Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

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Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce is packed with a bold blend of smoky chipotle peppers, zesty spices, and tangy sweetness. This sauce is guaranteed to bring flavor in every bite!

A brush coated with the Spicy Chipotle BBQ sauce.


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Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce is a mouthwatering condiment that packs a punch with its smoky chipotle peppers and a blend of bold spices. Whether you’re grilling up juicy burgers, tender ribs, or succulent chicken wings, this sauce will take your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary.

If you’re looking for more sauce ideas, try these Boom Boom Sauce, Creamy Sriracha Sauce, and Teriyaki Marinade Sauce.

A brush covered in the thick sauce.

Why We Love This Spicy Barbecue Sauce

The spicy sauce is a recipe we are passionate about. For the smoke flavor and the combination of spices, there are plenty of reasons why this sauce has earned a special place in our hearts.

  • Quick and Easy: With just a 15-minute prep time, you’ll have this sauce ready in a flash for your meal.
  • Easy Ingredients: Crafted from pantry staples, this recipe keeps it simple without compromising on taste.
  • So Many Uses: Whether you’re dipping, spreading, or marinating, this Spicy Chipotle BBQ sauce brings a burst of flavor to your culinary creations.

Ingredient Notes for Chipotle BBQ Sauce Recipe

Garlic, tomato paste, onions and seasonings for the delicious sauce.
  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce: This ingredient adds a smoky and spicy kick to the sauce. If you’re looking for substitutions or additional heat, sprinkle in some chipotle powder.
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar brings a subtle sweetness that perfectly balances the smokiness and spiciness of the sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: The vinegar adds tanginess and depth of flavor to the sauce, enhancing its overall taste profile.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This classic ingredient offers umami and a hint of complexity to the sauce.

See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

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Variations and Substitutions for Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Our spicy chipotle BBQ sauce is a versatile canvas, ready for your creative touch. Get creative and explore the exciting variations and substitutions that can take this sauce to new heights.

  • Make Hotter: If you’re a spice enthusiast, feel free to increase the amount of chipotle pepper in adobo or add some for an extra kick to the Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce.
  • Vegan: This recipe can be easily adapted for vegan dietary needs. Use maple syrup as a sweetener instead of brown sugar. Also, use a vegan Worcestershire sauce.

How to Make Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce Recipe

These are the basic steps for making Spicy Barbeque Sauce. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Mixing all the ingredients together.

Step 1: Cook Onions and Garlic

First, in a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Then add in the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft. Next, add in the minced garlic and let cook for 30 seconds.

Step 2: Add the Rest of the Ingredients

Then add in the ketchup, water, minced chipotle, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and black pepper. Next, stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Step 3: Simmer

Finally, turn the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the sauce to thicken. Lastly, store in an airtight container or mason jar.

Finishing the Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce and ready to use.

Recipe FAQs for Homemade BBQ Sauce

Yes, this sauce has a spicy kick from the chipotle peppers, but you can adjust the heat level to your preference.

This sauce can be stored in an airtight container or mason jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Use it as a dipping sauce, spread it on sandwiches, or use it as a marinade for grilled meats such as pulled pork or brisket and veggies.

Chipotle peppers in adobo can be found in the international section of most supermarkets or online.

A close up on the Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Expert Tips for Making This BBQ Sauce

These tried-and-true tips will take your BBQ chipotle sauce recipe from great to unforgettable. From small tweaks that enhance the flavor profile to ingenious ideas that add an exciting twist, these tips will create a truly exceptional sauce.

  • Honey Chipotle: If you prefer, incorporate a touch of honey to balance the spicy flavors. Molasses works well too.
  • Fruit: For a unique twist, add a bit of fresh or canned fruit to introduce a sweet undertone. Peaches make a great addition to this BBQ sauce.
  • Chipotle Powder: If you can’t find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you can substitute them with chipotle powder. You can also add extra chipotle powder to bring the spiciness up a notch. Also, paprika adds a nice spicy flavor to make this recipe.

What to Serve with Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce

A brush coated with the Spicy Chipotle BBQ sauce.
5 from 31 votes

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 15 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Chipotle BBQ Sauce is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. This easy barbecue sauce comes together quickly and adds so much flavor.
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below!


  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cup Ketchup
  • 1 Whole chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
  • ¼ cup Water
  • cup Brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon Celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black pepper, ground


  • Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add ketchup, water, minced chipotle pepper, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, black pepper and ground mustard; Stir until combined.
  • Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.

Expert Tips

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: A great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately and use as you need it.
  • Add Honey: If the sauce is a little too hot for your family, add a little honey.
  • Fruit: Feel free to add a little fresh or canned peaches for a sweet flavor.
  • Chipotle Powder: They Chipotle in Adobo is available in all supermarkets now a days, however you can replace with a Chipotle powder or sauce.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 153IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Condiment, Sauces, Seasonings, Dressings
Cuisine: American

6 thoughts on “Spicy Chipotle BBQ Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    This one truly is a keeper. I used unsweetened ketchup. I did follow the rest of the recipe and I did add the brown sugar. Only other change I made was switching out the water for lime juice, just because. I don’t even know why, I just did. I love that it’s low on sugar and salt. Family loved it too.


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