Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

This Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe is quick and easy to make with simple ingredients. This barbecue sauce is a little spicy, slightly sweet and perfectly tangy!

Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe, in a jar with a spoon. Make ahead for quick meals!

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own BBQ sauce from scratch, then this recipe is for you! It is so easy, simple and fast – 15 minutes is all it takes!

This homemade BBQ sauce is the best slathered on grilled chicken. It’s also perfect to serve with ribs, as a spread with my best turkey burger recipe, or as a dip for chicken tenders. This BBQ sauce gives the best flavor to crockpot bbq chicken! The possibilities really are limitless for what you can serve with this delicious homemade barbecue sauce!

You can make a batch of this BBQ sauce recipe ahead of time and store it in your refrigerator for busy weeknights. When you’re not sure what to make for dinner, use it as a marinade for chicken for the grill!

Thick, tangy homemade barbecue sauce in a jar.

Healthy BBQ Sauce Recipe

Many homemade BBQ sauce recipes call for using ketchup as the base. This BBQ sauce is made without ketchup, because I wanted to use all real food ingredients in my recipe. Instead of ketchup, I use a combination of tomato paste and water to make a homemade BBQ sauce that is thick and rich. You can adjust the amount of water to make your BBQ sauce thinner, if you want.

To keep this BBQ sauce refined sugar free I make it with honey instead of brown sugar. You can use brown sugar, if you prefer. I tested the recipe both with honey and with brown sugar and actually preferred the flavor of the honey BBQ sauce.

The key to the best BBQ sauce is the flavor! I’ve found the perfect combination of spices and seasonings to make homemade BBQ sauce that is flavorful and tangy. It has just the right balance of sweet and spicy.

Homemade BBQ sauce in a saucepan with a spoon.

How to Make BBQ Sauce

This homemade BBQ sauce recipe is made with pantry ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen right now.

Making this homemade BBQ sauce is so simple! You’ll start by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. In addition to the tomato paste and water, you’ll need honey (or brown sugar), apple cider vinegar, molasses and some common spices and seasonings.

Heat the BBQ sauce on the stove and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to blend the flavors together. Stir it often as it simmers, to help the BBQ sauce cook evenly.

After simmering, you can either use your BBQ sauce right away or let it cool and store it for using later.

Sweet and tangy homemade barbecue sauce in a mason jar with a spoon.

Recipes to use Barbecue Sauce

Cooking Tips for this Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

  • You can add more water to thin the BBQ sauce if it is too thick.
  • If you like a smoky flavor in your BBQ sauce, you can add 1 or 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke along with the other ingredients. I left the liquid smoke out of the main recipe because I wanted to keep it simple, and liquid smoke is not something that I keep in my kitchen.
  • This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups of BBQ sauce. You can double the recipe to make a bigger batch.
  • You can make this barbecue sauce ahead and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.


Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe

This Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe is quick and easy to make with simple ingredients. This barbecue sauce is a little spicy, slightly sweet and perfectly tangy!
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue sauce, bbq sauce recipe, homemade bbq sauce, how to make bbq sauce
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 5 servings
Calories 111kcal


  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, for extra spice


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking, and then reduce heat. Simmer 5-10 minutes to blend and develop the flavors, stirring often.
  • Add more water to thin the barbecue sauce if it is too thick.


  • Store BBQ sauce for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.


Serving: 1/4 cup | Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 513mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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