Quick, Homemade BBQ Sauce

Posted by on September 2, 2010 | 11 Comments

Don’t forget about the new FREE eCookbook with 125 healthy recipes for kid and adult palates alike!

Wow, I am very proud to say that Smart School Time Recipes was downloaded by over 6000 viewers yesterday! It seems to be on track for thousands of additional downloads today and hopefully in the future. Please help to spread the word of feeding ourselves and our kids with whole foods (rather than over-processed packages of Franken-foods) by emailing, sharing, and tweeting about this new Free eCookbook. You can send them to this link – http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/2010/09/01/free-school-time-recipes/. Change through recipes and food ideas; that’s my motto.

I was actually going to post my version of one of the recipes in that eCookbook today, but I realized we are coming upon a major barbecue weekend. A northern hemisphere going away party for the summer if you will. So I’m saving the Smart School Time recipe for next week, and sharing my new go-to homemade BBQ sauce today.

All summer long, my husband and I scoured our local stores for good, natural barbecue sauce. I kid you not, we found only one brand that didn’t have high fructose corn syrup (and usually in the first three ingredients no less!); it was Annie’s. I love Annie’s Homegrown. They are a great little natural food company – but, I’m sorry, their barbecue sauce is the pits. It’s a spiced up tomato-y concoction with flavors that completely do not meld. I definitely do not recommend.

So when I reviewed American Vegan Kitchen and saw the Chipotle BBQ Portobello recipe with homemade barbecue sauce, I thought, “Why not? What have I got to lose?” It is awesome.

homemade chipotle bbq sauce

Tamasin’s version is way, way, WAY too hot for our taste buds, so I have toned my version down a lot. It does use ketchup as a base, but you can use Hunt’s (for the super bargain bbq sauce – this stuff is cheap and no longer contains high fructose corn syrup) or a good quality agave-sweetened brand like Organicville.

I’ve included two versions below: an instant non-fat version (we use this when the sauce will be simmering in a crockpot anyway) or the slightly richer simmered version (still takes just 15 minutes and is low in fat).

Chipotle BBQ Sauce – Almost Original Recipe

The following recipes are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free – but be sure to check the label of the ketchup and worcestershire carefully for ingredient concerns. These are adapted from American Vegan Kitchen.

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Minced Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons (up to 1 tablespoon) Minced Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce* (omit if you just want a gentle spice)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and saute for a few minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and saute for just a minute more. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Check in to stir occasionally. If it gets too thick, feel free to add a little water. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. 

Chipotle BBQ Sauce – In an Instant

  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced or 1/8 to 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 2/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons (up to 1 tablespoon) Minced Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce* (omit if you just want a gentle spice)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Simply stir or blend all ingredients together. For best flavor, add to a dish that is still cooking or in the crockpot to help the flavors meld. But in a pinch, you can use it as is. In that case, adjust seasonings to taste.

*I de-seed the chipotles as much as possible (yes, it’s a little messy, but those seeds can be toooo spicy), and then puree the chipotles in adobo to make it ready-to-use and easy-to-measure. It can be stored this way for a little while in the fridge or freezer.

Both recipes make about 1 cup

homemade chipotle bbq sauce


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Comments (11)


  1. lindsay says:

    great recipe. I love chipotle ANYTHING. I wonder if you could make an tangy BBQ sauce with apple or pineapple.

  2. 6,000 times!!!!! WOW!! What a success!!!

    I love this recipe!! I am always reluctant to buy bbq sauce, can never trust the ingredients..if I control it, I feel much better…just never tried…now I can!! My hubby LOVES BBQ sauce…thanks, Alisa!!

  3. I’ve been searching for tried and true BBQ sauce recipes and this looks simple and sound yummy! I might even omit the chipotle, lol.


  4. Katie says:

    Oooh, I love me some BBQ sauce. I actually just posted a couple BBQ sauce recipes myself, but I have to say, these look better than mine. Bookmarked for when I get home. Actually, I might have to make these and bring them with me to the lake tomorrow!

  5. That is great news on the book! Hopefully that means more people will be making real food for their families! The BBQ sauce looks delicious!

  6. An excellent chipotle BBQ! A must try for sure!

  7. Tina says:

    How awesome for the ebook! That’s to be expected with a bunch of healthy, family friendly recipes. Great stuff!

  8. Congratulations to you and everybody who contributed to create this awesome cookbook! That’s amazing! I’m sure it will be downloaded thousands and thousands of times more!

    Your BBQ sauce looks so thick and perfect! I have recently fallen in love with BBQ sauce after years of finding them all too sweet or too smokey or to tangy or too something. Picky! Homemade is definitely the way to go, thank you for sharing the recipes! 🙂

  9. Diane says:

    Someone else that uses Blackstrap Molasses! Amazing. It’s getting hard to even find now that the grocery stores are cutting back on their offerings.
    Anyway, I used to have the worlds’ best Ginger Snap recipe that called for old fashioned Blackstrap Molasses but my Ex got that cookbook in the divorce. I KNOW, huge mistake. Can’t find a similar one anywhere. They need to snap, both in spicy goodness and in crunchiness. You wouldn’t happen to have one, would you?

  10. BB says:

    Made this sauce and it is truly awesome! I will NEVER buy bbq sauce again! The chipotle really makes it perfectly spicy!

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