Smoky BBQ Sauce Recipe for an Unforgettable Taste

Welcome to my BBQ sauce recipe! As a nutritionist and food blogger, I am always seeking out new and healthy recipes that everyone can enjoy. This BBQ sauce is not only incredibly delicious, but it is also dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.

Many store-bought BBQ sauces contain high levels of preservatives, sugar, and salt. Creating your own homemade version not only eliminates unnecessary additives, but it also allows you to customize the flavor according to your preferences. Plus, making sauces from scratch is always more satisfying!

This recipe uses simple and affordable ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. The tangy and sweet combination of tomato juice and brown sugar creates the perfect base for this sauce, while Worcestershire sauce adds a smoky depth of flavor that is perfect for summer grilling.

Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, or just looking for a healthier barbecue sauce option, this recipe has got you covered. So ditch the store-bought products and impress your friends and family with a homemade vegan BBQ sauce that will not only taste better but will also be better for you!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

BBQ Sauce - Dairy Free
BBQ Sauce – Dairy Free

Are you looking for an easy and delicious dairy-free BBQ sauce recipe that will blow your socks off? Look no further because this homemade vegan BBQ sauce is for you! This sauce is not just dairy-free, it’s also gluten-free, low calorie, and healthy.

There are numerous reasons why you’ll love this homemade vegan BBQ sauce recipe. Firstly, it contains natural ingredients such as tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, and chili powder. These simple yet flavorful ingredients make it a healthier alternative to store-bought sauces.

Secondly, this sauce is very easy to make – it takes only 10 minutes to prepare! All you need to do is mix the ingredients together in a bowl and voila! You have yourself a homemade vegan BBQ sauce that can be used to marinate meat or as a dipping sauce.

Thirdly, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can use it in a variety of dishes such as blueberry BBQ meatballs, keto BBQ chicken thighs, paleo pulled pork and so much more! It’s the perfect addition to any barbecue meal whether you’re vegan or not.

Lastly, this BBQ sauce packs a punch in terms of flavor. It’s tangy with a hint of sweetness and spice from the cayenne pepper and paprika. It’s also customizable – add more spice or sweetness according to your taste preference to make it uniquely yours.

In short, this homemade vegan BBQ sauce recipe is perfect for anyone who wants a healthier alternative to store-bought sauces. It’s quick and easy to make, versatile and packed with flavor. So go ahead and give it a try – your taste buds will thank you for it!

Ingredient List

 Meet my dairy-free BBQ sauce, the perfect addition to your grilling game!
Meet my dairy-free BBQ sauce, the perfect addition to your grilling game!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon paprika

These ingredients are all gluten-free and dairy-free, making this BBQ sauce a great choice for anyone with dietary restrictions or preferences. You can find these ingredients at any grocery store, and most of them are probably already in your pantry!

The Recipe How-To

 Trust me, this sauce is worth the effort and it's dairy-free!
Trust me, this sauce is worth the effort and it’s dairy-free!

Now that we have gone through the ingredient list, let’s start with the recipe in detail. This BBQ Sauce is so easy to make and involves just a handful of steps.


  • 2 cups ketchup, preferably gluten-free and organic
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, preferably vegan
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl or saucepan, combine all the ingredients until well combined.
  2. Whisk vigorously to remove any lumps and ensure a smooth consistency. Alternatively, blend the mixture using an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and pour the sauce mixture into it.
  4. Bring the sauce to boil, stirring continuously for about two minutes.
  5. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  6. Remove from heat, taste and adjust salt accordingly.

And voila! Your homemade BBQ sauce is ready!

Enjoy this delicious barbecue sauce on top of your grilled meats, vegetables or any dish of your choice. This recipe makes about two cups of BBQ sauce, but you can double or halve the recipe as per your requirement.


  • To make it spicier or milder adjust the cayenne pepper and chili powder amounts.
  • You can add up to ¼ cup more brown sugar if you want a sweeter BBQ sauce.
  • You can store this homemade vegan BBQ sauce in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
  • The sauce can be made ahead and reheated when ready to use.
  • This sauce gluten free recipe is perfect for meal-prepping and freezer-friendly.

Making your own BBQ Sauce at home using natural, organic, and vegan sauce ingredients free from harmful preservatives has never been easier. Keep this recipe handy for all your grilling and barbecuing needs, you won’t regret it!

Substitutions and Variations

 You don't need dairy to make a delicious BBQ sauce, just try this recipe!
You don’t need dairy to make a delicious BBQ sauce, just try this recipe!

Looking to switch things up or cater to specific dietary needs? Don’t worry, this BBQ sauce recipe is versatile and accommodating. Here are some substitutions and variations to try:

– Gluten-Free: The base ingredients for this recipe are gluten-free, but be sure to check all other ingredients you use, like the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Opt for certified gluten-free products if necessary.

– Vegan: This recipe is already dairy-free and vegan-friendly, but if you want to avoid honey or use a vegan-friendly alternative, try substituting maple syrup or coconut sugar instead.

– Low Carb: Use tomato paste instead of ketchup, omit the brown sugar or use a sugar substitute, and reduce the amount of vinegar and apple cider to lower the carb count.

– Paleo/Keto: Follow the low carb modifications above, and also replace tomato sauce with tomato juice or diced tomatoes, and use coconut aminos instead of Worcestershire sauce.

– Hotter Sauce: Add more cayenne pepper or chili powder for some extra heat.

– Fruit-Inspired Sauce: Experiment with adding fruit purees like blueberry, peach or pineapple for a tasty twist that pairs well with meatballs.

– Lemon BBQ Sauce: Adjust this recipe and enhance the citrus flavor by adding a crushed garlic clove or minced shallot along with lemon juice.

Feel free to mix and match these substitutions as you see fit. Get creative in your sauces; make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 This BBQ sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky - without any dairy!
This BBQ sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and smoky – without any dairy!

Imagine sinking your teeth into a juicy barbecued meat coated with finger-licking-good BBQ sauce, and imagine feeling the burst of flavors in your mouth. That is exactly what this dairy-free BBQ sauce recipe will do for you. Whether you want to slather it on grilled chicken or brush it on racks of ribs, this vegan BBQ sauce is the perfect pairing for any type of meat.

You can serve it alongside a hearty summer salad or crispy roasted vegetables, and it will add that extra zing to your dish. The tanginess from the apple cider vinegar combined with the sweetness from the maple syrup and brown sugar make it a versatile sauce that can be used in various dishes.

This barbecue sauce is also perfect for dipping, and you can pair it with crispy oven-baked potatoes or even use it as a spread for your sandwich instead of mayonnaise. It’s so addictive that you might find yourself licking the spoon after using it all up.

Whether you’re a fan of low-carb or keto diets, this gluten-free, paleo, and suitable for the top 8-free vegan BBQ sauce will complement all healthy recipes. It’s time to elevate your meals and enjoy a BBQ sauce that can keep up with your dietary needs without sacrificing flavor.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 No dairy? No problem! This sauce is perfect for those with dietary restrictions.
No dairy? No problem! This sauce is perfect for those with dietary restrictions.

There’s nothing like having a freshly made batch of BBQ sauce to pour over your grilled meats or vegetables. However, if you’re like me, you appreciate the convenience of making things ahead of time to save time during the week. The good news is that this delicious dairy-free BBQ sauce can be made ahead of time and easily reheated as needed.

To make ahead: Simply prepare the recipe as instructed, let the BBQ sauce cool completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. This will allow the flavors to meld together even more, creating an even tastier sauce.

To reheat: Take out the amount needed and heat it up gently in a small pot over medium heat or in the microwave for 30-second intervals until heated through. Always stir well prior to using or serving.

For storing: If you have any leftover BBQ sauce, store it in a clean and airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep in mind that homemade sauces may separate slightly when refrigerated, so make sure to give it a good stir before using again.

If you need to store your BBQ sauce for longer than one week, then consider freezing it! Pour your cooled-down sauce into ice-cube trays and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer your BBQ sauce cubes to a large ziplock bag and store in the freezer for up to six months. When you’re ready to use them, just defrost however many cubes you need and reheat them in a pot or microwave.

Overall, it’s easy to make and store this healthy and delicious homemade BBQ sauce so that you can enjoy it all week long without spending too much extra work on it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 If you're looking for a dairy-free BBQ sauce that's finger-lickin' good, look no further!
If you’re looking for a dairy-free BBQ sauce that’s finger-lickin’ good, look no further!

Getting the recipe right is important, but perfecting it is another level of satisfaction. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you make the perfect BBQ sauce:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: Whether you are making homemade barbecue sauce or using store-bought products, always check the ingredient list for any hidden ingredients, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Look for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options to make sure your BBQ sauce is suitable for all diets.

2. Adjust spices to your preference: Spices are essential for a flavorful BBQ sauce, but everyone’s taste buds are different. The recipe guideline is just that – a guide. So, feel free to add or reduce the cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, or paprika according to your liking.

3. Balance sweetness and acidity: A perfect BBQ sauce should have a balance of sweet and tangy flavors. If your sauce tastes too sweet (from the brown sugar or maple syrup), add more vinegar or lemon juice to balance it out.

4. Cook slowly and low heat: The secret to flavorful BBQ sauce is patience. Simmer your sauce on low heat for at least an hour to let all the flavors meld together.

5. Be mindful of consistency: BBQ sauces can vary in their desired consistency; some prefer thick and sticky sauces while others like it thin and runny. To achieve the desired consistency, add or reduce water or tomato juice accordingly.

6. Let the flavors meld: If possible, make your BBQ sauce a day before serving it. Letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator allows all the flavors to meld together giving you an even more intense flavor profile.

7. Store properly: Store leftover BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. You can also freeze it for up to six months but make sure it’s in a freezer-friendly container.

By following these tips, you are sure to impress your guests with a perfect BBQ sauce that can be used not just as a dip but also as a marinade or glaze for your meats.


Now, let’s move on to the frequently asked questions section, where I’ll answer some of your doubts and concerns about this dairy-free BBQ sauce recipe.

Is barbecue sauce dairy-free?

Many condiments, apart from mayo, do not contain dairy and are therefore great options for individuals on an egg-free or dairy-free diet. These condiments include ketchup, mustard, salsa, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce dairy-free?

Sweet Baby Ray’s original barbecue sauce is safe for those who are looking for dairy-free options as none of the ingredients listed contain dairy.

What can I use instead of butter in BBQ sauce?

Canola oil is an excellent substitute for butter, particularly when a recipe requires melted butter. This is because canola oil is a very neutral oil, making it a versatile option. Additionally, since canola oil remains in liquid form at room temperature, it functions as an ideal replacement for melted butter. The replacement process is easy as well, with a one-to-one ratio of melted butter to canola oil.

Is Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce gluten and dairy-free?

Sweet Baby Ray’s products are mostly free from gluten. If any of our products or ingredients are made from grains that contain gluten, such as wheat, rye, or barley, we will ensure that they are clearly listed as such on the package label’s ingredient statement.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this BBQ sauce recipe is an easy and delicious way to make your own homemade barbecue sauce that is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. With its versatile flavor profile, you can use it to marinade or brush on your favorite protein, vegetables, or even as a dipping sauce.

Plus, with the ability to customize the spice level and sweetness to your liking, this recipe is a great option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Not only does it taste better than store-bought versions, but you know exactly what ingredients are going into your food.

So why settle for mediocre barbecue sauce when you can easily make your own at home? Give this recipe a try and impress your friends and family at your next cookout. Trust me – they’ll be asking for the recipe!

BBQ Sauce - Dairy Free

BBQ Sauce - Dairy Free Recipe

Easy homemade BBQ sauce
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Dairy-free
Servings 2 cups
Calories 152.8 kcal


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add more chili powder for more"bite" as desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 639gCalories: 152.8kcalCarbohydrates: 35.6gProtein: 2.7gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 2006.2mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 28.4g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Dairy Free, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Sauces
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