Unlike conventional, store-bought BBQ sauces that use sugar or high fructose corn syrup, this crockpot BBQ sauce utilizes the natural sweetness of tomatoes and a touch of molasses. It can also be given a smoky flavor using either liquid smoke or a hefty amount of chili powder and smoky paprika. This recipe is great because you literally throw everything in the crockpot, give is a quick stir, and leave it to percolate into thick, saucy goodness.

Slow-Cooker BBQ Sauce [Vegan]

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1.5-2 cups


  • 2 cups unflavored, unsalted tomato purée
  • 3/4 cups white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoky paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. In the bowl of a slow-cooker, stir together the tomato purée, vinegar, molasses, tamari, and mustard until combined.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook, uncovered, on high for 3 1/2-4 hours until thickened and darkened in color.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


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