Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Without Tomatoes

Again, in an effort to consume loads of beef we were given, I created a new barbecue sauce without tomatoes, gluten-free, of course. A little variety is the spice of life, right?  Molasses along with sugar and salt is a great tomato-free substitute for ketchup when cooking. Skip the hot sauce and cayenne to create a milder version.

You can spice this sauce up or down to your liking. If you do not care for a spicy barbecue sauce definitely remove the cayenne and chipotle sauce. Or if a slightly mild sauce just remove one or the other. This sauce is not real hot (spicy), just a tad. Perfect for me, and can be made refined sugar-free!

Gluten-Free Barbecue Sauce Without Tomatoes


Yield: Appx. 1 cup

Gluten-Free Barbecue Sauce Without Tomatoes

A gluten free barbecue sauce recipe made with carrots instead of tomatoes. It works just as well, and includes healthier ingredients.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup carrots, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced, grated or crushed
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free white vinegar*
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free chipotle sauce recipe (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (Wright's or Colgin)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 15-20 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pure dark molasses
  • Filtered water (may need)
  • Fruit juice of choice (orange, cranberry, pineapple) (if need)


  1. In a medium size pan add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and preheat on medium heat. Add and sauté the onion and carrots until tender. Lower heat to medium-low; stir often.
  2. Add garlic; stir and sauté an additional minute.
  3. Add vinegar and spices; stir; add liquid smoke, molasses, agave; stir. Simmer for about 30 minutes; increase heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes, constantly stirring. At any point, if the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a bit of juice to thin the sauce.
  4. Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the sauce; or cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and use a counter-top blender.
  5. Use sauce as needed, warm or at room temperature; and refrigerate leftovers, covered.


* For corn-free dieters use apple cider or rice vinegar.


15 Replies to “Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce Without Tomatoes”

  1. The ingredient list says filtered water and fruit juice (may need). The instructions say to add juice and agave in step 3. What type of fruit juice and about how much is needed? Also, how long will this BBQ sauce keep in the refrigerator? Does it freeze well? I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Karen,

      I have reworded the instructions to read,

      “Add vinegar and spices; stir; add liquid smoke, molasses, agave; stir. Simmer for about 30 minutes; increase heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes, constantly stirring. At any point, if the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a bit of juice to thin the sauce.”

      I also added juice suggestions (orange, cranberry, pineapple).

      I’ve kept this barbecue sauce in the refrigerator for at least a month. I haven’t tried to freeze it, but I would think it would work fine. If the texture changes, just heat it up again and puree in a blender.


  2. Facebook Comment – Aug 28, 2014,

    “Be careful which ‘liquid smoke’ you buy if you’ve other allergies to content with too. Lots contain soya, so if you have to avoid this too, Colgin was the only brand I found that was soya free.

    “Great recipe though, been using this sauce for a year now, everyone prefers it!”


  3. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! My daughter and I both have food allergies. I’m allergic to a bunch of stuff (too many to name and I suspect gluten and/or grains will be added to my list soon) and she is allergic to tomatoes and garlic. Super tough to find any kind of sauces that are allergen free, have depth, and taste divine. This sauce blew me away! Even without the garlic and liquid smoke (I’m allergic to something in liquid smoke), this sauce turned out delish! Thank you soooooo very much!! We’re enjoying our BBQ Chicken pizzas tonight!!

  4. Hey! One of my daughters has 46 allergies, 23 of them food, and one of them tomatoes… With all of her allergies, I couldn’t use your whole recipe, but I combined it with another to come up with an amazing sauce! Thanks for the tips. I will definitely look at your blog in the future to find things to substitute for comfort foods the rest of us are missing… like Christine’s suggestions for spaghetti sauce in the comments above!

  5. I will definitely be trying this! We just found out that my 4 year old is allergic to citric acid, and he won’t eat anything without ketchup or bbq on it. Thanks!

  6. I can’t wait to try this!!! We just went gluten free, and looking for a BBQ sauce my dad can eat…he can no longer digest anything with tomatoes.

    1. Colleen, I’m sure he’ll enjoy this recipe. I recently made it without the chipotle sauce and cayenne pepper, as it is pretty spicy, and enjoyed it even more! I’ve changed the recipe to make these ingredients optional.

      Thanks for your comment.


  7. I can’t have gluten or tomatoes so thank you so much for a gluten free tomato free sauce. I’ve been looking for one forever!

      1. I can’t have gluten or tomatoes either. Im going to try this bbq sauce tonight. For spaghetti sauce i use diced red peppers cooked overnight in my crock pot puree them and add your favorite spaghetti sauce ingredients & spices. It also works well for a pizza sauce substitute too.

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