Vegan BBQ Sauce Recipe: Easy, Quick, and Healthy

Summer is an awesome time for food-lovers. There are so many occasions for delicious dishes; summer picnics, garden luncheons, vacations, church socials, grill-outs, and of course, barbecues. 

Since a barbecue is only as good as its sauce, we’ve compiled a post of some of the best vegan BBQ sauce recipes out there. Whether you’re grilling up some veggie burgers, making baked tofu, or creating cauliflower hot wings for game day, these choices will all add just the right amount of spice to your meal.

The Best Vegan BBQ Sauce

Well, this one claims to be the best vegan BBQ sauce recipe, but the only way we will know is to try it! Unlike many of the store-bought versions, this sauce is gluten-free, oil-free, and free of refined sugars. It is not only great as a marinate or rub, but is delicious mixed into beans for a great Baked Bean recipe.

This version does call for tamari or soy sauce, however, for those who choose not to eat soy, you can substitute coconut aminos or liquid aminos. Another suggested substitution is to use maple sugar or coconut sugar in place of molasses. It’s all a matter of your tastes and preferences.

This vegan BBQ recipe can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Easy Homemade Vegan Barbecue Sauce

Here’s another one that calls itself the best. This one takes under 15 minutes to make and uses only clean ingredients, such as tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.

This sauce is said to be great for several recipes, including BBQ “Pulled Pork” Lettuce Wraps, BBQ Quinoa Pizza, Teriyaki Quinoa Bowls, and Tex-Mex Quinoa Burgers. It can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Vegan BBQ Sauce

You can cook this one up in just 10 minutes. It is a smoky, sweet barbecue sauce that is perfect for summer grilling. If you like your vegan BBQ sauce recipe a bit spicy, you can add cayenne pepper or hot sauce. You determine the thickness according to how long you let it simmer.

This version is oil-free, nut-free, and gluten-free and uses a tomato base. Tomato sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, vegan Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper all combine to make this the perfect grilling sauce. 

Vegan BBQ Sauce With Organic Ketchup

While many of these vegan BBQ sauce recipes feature tomato sauce or paste for a base, this one uses organic ketchup. Adding in white vinegar, coconut sugar, and vegan Worcestershire sauce gives it a bit more flavor.

Apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powders, pepper, and chili powder add to the spiciness of this sauce. You will have to add water and let it all simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to reach the right consistency. 

You can refrigerate this one for up to three weeks.

Smoky Vegan BBQ Sauce

Not only is this vegan BBQ sauce recipe smoky, it is also savory, sweet, and salty. It is easy to make and will give your veggie burgers just the right flavor without all of the unhealthy ingredients that store-bought sauces have.

Tomato paste and ketchup creates a base of rich tomato flavor for the BBQ sauce. Adding in light brown or dark brown sugar gives you the sweetness that is needed to balance out the acidic taste that will come from the Dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar.

Instead of smoked paprika, this recipe calls for liquid smoke to give it that barbecue grill flavor. Of course, you could choose either.

Traditional Vegan Barbecue Sauce

This particular vegan bbq sauce recipe was created to give you that traditional sauce taste from a vegan version. It calls for tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, mustard powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, sea salt, black pepper, and natural sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw.

You will first blend the ingredients all together in a blender until they are smooth. Then you will pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly. It should not take more than 5 minutes to heat the sauce, and then you can remove it from the heat.

Is Store-Bought BBQ Sauce Vegan?

Many of the barbecue sauces that you see on the store shelves would technically be considered vegan. A quick glance at the ingredients will make you believe that they were a part of a healthy, vegan diet. Taking a closer look, however, might reveal some unexpected truths that you may not be aware of.

For example, did you know that many of the most well-known barbecue sauces contain anchovies? This tiny fish is often added to these sauces because of their ability to retain saltiness and their umami flavor. Anchovies can also be found in many Worcestershire sauces. 

Some of the food colorings that are used in regular bbq sauces are not cruelty-free. Also, emulsifiers and gums such as gelatin are also often found in these store-bought sauces. As most know, gelatin comes from animals.

Natural flavoring, however, may or may not be derived from animals, and even the simple ingredient of “ sugar” on the back of a bottle could mean a substance that is refined using animal bones. Another ingredient that is considered to be controversial to many vegans, but is found in many barbecue sauces, is honey.

Another thing to consider about the sauces that you find on the store shelves is whether or not they meet your other nutritional needs. For example, many bbq sauces at the supermarket use gluten-based thickeners, which won’t work on a gluten-free diet. 

By making your own homemade vegan bbq sauce recipe, you can control exactly what is in it, and be sure that it checks all of the boxes of the diet that you’ve chosen for you and your family. Even if one of these recipes includes an ingredient that you don’t approve of, it is fairly simple to swap it out for something that is acceptable at your next barbecue!

Brett White