Recipe: Truly Homemade BBQ Sauce

I'm originally from Kansas City, so I've had a few really good barbeque sauces. The reason I now make my own is not because I was trying to outdo any of them, but because I am frustrated at the ingredients they contain. High fructose corn syrup and MSG (often in the form of liquid smoke) are the two biggest offenders. Even clean sauces contain white and/or brown sugar, which are just not a part of my vocabulary anymore. Most "homemade" barbeque sauce recipes on the internet start with ketchup. That's just more high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar! So, I started from the beginning. This truly homemade barbeque sauce is made with no ketchup, no refined sugar, and nothing artificial.

¼ c. coconut oil
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño
3 TBS. brown mustard seeds
32 oz. tomato sauce
¼ c. apple cider vinegar
¼ c. coconut aminos, liquid aminos, or soy sauce
½ c. honey
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt

Chop the onion and sweat it out in a large pot with the coconut oil until it turns clear. Chop the garlic and jalapeño, add it to the pot with the brown mustard seeds, and cook for another minute.

Dump in the tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, and honey. Use plain tomato sauce with nothing added; if you need to use crushed or diced tomatoes that is fine because they'll get pureed anyway. Coconut aminos are a soy-free version of soy sauce made from coconut; if you can't find them use liquid aminos (they are also soy-free), or just use soy sauce.

Cook the sauce on high for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Use an immersion blender to puree completely, or transfer to a blender in small batches. Simmer the pureed sauce for another 10 minutes or so, until it reaches a consistency you like.

This recipe makes about one quart of barbeque sauce. Store whatever you won't use in about a week in the freezer. It defrosts well.

Tips: Skip the jalapeño if you don't like them. If you simmer the sauce too long and it becomes too thick, just add a little water back in. No big deal.

This is the first thing I used my barbeque sauce for: BBQ Beef Biscuits.

Printable: Truly Homemade BBQ Sauce


  1. I did a double take then as it said no tomato ketchup but then you added tomato sauce. lol What you call ketchup, we here in Australia call tomato sauce :D
    Your recipe looks fantastic but the only thing I'd change would be the soy sauce to a properly fermented soy sauce or the alternatives you suggested. :)

    1. Out of curiosity? If ketchup is tomato sauce, then what do you call tomato sauce?

  2. How long can you freeze the sauce?

  3. Followed the recipe. Used it in a crock pot instead of the store bought bbq sauce with all natural pork ribs. Low heat, 6 hours later. Amazing

  4. Cristina, I have to tell you this BBQ sauce is fantastic! I always shuddered at the amount of ketchup required in most recipes. Strike ketchup OFF of my grocery list for until the end of time! I plan to make double batches of this delicious sauce and freeze it in containers for use anytime! Thank you for caring enough to search out the absolute best ingredients so we can toss the worst ingredients from our table!


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