Maybe you’re out of barbecue sauce or simply looking to cut out some additives and preservatives by making your own, whatever your reason, this Homemade BBQ Sauce without Ketchup recipe is truly one you need to try out! You’ll go from not having a tasty dipping sauce for your food to having the best bbq sauce around and since you can make your own homemade sauce after making this recipe, you’ll never run out again!
Because I have so many food allergies, I’m always reading labels. Besides avoiding the things I’m allergic to (which is nearly impossible with traditional store-bought BBQ sauce), I also like to avoid things that I just don’t think should be there. This led me to create my own gluten free BBQ sauce recipe many years ago.
Homemade BBQ Sauce Without Ketchup
When I started reading about how to make great BBQ sauce, one of the things that surprised me was how many recipes had ketchup as a base. While I have nothing against ketchup, I don’t really see it as an ingredient for a sauce!
I decided to do a little bit more research, and figured out you don’t need to use something already made like ketchup to make a great gluten free BBQ sauce.
In fact, homemade BBQ sauce without ketchup is much more inexpensive than any BBQ sauce you could buy in the store, or a ketchup based BBQ sauce.
My homemade BBQ sauce without ketchup only uses 4 simple ingredients. From there, it is the perfect base to add variation to, like fruit to add a different angle, or spicy peppers to give it a bit of a kick.
It can also be made in a wide variety of thicknesses and textures to ensure you get the BBQ sauce perfect to you.
It is also the perfect accompaniment to, well, almost anything, without changing a thing. Especially chicken tenders and french fries!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Sauce Recipe
- You only need a handful of ingredients in order to whip up a batch of your own homemade barbecue sauce
- No preservatives, artificial sweeteners, other artificial ingredients or high fructose corn syrup (I think this is the best part)
- It’s gluten free, dairy free, and vegan- great for those with various dietary needs and dietary preferences
- It tastes good with anything you used to dip into your bbq sauce or slather your old bbq sauce on
- It’s a simple recipe and anybody can follow it- even the kiddos!
- Since you can make it yourself, you’ll never run out of bbq sauce again!
- If you are allergic to things like onion and garlic, you know how hard it can be to find something like BBQ sauce that usually has onion, onion powder, garlic or garlic powder from the grocery store!
Get more information on these simple pantry ingredients at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
- tomatoes of your choosing- crushed tomatoes are what I typically use but you can use whole tomatoes or other tomato varieties
- brown sugar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- White Vinegar
How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce Without Ketchup
- Blend 1 28 oz can of tomatoes to your desired texture, and empty into a pot. I use my Vitamix for this but you can use any blender or food processor.
- Add 1 cup brown sugar to the pot with the tomatoes.
- Add 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar to the mixture.
- Add 14 oz White Vinegar. I like to measure half of the tomato can and rinse it out with the vinegar, so I get every last bit of tomato without having to scrape the can.
- Stir well.
- Bring to a boil using the stove, then simmer on low for approximately 2 hours, or until desired thickness is achieved.
- Sometimes I like to pulse crushed tomatoes in my Vitamix, other times I don’t bother. It is all up to you what texture of tomatoes you use.
- We don’t use Worcestershire sauce like other homemade barbecue sauce recipes do because we used the two kinds of vinegar. If you want to use it, to add another layer of flavor, you can. Just be sure to get a gluten free version. But keep in mind that depending on which brand you choose, this may no longer be a vegan recipe if your Worcestershire sauce has nonvegan ingredients.
- You can store your vegan bbq sauce in an airtight container or mason jar and keep it in the fridge.
- Your own homemade bbq sauce won’t last as long as the store-bought barbecue sauce because it doesn’t have preservatives in it. However, if you end up loving it as much as we do, yours won’t last long anyway because you’ll be using it on everything!
Have questions about making the best homemade barbecue sauce without ketchup? We have answers.
What is the difference between ketchup and BBQ sauce?
Ketchup is a very sweet condiment. BBQ sauce, on the other hand, typically has some sort of vinegar in it to cut through the sweetness and also give it that tangy flavor that most people crave.
Other than that, they have a very similar composition and once you learn how to make your own BBQ sauce making your own ketchup is also super simple. That’s why ketchup is often used in BBQ sauce recipes, but let’s face it, ketchup has many ingredients and isn’t as cost effective as just plain tomatoes.
How do you make BBQ sauce from scratch without ketchup?
BBQ sauce couldn’t be simpler to make.
You’ll only need vinegar, brown sugar, tomato and water to get started. You can add other ingredients if you want (like molasses for that distinctive sweet taste) but the above four will do it! You can use whatever types of tomato you have on hand like diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or whole tomatoes. If you’re using diced, crushed, or whole canned tomatoes you may want to send them through the blender or food processor first.
What can I substitute for the ketchup in a BBQ sauce recipe?
You don’t have to use ketchup, although it does give your BBQ sauce a great color. You can use another type of tomato product instead, such as canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes. If you’re using canned diced or crushed tomatoes, then you may want to blend them up first to get a nice smooth saucy consistency.
What can I add to barbecue sauce?
The great thing about this barbecue sauce without ketchup is that it is a great base to add other flavors to and customize to your own personal tastes. You can also split off smaller sections and flavor them individually for the ultimate in custom BBQ sauce. Here are some ideas on what to add to BBQ sauce for flavor.
- Maple syrup for added sweetness to create a sweet sauce – this is a more natural sweetener to use instead of brown sugar too
- Red wine vinegar for more depth of flavor
- Japaleno peppers or tabasco sauce for heat
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Espresso or espresso powder if you like coffee
What is this homemade bbq sauce good on?
It’s good on just about anything! But a few of our favorite things to use our homemade sauce on is this Instant Pot Shredded BBQ Chicken (which is also gluten free, dairy free, and allergen friendly!). We also like adding it to our favorite meatloaf recipe, bringing another depth of flavor to a family favorite recipe.
- 28 oz tomatoes of your choosing (1 large can, I like crushed)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 14 oz White Vinegar (Half of the large can)
- Blend 1 28 oz can of tomateoes to your desired texture, and empty into pot. I use my Vitamix for this.
- Add 1 cup brown sugar to the pot.
- Add 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar to the pot.
- Add 14 oz White Vinegar. I like to measure half of the tomato can and rinse it out with the vinegar, so I get every last bit of tomato without having to scrape the can/
- Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for approximately 2 hours, or until desired thickness is reached.
This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, or more based on how much BBQ sauce you need.
To add dimension to this easy gluten free BBQ sauce without ketchup, feel free to add dried or fresh fruit, cayenne pepper, chili poweder, chopped dried or fresh peppers, and more!
This sauce is a great base to tweak exactly to your prefrences. We like to add things to small portions of sauce at a time to see if we like the flavors before commiting to a full batch of flavored sauce.
We will often do a naked wing night where everyone makes a little bit of their favorite sauce to try with the wings!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 38Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g