Just like a good egg-free, oil-free mayonnaise, when it comes to finding a healthy, whole food plant-based Vegan Barbecue Sauce, we’re often left to make our own.
So I tasked myself with creating a whole food plant-based vegan barbecue sauce with fewer than eight ingredients. (I’m talking basic ingredients you’re likely to keep on hand and use on a regular basis.) Here it is: an easy + homemade WFPB / Vegan Barbecue Sauce!
Why I Created this Easy + Homemade WFPB / Vegan Barbecue Sauce
When I was researching whole food plant-based barbecue sauce recipes, most of them called for A LOT of ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Sometimes you need a spoonful of this and a pinch of that to develop truly amazing flavors.
On the other hand, when I’m already busy making full meal, I might not always want to put quite that much effort into a condiment.
And the ‘easy’ homemade vegan BBQ sauce recipes I found? Many of those started with ketchup. Not really homemade in my book, plus ketchup usually includes refined sugars.
Why is it So Hard to Find a WFPB / Vegan Barbecue Sauce at the Store?
The challenge in finding a vegan barbeque sauce is that BBQ sauce often includes ingredients like Worcestershire sauce (which contains anchovy paste) and honey. Strictly speaking, honey is an animal product and therefore not vegan.
Of course there are more vegan products on the shelves than ever these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re whole food plant-based. Aside from added oils, the biggest culprit in store-bought vegan barbecue sauces is refined sugars. (For example Annie’s is vegan and pretty healthy, but it’s sweetened with cane sugar.)
So back to my original point: we’re probably better off making our own.
How to Make a Whole Food Plant-Based / Vegan Barbecue Sauce
The great news is, when we make our own barbecue sauce, we control not only the source of the sugar, but the amount. This recipe calls for maple syrup because it’s WFPB compliant and easy to whisk into the sauce. But if you prefer, you could always substitute a Medjool date or two and process your sauce in a blender or food processor.
And of course, we don’t add any oils.
Is this wfpb / vegan barbecue sauce super-complex in its flavor profile? Um, no. But it’s a tasty and healthy BASIC recipe you can whip up in minutes–with a handful of pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand. How great is that?!
Store for 5-7 days in the fridge or freeze the leftovers.
If you like this whole food plant-based recipe, you might also like:
- Sweet & Spicy Grilled Eggplant
- Vegan Oil Free Mayonnaise – 4 Ways
- Vegan Easy Cheezy Sauce
- Easy Vegan Oil Free Pesto
- Vegan Cheddar Sauce
- Vegan Parmesan
- Almond Ricotta
Vegan Barbecue Sauce - Easy & Homemade
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or sub 1-2 Medjool dates-see notes)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Optional: pinch or two of cayenne for heat
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together.