Homemade BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce has always been one of my summer staple condiments but, more often than not, is made with high fructose corn syrup. It was about time I tried making my own homemade from scratch to avoid it and eliminate excessive added sugar.

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Condiments like bbq and even ketchup and cocktail sauce that massively consumed in summer are almost always made with HFCS when served in a restaurant unless publicly stated. After trying a few store bought versions without HFCS, I decided to try making my own bbq sauce based off a recipe I found online since I had most of the ingredients. The end product was a smashing success with fewer calories and grams of sugar than any version you can buy at a store.

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It doesn’t look syrupy because there is no sugar in the recipe. I added 1 teaspoon of Truvia natural sweetener and that was all it needed. Every gram of sugar in the recipe occurs naturally. Trust me when I say this is one of the best tasting bbq sauces I’ve tried.

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It is also a perfect hostess gift delivered in a cute mason jar for a summer bbq. This recipe makes 2 cups worth, almost exactly the size of the jar I used to photograph the sauce in. The color is closer to a maroon in real life than it appears in the photo due to the lighting.

Best Homemade BBQ Sauce (No Sugar Added)

Adapted from A Real Food Lover. Makes 2 cups, Takes 20 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken/beef)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of Truvia natural sweetener

Heat coconut oil in a sauce pan on medium. Add in the onion until it is translucent and starts to brown a little bit. Next, add in the remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly. Simmer on medium/low for about 20 minutes or until the sauce has reached your desired thick consistency. Use as is or let cool. Store in a mason jar for up to a week for freshness! Feel free to run through a food processor or high powered blender for a smoother consistency. I chose to leave it as is but feel free to give it a whirl.

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I’m planning to make pulled bbq chicken in my slow cooker tonight because I do not have a grill and do not want to turn on my oven since it is 90F out! On top of a salad with some avocado and fresh corn, it is a perfect summer dinner.

You know to avoid buying it at the grocery store, but I am curious, have you stopped eating ketchup at restaurants because you know it has HFCS? I think I may start but I know my hangover omelette will never taste the same 🙁

Disclosure: I am a member of the Truvia Kitchen Cabinet. While I receive compensation for my participation, all opinions express are my own. This recipe really is one of the best bbq sauces I have tried. 

Best Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe – No Sugar Added

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  • Krystina

    Have you tried Tessemae’s products? They have amazing salad dressings, ketchup, and bbq sauce that are all natural and have no added sugar. The ketchup and bbq sauce are sweetened with dates! I have no affiliation with them…I’m just obsessed with everything they make! 🙂

  • Karleen

    I think small amounts of HFCS aren’t harmful so I wouldn’t avoid ketchup altogether. What I do LOVE is the Trader Joe’s Organic Ketchup. You can definitely taste the difference when there is no HFCS or ‘fillers’ involved. So good! But unless you eat tons of ketchup (at least I don’t) then I wouldn’t worry about avoiding it all at once.

    P.S. Thanks for the bbq sauce recipe!

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