Five Minute BBQ Sauce

September 9th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Welcome to week one of “Cents”-able and Savory, a new post series I’m launching today!

This series is all about bringing you budget-friendly recipes that are big on flavor and nutrition without breaking the bank. As I’m sure most of us would agree, eating healthy can often drain the old wallet pretty quickly. But over the next few weeks I hope to show you that eating well and going green do not mean going broke!


Budget-Friendly BBQ Sauce

Today I’m posting a simple recipe for an easy, gluten-free, sugar-free BBQ sauce that I consider to be an old stand-by in my recipe repitoire. Condiments like mustard and BBQ sauce are a great way to add big flavor punches to a meal, but unfortunately store-bought condiments are not only expensive, they’re also often laden with added sugar and preservatives.

This sauce is entirely sugar- and preservative-free, but it’s still incredibly flavorful. Some BBQ-licious suggestions for using it…

  • BBQ Chicken and Rice Bowls: heat up BBQ sauce with a little water, cooked and chopped chicken meat, and some frozen peas or corn kernels. Spoon the BBQ chicken mixture over brown rice and top with shredded carrots, chopped scallions, and avocado slices.
  • BBQ Beans: heat up BBQ sauce with cooked black or kidney beans and any fresh herbs you like (oregano, basil, or parsley would be great). Serve the “barbequed beans” over baked sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet and Tangy Glazed Vegetables: when grilling veggies like zucchini, onions, or bell peppers, baste with a bit of BBQ sauce thinned out with some water. The veggies will end up with a smoky, sweet, tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or fish.

Before I move on to the recipe, I want to give you a heads-up that “Cents”-able and Savory will also be featuring some incredible guest posts in the next few weeks. So come on back each Friday. You won’t want to miss these easy, nutritious, and budget-friendly recipes!

Five Minute BBQ Sauce – makes about 1 cup

1 (8 ounce) can no-sugar-added tomato sauce (such as Muir Glen)

1 heaping tbs. blackstrap molasses

1 tbs. honey

2 1/2 tbs. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground mustard

Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce bubbles rapidly around the edges—about 5 minutes.

Use immediately or refrigerate in a glass jar for up to 3 days.

Note: sauce can easily be doubled or tripled.


  1. I love this! You are proving eating well does not have to break the bank! You have lovely photos, I hope you will consider entering my gluten free food photo contest. Normally I would not leave a link in a comment but here it is in case you are interested.

  2. I loved this too Hallie, I am sharing a link to it in a post this week!

  3. Hi, I just found this recipe (and your blog) when I googled “super quick bbq sauce” and was thrilled to find this is refined sugar free! I’ve just started eating “clean” and a little bit paleo (not really strictly) so this was perfect for me! I had all the ingredients too…good old blackstrap molasses! Would you mind if I linked it on my blog? Thanks again, I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog! Eleanor x

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.