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Want to see me get riled up? Let’s talk about Barbecue Sauce. Today I’m sharing how to make homemade barbecue sauce from scratch. This is an easy recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes. You can use it on sandwiches or ribs or just lick the spoon. It’s that good.

a jar of Best barbecue sauce recipe

Head to the grocery store or scan recipes for homemade barbecue sauce online; you’ll see ketchup, high-fructose corn syrup, and refined sugars everywhere you look.

Determined that none of these ingredients are necessary to make an award-winning bbq sauce recipe (fit for this Instant Pot Pulled Pork), I set out to make the BEST homemade barbecue sauce (that’s also healthy).


homemade barbecue sauce for brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or ribs in a mason jar with a spoon

Thick and rich with smoky-sweet undertones from molasses, this versatile, finger-licking-good BBQ sauce recipe is perfect for chicken, Crockpot Ribs, a Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwich, Air Fryer Chicken Wings, and brisket.

What is the Best Barbecue Sauce?

This is a loaded question because BBQ sauce is both regional and personal. Everyone has a favorite style of barbecue sauce, and so do I.

I’ve had the pleasure of munching barbecue from many different regions of the United States.

While I respect and enjoy the different flavors and characteristics of each, I’m a Kansas girl who grew up on Kansas City barbecue.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that a Kansas City style bbq sauce recipe is my forever favorite.

This homemade bbq sauce recipe is my interpretation of some of the BEST sauces from the region.

Award winning bbq sauce recipe being poured into a jar

5 Star Review

“This is the best recipe ever for BBQ sauce. I made this recipe this afternoon and it is so good I can eat it with a spoon.”

— Beverly —

How to Make Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Not only is making your own homemade barbecue sauce from scratch infinitely more delicious than anything you’ll find at the store, but it is also EASY.

While this may not be one of those 3 ingredient BBQ sauce recipes (most of those include ketchup, FYI), it is still super simple and a dead ringer for the best barbecue sauces I’ve tried at legit BBQ joints. 

Try it the next time you fire up the grill to make a Baked BBQ Chicken, or Grilled Chicken Breast—you won’t be disappointed.

Dietary Note

As written, this barbecue sauce is vegan, gluten free, and sugar free (meaning free of refined sugars, like dark brown sugar or granulated sugar).

The Ingredients

  • Tomato Sauce + Paste. For the tomato flavor, I used tomato paste and tomato sauce instead of ketchup. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. The vinegar adds much-needed acidity to our sweet and tangy barbecue sauce recipe. 
  • Maple Syrup + Molasses. To sweeten things up, I used a little maple syrup and molasses. I love the way the maple plays against the strong flavors in the spices (like in my Easy Baked Beans), and both of these ingredients make the sauce rich and thick too.

Substitution Tip

For a slightly different flavor, you can also make this barbecue sauce with honey instead of maple syrup (don’t skip the molasses, though).

Kansas City barbecue sauce recipe with a spoon in a mason jar
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Another key component in my quest to find the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and tangy. Worcestershire sauce is intensely savory and instantly adds a long-simmered flavor to the sauce.
  • Seasonings. Smoked paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper results in a classic, balanced combination of flavors.


While it’s optional, adding a dash of cayenne pepper gives just the right amount of heat. See below for more tips on how to make your sauce extra spicy.

The Directions

ingredients for the best bbq sauce in a mixing bowl
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir.
a mixing bowl with a whisk stirring homemade barbecue sauce without corn syrup
  1. Simmer the barbecue sauce for 10 to 15 minutes (cover the pot a little, it splatters). Stir. Taste. Adjust. Taste some more because SO GOOD.

Recipe Variations

  • Homemade Spicy BBQ Sauce. The recipe, as written, is more spicy-sweet than truly spicy, so if you prefer a BBQ sauce with a serious kick, I’ve included the option to add some cayenne or even a tablespoon of hot sauce.
  • Homemade Honey BBQ Sauce. Simply swap the maple syrup for the same amount of honey. (This version I especially like on Grilled Salmon in Foil.)
  • Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. If you love my Bourbon Chicken, try this variation. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup bourbon whiskey with the tomato sauce (the more you add, the stronger the taste will be). Cook as directed, extending the simmer time for a bit if the bourbon flavor is too strong.
  • Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce {Copycat}. You also can use a Tennessee whiskey like Jack Daniels (follow the above directions for bourbon bbq sauce) for your own version of this popular store brand.
homemade barbecue sauce no ketchup in a jar

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 7 days. Since it is not loaded with preservatives, homemade barbecue sauce will go bad faster than store-bought barbecue sauce.
  • To Freeze. Yes, you can freeze barbecue sauce! Place the sauce in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Serving Ideas

The beauty of this easy sauce is that it can be used in any recipe that calls for premade barbecue sauce, or you can use it to spice up your favorite protein.

  • Ribs. You can use this homemade BBQ sauce for these Crockpot Ribs and Instant Pot Ribs.
  • Salad. I love using this sauce to make my favorite BBQ Chicken Salad.
  • Chicken. This is a delicious BBQ sauce recipe for chicken recipes like these Maple Bourbon Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Or this Crock Pot BBQ Chicken (just add the sauce, plus chicken breasts or thighs to your slow cooker, and dinner cooks itself!). It would also be a yummy base for BBQ chicken pizza.
  • Meatballs. Brush it over these Baked Turkey Meatballs for a different flavor spin.
  • Salmon. Try brushing it over a side of salmon and then cooking the salmon according to the directions for this Baked Salmon in Foil.
  • Burgers. Use this tangy sauce to make a cowboy-style burger slathered in homemade bbq sauce, melty cheddar cheese, and fried onions.

What to Serve with Barbecue Sauce

Time to clear out the aging condiment stash in your fridge because you’re going to want to make room for this easy and healthy barbecue sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does all Barbecue Sauce Have Tomatoes?

Nope! If you love grilling but don’t enjoy tomatoes or have an allergy to them, fear not. There are many different regional styles of barbecue. While many homemade barbecue sauce recipes include tomatoes, some regions of the United States do not have tomatoes in their sauces. For example, white barbecue sauce does not use tomatoes.

Can Homemade BBQ Sauce Be Canned?

I have not tried canning or preserving this recipe for long-term storage, so I cannot provide specific guidance, unfortunately. If you have made and canned similar homemade barbecue sauce recipes before, however, I’m sure the same method could be used here with success. If you try it, I’d love to hear about your results.

Is this Barbecue Sauce Vegan and Vegetarian?

Yes! This homemade barbecue sauce can be made vegan and vegetarian so long as you check your labels when selecting your Worcestershire sauce. Traditionally, Worcestershire is not a vegan or vegetarian-friendly product because it contains anchovies as a key ingredient. However, in recent years, many brands have come out with vegan-friendly options.

Barbecue Sauce

4.88 from 55 votes
The BEST barbecue sauce from scratch. An easy tangy and sweet homemade barbecue sauce recipe without ketchup. Ready in 15 minutes!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes

Servings: 2 cups



  • In a medium saucepan, stir together all of the ingredients: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, dry mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Cover with a lid slightly ajar so that the pot is mostly covered to deter splattering, but steam can still escape and the sauce can reduce. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Enjoy immediately or let cool and store for later use.



  • TO STORE: Homemade barbecue sauce may be stored in an airtight container (I like to use a mason jar) in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • TO FREEZE: Store barbecue sauce in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before use.


Serving: 1cup (of 2)Calories: 390kcalCarbohydrates: 92gProtein: 7gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 2445mgFiber: 8gSugar: 76gVitamin A: 3271IUVitamin C: 36mgCalcium: 223mgIron: 8mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This sound perfect. I hate that all store bought BBQ sauces start with high fructose corn syrup too! SO annoying! I will probably be swapping out the maple syrup for honey. Does it have a similar taste to Sweet baby rays honey bbq? I have someone in my house that puts that on EVERYTHING, including but not limited to turkey on thanksgiving (weird right) I can’t wait to try this.

    1. Hi Courtney, I’m not sure since I’ve never tried that particular sauce, but using honey instead sounds like it would be closer than the version with maple syrup. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

      1. I’m sure you can freeze this sauce. I make and freeze spaghetti sauce all the time, and that’s a tomato-based sauce just like your BBQ recipe… which I am making now! Can’t wait!

  2. Very good barbecue sauce, and so quick and easy to make. Makes it worth it to clean all the orange splatters off the stove top ;). Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  3. I just made this sauce and it was absolutely delicious! It is the perfect balance of zingy and tangy without being too sweet. I used a can of Hunts Fire Roasted Tomatoes which I ran through my food processor with a single clove of fresh garlic until smooth so there was no need for the garlic powder. I am planning on making your BBQ Pulled Chicken for supper this evening served over some crispy baked potatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I am certain I will be making this time and time again!
    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Craig, I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a hit for you! Thank you for sharing your tweaks and your plans for using it and for sharing this awesome review!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. WOW! It’s still on the stove but I can’t help but keep going in to stir it (aka: licking the spoon). EXACTLY what I was looking for. I’ve been trying to get a BBQ Sauce recipe from a restaurant owner, locally, but it’s his secret. Yours is exactly it. However, being a spice guy, I admit that I DID quadruple the black and cayenne pepper. LOL The beauty of your recipe is that it’s so easy to tweak to our own taste AND it doesn’t rely on premade Ketchup or Mustard. There is NOTHING that anyone can buy in the supermarket that compares to this. Plus, it’s easier to make than a trip to the store. :-D5 stars

    1. Christopher, I’m so happy to hear this sauce recipe is a winner for you! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your tweaks and this awesome review!

  5. I ended up making thing a couple weeks ago. I used it a little past the time you recommended, and it was still good. I used all honey and my husband thought it tasted a ketchupy at first but now he is asking when I can make it again. This is always a good sign in my book. Thanks for the recipe and will be making again soon.5 stars

    1. Courtney, thanks so much for taking the time to leave this review! I’m so glad to hear you both enjoyed it enough to make it again!

  6. Quick question, any suggestions for a substitution for the molasses? I have a bizarre allergy to molasses :)

    1. Hi Jenny! The flavor won’t be quite the same, but I’d suggest a little extra honey and some brown sugar. I hope that helps and that you enjoy it!

      1. First time to your site. Quick question. Doesn’t brown sugar have molasses mixed with the white sugar? That is how I make my brown sugar. Just curious since a person with a true allergy to molasses may have challenges with brown sugar? Unless there is another way to make brown sugar. Looking forward to trying your recipe. Glad it doesn’t use ketchup. Thanks

  7. I enjoy the super sweet KC Masterpiece Original. The sugar content doesn’t bother me as much as the chemicals, so looking for a homemade alternative. How should I tweak your recipe to increase the sweetness?

    1. Kalpana, unfortunately I don’t have a good one! It’s pretty unique. You could try omitting it, though the sauce will lose some flavor.

    1. Alex, I’ve never tried! I do know you can freeze it though. If you usually can BBQ sauce, you could try those same steps with this recipe.

  8. I haven’t tried this yet, but I would suggest coconut sugar for the brown sugar. It’s a good replacement. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

  9. Can you mix all the ingredients without cooking on the stove top? I’m thinking of mixing all ingredients and then dumping right into the crock pot with chicken. 

    1. Hi Angelina! I haven’t tried that myself, but I think it could work. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it comes out.

  10. Once I tried this bbq recipe I knew I couldn’t ever go back to store bought. Ty for making my healthy bbq dreams possible.5 stars

  11. I’m making this a second time bc the first time was SOOOO delicious. I only have blackstrap molasses, though, so I’ve omitted that both times. Would a tablespoon be ok or would that be overpowering or just not the right flavor in general?
    Thanks for your help and for this wonderful recipe.
    Amber5 stars

    1. Hi Amber! Blackstrap molasses is pretty intense, so I recommend sticking with regular molasses. You’re welcome to experiment, but if you enjoyed it without the first time, I think that’s fine too! (If you get regular molasses sometime, definitely give it a try that way too!)

  12. Hi Erin,

    Hello from the Uk. This recipe looks and sounds amazing I’m really pleased to have found a sauce recipe that reduces the sugar content. Am I correct in thinking that passata would be the equivalent of the tomato sauce? Or a can of chopped tomatoes blended? Can’t wait to try this thanks so much…5 stars

    1. Hi Rose! Tomato sauce is blended smooth (without skin or seeds). I’m not familiar with passata, but from a quick online search it sounds pretty close (although perhaps less smooth). If you try the recipe, I hope you enjoy!

  13. This is the BEST BBQ sauce!! I made it with no changes to the recipe and we loved it.
    Thank you for sharing it.5 stars

  14. I added 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp liquid smoke and extra cayenne powder (we like it hot)……it was delicious!5 stars

  15. This BBQ sauce is AWESOME.. I left out the maple syrup and added honey and more cayenne pepper.. Sweet and spicy.. I look forward to more of your crock-pot meals.. I do have a question do you have a good recipe for chicken and dumplings in the crock-pot?? I miss that kinda comfort food5 stars

    1. Hi Cindy! I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the barbecue sauce. I don’t have a specific chicken and dumplings recipe for the crock pot, but I do have a lot of crock pot recipes here! I also have a similar chicken and biscuits recipe, but it’s not in the crock pot.

  16. I just made this! It’s great! I substituted the maple syrup for some spicy bourbon aged honey…absolutely delicious!!5 stars

    1. Hi Denise! I have not tried the recipe this way, and I’m afraid it may affect both the flavor and the texture of the sauce. You could try swapping the maple syrup for an equal amount of honey. I hope this helps!

  17. Hi Erin, not quite sure what I need to buy re ‘can of tomato sauce’ in Australia. Would this just mean a can of tomatoes? I’m thinking our Tomato Sauce here is the same as your ketchup. Plan on cooking the slow cooked ribs tomorrow and can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks. Di

    1. Diane, tomato sauce is actually more like pureed tomatoes (but a bit thicker) and shouldn’t have much sugar added. It is not like ketchup, which has much more sugar in it. I’m sorry but I’m honestly not sure what a good swap would be! I’d suggest doing a bit of online research to see what you can find. I wish I could help more!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Mimi! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

    1. Hi Jane! If you need this to be a vegan recipe, then I suggest selecting a vegan Worcestershire sauce or making one at home. I hope this helps!

  18. The sauce is amazing!! My girlfriend was skeptical. She said just go store bought. So I did both. I made your recipe sauce and bought some already made. They’re both good but I like mine better cause I made it! Thank you! Oh and the funny part is I read the ingredients on the fructose free expensive stuff I bought and it’s basically the same!5 stars

  19. Really good! My new “go to” for homemade bbq sauce! I started by sauteing some chopped onion before adding remainder of ingredients and used fresh smashed garlic as well as the garlic powder. Added dash of liquid smoke & half a chipotle instead of cayenne.5 stars

  20. LOL Contemplation the universe….Made my day. Quick question, I know this is a couple of years old- But, Have you canned this? It seems like there is enough acid, from the vinegar that it would be safe.
    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Hi Karen! I have not tried canning this myself, but if you frequently can BBQ sauce, you could try following those steps here. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  21. if I plan on using this to put in a crockpot, do I have to go through the process of heating it all up before putting it on the ribs? or can I thoroughly mix the ingredients and place in the crockpot?

    1. Hi Sasha! I haven’t tried that myself, but I think it could work. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to know how it comes out!

  22. Amazing! Hubby can’t tolerate cane sugar, so we swapped in honey for the molasses. We then determined we could serve it on shoe leather and still be happy. SO GOOD! Thank you for sharing this with us!5 stars

  23. I just made this with addition of the Bourbon and a touch of cayenne and it’s awesome!  I had made your instant pot ribs a while back and I had a bottle of maple bourbon BBQ sauce that I had bought at the farm where I get my veggies etc. they make their own maple syrup too and the sauce was sooo good. But … it sells for $12/bottle.  Since I was so pleased with the ribs (and I’m making them again) I thought I would try the sauce recipe and I’m not disappointed!  Next time I may use more bourbon!  Thank you. 4 stars

  24. Just made this bbq sauce, but I did tweak it by adding cumin powder, ground ginger, and liquid smoke. I also increased the smoked paprika to 1-tbsp. Results: delicious! So easy and quick to make. This is what I will use from now on. No more store bought bbq sauces for me. I didn’t have any maple syrup, so I substituted with brown sugar. Thanks for a great bbq recipe!5 stars

  25. Fantaastic bbq sauce. Cooked it in the microwave for about 5 minutes in a special microwave pot that i have. Also, tweaked it with the addition of 1 tablespoon liquid smoke since this is going on country ribs in the crock pot. Thanks for posting.5 stars

  26. Thank you for this recipe, I made it first time and it turned out a million times better than any store bought sauce! Definitely comparable, if not better, than restaurant bbq sauce. We used it for ribs following Erin’s instant pot ribs recipe. Still 1.5 cup of sauce left, we put it in the freezer for next time ribs or pulled chicken5 stars

      1. I believe the secret is also tasting as you go to adjust to your own tastes! Thanks! Am gonna try it.. let you know how i make out

  27. This was REALLY good! As I was making (stirring) this sauce I was reading through the reviews and I saw a couple that made me worried that this might not turn out… BUT now I’m wondering if they followed the recipe… !? I’m imagining they left out critical flavors such as molasses, Worcestershire sauce, or smoked paprika… lol,.. I dunno,.. we love it! :) Thanks5 stars

    1. Hi Laura! I have not tried canning this myself, but if you frequently can BBQ sauce, you could try following those steps here. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  28. Wow! This was really really good and so simple to make! And so much healthier. Recipe is bookmarked! Thank you!5 stars

    Quite nice.
    Used in a slow cooker first sauce cover bottom,4 shoulder pork chops about 750grams sliced carrots on top 3 large carrots. Thinly sliced leek sliced apples eating 3 A must with pork, sliced potatoes cover with remaining sauce.
    Slow cook on low 4 hours.5 stars

  30. This bbq sauce is amazingly good!
    I made a double batch of this the first time. We loved it so much that I think this will be my standard batch size. It was enough to generously coat 4 pork rib racks in a crock pot, and still fill a 2-cup mason jar. I used some of it a few days later as an addition to a cheese and charcuterie board, and it was great.
    I used a jar of my home-canned tomatoes instead of grocery store tomato sauce, and I put in about 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder rather than the cayenne.
    It was super easy to make – put all the ingredients in a pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Done!
    We had a couple of bottles of brand-name bbq sauce in our cupboards, and we will be giving them away – we can’t go back to standard bbq sauce after making this.
    I do a lot of cooking and home-canning, partly because I have issues with onions and garlic. Most commercially-made sauces have way too much of those for me, so it is great to have a really flavourful sauce where the garlic is a subtle part, and there are no onions at all. I usually make major changes to any recipes I find online or in books, but I did almost nothing to this one – it didn’t need it.
    Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  31. I’m cutting back on sugars. I made this and just skipped the molasses and maple syrup. Yeah, it tasted a little bit tomato-y, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And it had 0 sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup, so that made up for it and then some. I was scraping the bottom of the pan and licking the scraper. I agree with the shoe leather comment.

    Thank you for doing the work on this and making it public where I could find it.5 stars

  32. I gleaned tips and suggestions from all the comments. I finally put them all together and made it. I liked it. It says you can refrigerate it for a week. Can it be frozen?5 stars

  33. Head’s up, Worcestershire generally isn’t vegetarian or vegan. Recipe is good, but that advice should be amended.4 stars

    1. Hi! There’s actually a variety of vegan versions available now. Isn’t that great? Thanks for your concern!

  34. This is incredible. I added 1/2 tsp liquid smoke but everything else as-is. The tomato tasting comments blow my mind because it has so much flavor you wouldn’t think tomato at all.5 stars

  35. I would like to give it 4-1/2 stars only because the ingredient “tomato sauce” covers a wide range. Were the recipe to read “Marcella Hazan’s famous 3-ingredient tomato sauce,” everybody would be on the same page. Beginners might not know that her recipe is not a commercial product. Those who like another sauce more than hers have a point of reference. The BBQ sauce recipe is nicely set forth. I’ll not be looking elsewhere.4 stars

  36. Very good. I used honey instead of maple syrup. The family likes it, especially since it doesn’t contain ketchup. 😋5 stars

  37. I had not added all of the wonderful ingredients and it already smelled like BBQ sauce and the Molasses,OOh i love it .Thank you for this recipe i will hold back on the store bought for sure.5 stars

  38. This is the best recipe ever for BBQ sauce. I also feel that the ones on the store shelves are way too sweet. I made this recipe this afternoon and it is so good I can eat it with a spoon. Thank you for the time you took to develope this recipe. All your readers should try it at least once.5 stars

  39. Hi Erin
    I can’t wait to make this but I’m wondering what you in the States mean by tomato sauce?
    The stuff here in Australia called that is a red coloured and sugar loaded chemical shitstorm which I don’t like to eat. Can I make from scratch what you mean?

    1. Hi Tracey, had to do some digging on what this would look like if buying it in Australia. You are looking for pureed tomatoes or a plain pasta sauce that is made with just tomatoes. It seems your tomato sauce is equivalent to our ketchup which is NOT what is in the recipe. Hope this helps! Also there are multiple recipes online for homemade tomato sauce that you might like if interested in making your own.

          1. Hi would passata be the equivalent of “tomato sauce”? Looking forward to making.
            Thanks. :)

          2. Hi Lorraine, I don’t believe it is exactly equivalent but I think you could probably use it. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  40. First of all, I like your style! I took your advice and enjoyed my life for 10 minutes while the sauce chatted all over my stove :-). I made the recipe exactly as you wrote it (including the recommended cayenne) and it was so good! Sorry for the blasphemy but I sauced my dry fried tofu with it, and gave the rest to my BIL who used it on his pulled chicken. We both agreed this recipe is a keeper. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Julie! Molasses is kind of a key component for this sauce. There’s really not anything I would substitute for it. Hope you are able to make it!

  41. Very good as written. I added a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke and a little more molasses to suit my taste. Thanks for printing a recipe that doesn’t use ketchup.5 stars

  42. As a diabetic, I use sugar-free maple syrup. You can leave the molasses if you can’t eat any sugar. I have also made a fruitier sauce by adding sugar-free jam or jelly. Grape jelly is surprisingly good. I like a more tropical fruit flavor, but they’re harder to find in sugar free forms. I found a Smuckers fruit sauce that is low enough in sugar for me. I throw it into the barbecue sauce for chicken. I use it by itself to add to unflavored yogurt, or spread a little on fish before you cook it (with a touch of olive oil & garlic).5 stars

  43. I made this with the Instant pot ribs, and it was delicious. I had my children taste it before putting it on the ribs and they were amazed. Will definitely be making again. Thank you.5 stars

  44. I’ve made this sauce twice because I can make it low sodium. It was delicious and the second time I added a little liquid smoke. Do you have a calculation of howuch sodium is in your recipe?

    1. Hi Debra! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

  45. I was wondering about how I am able to keep this without spoiling. I own a vacuum machine and I am able to use it with wide mouth tops. If I did this would I be able to extend its storage time.

    1. Hi Norman, I have a section in the blog post on Storage Tips that might help you. Also I don’t have a vacuum machine so I am not able to advise on it. Hope you enjoy the sauce!

  46. I found this to be the perfect recipe, not too sweet, not too spicy, tomato not too strong. Shared a jar with my daughter, she called and asked for the recipe. Thanks so much!5 stars

  47. Good day Ms Erin
    Can I make this in a large batch like 8 to 10 cups and can it using hot water bath instead of freezing or refrigerated it
    Thank you

    1. Hi Steven! I have not tried canning this myself, but if you frequently can BBQ sauce, you could try following those steps here. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  48. Back ribs turned out great in the instant pot + the rub as well as the home made BBQ sauce was great! Added to the garlic powder quantity and used 1 TBS cayenne in the sauce for extra heat and added rye whiskey to the sauce as well.5 stars

  49. Absolutely the best barbecue sauce I’ve ever tasted. I do substitute honey for the maple syrup, and I have used tomato purée instead of tomato sauce in a pinch and it came out fine, award winning!5 stars

  50. I enjoyed this barbecue sauce very much. I was using what I had and made a few substitutions. I replaced tomato puree with diced fire roasted tomatoes. I also replaced molasses with brown sugar. Used a full tsp of cyan pepper and it was hot but not scorching. Put it over pulled chicken on bread and just really enjoyed it. Thanks for saving me from another trip to the store with this satisfying and very good sauce.5 stars

  51. The sodium content was not included in the nutrition information. Do you the sodium content? I have to watch my sodium intact & all the store bought brands are high.

    1. Hi Claire! I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online ( is popular). I hope that helps!

      1. I know that; I just wanted to make sure other readers knew that standard Worcestershire sauce is not vegan. I thought that was important to clarify, since your recipe claims to be vegan as written.

        1. Hi Wendy! If you check under the FAQ’s of the blog post, I actually covered this topic in detail. Thanks!

          1. Sorry, I didn’t read the whole blog, but I did see the prominent dietary note stating that the recipe is vegan as written. It seems to me there should be an asterisk or qualifier there.

  52. My son in law says this is the best bbq sauce ever!

    Just curious about the nutritional information. It says 7 g of protein Where is the protein coming from?

    1. Hi Kate! I believe it is coming from the tomato sauce and paste. From what Google says and USDA every 1 cup of tomato sauce has 3.2g protein. Hope this helps!

  53. I’ve never been a fan of barbecue sauce because of the sugary sweet taste that often overpowers the smokiness and lingers too long. But this was delicious with the Smoked Chicken Thighs recipe. I love that it’s freezable too, and so easy and affordable to make! I’ll be taking it with a tray of smoked pulled pork to a pool party next weekend. Next time I make it I may cut back the maple syrup a bit and increase the cayenne for my love of spicy. Great recipe!5 stars

  54. Will never buy another store bottle of bbq sauce. Your recipe has captured all that I want and enjoy. So delicious. Thank you.5 stars

  55. Served me well. Just like classic barbecue sauce, but better. Easy to make. I modified the recipe a little by slow-cooking in a crockpot for about 10 hours per batch, stirring occasionally. I also added a splash of pineapple juice.
    Thank you! You are a lifesaver and I would highly recommend this recipe. I have tried at least two other recipes and this one left them all behind!5 stars

    1. Hi Ro! I’m so confused, because I see it on my end! The recipe is in the recipe card, right above the area where you commented. You can also click the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the screen to help get you there faster. Could you please check again!

    1. I’m so confused, because I see it on my end! The recipe is in the recipe card, right above the area where you commented. You can also click the “jump to recipe” button at the top of the screen to help get you there faster. Could you please check again!

  56. Sorry, but this leaves A LOT to be desired. It just tastes like tomato paste, needs a lot of improvement in the flavor category. Not sure what to even add to try to make it taste even a little bit like BBQ sauce.1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste Jen. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed it, so I really wish they would’ve been a hit for you too!

  57. The principle of your sauce looks great, however of note it is not vegan as a true Worcestershire Sauce has anchovies in it. What can I substitute instead of Worcestershire Sauce to make your recipe?

  58. This really is the Best BBQ sauce. I have used it with your Instant Pot Ribs at least 2 times now! Love it! Thank you!5 stars

  59. One thing you mentioned that it’s vegan. But a lot of people do not realize that in Worcestershire sauce there is anchovies so that actually technically does not make it vegan so please beware when you’re buying your Worcestershire sauce. The only reason why I know this is because I’m highly allergic to anchovies so I’m constantly reading the labels of the Worcestershire sauce that I buy. Just thought I’d let you know other than that it’s a kick rear recipe

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for the feedback, we actually have one of our FAQ’s dedicated to this subject. Hope you enjoy the sauce!

  60. This barbecue sauce is everything! I love that it uses a whole can of tomato sauce and tomato paste. No need to measure. And yes that is a big deal to me lol. It’s so delicious and the flavors are well-balanced! No more store-bought barbecue sauce for us. Thanks, Erin for this fantastic recipe 😊5 stars

  61. I just want to say to folks in the comments, as a long-time Veg, there are definitely options out there for Worcestershire, especially these days. I understand the label of “vegan” is present but give them a break, y’all. Doing these recipes, sharing them with the world, and having a business, is hard. It’s up to us to do our own homework, too, as consumers. Can’t wait to make this with my (already vegan) Worcestershire tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your heart here, Erin.5 stars