Bring-The-Party-In-Your-BBQ-Sauce Sauce (GF + Vegan!)

One idea that several of you mentioned in the other day’s post confirmed what I had been thinking for the past week or two: barbecue sauce. It is vital for summer fun times. You really do need this tangy condiment for summer shindigs. And, you know…for every day deliciousness. Indeed, the key to our having real meals daily is largely just having appealing sauces and condiments on hand to anchor whatever we happen to throw together. I like to make a few dressings/dips at the beginning of the week so that we don’t “run dry,” either in our ideas, or our resources.We don’t buy condiments like these anymore, which is liberating, and tasty. Making your own food is awesome. This is especially true when one considers what most storebought barbecue sauces have in their ingredient lists — take a glance next time. You might get diabetes just from reading it. (I warned you.) And beyond the HFCS and preservative junkiness, there also tends to be an abundance of gluten. Really? Since when do we need wheat flour and Red 40 to make barbecue sauce? Oy. In the words of my paternal grandmother, “Ay mi! This is why we can’t have nice things!” True that. True. That.

I heart this homemade barbecue sauce because it is so delightfully versatile (as I hope to show you in the coming days). And even though my recipe is a bit longer than usual, seriously do not let that deter you. This sauce is rockin’, and totally simple. I see no reason why it couldn’t also all be dumped into a crockpot and left to do its will. Or my will, rather.

As you can see, I slathered some of this BBQ sauce on our portobello burgers last night. Add a little Daiya or organic cheese. Brace yourself for the win. It was Summer Lovin’ at first bite. <3

1 large can of tomato sauce (29 oz size)
1/2 small can of tomato paste (6 oz size)
1/4 C + 1 Tb apple cider vinegar
1/4 C agave (or honey)
1/4 C non-HFCS ketchup (I used agave-sweetened)
1 Tb onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp molasses
1 tsp paprika
1-2 tsp liquid smoke

1) In a large pot/saucepan, over low heat, add all wet ingredients, except for molasses. Whisk in dry ingredients.
2) Turn heat to medium-low, and stir to keep from making a mess on your ceiling. Increase heat to medium.
3) Keep stirring occasionally, to prevent bottom from scorching. This concentrates and thickens the sauce.
4) Once sauce has thickened to your liking (I made the rest of the meal during this time, ~30-45 min), add molasses.
5) Turn heat to low and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. (You can also turn the burner off, but keep the pan on it.) Use immediately OR:
6) Remove from heat and pour into a clean jar. Keeps in the refrigerator for at least 1 week, but I’d keep mine much longer, if it wouldn’t be eaten so quickly…

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What really “makes” this sauce is the liquid smoke and molasses, so even though I never have those two items on hand, I went ahead and got some (or, in the case of the molasses, used my mom’s still-half-full jar from the early ’90s) for the occasion. It is very much worth it.

The first time I made my own BBQ sauce, I stored it in a mason jar and put a label on that said, “BBBQ Sauce.” I think this illustrates why I like to call this the, “Bring-The-Party-In-Your-BBQ-Sauce Sauce.” Party on friends. Party on.

(If you don’t know that episode/find that funny, I’m sorry. Tell me something else that’s chortle-worthy, and imagine I placed it here instead. Deal. We can still be friends. xoxo)

How do you like your BBQ sauce?

Do you use it on/in anything weird?

Part of Pennywise Platter Thursday.

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It