It’s grilling season, so making homemade BBQ Sauce is natural and fun. This sweet, smoky, and aromatic BBQ sauce takes just a few minutes to make and will take your summer barbecue to the next level of utter deliciousness.

While making your own BBQ sauce isn’t much more expensive than buying a bottled sauce, Apronese believes you’ll love it for its rich flavor and taste.

What are you waiting for, don’t start working right now

Homemade BBQ Sauce: Why Should I Use It?

When I make my own sauce from pantry staples, I have a chronic condiment problem. I tend to have a lot of half-used condiments in my fridge, and so when I can make it myself using pantry staples, I do it.

The fact that you can use up what you already have rather than purchase something new is itself a benefit for me since it isn’t always less expensive, but the fact that you don’t have to buy something new is another plus. Furthermore, there are no mystery thickeners, emulsifiers, or sweeteners in this version either.

Is It Possible to Freeze This Sauce?

This Homemade BBQ Sauce is made in a fairly small batch (about one cup) in order to make sure there will not be much leftover, but if you do happen to have leftovers, I will tell you that it freezes well too.

In the freezer, it can be stored for at least a few months if you place the food in a freezer safe container (such as a resealable Ziploc container, freezer bag, or even portioned into an ice cube tray). The food should keep for at least a few months.

Homemade BBQ Sauce: How to Use It

I believe that those of you who love BBQ sauce have seen how versatile this sauce is. For instance, if you have only ever served it with BBQ meat, then you are missing out! Here are some of my other favorite uses for BBQ sauce:

  • To top bowl meals (see Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls)
  • For sandwiches (see BBQ Tofu Sliders)
  • To coat chicken wings (see Baked Chicken Wings)
  • To top meatloaf (see Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner)
  • As a sauce for beans (see BBQ Beef and Beans)
  • In quesadillas (see Ultimate BBQ Chicken Quesadillas)
  • To smother delicious meatballs (see BBQ Meatballs with Cheese Grits)
  • As a pizza sauce (see BBQ Black Bean Quesadillas)

Is It Possible to Use Less Sugar?

It is a well known fact that BBQ sauce is a sweet sauce. In this recipe, both brown sugar and molasses (the sugar in this recipe) sweeten it, balance out the acidity, and create a glazey look for the sauce.

Generally speaking, I find that the amount of sugar listed in the recipe below is balanced to my taste buds, but you can experiment with a lower sugar content to see if it is palatable to you as well.

For a recipe that is already specifically designed to contain less sugar, try searching for a low sugar BBQ sauce.

Two grilled chicken breasts coated in homemade bbq sauce with a dish of sauce and brush on the side.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Whether you want your meat to be sweet, tangy, or tender, this sweet, tangy, and rich homemade bbq sauce is sure to please, and it’s not just for grilling! It’s so good for cooking as well as for eating!

Author: Beth

Prep Time: 5 mins/ Cook Time: 10 mins/ Total Time: 15 mins

Servings: 4 1/4 cup each


  • 8 oz. tomato sauce ($0.25)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste ($0.10)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.12)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.08)
  • 2 Tbsp molasses* ($0.35)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne ($0.01)
  • freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill) ($0.02)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)


  • The ingredients except the salt should all be combined in a small sauce pan. Stir well and then heat gently over medium heat, over low to medium heat, until the mixture comes up to a slight simmer.

  • Stir the sauce often while it simmers for about five minutes, until it has thickened and combined into a paste like texture. Taste the sauce for seasoning, and add salt if needed (I didn’t).

*Not black strap molasses, but Grandma’s molasses, which is a light, unsulfured molasses that I used in this recipe.


Calories: 83.93 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 19.78 g ・ Protein: 1.23 g ・ Fat: 0.25 g ・ Sodium: 521.93 mg ・ Fiber: 1.28 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer .


Our equipment section contains affiliate links to products we use and love. As an Amazon Associate, I can earn commissions on qualifying purchases.

Close up of homemade BBQ sauce being brushed onto a grilled chicken breast

How to Make Homemade BBQ Sauce – Step by Step Photos

Ingredients for homemade bbq sauce in the pot

The recipe is so easy to make that it is ridiculously easy to follow. Simply combine all the ingredients, except the salt, in a small sauce pot and stir them well.

There are six ingredients in this recipe: tomato sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, and about ten cranks of the pepper mill.

In this dish, you can see some ice on the tomato paste because I had some stored in the freezer.

Close up of finished homemade bbq sauce in the pot with a spoon

Stir the ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Once the sauce has reached a slight simmer, keep stirring and cooking for about five minutes.

Stir the sauce often while it simmers. After about five minutes, give it a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add salt). And that’s it. The sauce is ready to serve.

Molasses Jar

The molasses I use is a light (not black strap) unsulfured molasses. For more details, see The Kitchn’s Everything You Need to Know About Molasses.

Homemade BBQ sauce being brushed onto a grilled chicken breast in a white dish with a bowl of sauce on the side.

A treat for the whole family, made with delicious sauces that match the way it is cooked, Apronese believes it is a wonderful and meaningful meal. Please share this BBQ sauce recipe to more people.