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Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce

on February 8, 2022
last updated August 21, 2022
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4.75 from 4 votes
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This Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce has the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, is simple to make, and tastes great on almost anything!
jar of homemade vegan bbq sauce with some on a spoon

Ready to try your hand at making your own BBQ sauce? This Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce will have you feeling like a pro saucier in no time!

With just 8 simple pantry ingredients, a quick cook time, and only one pot required, you’ll never buy the jarred stuff again!

bbq sauce dripping off a spoon into a jar

As a foodie and environmental scientist, making my own vegan sauce is one of my favorite things to do!

Making your own sauces and syrups is a great way to avoid extra plastic packaging that eventually ends up in landfills or makes its way into the environment and becomes microplastics.

Vegan BBQ Sauce Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Vegan Ketchup. Ketchup adds a delicious sweet and vibrant tomato taste to this BBQ sauce. Keep in mind, ketchup is not always vegan, depending on the sugar additive used. Check the ingredients and make sure the sugar in the ketchup is certified organic to avoid ketchup from a plant that uses bone char to process their sugar.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. This provides that classic tang that you want in any finger-licking BBQ sauce!
  • Vegan Brown Sugar. Again, while sugar itself is a vegan product, depending on the way it’s manufactured, it may not be. Look for words like “raw” and “unrefined” to ensure it’s not processed with animal bone char.
  • Paprika. It amps up the sweetness, the color, and gives it a slightly peppery taste.
  • Chili Powder. More peppery goodness! Note, chili powder is not generally spicy. If you want a little bit of spice in your sauce, I recommend adding a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Ground Cumin. For some earthiness and a mild citrus flavor.
  • Salt & Pepper. For extra oomph.
paprika, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, ground cumin, brown sugar, ketchup

Vegan BBQ Sauce Tips and Tricks

Low and Slow

As the sauce thickens, it may start to spatter. Keep your heat low, and monitor it closely.

If it starts to spatter, give it a stir. If you are unable to stand over your stove while it’s cooking, simply cover it with a lid, and keep it on the lowest heat.

We don’t want the sauce to stick to the bottom of the pot and burn or to get too thick and almost gluey.

Green tip: If you have an electric range, it’s best to use a pot that both sits flat on and matches the size of your burner to make sure you are not wasting energy.

Use a Whisk

We cook the sauce not just to thicken it, but also to dissolve all the spices and seasonings into the liquid to make a smooth, velvety sauce.

Using a whisk will aid in this process, and ensure you aren’t left with any lumps.

whisking bbq sauce in a pot

Serving Your Sauce

This vegan BBQ sauce is great on almost anything! Use it as a dip for sweet potato fries, or to make a BBQ flatbread!

Or use it on your favorite BBQ sandwich, like this BBQ Tempeh Sandwich or BBQ Tofu Sandwich.

close up of a jar full of easy vegan bbq sauce

Storing Your Sauce

The apple cider vinegar acts as a natural preservative in this vegan BBQ sauce, so when stored correctly, it can last for about 2 weeks.

Just keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Check for signs of bacterial growth, texture change, or an “off” smell or taste if enjoying after 14 days.

You can also freeze individual servings for up to 3 months, and just allow the sauce to defrost before using it.

close up of a jar full of easy vegan bbq sauce

Why You Should Make this Vegan BBQ Sauce

  • It’s easy! Just dump the ingredients in a pot, heat it up, and stir!
  • It’s balanced. The perfect combo of tangy and sweet.
  • It gives you control over what’s in your sauce! That includes the unneccesarry preservatives.

If you’re loving this Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce and need some inspo for what to use it for, check out this BBQ Tempeh Sandwich and BBQ Tofu Sandwich!

jar of homemade vegan bbq sauce with some on a spoon

Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce

4.8 from 4 votes
Marley Goldin
This Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce has the perfect balance of tangy and sweet, is simple to make, and tastes great on almost anything!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • cup vegan ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Add all your ingredients to a small pot and whisk together.
  • Heat on low until the spices and sugar are dissolved and the sauce thickens (8-10 minutes). Stir frequently to avoid spatter and the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
  • Allow to cool and serve at room temperature. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • If you like a little spice in your sauce, add a pinch of cayenne pepper!
  • You can freeze individual servings for up to 3 months! Allow sauce to thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying.
Course Sauces and Dressings
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Easy, Homemade BBQ Sauce, One-Pot, Vegan BBQ
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @marleysmenu on Instagram.


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4 thoughts on “Easy Vegan BBQ Sauce”

    1. Hi Judith!!

      I didn’t include this info because it can vary greatly depending on the ketchup you use, but a rough estimate is about 7g carbs and 6g sugar per 1 tablespoon of sauce. Hope that helps!

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