Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Ali Segersten Jun 17, 2009 20 comments
How to Make homemade Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Just in time for summer BBQs comes an easy recipe for homemade barbecue sauce! It is sweet and tangy with a nice kick from the chipotle chili powder. I don't shop around much for barbecue sauce and therefore am not on the up-and-up with ingredients and allergens commonly found in sauces. Many barbecue sauces contain soy sauce or tamari and, therefore, potentially wheat as well. Barbecue sauces are often also hidden sources for refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup, and some contain other types of processed ingredients that most of us would like to avoid.

Here I use a combination of organic strained tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and olive oil. Along with a bit of onions, garlic, and chipotle chili powder. This sauce is very tasty and easy to make! If you have an electric pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot, I would suggest using it. The flavors meld together more using this cooking method. 

Use this naturally sweetened homemade barbecue sauce to marinate chicken, fish, tofu, or tempeh (if you tolerate soy). It can also be used to top cooked beans or whole grains. If you have any ideas on how you like to use barbecue sauce then let me know!


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

See More

Nourishing Meals Newsletter

Email updates.

Add Comment


This sauce was delicious! Thank you!

I am not a fan of typical bottled bbq sauces. I made this sauce and I was suprised at how simple it was to make and how absolutely delicious it is!

Thank you for sharing!

Wow, this is just about what I was looking at using for mine! - Tomato paste from Muir Glenn is BPA free. I will add some mustard to the mix, cumin, oregano, basil, garlic powder,to flavor (thanks for the smoked paprika hint!!)

I tried to fix the Kraft crap we had and it was hard to stop eating that (GMO corn syrup as main ingredient!)Can't wait to try this fresh.

I eat different than the rest of my family, I'm looking forward to trying this as the sauce in my Veggie Bowls, to have a new taste. (veggie bowls are just brown rice or quinoa with sauted veggies and a sauce) I think I'll use southwestern type veggies,onions, tomatoes, peppers,.... to go with this sauce. I know it's going to be good.

Hi Ali I love your blog and have your book and every recipe has been delicious. Do you know how long this would keep in the fridge once prepared? thanks. Jen

dear ali & tom,

today i made the bbq sauce, just added a hint of vanilla and i absolutely adore this recipe! thank you so much for this blog, i am looking forward to getting you book!

best regards from germany


Susan - Since I am not an expert canner by any means I don't feel I can answer your question. Freezing is always an option. :)

Could this sauce be preserved in Mason jars? I'd like to make a big batch of it and store it in the pantry for whenever we need it. Or does it have to be kept in the fridge?

L - Thanks for your comment, hope you enjoy the sauce! :)

Lisa - Thanks, glad your dinner was such a hit! I bet this would be good as a dipping sauce, I don't know why I didn't think of that before! I am glad you shared this with us! :)

-Ali :)

Tom and Ali,

We made this sauce for dinner tonight and used it as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets. I used your nugget recipe in the cookbook but changed it up a bit with the suggestions you gave in the breading blog post. I didn't add the smoked paprika, never used that before. I served them with steamed broccoli and your gluten-free biscuits. It was a great meal thanks to you!
I just kept my laptop open on the counter with your recipe up, though I may print this out now and slip it into the cookbook.
Thanks! Lisa in NY

I am so, so excited for this recipe! I just copied and pasted it into a word doc and am printing it now. I can already see that it is a good recipe. Need to go to the store today to pick up ingredients.

Smoked paprika is one of my most adored spices. It adds a layer of smoky flavors without the use of liquid smoke. I think you are right on to add it in addition to the chipotle.

Thanks for the recipes, I am enjoying opening my email and finding them!

Reginald - Enjoy the sauce!

Ella's Mom - What a great idea you had to freeze the sauce in ice cube trays. It would be so easy to pop a few cubes out in the morning and toss with whatever you want to marinate. Great idea, thanks for sharing!

Deb - Gee thanks; hope you all have a fantastic Father's day!

Joyce - I hope your BBQ sauce-loving husband like this one! I found the flavor was even better the second day - so you may want to make this on Saturday to use for Sunday. Let me know what he thinks. :)

-Ali :)

Dear Ali,

My husband has about 5 different brands of BBQ sauce in the fridge right now. I call him a BBQ sauce connoisseur! Maybe I will make your sauce for Father's day and surprise him with a new variety. I'll let you know how it goes over.

We love BBQ sauce in the summer on grilled chicken breasts, this looks great - Father's day will be a feast of your latest recipes! Yumm!! Can't wait to try them all!!

I wonder, could you freeze this like baby food, in ice cube trays? Then you could drop a few cubes in a container with whatever you want to marinate, let it thaw, and voila! Done!

As a native son of the south, I love my BBQ sauces. :)

And I especially like discovering different sauce recipes.

Can't wait to try this one.

ForTheLoveofFood - I bet this sauce would be good on chicken breasts; you could probably marinate them for hours in the sauce before grilling. Happy Cooking! :)

Shirley - I think freezing the sauce is a great idea. I thought I might do that with some of ours, but Tom has been putting it over everything and so I don't think it will last long here (tonight he drizzled some of it over mung beans, quinoa, and greens from our garden - I know it sounds interesting - don't ask). :)

CoconutGal - Hmm, I think I would just omit the molasses and add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup. This recipe is so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy it! Thanks.

-Ali :)

Ali!! Wow! I cannot WAIT to try this :-)
I love condiments but usually (ok, never) eat them because they are full of junk. This sounds soo yumm!
Any ideas for what I could replace the blackstrap molasses with? I would love to use it-- but since it's from cane sugar, and I am allergic to that, I can't.
Hope you are well! Thanks for the new recipe, I am printing this one :)

That looks awesome, Ali! I love all the ingredients ... blackstrap molasses is an especially good one! I think I'd keep a small amount in the refrigerator and freeze the rest (or maybe divide it into a couple of small jars for freezing--we don't use a lot of barbecue sauce at once).

Thanks! :-)

Thanks Ali!

I was just searching for an "everything free" barbecue sauce recipe and then you posted this. I will try it with chicken breasts on the grill tomorrow evening.

Related Posts

Jan 08, 2022

Gluten-Free Raspberry Coconut Waffles

Going on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet doesn’t mean you need to give up your favorite breakfast foods, you just need to switch out the ingredients you are using! This gluten-free waffle recipe is easy enough to make as long as you have a few basic ingredients on hand. Try making a double batch on the weekend and freeze the extras to have on hand for quick breakfasts during the week.
Read More
Aug 24, 2010

Zucchini-Almond Bread (gluten-free + dairy-free)

Well, it's August. Harvest time. I've been busy picking berries, peaches, and apples as of late. Jam-making is in full swing, our gardens are overflowing, and the energy of summer is winding down into Autumn. You can feel it in the air here.

Read More
Mar 03, 2010

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Have you ever had a quest to come up with the perfect recipe? Well I've been on a journey for years to create the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe. Not just any peanut butter cookie recipe though! I set out to create one that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, and eggs and one that is naturally sweetened.

Read More
Feb 13, 2010

Oatmeal Heart Cookies (gluten-free + vegan)

I just couldn't let Valentine's Day go by this year without making heart cut-out cookies with my children. I did it every year with my mom and have made it a tradition with my children now as well. This year I created a new cut-out cookie recipe—a delicious, gluten-free and egg-free cookie made from rolled oats.

Read More
Feb 10, 2010

Mango-Coconut Pudding

I know Valentine's day is right around the corner, but instead of adding to the plethora of chocolate recipes floating around in cyber-space, I thought I would share a non-caffeinated dessert suitable for little children.

Read More