Store-bought barbecue sauces may be convenient, but they are typically loaded with sugar or corn syrup. We season a rich tomato base with a little molasses, vinegar, and liquid smoke for a standout sauce in a mere 15 minutes.

Blue Ribbon Barbecue Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dressings, Sauces & jams
Makes: 4 Sauce portions
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (sold near the spices)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil and onions in a saucepot over medium-high heat, and cook until golden brown and softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in all the remaining ingredients, except the salt. Cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and add salt to taste. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Perfect Portion Blue Ribbon Barbecue Sauce

HELPFUL TIP: This recipe makes 1 ⅓ cups of sauce, about the same amount as a standard bottle of store-bought sauce.
Serving size: ⅓ cup Calories: 100