Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe

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This homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe is so easy to make and can be customized to suit any dish! It’s your perfect combination of sweet, savory and spicy. Serve on your favorite barbecue chicken foil packets or slathered on grilled chicken or grilled pork chops. The delicious possibilities are endless! 

Barbecue sauce in a glass jar with a brush on the side

Homemade BBQ Sauce

How many barbecue sauce brands are really out on supermarket shelves? Since barbecuing is one of America’s favorite past-times, it’s no wonder there are so many options! Honestly, the best barbecue sauce on the market is your own made right in your kitchen! Using the basic foundation below, you can tweak and add your favorites to create your own homemade barbecue sauce concoctions!

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients

The best homemade barbecue sauce will always start with similar basic ingredients to as the foundation. The greatest part is that from there you can re-season it any way you want to for whatever application you have!

  • Base: ketchup, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Basic Seasonings: paprika, dry mustard, salt and pepper, onions, garlic (or garlic powder).

Add some honey to this easy bbq sauce and coat some beef or pork ribs. Adding some tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot sauce is a perfect complement on chicken wings!

  • Optional Flavor Boosters:
    • Tabasco/Sriracha
    • honey
    • pureed green chiles or tomatillos
    • tomato puree, chili sauce
    • citrus juice (orange, lemon or lime depending on the application).

Steps to show how to make barbecue sauce in a pot

How To Make BBQ Sauce

This recipe is so easy, with just a few steps and only 30 minutes you can create a custom barbecue sauce all your own.

  1. Cook finely diced onion and minced garlic with olive oil in a small saucepan until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.

This can be served just as is or you can blend it with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency (in the images here, I did not blend it). Either will taste great!

Barbecue sauce in a clear jar with a brush

How to Store Homemade BBQ Sauce

This is the easy part! Just keep in a tightly sealed container like a glass mason jar or a clean salad dressing bottle. Use within a few weeks since your homemade barbecue sauce won’t have all the preservatives that store-bought does.

Try Your BBQ Sauce in These Delicious Recipes

Barbecue sauce in a jar with some dripping down
5 from 9 votes
Review Recipe

Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 cups
This homemade barbecue sauce can be customized to suit any dish! Start with this base and flavor from there!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

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  • Cook onion and garlic in a small saucepan on medium low heat until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 303, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1988mg, Potassium: 755mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 47g, Vitamin A: 2135IU, Vitamin C: 7.3mg, Calcium: 93mg, Iron: 2.6mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Sauce
Cuisine American

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Homemade barbecue sauce in a glass jar with a title

Homemade barbecue sauce in a clear jar with a brush and a title
Homemade barbecue sauce in a clear jar and homemade barbecue sauce being brushed on chicken with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Dear Holly,

    When I need a good recipe, your site is the first one I go to. I’ve tried many of your recipes and had great success with the majority of them. Well I have to get back to your homemade Barbecue Sauce now cooking and it smell so good. THANKS

    1. Thank you Susan, you made my day! Enjoy the BBQ – I too love the smell of my kitchen when I make it!

  2. I like adding some chipotle peppers or just the liquid to give it an extra punch. Homemade BBQ is much better than store bought and I dislike it a lot!

  3. Hi Holly!
    First off let me tell you my family loves your recipies. For this barbecue sauce recipe I had one question..
    I don’t have any molasses.. can I use brown sugar in place of the molasses or would you recommend using dark corn syrup instead? And how much just a couple tablespoons? Please help :) fellow lover of cooking <3 -Sky

    1. Sky, thank you, I’m so glad to hear you enjoy my recipes! I’ve only made the recipe as written. The molasses adds a nice flavor. Try omitting it and see how it tastes before adding anything else in its place.

      1. I also couldn’t find molasses in the store, so used treacle syrup instead, not sure how it changed the flavour though, but it was still lovely! Will definitely make it again. Most recipes these days I first come to your website and I usually find what I am looking for! Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful recipes.