Is BBQ Sauce Vegan?

Discover the Vegan-licious World of BBQ Sauces

Are you a fan of smoky, tangy, and sweet flavors? If so, you’ve probably indulged in BBQ sauce at some point. But here’s the question: Is BBQ sauce vegan? Well, the good news is that most BBQ sauces are vegan-friendly. However, there are a few ingredients you need to be cautious about if you follow a strict vegan lifestyle. So, let’s dive into the world of BBQ sauces and uncover the truth!

Non-vegan Ingredients in BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is primarily tomato-based, accompanied by vinegar, sweeteners like cane sugar, spices, and seasonings. While these ingredients are typically vegan, some BBQ sauces may contain non-vegan components. Here are the key ones to watch out for:

Non-vegan Ingredients

  • Honey: Some BBQ sauces are sweetened with honey, which is not vegan-friendly. Fortunately, many brands offer alternative options without honey.
  • Anchovies: Certain BBQ sauces incorporate anchovies, which are fish. It’s also crucial to keep an eye on Worcestershire sauce, as it often contains anchovies.

Potentially Non-vegan Ingredients

  • Sugar: Sugar itself is vegan, but some cane sugar may be filtered through bone char. If this concerns you, consider choosing certified vegan BBQ sauces or those made with alternative sugars like beet or coconut sugar.
  • Wine Vinegar: Although vinegar is usually vegan, wine vinegars could potentially be filtered through non-vegan ingredients. If you prefer to play it safe, opt for BBQ sauces without wine vinegar.
  • Natural Flavor: Many packaged products, including BBQ sauces, contain natural flavors. The origin of these flavors, whether from plants or animals, is often undisclosed. If you’re unsure or concerned, stick to BBQ sauces that explicitly confirm their vegan status.
  • Artificial Colors: Most artificial colors are vegan-friendly, but they may undergo animal testing. Whether or not this is a concern for you is a personal choice.
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Vegan BBQ Sauces

Here are some BBQ sauces that are either certified vegan or have been confirmed as vegan by the respective brands. These sauces contain sugar that is not filtered through bone char and derive their natural flavors from plants:


  • Organic Original BBQ Sauce
  • Organic Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce
  • Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce


  • Original BBQ Sauce


  • Original BBQ Sauce (certified vegan by Vegan Action)
  • Chipotle BBQ Sauce Unsweetened (certified vegan by Vegan Action)
  • Maple BBQ Sauce (certified vegan by Vegan Action)
  • Korean BBQ Sauce & Marinade (certified vegan by Vegan Action)

Good Food For Good

  • Organic Classic BBQ Sauce
  • Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce for Non-strict Vegans

If you’re not strictly following a vegan lifestyle, there are BBQ sauces that may still be suitable for you. However, keep in mind that these sauces contain ingredients that could be potentially non-vegan. Here are a few brands to consider:

Heinz BBQ Sauce

  • Original Sweet & Thick BBQ Sauce
  • Kansas City Style Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce
  • Texas Style Bold & Spicy BBQ Sauce
  • Carolina Mustard Style Sweet Mustard BBQ Sauce
  • Carolina Vinegar Style Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

Kraft BBQ Sauce

  • Slow-Simmered Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce
  • Slow-Simmered Hot & Spicy Barbecue Sauce
  • Slow-Simmered Original Barbecue Sauce
  • Slow-Simmered Thick & Spicy Barbecue Sauce
  • Slow-Simmered Sweet Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
  • Slow-Simmered Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce

Stubb’s BBQ Sauce

  • Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce
  • Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce
  • Original BBQ Sauce
  • Simply Sweet Reduced Sugar BBQ Sauce
  • Smokey Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce
  • Spicy BBQ Sauce
  • Sticky Sweet BBQ Sauce
  • Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce
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DIY Vegan BBQ Sauce

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making your own vegan BBQ sauce? Many recipes are available online that exclude non-vegan ingredients like honey and anchovies. Just be cautious about Worcestershire sauce, although vegan options are also available. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Remember, if you’re concerned about sugar processing, choose certified vegan or organic sugar. And if a recipe calls for ketchup, decide how strict you want to be about the brand you use. You can refer to my post “Is ketchup vegan?” for more insights.

Discover More “Is It Vegan?” Articles

If you’ve enjoyed uncovering the vegan truth about BBQ sauce, you’ll love exploring other “Is It Vegan?” topics! Check out the following articles:

  • Is Soy Sauce Vegan?
  • Is Orange Juice Vegan?
  • Is Smart Balance Vegan?
  • Is Guacamole Vegan?
  • Are Tortilla Chips Vegan?

So, next time you savor a mouthwatering BBQ sauce, you can be confident in its vegan-friendly nature. Happy grilling!