Homemade BBQ Sauce

Posted on February 29, 2012


The other day I posted a recipe for Crock-Pot Pulled Pork. One of the main ingredients is BBQ sauce, but I don’t recommend using commercially produced bottled BBQ sauce. It’s usually filled with sugar, artificial colors & flavors, and sodium – ugh!

Take a look at the ingredients in some BBQ sauces next time you’re in the grocery store. High fructose corn syrup is usually the first ingredient – ingredients are listed in order of predominance, meaning high fructose corn syrup makes up the majority of your BBQ sauce.

That really bothers me, so I like to make my own BBQ sauce. It’s easy, and it tastes so much better than bottled versions. Once you make your own, you’ll probably never want to buy it again.

In the past month, I’ve already made two batches of BBQ sauce, and I’ve been having the best meals:

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Crock-pot Pulled Pork

and BBQ Chicken Skillet Pasta, to name a few

I hope I’ve now convinced you to make your own BBQ sauce. If anything, it will make you feel really good about yourself. I love making homemade versions of things most people buy in a store, especially when they taste much better and are healthier {clearly, I’m easily amused}.

Note: BBQ sauce does have a large amount of sugar, so stick to a small serving. The beauty of making your own sauce is that it doesn’t have all of the added, unnecessary ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and MSG to name a few. By all means, feel free to add high fructose corn syrup if you’re so inclined 😉

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Makes about 3 cups

  • ½ TBSP canola oil
  • 1 large red or white onion, diced
  • 1 (8 oz) can no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾-1 tsp The Delicious Dietitian Thai Spice Blend
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Whisk remaining ingredients into the saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, and turn down heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Blend sauce together using an immersion blender (or regular blender but be careful), making sure that all of the onion is blended into the sauce. Whisk sauce together. Return saucepan to medium-low heat, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Taste sauce, and adjust seasonings as needed. Allow the sauce to cool slightly before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The sauce will last up to 3 weeks in a refrigerator and about 1-2 months frozen. Enjoy!

Happy Leap Day!


Posted in: Recipes