15-Minute Vegan BBQ Sauce (GF)

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Holding a spoonful of homemade BBQ sauce over a jar with more sauce

We wanted to make the Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce from our cookbook even better, but the truth is, friends, it’s already magical. It’s perfectly sweet and tangy, just a little spicy, and FULL of flavor. This slightly modified version has all that flavor, and we simplified it even more. 

It’s made in 1 pot in just 15 minutes and happens to be gluten-free and vegan — and can be naturally sweetened, too. It’s delicious on sandwiches, veggie burgers, and beyond!

Lemon, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, coconut sugar, water, mustard, spices, and salt

How to Make BBQ Sauce

Making BBQ sauce at home is easy, cost-effective, and you can adjust the ingredients based on your taste preferences and sensitivities. We consider that a win-win-win!

To start, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Ketchup provides the tomatoey, slightly tangy base, and in our testing, it was far superior in flavor to tomato paste. If you’re wanting to skip store-bought ketchup or keep it naturally sweetened, we recommend our DIY Ketchup!

Large white saucepan with ketchup, spices, mustard, coconut sugar, tamari, salt, and vinegar

Then for the remaining ingredients, we include apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for classic BBQ sauce flavor (tangy and bright), tamari or soy sauce for depth of flavor, and coconut sugar (or brown sugar) for sweetness.

A little yellow mustard is essential for getting the flavor just right (we tested without it, and it was a no-go!) and a blend of chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and cayenne give this BBQ sauce that smoky, spicy, savory WOW factor! Sea salt and black pepper are the classics that round it out.

Using a whisk to combine the ketchup, mustard, spices, and other ingredients

Cook the mixture, whisking occasionally, until it turns into a thick, darker sauce and the flavors have had a little time to develop (it tastes even better the next day!). And just like that, it’s ready to bring all your meals to life (it would even make cardboard taste good — don’t try that though!).

Whisking homemade BBQ sauce in a pan

We hope you LOVE this BBQ sauce! It’s:

Saucy
Tangy
Perfectly sweet
A little spicy
Versatile
Quick & easy
& SO good you’ll want to lick the pan!

Use this sauce in our BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw, Best Vegan “Pulled Pork” Sandwich, Smoky BBQ Black Bean Burgers, or BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches (recipe coming soon!). Or use it as a dip for Easy Baked Sweet Potato Tater Tots or Gluten-Free Onion Rings. It’s also great for all your BBQ and grilling needs!

More DIY Condiments

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Holding a spoonful of homemade BBQ sauce over a jar with more sauce

15-Minute Vegan BBQ Sauce (GF)

Perfectly sweet and tangy BBQ Sauce that’s made in 1 pot in just 15 minutes! The perfect vegan and gluten-free sauce for BBQs, picnics, and beyond!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Close up shot of vegan gluten-free BBQ sauce on a spoon above a jar
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Condiment, Dip, Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup (or store-bought // ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (ensure gluten-free as needed)
  • 1/2 tsp plain yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder blend (NOT cayenne or chili flakes)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and whisk thoroughly to combine. Warm over medium heat.
  • Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for 8-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Reduce the heat or cover if splattering.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed (keeping in mind the flavors will develop as it cools), adding more sugar for sweetness, vinegar for brightness (and to balance the sweetness), chili powder for smokiness, or cayenne or chipotle powder for heat.
  • Let cool completely before transferring to a storage container, such as a glass jar. Sauce will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.

Video

Notes

*Recipe as written makes ~1 ¼ cups BBQ sauce.
*Slightly modified from the Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce in our Everyday Cooking cookbook.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon serving Calories: 46 Carbohydrates: 11.9 g Protein: 0.4 g Fat: 0.1 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 297 mg Potassium: 84 mg Fiber: 0.3 g Sugar: 10 g Vitamin A: 334 IU Vitamin C: 1 mg Calcium: 6 mg Iron: 0.2 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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  1. Daneen says

    I made this from scratch including your ketchup….I will never buy bottled Ketchup or BBQ sauce again! They are delicious! Thank you…I do like the hickory smoke sauce suggestion…maybe next time!

  2. Nicole says

    So good and so easy! I followed the recipe exactly but then added a little splash of hickory liquid smoke at the end after seeing Paula’s suggestion and it seemed to make it even better.

  3. Paula says

    This was delicious. My new favorite. I added a little liquid smoke. Very easy to make and delicious. Thx for recipe.

  4. Louise Nolan says

    I can’t wait to make this but just wanted to verify the yellow mustard. Is it wet mustard from a jar or mustard powder?
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :)

  5. Deb says

    Hi! Could you substitute dijon mustard and maple syrup…may be a stretch but I hate to buy ingredients I do not normally use. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb, the flavor won’t be quite as much like a classic BBQ sauce, but we do think that would work in a pinch. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Martina, You can find our dessert recipes by selecting “recipe type” and “sweet (dessert)” in our recipe index. Hope that helps!