Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce

Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Recipe

The men in my family are ridiculously competitive, even about things they don’t need to be, like barbecuing. Honestly, I do not know where they get it from!

Truth be told they all know their way around a grill and are grill-masters in their own right. They can all cook meat over fire very proficiently. And me, being smart, let them swelter over hot coals and take advantage of their competitiveness as the results are always fabulous.

But the difference between us and primitive man, who also cooked meat over fire, is barbecue sauce. And if I am going to be completely honest (and not at all competitive) I have to say, I make the best gluten free barbecue sauce!

I also have my own way of making “barbecue” chicken. Chicken over the grill can be tricky no matter how great a grill-master you are. The meat can easily become over-cooked and dry or the sauce can burn. That’s why I bake my barbecue chicken first, letting it remain moist and succulent, then I turn it over to one of the men for a minute or two on the grill. Sure they take all the credit, but that’s OK with me. We all know deep down inside that my barbecue chicken is the best.

It all starts with the sauce. I have tweaked and played with gluten free recipes for barbecue sauce for ages and I finally have one that is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and tangy with a touch of smoke in there. Early versions of my homemade barbecue sauce had a list of ingredients as long as my arm. I worked hard to get that list down to where it is much less daunting. And this recipe only takes about half an hour to whip it up.

My award winning (at least in my own family) sauce starts with high fructose corn syrup free ketchup, Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Certified Organic Blackstrap Molasses and Fair Trade Certified Organic Amber Honey for sweetness, pineapple juice for tanginess and gets it’s heat from pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. I take a can of chipotle in adobe, puree it in the blender then use it to stir into all sorts of things to add spice and smokiness. I store it in a clean jar in the fridge and it last for months. The beauty of using the pureed chipotle in adobo is that you can make this sauce as spicy as you like. You can also make some of the sauce mild and some spicy. Start off with a little and add to suit your taste.

After I make the sauce, I take about 1 ½ cups of the warm sauce and put it into a large mixing bowl. I cut up a 4 or 5 pound chicken into pieces, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper then dunk the pieces into the warm sauce. I line two baking sheets with foil and lay the chicken pieces in a single layer on the baking sheets with a little space between each piece. Then the chicken goes into a preheated oven (350 degrees) and bakes for 20 minutes. Then I flip the chicken over, brush with some more sauce and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes or until the juices from a thigh piece, pricked with the tip of a sharp knife, run clear (not pink at all). From there it goes onto the grill for about 2 minutes per side (or you can just pop under the broiler for a minute to char the top a little. Then I warm up some more sauce and serve it on the side. Perfect barbecued chicken every time!

Unlike most commercial barbecue sauces this one is almost completely free of high fructose corn syrup. There is a bit in the Worcestershire sauce so if you are avoiding HFCS completely just substitute with gluten free soy sauce.

With all the wholesome ingredients in this sauce, you can feel as good about serving it as I do.


Gluten Free Barbecue Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Course: Condiment/Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 cups
Calories: 432kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 2 cups ketchup (high fructose corn syrup free)
  • 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Molasses
  • 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Honey
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon - 3 tablespoons (or more) pureed chipotle in adobo sauce


  • Combine all the ingredients except the chipotle in adobo puree in a large saucepan and whisk well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and glossy. Whisk the sauce well; add the pureed chipotle in adobo sauce, a little at a time, until the desired amount of heat is achieved. Make sure to whisk the sauce well after each addition of chipotle.
  • Store sauce in a clean glass jar in the fridge for up to a month.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 432 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 1401mg58%
Potassium 978mg28%
Carbohydrates 105g35%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 100g111%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 42IU1%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 133mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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 Dairy Free Easy Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Honey Molasses
  1. Pingback: Cooking » Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Recipe

  2. Hailey
    May 2, 2012

    That sauce sounds delicious. I am certainly going to try it! And your method of making bbq chicken as well.

  3. Anita
    May 3, 2012

    Haha – you don’t know where they get it huh? The sauce and chicken certainly sounds award winning to me!

  4. Donna
    May 4, 2012

    I am going to try your method on the chicken – I agree, cooked on the grill it gets too dry. And trying that sauce too. Thanks again!

  5. AT
    May 6, 2012

    Be careful with what brand of chipotle in adobo you use… many of them contain gluten!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      May 7, 2012

      I use La Costena – they are gluten free.

  6. May 9, 2012

    How very yummy indeed! I love a good BBQ sauce, and it’s nice to be able to control the spiciness. Is that a Shun knife on your board? It looks just like my favourite japanese knives :)

    1. Gluten Free & More
      May 9, 2012

      Yes it is! I love it too.

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