Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

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Readers have been asking for a homemade BBQ sauce for some time now.  Thanks to my husband, we now have a homemade BBQ sauce that is completely delicious.  This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is all his.  If you like homemade dressings, then you might also like this post.

bbq sauce

Most store bought versions of BBQ sauce contain high fructose corn syrup or some other form of processed sugar.  This BBQ sauce recipe contains no processed sugar and I promise you it’s delicious!  This recipe makes a good sized amount and I imagine it would stay good in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  We will be using this spread in some upcoming recipes.  This recipe is vegetarian and can easily be made vegan if you use maple syrup instead of honey.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1.5 cups

Homemade BBQ Sauce


  • 6oz or 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 T worcestershire sauce (Annie’s makes a vegan version with a decent ingredient list)
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. That’s it.

Use immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container. I save glass jars just for the purpose of storing things like this.


61 thoughts on “Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce

    1. Yes, it is vegetarian, just not vegan. (No dairy, no animal including honey, etc). That would mean no honey or regular worcestershire sauce.

  1. My kids and hubby had just whined that we didn’t have any BBQ sauce in the fridge (since I refuse to buy it and since we don’t eat meat we haven’t needed it for a while). Totally making this today!

  2. Is regular Worcestershire Sauce bad? Having a hard time finding organic and try to be really OCD about only giving my son organic when it comes to things that contain GMOs, artificial color and ingredients, and pesticides. Thanks!

    1. Annie’s makes an organic brand. I got it at Sprout’s, but I think Whole Foods and Trader Joes would have it as well. I am not sure if regular worcestershire sauce is bad. The regular kind is not vegan and that is why we bought Annies.

    2. Regular Worcestershire sauce uses anchovies as an ingredient. Many but not all brands use HFCS as well.

      1. The brand I chose, which was Annie’s organic is certified vegan. If you are vegan, I would suggest using that brand. There is no HFCS in it either.

  3. I am so happy to find a good bbq sauce. I refuse to buy BBQ sauce from the store, they are full of sugar, glucose, and others. Can I use red wine vinegar or Balsamic if I don’t have Apple cider vinegar?

  4. What brand of worcestershire sauce
    do you use? And can I get it at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? I am not sure if the one I have now is safe. What should I look for to determine if it is? Thanks!

  5. I just made this, it smells and taste great but does not look like the pic above in fact it’s runny.

    1. Really? That is truly the sauce. Sorry yours came out runny. You can add a bit of arrow root to thicken it.

  6. I just made this today, and mine doesn’t look like your picture either. Trying to figure out what I did different. I wonder if it could be the brand of tomato paste I used… what brand was yours?

  7. All of your recipes look great I enjoy making them!

    It must be annoying though repeating yourself over vegan sauce :(

    Great sight, thanks!

  8. Mine came out really runny too. Is 1 cup of water correct? I did not even use that much and the sauce is very watery.

    1. I’m sorry that happened. My husband wrote out this recipe because he created it and I’m thinking he wrote it wrong. The sauce we have made was not runny at all and I have gone and changed the recipe down to 1/2 cup water after reading all your comments. I apologize for the error.

  9. Any time you need to use garlic powder in an acidic recipe, remember to reconstitute it first. Why do you need to do this? Because this sauce has tomato, you need to reconstitute it before adding it to the recipe. The acid in the tomato paste will mean the garlic powder never fully hydrates, and therefore you’ll never have the best garlic flavor from it.

  10. Very tasty!! And way to easy to make :-) I added it to shredded chicken and warmed in the crock pot and topped it on homemade whole grain hamburger buns.
    I so appreciate your blog and the help you have given me in it new venture and healthy eating.

  11. I am just loving all your recipes. We have just recently begun making healthier food choices and your recipies are so helpful. I was feeling bit overwhelmed with figuring everything out, but your blog has been a life saver!! On this recipe, I was wondering if regular honey can be substituted equally for the raw honey. Thanks so much!!!!!

  12. This was a good basic recipe, but I found it lacking in spice. Where’s the cayenne and/or chili powder? I added both plus a little cinnamon and allspice. I cut back on the vinegar and added the juice from a honey tangerine plus some prepared stoneground mustard. It came out really great. Add a little of each spice at a time until it is to your liking. I used brown sugar and honey to sweeten lightly. I prefer spicey with a little sweet. I didn’t measure anything except the six ounce can of tomato paste which was of course already measured. Even the water I added till it was just right, after the tangerine juice of course I also heated it up in a small soup pan, just so the flavors would blend quickly. Next time I think I’ll add some microplaned jalapeno and onion for a little extra flavor. Get creative people.

  13. This recipe is amazing! I used homemade Worcestershire sauce and added some smoked paprika (just because it was in the cupboard and I forgot why I bought it…) :D
    I was seriously tempted to eat waaaaay too much roast because of this BBQ sauce. :)

  14. Can I use ketchup or tomatoe sauce instead of paste. (It’s soooo cold today and I don’t want to go out but I want to make this!

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