Yes, of course, you can buy vegan BBQ sauce but homemade tastes SO much better! This easy recipe is smoky, sweet and tangy. It takes 20 minutes to make and is fabulous as a marinade, a dip and a spread. 

It is also much better dressed at the BBQ – no plastic jacket or shouty label here my friends!

Jump to Recipe

Homemade vegan BBQ sauce in a small preserves bottle.

Homemade Vegan BBQ Sauce

The beauty of making sauces from scratch is that you are in control of the sugar and salt content, the flavour profile and the heat.

In my family, we have hot sauce fans as well as those who prefer to err on the side of chilli caution. Making my own sauce means I can dial it down a bit in one batch and indulge my love of spice in another. Everyone is happy! 

There is a vast array of BBQ sauces available on the high street and while most are vegan, a fair few are not. If you are buying one, the hidden culprit to look for on the label is Worcestershire sauce. Traditional Worcestershire sauce is flavoured with our little fishy friends, the humble anchovy.

In my recipe, I use a vegan Worcestershire sauce from my local health food store or Henderson’s relish which is a really good substitute and is readily available in supermarkets. This leaves our fishy friends right where they are supposed to be! 

For this Vegan BBQ Sauce you will need:

  • Tomato Ketchup – as the base. Use a low sugar brand if you like.
  • Maple Syrup – just a smidge for its caramelly flavour and its hint of the woods.
  • Brown Sugar – for all the sweetness! 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – for a bit of acidity.
  • Garlic Powder – for its pungent, spicy flavour.
  • Smoked Paprika – for that BBQ smokiness.
  • Henderson’s Relish or Vegan Worcestershire Sauce – for spice.
  • Hot Sauce – to taste, will you spice it up or keep it cool?
  • Salt and Black Pepper – of course!

I love this photo – it makes me just want to dive on in there! 

An open jar of vegan barbecue sauce.

How To Make It!

It couldn’t be simpler! Just add all the ingredients to a small saucepan, bring it to a bubble and then simmer very gently for 20 minutes so all the flavours meld together. 

Do taste and adjust the seasoning to suit you. If you like it a little sweeter, stir in some more sugar while it’s still hot. If you want a real kick to it, add more hot sauce. If it needs a bit more salt, pop some in.

Let it cool and decant it into a pretty jar so you can show it off to your friends and family!

A spoonful of vegan BBQ sauce being lifted from a jar full of it.

Vegan BBQ sauce tastes great on:

A tray of potato cakes with BBQ sauce dip.

You can also use it as a marinade for tofu, vegetable skewers or for BBQd Jackfruit.

Half a jar of BBQ sauce in front of BBQd Jackfruit sliders.

Homemade vegan BBQ sauce in a small preserves bottle.

Vegan BBQ Sauce

This easy recipe for vegan BBQ sauce is smoky, sweet and tangy. It takes 20 minutes to make and is fabulous as a marinade, a dip and a spread. 
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dips, Spreads and Condiments
Cuisine: American, English
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: vegan barbecue sauce, vegan BBQ sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 38kcal


  • 250 g tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce/Hendersons Relish
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste


  • Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and whisk together.
  • Bring to a bubble and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Leave to cool then decant into a clean bottle or jar and seal.


Nutritional information is only an approximate guideline. Calculations will vary according to the ingredients you use and your cooking methods.


Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 86mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe?Follow @ThinlySpread or tag #thinlyspread!

If you make my recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. Please leave a comment and a star rating below and share your pictures with me on social media. Tag me @thinlyspread and include the hashtag #thinlyspread so I can see them!

Follow me on Pinterest, Facebook,Twitter and Instagram where I share recipe ideas, links to vegan events and articles and where I natter on about my favourite subject – vegan food

Pin It on Pinterest