Coffee Barbeque Sauce

Gluten Free Coffee Barbeque Sauce Recipe

This recipe started as so many of my inspired ideas do, with disappointment, frustration and a cup of coffee.

I was invited to a barbeque this past weekend. As I sipped lemonade and mingled with guests, the enticing aroma of chicken being grilled in the distance made my mouth water. I was anticipating biting into a juicy drumstick dripping with sticky barbeque sauce.

I love barbeque sauce. I love it on chicken, pork and beef. I love it on corn on the cob and baked potatoes. I love it licked directly off my finger.

Just before I bit into the steaming, lacquered drumstick I decided to glance at the ingredients on the barbeque sauce label. Sure enough suspicious ingredients were listed; modified food starch, caramel coloring, etc. And as if that were not enough of a warning of hidden gluten the words “contains wheat” were written in tiny letters. No drumstick for me!

So today I went to my local grocery store in search of a gluten-free barbeque sauce to satiate the deep craving that had started two days ago when that first drop of sauce hit the burning coals. Many were unclear but contain suspicious words. I found a few brands that were safely gluten-free but then the other ingredients started to alarm me. I was wont to find a single brand that did not contain high fructose corn syrup. And despite the clever ad campaign currently being run on American television that makes people feel stupid for wanting to stay away from high fructose corn syrup, I remain unimpressed. Besides, there were a number of ingredients that could not in any way shape or form be considered real food.

I left the store discouraged and I don’t mind saying just a bit angry. Good thing because I get a lot done when I am angry.

I raided my fridge and pantry and whipped up my own gluten and high fructose corn syrup free barbeque sauce. I also tossed in a cup of coffee that I have intended to drink but had forgotten about before taking off on my gluten-free barbeque sauce quest.

The result? Everything I want in a barbeque sauce, spicy, sweet, smoky and complex. Now for that chicken leg!

As a note many brands of ketchup are now being made without high fructose corn syrup; as always, read the label.

The list of ingredients looks intimidating but most of them are probably already hanging out in your pantry or spice cabinet. And there is only about 10 minutes of active work time; the rest is just letting your stove do the work.

Gluten Free Coffee Barbeque Sauce Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Coffee Barbeque Sauce
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Coffee Barbeque Sauce Recipe

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Condiment/Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 155kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce can) diced tomatoes in tomato sauce – preferably organic
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce – 2 peppers and some of the sauce
  • 1 cup brewed coffee – decaf is fine
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar – packed
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft but not browned, 3 -4 minutes.
  • Put the tomatoes along with the sauce and chipotles in a blender and puree. Add to the onions and garlic along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Puree the barbeque sauce in a blender in batches until smooth. Remember to remove the little plastic top to the blender lid so it does not explode on you. Strain into a bowl pushing the sauce through a sieve to remove any solids and let come to room temperature. Transfer to a jar or airtight container. Can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.


Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free in the United States but possibly not in England or the British Isles. If you are concerned, just leave it out.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Coffee Barbeque Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 339mg14%
Potassium 243mg7%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 31g34%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 775IU16%
Vitamin C 4.5mg5%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Barbecue Chipotle Coffee Cookout Ketchup Paprika
  1. Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    June 9, 2010

    Thankyou so much for this recipe!!!! I will be making a batch of this for sure!

  2. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul
    June 9, 2010

    High Fructose corn syrup? Thank god we don't have that stuff here (only in imported US items). Sometimes you gotta take matters into your own hands and I love what you have done here Carol. The coffee is quite an interesting addition! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Jas.
    June 10, 2010

    Looks delish! We have gluten free tomato and barbeque suaces here in oz without high frutoce corn syrup, however, I have been wanting to make so from scratch and this looks like it!

  4. Britt
    June 10, 2010

    Looks great–I love the addition of coffee! I'm a straight-off-the-fingers gal too & I think you just gave me an excuse to have BBQ sauce for breakfast. :)

    On a sidenote, many Worcestershire sauces (including Lea & Perrins) contain HFCS, so if you want it to be truly HFCS-free read labels carefully. A brand called Wan Ja Shan makes an organic, gluten-free, HFCS-free, and vegan (if that's your thing) Worcestershire sauce that is really quite good.

  5. karenk
    June 10, 2010

    Lea & Perrin Worchester Sauce is not Gluten Free in Canada either. I have not found a good tasting GF Worchester Sauce here yet. Luckily for me some friends were in Vegas and brought me back 2 bottles of the Lea & Perrin.
    Carol I love the idea of coffee in the sauce will definately try this.
    In Calgary we have a company that makes a great BBQ sauce called Cattle Boyz which is GF, will have to check about the HFCS

  6. Mika
    June 11, 2010

    I love the addition of coffee too!!!
    I have never tasted a barbecue sauce that was not cook by me and I'd really like to try this one…

  7. Tasty Eats At Home
    June 11, 2010

    I love this version! I haven't had BBQ sauce in a long time – the only one that I've found that was "decent" and gluten-free was made in the same facility as gluten-containing items, but at least it didn't have corn syrup. (I didn't get sick) But it wasn't that perfect blend of sweet, smoky, spicy that I love. I LOVE your addition of coffee!

  8. Anonymous
    June 18, 2010

    These recipes seem easy to follow and are laid out in a fun, informative format. I'm not much of a cook, but I think I'll give it a try as I'm recently @ 80% gluten-free! Thank you Carol!ML, TN

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