Easy Honey BBQ Sauce Recipe Without Ketchup

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This honey BBQ sauce recipe is the perfect sauce for your burgers, chicken, pulled pork, and to eat by the spoonful. It’s a kid friendly sauce that the whole family and guests will love! Make it today in just a few minutes (no ketchup needed).

honey BBQ sauce recipe

If you want a delicious honey BBQ sauce recipe without ketchup that you can make in 5 minutes (no cooking required), this is for you.

As I’m sure you know, the barbecue sauce is a crucial component of a barbecue dinner. And when you make homemade barbecue sauce, you get to make sure it’s the perfect balance of tang and sweetness. This sauce is a delightfully sweet & tangy sauce with so much flavor!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Without Ketchup

Most of the recipes out there will tell you to use half a bottle of ketchup as the base for your sauce. But not this one! Here on Scratch to Basics we’re all about simplifying the ingredients, so using ketchup (which usually already has a couple handfuls of ingredients) PLUS more isn’t gonna fly around here.

When the other recipes out there use ketchup as the base, they have to cook the sauce to thicken it up. Because ketchup is kinda watery.

This recipe uses tomato paste, vinegar, honey, molasses, and spices. And since tomato paste is already very thick, using it as a base eliminates the need to cook the sauce.

As usual, with my recipes, you get to control what ingredients go in (and stay out of) your sauce. This barbecue sauce is made without ketchup and with tomato paste.

Simpler ingredients AND simpler process? Count me in!

Tools Needed to make this recipe

This recipe is really simple – you just need a few tools. Most likely you already have everything you need in your kitchen.

  • Mixing bowl – We have some exactly like these and they work for everything, including this sauce.
  • Spoon – Use your regular soup spoons, or a wooden mixing spoon.
  • Measuring spoons I recommend some like these so that the labels don’t rub off.
  • Immersion blender optional– if you’re looking for a super smooth sauce, you can use an immersion blender to get rid of the clumps and smooth it out.

Ingredients in this recipe

  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste is tomatoes cooked down to a very concentrated paste. It’s bursting with tomato flavor and is a great base for sauces. We love this kind because it’s Organic and there’s only one ingredient.
  • White vinegar – Apple cider vinegar would also work well here. This will give you the tang, and balance out the sweetness.
  • Honey – Sweetens the sauce. Grab the raw and unfiltered honey, like this kind.
  • Molasses – Adds a distinct flavor to the sauce. I did test this recipe without the molasses and it didn’t taste right.
  • Mustard – Use your favorite kind. Yellow mustard, or dijon work great.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder– Adds savory flavors and balances out the sauce.
  • Salt – Balances the sweetness and acidity.
  • Black pepper – Adds a kick (add cayenne for a bigger “kick”).

How to Make Honey BBQ Sauce

It’s really simple to make this honey BBQ sauce recipe, and there’s no cooking needed at all.

This is one of those dump-and-mix recipes where you just grab your mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together.

Stir until smooth.

If the sauce is a little clumpy, you can use an immersion blender to smooth it out.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of sauce, which fits perfectly in this wide mouth mason jar.

By the way, an immersion blender is an amazing kitchen tool to have in your cupboard. (It’s on my top minimalist kitchen essentials list for a reason).

Easy honey BBQ sauce in mason jar with wooden spoon.
Can I freeze BBQ sauce?

It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

Alternatively, you can freeze it for much longer (3-6 months) in an airtight container. To thaw, put it in the fridge the night before you want to use it. Then serve cold or heated up.

Is barbecue sauce gluten free?

I can’t speak for every barbecue sauce out there. Many sauces off the shelf at the store include gluten as a thickener. This recipe is 100% gluten free.

How to Use Your Honey Barbecue Sauce?

  • Pulled pork sandwiches or tacos
  • Drizzled over ribs
  • BBQ grilled chicken
  • Pizza sauce for a BBQ chicken pizza

Looking for more delicious homemade sauce recipes?

Sauces are kinda my specialty around here. That, and healthy chocolate desserts ;).

Here are just a few of the many sauce recipes I’ve got on the blog. Enjoy!

Easy barbecue (BBQ) sauce with tomato paste and honey

5 Minute (No Cook) Honey Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A perfectly balanced barbecue sauce you can make in minutes. No cooking required.


  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • cayenne powder, to taste (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Stir until smooth


  • If you have clumps after stirring, you can use an immersion blender to smooth it out.
  • If you want more spice, add cayenne, to taste

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 C
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 322mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

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easy honey barbecue sauce made with tomato paste, honey, and molasses. Make it in 5 minutes without cooking it!
Barbecue sauce in jar with wooden spoon.

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  1. I made this tonight for a BBQ. I did not have any molasses, so I just tried the recipe without it. I had my husband (the sauce critic) taste it and he said it was delicious!! Then I realized I had some date syrup in the pantry and added a little of that to potentially replace for the thickness of the molasses. My husband tried it and said, “That’s barbeque sauce!” It’s nice to have such a good base for a sauce that we can tweak it a little based on what we have on hand. In the future if we don’t have molasses or the date syrup, we will still use this as our BBQ sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This is probably the best BBQ sauce I have ever had. Not an exaggeration. I have used it on my burgers, chicken drumsticks, and pulled pork sliders. Actually, most commonly I just eat it by the spoonfull.

  3. Tired of all of the high fructose corn syrup in commercial barbecue sauces decided I had to try homemade. Wanted to start with something simple and I liked the ingredients list and had everything on hand including needing to use up the rest of the jar of tomato paste.The only change I made was I added a splash of real maple syrup and a little more mustard just to suit our taste preferences. thanks for ending my search for a homemade barbecue sauce right here. Love that it’s no cook no fuss going to the kitchen make it and you’re done. It will be finishing our pulled pork for New year’s dinner. Thanks for sharing

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