Is BBQ Sauce Vegan?

There are very few meals that can’t be made better with a dollop of sauce on the side. Depending on the meal, a different type of sauce will be better.

But that is what makes condiments so great, from mayo to ketchup and BBQ sauce, there is a different sauce for every dish.

Is BBQ Sauce Vegan

In particular, BBQ sauce works well with pretty much any meal, and that is why it is so hard not to love it.

So, when you decide to follow a vegan diet, you might find yourself anxious to know whether, or not, you can eat BBQ sauce while following a vegan diet.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, BBQ sauce is vegan (spoiler alert: it isn’t a simple answer), and lots more. So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

What Is BBQ Sauce?

Before we dive into whether, or not, BBQ sauce is vegan, let’s quickly take a look at what BBQ sauce is.

Well, as you probably already know, BBQ sauce is a type of condiment that is commonly enjoyed alongside chicken, meat, fries, and lots more.

It comes in a variety of different flavors, including tangy, honey, and classic BBQ sauce.

BBQ sauce (abbreviated from barbecue sauce) is created using a variety of different ingredients. Often, the base ingredient is either ketchup, mustard, or vinegar.

Then additional ingredients are added to the sauce to give it the strong, tangy flavor that is commonly associated with this condiment.

As well as being served alongside things, BBQ sauce is commonly used to marinade meat.

There are very few types of meat that don’t work well with BBQ sauce, from pork to ribs to chicken, this sauce will only enhance your meal. But is it vegan? That’s a good question!

Is BBQ Sauce Vegan?

As we said earlier, there isn’t a simple answer to whether, or not, BBQ sauce is vegan.

Essentially, whether, or not, the sauce is suitable for vegans will depend on the ingredients used to make it and the manufacturer that it comes from.

The recipe that you follow to make homemade BBQ sauce will determine whether it is vegan, or not. So, basically BBQ sauce could be vegan, or it could not.

The good news for any vegans out there is that there are plenty of BBQ sauce manufacturers out there that produce vegan versions of this sauce.

Likewise, there are plenty of homemade BBQ sauce recipes that you can follow if you want to create vegan BBQ sauce.

The bad news is that there are also plenty of BBQ sauce recipes and products out there that aren’t suitable for vegans.

Unfortunately, as a vegan you cannot simply pick up any bottle of BBQ sauce and add it to your food, because not all BBQ sauce recipes are vegan. In fact, quite a lot of them aren’t.

There are a lot of BBQ sauce products that you should avoid, and some ingredients that you should avoid when making your own BBQ sauce at home.

To help you out, we’ll tell you all about these, starting with ingredients to avoid…

Ingredients That Prevent BBQ Sauce From Being Vegan?

So no matter whether you are making your own BBQ sauce, or if you are buying one from the store, it is important to check the ingredients list to see if they are suitable for vegans.

BBQ Sauce vegan

There are some ingredients that are commonly used in the production of BBQ sauce that aren’t actually suitable for vegans. So, let’s take a look at what they are.

Dairy Or Eggs

For obvious reasons, BBQ sauce that contains dairy products will not be suitable for vegans. While most BBQ sauces will not contain dairy products, some companies will use milk or egg yolks.

Any sauces that list these ingredients in their ingredients list will not be suitable for vegans, so should be avoided at all costs.


Honey BBQ sauce is undoubtedly one of the best varieties of BBQ sauce out there. However, if you are following a vegan diet, this type of BBQ sauce will unfortunately not be suitable for you.

Honey is an animal by-product as it comes from bees, so any BBQ sauces that contain honey should be avoided.

Beef Or Chicken Stock

Another pretty obvious ingredient that will prevent your BBQ sauce from being vegan-friendly is beef or chicken stock.

For obvious reasons, these will not be suitable for those following a vegan diet, and unfortunately, a lot of companies use stock as the base of their BBQ sauce.

So, any sauces that do this will be out of bounds.

Worcestershire Sauce

Finally, Worcestershire sauce is commonly used as the base ingredient by some companies for BBQ sauce.

While the name of this sauce seems innocent enough, any sauces that use this as a base will not be suitable for vegans. Worcestershire sauce is made using anchovies or fish sauce, so it cannot be consumed by vegans.

BBQ Sauces That Aren’t Vegan

Now that we have taken a look at some of the ingredients to avoid, let’s also take a look at some of the high-profile BBQ sauces that aren’t actually suitable for vegans.

While there are plenty of vegan-friendly BBQ sauces out there, these are the ones to avoid:

Heinz BBQ Sauce

While they may be the go-to for many, Heinz BBQ sauce is actually unsuitable for vegans as they use anchovies in the majority of their BBQ sauce recipes.

Kraft BBQ Sauce

Likewise, Kraft BBQ sauce might be one of the most affordable options, but they are unsuitable for vegans due to the use of honey in their products.

Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

Just like Kraft, Sweet Baby Ray’s use honey in some of their BBQ sauce products. In addition to this, they also use eggs, milk, and chicken broth in some of their BBQ sauce products too.


In short, whether BBQ sauce is suitable for vegans or not will depend on the ingredients used to make that BBQ sauce.

There are plenty of vegan-friendly BBQ sauces out there, you simply have to be vigilant to ensure that you are not consuming BBQ sauce that could contain animal products.

Thank you for reading!

Kimberly Kidd
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