Vegan Homemade, No Added Sugar BBQ Sauce Recipe

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot about jackfruit and how it has the same consistency as pulled meat. Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy a BBQ Jackfruit Burrito at Club Mexicana and knew I had to recreate this BBQ “meat” at home.



I don’t like to buy sauces in jars from supermarkets, as I often find they add a lot of unnecessary ingredients – sugar for example – so I decided to make my own BBQ sauce. I have used fresh pineapple to give my vegan sauce a sweet kick. If my recipe isn’t quite sweet enough for you, add some maple syrup, it’ll also give it a nice smoky flavour.



This recipe will give you about 1 litre of BBQ sauce. Yes, I know that seems like a lot, but I think it’s best to cook these things in bulk – I knew I’d find a use for all those empty jars I horded! I’m keeping a couple in the fridge to start, but will probably pop some in the freezer for use at a later date too.


Here’s what you’ll need:


1x red onion, diced

2x red chillies, deseeded and diced

3x garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1x thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1/2x pineapple, skin removed, finely diced (you can also use tinned pineapple if you prefer)


4x tbsp smoked paprika

2x tbsp ground cayenne pepper

1x tsp ground cinnamon


1x 400ml tin of passata

1x 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes

2x tbsp tomato puree

1/2x cup white wine vinegar

1/2x cup balsamic vinegar

2x tbsp low sodium soy sauce (tamari if gluten free)
1x tbsp Dijon mustard


1x generous pinch each of pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


2x tbsp 100% maple syrup (optional, if you have a sweet tooth. I left it out)


Coconut oil for the initial frying



And how you do it:


1.       Heat about 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat – I used a Le Creuset style cast iron stockpot, you’ll need something fairly big if, like me, you’re making a big batch – and fry the red onion, red chillies, garlic cloves, ginger and pineapple

2.       Once everything has start to brown nicely, add the dry spices – smoked paprika and cayenne pepper, stirring to combine

3.       Next add all the wet ingredients – passata, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and Dijon mustard, leaving to simmer for about 30 mins

4.       Remove from the heat, season with pink Himalayan salt and ground black pepper, and blend using a hand bender. At this point, taste your sauce and make any flavour adjustments you feel necessary – adding maple syrup for a sweeter flavour for example. If your sauce is still a little thin or runny, put back on the heat to simmer and reduce down further. You’re aiming for quite a thick, gloopy consistency

5.       Et Voila – Homemade, Vegan, No Added Sugar BBQ Sauce



I kept some in a saucepan as intended and made pulled BBQ jackfruit, then decanted the rest in to those handy jars I knew would were worth keeping, refrigerating for use later in the week – I have BBQ “not dogs” with caramelised red onions in mind…



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Roxanne | The Lemon And Jar says:

    I love the idea of a home-made BBQ sauce! 🙂 Like you, I am apprehensive about store-bought! How was it taste-wise compared to regular BBQ sauce?



    1. isitveganuk says:

      I’ll be honest Roxanne, it’s not as sweet as store bought BBQ sauces, but I actually prefer it this way. When you see the main ingredient in most supermarket or big brand BBQ sauces is actually sugar, a healthier, homemade version is never going to be as sweet. For me that is a good thing – I’m currently trying to tame my sweet tooth! Depending on your preference you can play around with the spices too, creating a more sweet or tangy flavour. And as long as your main source of sweetness is fruit and not refined sugars, you’ll get the sweet hit, with all the added nutitional benefits of the fruit too.


      1. Roxanne | The Lemon And Jar says:

        No need to tell me twice! As a soon-to-be nutritionist/dietitian, I’m on your side!!! I’m so curious to try this! Thank you for the recipe!


      2. isitveganuk says:

        You’re wecome Roxanne! Let me know how you get on and what amendments you make for your flavour preference? Great profession by the way; I’d love to study nutrition more 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bscartabello says:

    My boyfriend just made me some vegan BBQ sauce over the weekend – I need to try this recipe next, for sure! Sounds great.


    1. isitveganuk says:

      Ah many thanks! Let me know what you think. I’ve just had some leftover BBQ jackfruit for lunch… spicy after it’s flavour has deepened over night – YUM!


      1. bscartabello says:

        I am drooling just thinking of that. LOL


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