This delicious homemade BBQ sauce comes together in only 20 minutes and tastes so much better than any store bought version. It's as easy as combining all the ingredients in a pot and simmering them for 15 minutes. Enjoy this tangy, smokey and slightly sweet condiment on your favorite grilled meats.
We also love using this sauce to make scrumptious Crockpot BBQ Meatballs and mouthwatering BBQ Chicken Nachos. You can even drizzle it over white chicken pizza to create your own BBQ chicken pizza!
❤️ WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE RECIPE
✔️ It tastes amazing and beats any store bought sauce.
✔️ This tangy BBQ sauce is ready in only 20 minutes. It couldn't be easier.
✔️ You can determine the final flavor by adjusting seasonings to your own taste.
✔️ Lasts for a whole week in the fridge and can be frozen. Make ahead on the weekend for your meals during the week.
BBQ SAUCE INGREDIENTS
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for homemade barbecue sauce, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
You may have all of these vegan BBQ sauce ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry and not need to make a trip to the grocery store. See recipe card below for ingredient amounts.
- Tomato Sauce: This helps create the tomato flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar gives the barbecue sauce a slightly tangy flavor and balances out the sweetness.
- Honey: You can use any kind of honey. It adds a subtle natural sweetness, but you can also use brown sugar or maple syrup if you prefer.
- Tomato Paste: We prefer to buy tomato paste in a tube so you can just use a little and save the rest.
- Molasses: This helps sweeten and thicken the sauce.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adds tangy and savory notes to create a rich flavor.
- Liquid Smoke: Don't skip this key ingredient. It adds the nice smokey flavor BBQ sauce is famous for.
- Paprika: You can substitute smoked paprika, if you like your sauce extra smokey!
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
This section shows how to cook barbecue sauce on the stovetop, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, nutritional information, to print the recipe or to have the recipe scaled to double or triple, see the recipe card below.
GATHER INGREDIENTS: Measure and gather all your ingredients before beginning.
COMBINE INGREDIENTS: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
🔴 TIP: You can substitute brown sugar, for the molasses or honey.
SIMMER: Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.
🔴 TIP: Taste the sauce as it is simmering. Careful, it’s hot! Add seasonings according to your taste.
SERVE: Use the sauce immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
TIPS FOR THE BEST BARBECUE SAUCE
Follow these tips to make the best smokey barbecue sauce.
✔️ Don't skip the liquid smoke. It's a small ingredient but it packs a powerful punch!
✔️ Taste the sauce as it's simmering. Be careful, it's hot! Add seasonings according to taste.
✔️ Allow the sauce to thicken. Don’t skip the simmer step. You don’t want it to be a paste so more than 15-20 minutes is unnecessary.
Refrigerate: Store this BBQ sauce in an airtight container or glass jars in the fridge for up to a week.
Freeze: You can also freeze any leftover BBQ sauce in case you are not planning on using within a week. Transfer the homemade sauce into a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Defrosting: BBQ sauce thaws well overnight in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir before using it.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BBQ SAUCE
You can also use this mouthwatering vegetarian sauce to make amazing Crockpot BBQ Meatballs or delicious BBQ Chicken Nachos.
MORE HOMEMADE CONDIMENT RECIPES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For perfect results every time, here are answers to the most common questions about cooking smokey barbecue sauce.
Of course! You can get creative and create all kinds of different BBQ sauce flavors. Try adding cumin, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, lemon zest or even a pinch of cinnamon, for example.
Yes. Just follow our recipe, and make sure to use gluten free liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce.
Yes! We love using this homemade sauce to make mouthwatering Crockpot BBQ Meatballs and BBQ Chicken Nachos.
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Use the sauce immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
- Serve with Crockpot BBQ Meatballs
- Serve with BBQ Chicken Nachos