Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce

It’s hard to find a sweetener-free BBQ sauce in the sugar-obsessed world out there. Don’t despair! You won’t even miss the sweetener in this smoky & flavorful BBQ sauce. Slather this sauce on those slabs of plant protein and grill it up! Alternatively you can pan fry or bake your protein in the oven.

Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce

  • Servings: Makes Roughly 2 Cups
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This recipe counts as a condiment. Treat it as you would any other fat-free sauce or condiment, allow about 2 oz. If you go over 2 oz, include it in your veggie serving.


  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 or 1 chipotle pepper depending on heat preference (you can find these canned in most grocery stores. It is often canned in adobo sauce which usually has a little sugar in it, but I don’t worry about it. You can freeze the remaining peppers in a ziplock. These provide a much smokier flavor than jalapeños, but if you can’t find them 1 roasted jalapeño will work too)
  • 3 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (or 1 tsp onion powder)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and pepper (smoked varieties are great for this)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I use Annie’s brand, it’s vegan and sweeteners are relatively low on the ingredients list)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 3/4 cup organic veggie broth or water (or more to thin)


  • Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes in a small pot.
  • Store in the fridge for a week, or as long as you would store an open can of tomato sauce.

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  1. Tried the BBQ sauce tonight and loved it! I was out of liquid smoke and only had one jalapeño but it was still delicious. The flavor is complex and has a lovely tomato tang. Plan on a good half hour to make it, as it was a bit time-consuming (lots of ingredients and quite a bit of mincing), but it’s well worth the time.

    • Thanks for trying it out, I’ve tinkered with this recipe a little since you made it, I cut all the time consuming steps out and it’s pretty easy now, just throw everything into a blender! I replaced the jalapeño with a canned chipotle pepper which has a smokier flavor, and reduced the tomato paste. Last time I made it a whole 6 oz can felt like way too much.

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  5. Does this tomato sauce count as a condiment or marinara sauce??? Like 2 oz/meal???

  6. I found a recipe that uses fresh pineapple for the sweetener – I was amazed how it added that little bit of sweetness. It was 20 ozs of pineapple and the sauce made 5 cups. Still figuring out how much of that constituted of my fruit allowance.

    Can’t wait to try your recipe next.

  7. I’m definitely going to try this! I’ve been looking in every grocery store I visit and have yet to find a sugar free BBQ sauce in SE portland (or costco)! Where do you get it?

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