Sweet, smoky, and tangy, this is the only gluten-free BBQ sauce recipe you need! Use it to baste chicken, pork, and ribs, or add it to your burgers and sandwiches. It will take your grilling to the next level!

If you’re looking for the BEST gluten-free BBQ sauce around, you’re in the right place. Check out this post for all the tips and tricks to make a delicious homemade sauce for all your BBQ dishes!

Gluten-free BBQ sauce in a glass jar, with a spoon next to it

When it comes to cooking, homemade is almost always better. And this gluten-free barbecue sauce is no exception!

While BBQ sauce from the grocery store can be a little one-note, overly sweet, or contain gluten, this BBQ sauce is complex, flavorful, and the ideal balance of spices. To me this is the perfect homemade BBQ sauce with a distinct flavor and natural hickory smoke taste.

Trust me, once you make this homemade sauce, you’ll be reaching for it constantly. Whether you’re making barbecue chicken or pork, assembling the perfect burger, or dipping French fries or sweet potato fries, this BBQ sauce is the best topping.

Jump to:

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Ready in less than 30 minutes
  • Sweet and smoky
  • Rich and tangy
  • Easy to make
  • Freezes well
  • Can be used in many different ways

You can use this gluten-free bbq sauce is many of my favorite recipes like instant pot bbq chicken and gluten-free sloppy joes. I also love using it to make BBQ chicken pizza on this gluten-free pizza crust recipe!

Ingredients You’ll Need

These key ingredients make for the best BBQ sauce!

Gluten-free BBQ sauce ingredients on a countertop
  • Tomato sauce and ketchup: Tomato ketchup and sauce provide the base for this BBQ sauce. You could also use a thinned-down tomato paste, if you don’t have tomato sauce.
  • Red wine vinegar: A little bit of vinegar is an important ingredient for adding acidity and brightness to the sauce. You could also use apple cider vinegar!
  • Brown sugar and molasses: Brown sugar is key for sweetening the sauce and adding a layer of rich, molasses flavor. I like to add more molasses to intensify the flavor!
  • Butter: Butter is one of the unique ingredients that add richness and set this BBQ sauce apart as the absolute BEST!
  • Liquid smoke: Every great BBQ sauce has a dash of smoky flavor, and this ingredient helps achieve that!
  • Spices: Garlic, onion, and chili powder are a winning trio for this sauce. I also love the unique touch of celery seed and cinnamon—it adds a sweet and savory flavor, and will leave everyone wondering what makes the sauce so delicious.

For more gluten-free sauce recipes, check out this gluten-free teriyaki sauce, gluten-free stir-fry sauce, tiger sauce and gluten-free enchilada sauce. I also love this gluten-free alfredo sauce and gluten-free spaghetti sauce for pasta!

How to Make Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce

Gluten-free BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan, ready to be mixed

For this gluten-free BBQ sauce recipe, add all the ingredients to a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are combined. 

Gluten-free BBQ sauce in a saucepan, mixed

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes, until it has a caramel color. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Thin the sauce with a little water if needed.

Storage Instructions

Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This sauce also freezes well!

A hand basting a piece of chicken with gluten-free BBQ sauce

FAQs

Are BBQ sauces gluten-free?

Sometimes BBQ sauces are gluten free, but sometimes they’re not. It’s best to check the ingredients label grocery stores to find out of the sauce contains any thickeners like malt vinegar, which have gluten.

Is Sweet Baby Ray’s gluten-free?

Yes, most of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbeque sauce flavors are gluten-free and safe for those with Celiac disease, as listed on their website and package labels. If they’re not, you’ll see the gluten ingredients (like wheat) listed on the ingredient statement on the back of the bottle.

Is Chick-fil-A BBQ sauce gluten-free?

Yes, Chick-fil-A lists its BBQ sauce and Honey Roasted BBQ sauce as gluten-free on its website.

You also might like this post on chick-fil-a gluten free options.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Love spicy sauces? Feel free to add more cayenne pepper and black pepper to this BBQ sauce!
  • You can make this BBQ sauce as thick or thin as you’d like. You might prefer a thinner sauce for marinades or baked beans, and a thicker sauce for basting onto chicken wings, ribs, and burgers while on the grill.
  • Freeze this BBQ sauce in an ice cube tray and then thaw individual cubes for easy meal prep!
Gluten-free BBQ sauce spread over chicken on a baking sheet

More Gluten-Free Recipes

I hope you love this homemade gluten free BBQ sauce as much as we do! If you try this BBQ sauce, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you!

A close-up of chicken being basted with BBQ sauce
5 from 5 votes

Gluten-Free BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 5 servings
Sweet, smoky, and tangy, this is the only gluten-free BBQ sauce recipe you need! Use it to baste chicken, pork, and ribs, or add it to your burgers and sandwiches. It will take your grilling to the next level!

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke I use hickory flavored

For the Spices:

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are combined.
  • Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer, and for thinner, less time is needed. Thin the sauce with a little water if needed.

Notes

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This sauce also freezes well! Freeze this BBQ sauce in an ice cube tray and then thaw individual cubes for easy meal prep!
RECIPE NOTES
  • Love spicy sauces? Feel free to add more cayenne pepper and black pepper to this BBQ sauce!
  • You can make this sauce as thick or thin as you’d like. You might prefer a thinner sauce for marinades or baked beans, and a thicker sauce for basting onto chicken wings, ribs, and burgers while on the grill.

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 1880mg | Potassium: 1168mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 103g | Vitamin A: 1201IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 4mg

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Such a yummy homemade barbecue sauce! Don’t skip the molasses or the liquid smoke, they add such a nice rich flavor to the bbq sauce.

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