Smoky BBQ Sauce (vegan | gluten-free | fat-free)

When there’s a BBQ you know it’s a bloody good day. Sun (which is a rarity in England), Pimms, grilled-everything and best of all, the sides. For me, sides are really a little piece of heaven, and there’s always so many to choose from. Though I’m one of those annoying people that takes their sweet time deciding what they want and because they can’t decide, they just hover over the entire table, taking a bit of everything at snail-pace, yep, that’s me! Don’t go behind me in a queue either, if you push me out of the way, I’ll understand- though I would still hate you for it.


So moving on from me being that annoying person in the front of a queue, there’s nothing quite like the perfect accompanying sauce for the grilled stuff. For me, it has to be sweet, salty, spicy, smoky, sticky (didn’t realise all my wants began with an ‘s’!) and so I made what I thought encapsulated these flavour characteristics.



  • 25 litres cola
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 60 ml vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp corn starch



  1. Brown the onions for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic and cook a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cola and spices and leave to simmer and reduce for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the onions and garlic and blitz in a food processor to a smooth puree.
  5. Return back to the sauce along with the corn starch and simmer for a further 10 minutes whilst stirring. The sauce should start to thicken at this point.
  6. Leave to cool before placing in a sterilised jar and refrigerate. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.


I smother this on everything as should you- you won’t be able to help yourself!

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