Homemade Smokey BBQ Sauce – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Reading labels is a habit of mine. One of the reasons I prefer to make most of what I eat from scratch is because I read labels. Companies like to use sugar as a preservative in so many foods and the amount of unpronouncable words, likely chemicals, is ridiculous. We truly need to stop relying on others to prepare our food.

Getting back into the kitchen, cooking for ourselves and our families, is what needs to happen for our health and wellbeing. I find cooking therapuetic. Time to reflect, think, be thankful for so many things. One thing we should all be thankful for is the abundance of food available to us in this great country. In many parts of the world starvation is a terrifying, real situation and the vast amounts of food we have available to us is almost embarrassing. I urge people to take advantage of this fact, be grateful for healthy, fresh food and don’t pass it over for something made in a factory, devoid of passion and nutrients. My mom always cooked our food, baked our cookies, and I swear I could taste the love that was in it. Why do think that at church bake sales those treats taste leaps and bounds better than what’s on store shelves? Quality ingredients and love! OK … off my soap box and onto this recipe!

My whole point in that rant above is, that when it’s possible, make your own version! Like my own faux ‘soy’ sauce I made last week, this tasty, smokey flavoured BBQ sauce is easy and quick to prepare and tastes much better than the sugar laden sauces at the grocery store.

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Gather your ingredients. For this robust BBQ sauce I used spices like smoked paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Health promoting tomato paste, molasses and apple cider vinegar and to add a little sweetness, some organic cane sugar and maple syrup.

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Pop them all into a blender. Pulse them together until combined.

Pour this mixture into a small saucepan and stir continuously over medium heat until heated through but not boiling. This takes less than 5 minutes.

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And … BOOM!

Your own BBQ sauce. No gluten, no dairy, no strange additives or preservatives. Just tasty goodness made with love πŸ™‚

I used it as a marinade for a roasted chicken breast and it tasted amazing.

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Homemade Smokey BBQ Sauce

Sharon Rhodes
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Marinade, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups
Calories 204 kcal



  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until combined
  • Pour contents into a small saucepan and, over medium heat, stir continuously until the mixture has heated through but not boiling
  • Use right away or allow to cool and store in a glass jar in the fridge
  • *start with the smaller amounts of spice if you like it with less of a kick.


Serving: 14Calories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSodium: 2749mgPotassium: 930mgFiber: 3gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 1940IUVitamin C: 11.4mgCalcium: 91mgIron: 3.2mg
Keyword homemade bbq sauce
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  1. So I just made this and it’s so salty it’s inedible… I’m wondering if there is something I missed in the recipe? It says it makes 3 cups, and it’s not nearly 3 cups worth of ingredients listed, so maybe I missed something? Water? I’m thinking a can of unsalted tomato sauce might save it, but if there is a correction out there, please let me know! Thanks!

    1. Hi Cindy! I do use this amount of salt. I find that when I use it along with chicken it helps season the meat also. Maybe I will amend the recipe to read 1-2 for those who like it a less salty. Sorry you didn’t like it. Hopefully you were able to salvage it. πŸ™‚

      1. Thanks for your reply! Yep, a couple of cans of unsalted tomato sauce and it worked out great for me – thanks!

    2. Cindy,

      I completely agree and I only did the 1 TBSP of each spice…can’t imagine 2. I will be adding tomato puree to try and salvage it. πŸ™‚

  2. Two tablespoons of each of the spices? In your photo it doesn’t look like that much spice for such a little amount of liquid. Is this correct?

    1. Hey Tanya! Yes, this is the amount of spices I use for this sauce. The photo jsut shows a sprinkling of them for some colour πŸ™‚ I like things spicier with lots of punch, which this sauce has. Feel free to adjust spices to your own liking πŸ™‚

      1. I just made it with the full amount and it does have a little too much kick for my family. I used it on breaded and baked tofu too, so the fact that there are no competing tastes from a real meat didn’t help either. I think with half the spices it would work well with the tofu. Thanks for this recipe, if anything it gives me a solid base to work with and adjust to our needs. πŸ™‚

        1. Thanks for the note! This can be useful for others using it with tofu. I’m glad you will use this as a base recipe πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

  3. Do I have to use map0le sugar? Very hard to come by in my area. Otherwise, it sounds good. Can’t wait to find the perfect BBQ sauce to make from scratch. NanaHana

    1. Well, hello NanaHana! You could substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup if you are unable to find it. I hope you love it! So much better than store bought πŸ™‚

  4. Yum! I too find reading labels takes the fun out of eating some foods – mostly just because they are full of things that are bad for you. I can’t wait to try this BBQ sauce recipe – one of my favorite foods!