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Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Making your own barbecue sauce has never been easier! It’s super simple to make and incredibly flavorful, you will definitely want to give it a try!

chipotle barbecue sauce in a small jar with a spoon in it and a used spoon rest

I could tell you to make this chipotle barbecue sauce because it’s incredibly easy. Or, I could encourage you to try it because it’s cheaper than buying bottled BBQ sauce.

I could even tell you to make this recipe because it’s pantry friendly and whips up in less time than it would take you to put pants on and go to the store. Yes, even if you live next to the grocery store.

But the real reason you need to douse your food in this sauce is because it’s incredibly delicious!

A good barbecue sauce should be smoky, it should be a bit sweet, and it should be a little sour. And my favorite BBQ sauces always include a little kick of heat.

Did I just describe this chipotle barbecue sauce? Why yes, I did.

ingredients for the chipotle barbecue sauce laid out mise en place

The ingredients

Like any self respecting barbecue sauce, this one starts with a base of tomatoes. To keep things super simple, I use tomato paste in this recipe (called tomato puree in the UK). It’s already cooked until it’s thick, bringing out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and a deep delicious tomatoey flavor.

Next we have the sweetener. I prefer to use maple syrup in this sauce, the subtle maple flavor adds a complexity to the sauce.

As a secondary sweetener we use pomegranate molasses, which is essentially pomegranate juice that has been boiled down to a thick syrup. It has a deliciously sweet and tart flavor, and makes for a great BBQ sauce!

While you could use regular molasses, I highly recommend tracking down some pomegranate molasses. I’ve always been able to find it at natural foods grocery stores like Whole Foods, and it is easy to find at Middle Eastern grocery stores. And you can always buy online!

Pomegranate molasses provides some of the sour for our barbecue sauce, but the rest comes from a dose of vinegar. I like to use red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or apple cider vinegar in this sauce. All of these have a nice sweetness without having an overly strong flavor.

chipotle barbecue sauce ingredients in a blender before blending so you can see individual ingredients

Worcestershire sauce is next, and it builds that essential to a good barbecue sauce. Make sure it’s vegan, and pick a vegan & gluten free bottle if you’re gluten free.

To make this a chipotle barbecue sauce, we need to add chipotles! Chipotles are smoked ripe jalapeños (hello natural smoky flavor!), and you can buy them dried or in jars in adobo sauce, which is a spiced tomato sauce. I use jarred chipotles in adobo, removing the seeds so they aren’t spicy, and add a spoonful of the adobo sauce as well.

Now we add the seasoning: soy sauce (I prefer a low sodium tamari, which is also gluten free!), smoked sweet paprika, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

Last but not least, water to thin everything to a sauce consistency.

The method

The list of ingredients may not be the shortest, but instructions don’t get easier than this!

Combine all of the ingredients then mix it together! This can be done in a traditional standing blender or with an immersion blender. It can even be done with a bowl and whisk.

And that’s it! You have a delicious and thick barbecue sauce in next to no time!

Of course if you want to cook it for a few minutes (which could be useful if you used a solid sugar like brown sugar, coconut sugar, or raw sugar) you can heat it for 5-10 minutes on the stove. If you use fresh garlic cloves, I recommend cooking it for a few minutes to take the edge off.

overhead view of the just blended sauce inn a blender

How to use the chipotle barbecue sauce

Do you really need me to tell you how to use barbecue sauce? Well, here we are anyway.

Use it to glaze any protein, coat veggies, dip your fries and tater tots into. Use it as a marinade, or enjoy it as a sauce (Chipotle BBQ burger anyone?)!

I’m a big fan of barbecue tofu, and used this sauce in my Chipotle Barbecue Tofu recipe. It would also be great to swap this chipotle barbecue sauce for buffalo sauce in my tofu wings. It would also be great on my seitan steaks!

If you make this easy chipotle barbecue sauce, leave a comment below and rate the recipe on the recipe card. And please share your photos with me on Instagram, tag @thecuriouschickpea and #thecuriouschickpea. I love seeing your recreations!


chipotle barbecue sauce in a small jar with a spoon in it and a used spoon rest

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

An easy and delicious smoky chipotle barbecue sauce. Better ingredients and better flavor than any store bought sauce!


  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, seeds and membrane removed
  • 1 tbsp adobo from the chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt, if needed
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (or whisk or use immersion blender). Add water to thin as needed.
  2. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for a week or two, or longer in the freezer.


You can substitute a different sweetener but if using a dry sugar then may need to add more water to thin.

For gluten free, use a gluten free Worcestershire sauce and tamari for the soy sauce.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 33Total Fat: 0gSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 1g

Nutrition is calculated automatically so should be used as an estimate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 26th of July 2019

How long can you store this in the fridge? Would like to make a batch for the summer.

Eva Agha

Monday 5th of August 2019

Mine kept for 2 weeks, but I didn't keep any around for longer than that. You can always freeze extra barbecue sauce for longer storage!

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