Homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

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Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.

Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City style BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.
Kansas City BBQ Sauce

This homemade BBQ sauce is so easy to make from scratch. Simply combine the ingredients and simmer on the stove for less than 30 minutes. The results are a thick, tangy sauce with the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. This Kansas City BBQ sauce is perfect on Slow Cooker Pulled PorkBBQ Shrimp, chicken, ribs, or beef.

Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

The best part of making BBQ sauce from scratch is that you have complete control of what goes into it, whether it’s the amount of heat or sugar. Did you know most brands of BBQ sauces and ketchup sold in the supermarket contain high fructose corn syrup? Don’t worry – I also have a homemade ketchup recipe!

My daughter Karina makes ribs with this sauce, which she claims are the BEST because of the simple homemade BBQ sauce. She made them for me recently, and I agree they were amazing. She made a rub for the ribs and then baked them in the oven for two hours. While they baked, she whipped up this BBQ sauce and then slathered it all over the ribs towards the end.

Kansas City BBQ Sauce Ingredients

While the ingredient list may be long, the ingredients require no prep, so it goes pretty fast. Just measure and pour into the pot.

  • Tomatoes: canned tomato sauce and tomato paste make up the base of the sauce.
  • Sweetener: Kansas City BBQ sauce is sweeter, so I use honey and molasses.
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke is found near the BBQ sauce at supermarkets.
  • Spices: Cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, chili powder

How To Make BBQ Sauce

  1. Making BBQ sauce is easy! Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Let it cool before transferring it to a mason jar or container.
  3. Refrigerate the sauce for up to a week or freeze it in small containers or an ice cube tray for a few months.
  4. To use the sauce, brush it over chicken, meat, shrimp, etc. towards the end of the cooking time – about 10 minutes before it’s finished.

Variations

  • If you don’t like spicy BBQ sauce, leave the cayenne out.
  • If you want it less sweet, use less honey.
  • I recommend using the molasses, but maple syrup would work if you don’t have it.
  • If you don’t have liquid smoke, you can skip it, or use smoked paprika instead of regular.
  • Swap apple cider vinegar for red wine vinegar.

Homemade BBQ Sauce Ingredients.Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City style BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City style BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.

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Homemade sweet and spicy Kansas City style BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.
Print WW Personal Points
5 from 36 votes
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Homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

65 Cals 0.5 Protein 17 Carbs Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 17 servings
COURSE: Sauce
CUISINE: American
Sweet and spicy Kansas City style BBQ sauce made with tomato sauce, honey, molasses, vinegar and spices.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses, unsulfured
  • 2 tsp all natural hickory liquid smoke, Colgin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan combine all the ingredients and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Let it cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • For using on grilled meat, brush onto chicken, pork or beef the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Notes

Makes 2 cups + 2 tbsp. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp, Calories: 65kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 0.5g, Sodium: 362mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 10g
WW Points Plus: 1
Keywords: bbq sauce, Homemade BBQ Sauce, kansas city bbq sauce recipe, Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

Photo credit: Jess Larson

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143 comments

  1. My son loves BBQ sauce but I have such a hard time finding one with no high fructose corn syrup. We just made this and my son said it’s his new favorite! So easy and so delicious!!! 

  2. Sounds delicious!  I was wondering if it freezes well, there are only two of us and I would probably only use 1/2 a cup at a times so I’m curious if it would freeze well? 
    Thanks! 

  3. My husband and I really enjoyed this sauce. I live in Tokyo and it’s hard to find good American style BBQ sauce so this was a winner. Very easy to make and made a good amount. I’m going to be making this all summer for pulled pork and chicken!

  4. So good!

  5. I have really liked every recipe I have tried from Skinnytaste and I like this one too. On the bbq sauce I omitted the cinnamon the second time I made it, added more pepper, garlic salt, onion powder and smoked paprika.

  6. Delicious!!!!

  7. Could this barbecue sauce be jarred/canned at home for room temperature storage?

  8. Can I make this without liquid smoke. I don’t have any.

  9. Can you freeze the BBQ sauce?

  10. First I want to say thank you for taking the time to add WW points. Why is it more on Blue then it is on green and purple? It kind of seems impossible for any recipe to be more on blue then on green..

  11. I’m curious why you are not  listing the fat grams in your ingredient information any longer?

  12. Can brown sugar be used in place of molasses?

  13. Question for you Gina~ After cooking this, can it be jarred and canned like a I do a jam for longer shelf life? This BBQ sauce is AMAZING!!

    • I don’t see why not

      • Yes. The beauty of cooking via a recipe is that anyone that has a general understanding of flavors is that you’re able to omit or add flavors that you’re familiar with and that jive with the recipe overall. If you omit the liquid smoke, it will taste different, but it won’t destroy the sauce. You just won’t have the smoky flavor that liquid smoke provides i.e. as if you cooked your meat on a smoker. Good luck!!