Barbecue sauce

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins - 25 mins


Makes 450ml/16fl oz
Learn how to make superb barbecue sauce and wow your barbie guests - it's incredibly moreish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal19
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs4g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.06g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g can chopped tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 85g brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat 4-5 mins, until softened. Add remaining ingredients, season and mix. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 mins, until thickened. For a smooth sauce, simply whizz the mixture in a food processor or with a hand blender for a few seconds.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (44)

jamesfancourt12's picture

After seeing previous comments and making the sauce with the ingredients listed, I agree it's too tomatoey. So I added less sugar, paprika and mustard seeds to give it more of a kick and to make it taste less like Pasta sauce

mark houston's picture

Tried this recipe, also tried marinating pork / chicken in the sauce overnight. I Put a little less sugar in and used honey and apple vinegar, a little paprika. It barely tastes anything like BBQ sauce, more like sweet 'n sour and it smells just like pasta mix. Not impressed. So many of these recipes online don't taste anything as they claim, is really annoying.

welshpenguin's picture

This sauce was really tasty although I agree with previous posters:
1 - it's really sweet (at least halve the sugar)
2 - it's really tomatoey, not as barbequey

I served it alongside sausages and it was a great accompaniment. There was some left over which I ate the day after as a chutney with cheese and crackers which was delicious. Will be making this regularly now BBQ season is here (with less sugar and maybe smoked paprika as suggested).

Donkey John's picture

for a more authentic smoky taste, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika and a good pinch of powdered mustard.

Chey56's picture

Simple and simply delicious. Made this recipe for the first time and the quantity makes lots to coat a full family barbecue but I to the tip from previous comment. I cooked it up to the recipe, whizzed then poured over 4 lean pork steaks and cooked in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Really tasty and lots of delicious sauce to indulge the baked potatoes that accompanied the steaks. The sauce on its own is really tasty but as I like spicy heat I added small chopped red chilli pepper - lovely!

nicky67's picture

My family loved this sauce. I made it as per recipe, whizzed it to make it smooth then poured it over sausages and baked in the oven. A real hit, and felt far healthier than opening a jar of processed barbecue sauce.

raymogy's picture

if to sweet make again , missing out the sugar. and add the two together

dippydora1's picture

tasted nothing like bbq sauce, far to sweet . More like pasta sauce.

AnthonyRWillis's picture

First time making this, I agree it's too sweet and too tomatoey. This is what I changed. reduced sugar to 45g & added 1 tbsp of clear honey. Reduced puree to half. Added 1 tsp paprika & 2 tsp thyme (for chicken) simmered until thickened then separated sauce from pulp pulp using sieve. I'm using pulp as relish and used sauce for hunters chicken... Amazing!

anita n's picture

this did not taste anything like a BBQ sauce and it definately did not need 30 minutes to simmer! It is tasty though but not BBQ flavour.

ehughes85's picture

So simple to make and tastes wonderful. A good starter to experiment with - smoked paprika added is a good twist.

janey61's picture

Im always looking for a great bbq sauce for ribs, chicken etc, and even though the ingredients were basic, I thought I would give it a try. It was ok but too much of a tomato sauce, more for pasta or as an accompaniment.

daftdave's picture

I'm new to cooking so this may be a silly question but how is there 0 g of fat when the olive oil has some 13 g per tbs. I don't understand. I ask this because I have high cholesterol and need to know

buell8abe's picture

Sorry I forgot to star! Full 5 stars :)

buell8abe's picture

Oooh, yummy! Big hail storm today (in August!) so decided on an indoor BBQ. This sauce is perfect for our taste, also cheap and very easy to make. I cooked chicken pieces in the smooth/blended version in a heavy frying pan on medium heat until the sauce turned sticky and dark around the edges. Next time will make a large batch and bottle some for friends and family. Delish, extremely More-ish, ThankYou! x

petesfanny's picture

Used half the sugar & added a couple of chopped chillies. Wanted a sauce to go with home made burgers, this was perfect. Used it as a dip with tortillas too. Can easily be adapted to personal taste.

quiteagoodcook's picture

Have just made this and it is lovely, and so easy to make, but i would not use all that sugar when i make it again,as it is very sweet

lyndabynda's picture

Hi can anybody tell me how long this sauce would keep for in the fridge? Thanks

narayan's picture

85g of sugar, no wonder it's bloody morish!!


Questions (3)

MoiraKP's picture

Can you freeze BBQ sauce

sheffysue's picture

Can you freeze this please?

goodfoodteam's picture

The sauce can be frozen or will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge too.

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