Healthy Vegan BBQ Sauce

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There are so many dishes that could use a great barbecue sauce to enhance the flavors. With its sweet smoky flavor, a good bbq sauce can transform a bland recipe into a culinary masterpiece. This Healthy Vegan BBQ Sauce recipe can do just that!

vegan bbq sauce in mason jar on silver plate

We love this homemade bbq sauce recipe because it’s…

  • Sweet and tangy
  • Simple to make with only 8 ingredients
  • Great with so many recipes
  • So easy a kid can make it
  • A no-cooking-required recipe
  • Great stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week
  • Delicious

Reasons to make your own sauce

It is easy to just buy a bottle of barbecue sauce at the grocery store, but most bottled versions are loaded with added sugars. LOTS of sugar with some containing 12 to 16 grams per two-tablespoon serving. Wow!

However, in my opinion, a completely unsweetened barbecue sauce wouldn’t taste right either. Some sugar is required to balance the tanginess of the sauce. The great thing is that by making your own, you get complete control over how much sugar is in your homemade bbq sauce.

bbq sauce in yellow bowl

How to make homemade vegan bbq sauce

This delicious gluten-free homemade vegan bbq sauce recipe requires only 8 ingredients and is SO easy to make. With no cooking required, simply whisk all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and then add it to your favorite recipes.

If you would like to make your own ketchup for this recipe, check out my 10-Minute Vegan Ketchup recipe.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

ingredient graphic for healthy bbq sauce

I’ve even included my first-ever hands and pans video to show how simple this is to pull together in minutes, and you’ll find it below.

Check out all my Vegan Sauces to liven up those healthy meals.

Homemade heart-healthy bbq sauce ingredients

bbq sauce in stainless bowl with whisk

Vegan BBQ Recipes

Every year, my husband and his friends make their annual requests for these Cauliflower BBQ Wing Bites for game day. They say they just want to make sure I remember. This is the 3rd year in a row, so I think they have me trained now.

They are so good! Even my sister, that normally does not eat cauliflower, likes them. That’s saying a lot!

cauliflower wings with bbq sauce on cooling rack
Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Wings. Click photo to see the full recipe.

I have two barbecue sandwich recipes that are amazing with this homemade gluten-free bbq sauce.

If you love soy curls, this BBQ Soy Curl Sandwich is a quick and easy vegan barbecue dinner recipe that can be pulled together in minutes.

Vegan BBQ Soy Curl Sandwich on wheat bun with corn on cob

The other sandwich is my Seitan Barbecue Sandwich that will rock your world. If you’ve never had seitan before, that needs to change right now!

This Easy BBQ Tempeh is a very simple, finger-lickin’ dish that is fabulous on the grill, baked in the oven, or even slow-cooked in a crockpot. Leftovers make great sandwiches and burritos.

white plate with bbq tempeh strips and antique fork

These Easy Vegan Meatballs can be made with this easy healthy bbq sauce and served as an appetizer or main dish. Or replace the barbecue sauce with marinara for a delicious dish of spaghetti and meatballs. Whichever way you decide to make them, they’re delicious!

vegan meatballs in cast iron pan with fork on white background

Healthy store-bought BBQ sauce options

bbq sauce in jar with brush

There is one great-tasting store-bought bbq sauce that I like, and it’s much lower in sugar. It has a funny name–especially because we are plant-based eaters–and is called Bone Suckin’ Sauce

For more recipe ideas for this sauce, check out these 21 Best Vegan BBQ Recipes.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

bbq sauce in yellow bowl
4.54 from 47 votes

Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe

There are so many dishes that could use a great barbecue sauce to enhance the flavors. With its sweet smoky flavor, a good bbq sauce can transform a bland recipe into an culinary masterpiece. This Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe can do just that!
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or date syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce without anchovies
  • 4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch salt or to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in medium-sized bowl and whisk together. 
  • Keeps in the refrigerator in air-tight container for 7-10 days.



For more recipe ideas for this sauce, check out these 21 Best Vegan BBQ Recipes.
Check out all my Vegan Sauces to liven up those healthy meals.


Serving: 3tablespoons | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 313mg | Sugar: 9g


To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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  1. We like bbq sauces with some kick in addition to the tang. What would you recommend as an addition that would give us that flavorful kick? A chipotle chili powder? Thank you!

    1. I like a little kick myself, so I completely understand. Adding chipotle sounds great or even cayenne pepper.

  2. Just a question… why wouldn’t this keep longer than 7 – 10 days? All of the ingredients have a much longer shelf life than that when refrigerated. That’s the one thing that I have found challenging since going WFPB, vegan versions of sauces, salad dressings, cheese sauce, etc. have such a short life span and I usually end up throwing half of them away because we can’t use them fast enough. 🙁

    1. Debbie- You’re right, this bbq sauce should keep much longer in the refrigerator. With storage life, I always try to err on the side of caution on the website. I would think this sauce should keep for quite a while.

  3. So excited to slather this sauce on all the things this weekend! Question, though. When you say ketchup or tomato sauce, my ketchup is already sweetened, and tomato sauce to me means spaghetti, so I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around what’s best to use. 😀 – if I go for ketchup, should I be using unsweetened ketchup? Or does it not matter? Clearly I’m stuck in neutral here. Help! 🙂

  4. Hi! Excited to try this out. I see that the recipe yields 8 servings, but how much is a serving size? Wanting to know if I need to double this recipe to make enough. Thank you!

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