Homemade BBQ Sauce is so easy to make and is much more healthy than the sugary store-bought barbecue sauce. This recipe is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and smoky and it’s delicious on chicken, pork, pizzas, or whatever your heart desires.
Spring is here and summer will be right around the corner and that means grill season is upon us. I can’t wait to fire up the grill more frequently very soon!
I know it’s really convenient to grab a bottle of barbecue sauce from the grocery store. However, most store-bought BBQ sauces are overly sweet and contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. This homemade BBQ sauce tastes so much better and contains less than half the sugar than anything you could pick up from the store. It’s so worth it to take the extra time to make your own.
If you like sweet, smokey, tangy BBQ sauce with just a kiss of heat, this recipe is for you! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Tomato sauce & paste – This is a tomato based barbecue sauce. There are other types that have more of a mustard/vinegar base, and even one that has a mayonnaise base. A tomato-based BBQ sauce is probably the most common.
- Apple cider vinegar – A bit of vinegar balances the sweetness with a little tang and acid.
- Honey & molasses – Provides a subtle sweetness to balance out the savory seasonings.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth to the overall flavor of the sauce.
- Spices – A simple blend of chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper gives this sauce an amazing flavor.
How to Make this Recipe
This is honestly the very BEST BBQ sauce I have ever tasted! And if you’ve never made your own barbecue sauce from scratch, you may be surprised at just how easy it is. Here’s the simple method:
Please see the recipe card for the full, printable recipe with all of the details.
Simply measure out all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Give it a good stir, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer (uncovered) for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and until the sauce has slightly thickened. Let the sauce cool slightly and then enjoy!
Customize this Recipe
- Sweeter – Like your BBQ sauce on the sweet side? Increase the amount of honey, starting with about 1/3 cup.
- Maple flavored – Substitute maple syrup for the honey, if you’d prefer a maple flavored sauce.
- Don’t have chipotle powder and don’t want to buy it just for this recipe? You can substitute regular chili powder. There won’t be as much of a smoky flavor, but the sauce will still be delicious.
- Spicy – Feel free to add more cayenne pepper or omit it, depending on the heat level you prefer. Remember, it’s easy to add more later and a little goes a long ways. Start with a pinch and add more after you taste the sauce. You can’t take it out once it’s in there!
Ways to Use this Sauce
Homemade barbecue sauce is delicious on any pretty much any type of meat! We even love it in salad and on pizza! Here’s some of our favorite ways to use it:
How long does homemade BBQ sauce last? This is a very common question I get with sauces and dressings. It should last for a couple weeks in your fridge, maybe more. To store, transfer the sauce to an airtight container or small jar and place it in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the sauce in a freezer-safe container for up to about 3 months.
More Healthy Sauces & Condiments
Looking for more healthy dressing, seasoning and sauce recipes? Here’s some favs:
Thanks so much for reading! If you make this recipe I would love for you to give it a ★ rating below. And be sure to follow me on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook for more healthy food inspiration. Cheers!
Homemade BBQ Sauce (Easy Recipe!)
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 tbsp. molasses
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper add more or less depending on how much kick you like
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.