Homemade Barbecue Sauce Recipe

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This homemade barbecue sauce is a great replacement for the sugar-filled stuff you get at the store.

A lot of you have asked me for this but I put it off for a while because frankly, I buy my barbecue sauce. It’s clean, and I love it. But I also understand that many of you may not have access to buying clean barbecue sauce. So I relented and whipped this up for dinner the other night.

Clean Eating Barbecue Sauce shown in three white spoons lined up on a table. The sauce is a rich, reddish-brown color.

My ex husband loved it, Mini Chef refused to even try it (he’s was going through a phase), I enjoyed it but wish I had put it on the chicken while it was still on the grill. I just schmeared it on after the chicken was done, and that was not such a hot idea. In fact, next time, I think I’ll marinate the chicken in the sauce first before barbecuing it because The flavors never got a chance to really get into the chicken. But it was good! We even dipped polenta squares into it. Yum! And needless to say, I think it will be a while before I buy barbecue sauce again. this was just too easy and too yummy.


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Clean Eating Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Need a healthier barbecue sauce? Look no further! This clean eating barbecue sauce is delicious as a marinade or brushed on at the grill.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 13 servings
Calories: 138kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 15 oz. canned tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce OR coconut aminos
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


  • Combine all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and mix well using a whisk.
  • Use as you would any other bbq sauce!


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 5.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.8mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 6/19/11.

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  1. Enjoyed the BBQ until the next day, my family didn’t like the consistency. The sauce didn’t stay smooth, does anyone have a suggestion to keeping it smooth and also from separating??

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – Heat it up again and add some olive oil. That should smooth it out pretty well.

  2. I have to say, I have a son who is allergic to apple & “natural smoke flavor” & this is the FIRST BBQ sauce recipe I’ve found that doesn’t have either! I had given up on a safe BBQ sauce, because when I’ve tried just omitting the liquid smoke, it never actually tasted like BBQ sauce. I’ll definitely be trying this! Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Keira – Awesome!! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  3. Larry Sakun says:

    I have a BBQ recipe that calls for 4 C. brown sugar, I understand if you use molasses, the sauce will be thicker….

    How muck molasses should I use??????

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Larry – I had to look this one up. What I found was this: 1 cup Molasses. = 3/4 cup Brown Sugar (firmly packed) But I’m not sure if that much molasses is a good idea. I would maybe mix in a bit of real maple syrup to offset it a bit. Otherwise the flavor could be a little off.

  4. Leanne Dolan says:

    By unsoldered molasses, do you mean unsulphured? Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Leanne – Yes! Thank you for letting me know. It’s been fixed. 🙂

  5. What kind of oil do you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Holly – Any type you usually use. I’ve used olive, grapeseed… even coconut oil. Whatever you have handy is fine.

  6. Brandi Davis says:

    Is there a substitute for molasses for this recipe?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brandi – You can use any sweetener you like. The flavor will be different, but it should still work.

  7. What is the serving size used?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jessica – Sorry for the delayed response. I’m going to remake it tomorrow to make sure I give you an accurate answer. Sorry for the wait…

    2. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Okay, I updated the information. Hope that helps!

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