thank you for sharing your expertise with us!

    1. Hi kelly, you may have subscribed to the comments? Just unsubscribe when you get this one. 😉

    1. The original recipe used a 6-ounce can of tomato paste and one cup water ( see notes). Everything else is the same. 😉

  7. Great starting place for our no sugar or fake sugars house. I subbed homemade apple pear sauce and our canned pear water for the sugars. I know it’s not the same, but it will work on the tofu burgers with so many other wonderful flavors going on in this easy sauce. Thank you!

  8. I am so happy i found your website. It has given me a new outlook on life and cooking! I was not able to use many of my family recipes because my daughter and her family turned vegetarian and the my son became sick and cannot have dairy, gluten, soy and has given up almost all sugar. I was so tired of trying recipes and having them taste terrible everyone I have made of yours has been delicious! The one area I was wondering if you could help me on I’m trying to find a replacement for cheese that will taste good and also melt? Thank you again Sylivia for bring back joy to my cooking!

    1. Thanks Kelly! So happy the blog has been useful. Have you tried vegan store-bought cheeses? I’m not a huge fan honestly, they are too overly processed for me, and often contain seed oils- but if use sparingly,probably OK once in a while. I’ve heard Daiya melts well. 😉

  9. I just love this recipe! I never thought to make my own bbq sauce but since moving from the US, I’ve found it really hard to find bbq sauce I like. With that being said, I’ll continue to make this when I return home, it’s so easy and so so delicious! Thank you for letting me fill my Aussie home with delicious bbq flavors:) I’ve added this to tofu, veggie burgers, lentils, and even to hummus (had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon), I think it’s the chipotle peppers I love so much. Thank you!!

  10. Hi Sylvia,

    This is another excellent recipe! I have never tried so many recipes from one cook/ chef and been so happy with all of them! you are very popular in our household Sylvia!

    1. I totally agree. Every time I’m out of ideas and tell my husband it’s his turn to think of something I get an email of more wonderful ideas from you and he’s spared for another week! 🙂

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