Sweet and Spicy Vegan Barbecue Sauce takes less than five minutes to make and tastes even better than store bought! It’s perfect for grilling, marinating, and dipping with your favorite vegan dishes.
I’ve always had a thing for making homemade sauces. Back in middle school, I sat down at my computer and wrote out a very long word document (like, over 10 pages) on all of the condiments I could make on my own. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, hummus, chocolate sauce… etc. etc. I had a grand idea about making a cookbook full of sauces, but that has not yet come to fruition.
What has come to fruition is this sweet and spicy vegan barbecue sauce! Inspired by my favorite Georgia barbecue sauces, this sauce packs a punch sweet, tangy punch!
How do you make homemade vegan barbecue sauce?
Barbecue sauce comes in many different shapes and sizes. Vinegar based, yellow mustard mustard based, tomato sugar based, you name it: BBQ sauce is a Southern staple that changes flavors depending on the region.
Many barbecue sauce recipes call for Worcestershire sauce, which is neither vegan nor vegetarian, as it contains anchovies. I found that the store brand Worcestershire sauce (in this case, I was at Kroger) is naturally vegan because it doesn’t have anchovies. Check the ingredients list on the back of the bottle to confirm vegan and vegetarian-ness.
Georgia barbecue sauce traditionally has a vinegar, ketchup, and mustard base; this is a combination of different regional bbq styles. That being said, small differences are made from sauce to sauce. This barbecue sauce leans Georgia, because of its sweet brown sugar and ketchup base. I threw a little yellow mustard and hot sauce in it for an extra kick, because barbecue should be about adding your own flare!
To make this sweet & spicy vegan barbecue sauce, you just need a few common pantry ingredients:
- Brown sugar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Hot sauce
- Spicy brown mustard
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder and onion powder
Mix together the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then take down to a simmer. Cook until it is reduced to a thick sauce. You can store the sauce in the fridge for up to a week, or use right away in your favorite vegan barbecue recipe!
Want to learn a bit more about the history of barbecue sauce?
- Learn about The Secret History of Barbecue over at the Southern Foodways Alliance. They also have many, many resources on barbecue in general (not vegetarian, and definitely not vegan).
- Here is a very in-depth resource on the history of barbecue sauce. Again, not vegetarian or vegan, but full of great information.
Georgia inspired barbecue sauce with a sweet ketchup and brown sugar base and spicy hot sauce kick.
- 1 and 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Stir together all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the saucepan sides with a spatula as needed, until sugar is melted and sauce has thickened. Taste for salt and spice. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.