Smoky BBQ sauce

Smoky BBQ sauce

smokey bbq sauce recipe

Trust me when I say this BBQ sauce will not disappoint you. It hits the spot every time and goes so well with tofu, tempeh, jackfruit, veggies, burgers and more. It’s literally the best smoky BBQ sauce ever and I’m excited for you to get into the kitchen and make this. 

smokey bbq sauce recipe

Why I don’t buy store bought BBQ sauce

In the USA, it’s necessary to read every food label when buying groceries. Why? There is an absurd amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used in products and I avoid this at all costs.

HFCS the top ingredient (I believe) that has made people so sick and causing extreme obesity. This is due to the high quantities present in all the processed foods available and the addictive nature of sweetness.

High Fructose Corn Syrup – the downfall of a healthy society

If you consume high fructose corn syrup regularly, I suggest you do some research and consider making some changes with the products you use and the fast foods you might be purchasing.

Freakonomics has this awesome podcast which discusses how food in America came to be the way it is today. It’s obvious politics, money and powder are involved.

Sadly, today farmers are having to receive government welfare because they cannot make a living due to the commercialization of the food industry.

Read labels

I have read countless of BBQ sauce labels since arriving in America. I have only found one or two brands that have cane sugar vs HFCS.

Unfortunately, all the brands have HFCS or cane sugar as the first ingredient listed. I don’t want to be pouring sugar over my meals for seasoning either. This makes store bought BBQ sauce a no go for me.

smokey bbq sauce recipe

Homemade BBQ sauce

This smokey bbq sauce has flavors that remind me of a similar one my mom makes with her famous sticky pork ribs. Trust me, I loved those ribs growing up and it was all because of that sauce.

This is not a super sweet bbq sauce, rather it is smoky and tomato-based. If you’re looking for a sticky bbq sauce, then you would need to add a lot more coconut sugar to this recipe.

I like to use this bbq sauce often and don’t want a high sugar version. This recipe fits that need perfectly. This is the best healthy smoky BBQ sauce you can make and it’s utterly delicious.

smokey bbq sauce recipe

This BBQ sauce is:

  • Deliciously smoky
  • Thick
  • Savory
  • Refined sugar free
  • Oil free
  • Quick and easy

Use this BBQ sauce for: 

  • BBQ tofu stir fry rice
  • Chickpea bbq pasta
  • For these burgers
  • BBQ Jackfruit – recipe coming soon
  • Smoky BBQ tempeh with rice and veg.
  • BBQ Cauliflower wings
  • Roasted potato with bbq dip
  • Hot dog rolls
  • Sausage pies

This smokey BBQ sauce requires minimal effort

It’s an easy one pot sauce and take 15 minutes to make. So enough blabbering, here’s to the best bbq sauce EVER:

smoky vegan bbq sauce

Smoky BBQ sauce

A delicious smokey BBQ sauce without oil and low in sugar. This recipe is a healthy alternative to sugar laden BBQ sauce. Perfect for burgers, fries, tofu, jackfruit.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course condiments
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 288 kcal


  • pot


  • 2 cans tomato puree/sauce (2x226g) sugar free
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce tamari/liquid aminos for gluten free
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes or powder
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke


  • Add all ingredients to a pot, put the lid on, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.


The calories are for the whole batch is using tomato puree. 
Sugar-Free ketchup can be substituted for the tomato puree. 
Keeps for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Mason jars are perfect. 
Feel free to add coconut sugar or sweetener of choice instead of maple syrup. 
Keyword gluten free bbq sauce, gluten free sauce recipe, refined sugar free, smoky bbq sauce, smoky bbq sauce recipe, vegan bbq sauce, vegan sauces
smokey bbq sauce recipe

Let me know if you give these a try by rating them below and sharing on instagram. Tag me @the_hungry_herbivore

Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Xoxo Amy

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