Unleash Your Inner Chef with This Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Are you ready for a flavor-packed journey to the southern states? Indulge in our Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe that will set your taste buds ablaze.

Our recipe will make your Southern barbecue dreams come to life. A mouth-watering sauce, packed with sweet onions, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and ketchup, will leave you craving more.

As George Orwell once said, “Good food is a true expression of love.” Our Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce is the ultimate expression of love through food. It’s an excellent addition to any barbecue, giving it a bold, tangy kick that everyone will enjoy.

Whether you’re hosting your next family gathering or snacking on ribs during a football game with friends, our sauce is the perfect companion. So come aboard and let’s explore the deliciousness of Southern cuisine!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce
Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce

Are you ready to taste one of the best barbecue sauces in the south? Well, get ready for a sweet and sassy sauce that will make your taste buds dance! This Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe is like no other. It’s tangy yet sweet, with just the right amount of spice to give your mouth a sensation that is out of this world.

If you’re a fan of the traditional tomato-based barbecue sauce with a twist, then you’ll definitely love this recipe. The combination of raw sugar, apple cider vinegar, and ketchup gives it that famous tangy flavor of Carolina BBQ, while the addition of sweet onion, lemon juice, garlic cloves, ground mustard, and onion powder creates a unique and flavorful profile.

But what sets this recipe apart from others is the use of jalapeño pepper, which provides a subtle kick to the sauce without overpowering its sweetness. And if you’re looking for a spicy barbecue sauce, you can easily adjust the heat by adding more jalapeños or even some cayenne pepper.

This Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe is incredibly versatile and can be used not only as a bbq sauce but also as a dipping sauce or salad dressing. It pairs perfectly with grilled meats like chicken, ribs, and pork chops. Whether you are hosting a backyard bbq or just cooking up a weeknight dinner, this sauce will be your secret ingredient to impress your guests or your family.

And if that’s not enough reason to fall in love with this recipe, let me tell you how easy it is to make! You only need one pot to bring together all the ingredients and cook them until they reach the desired consistency. Trust me; it’s so simple that even an inexperienced cook could make it.

So why settle for store-bought sauces when you can make your own sweet and sassy southern bbq sauce that everyone will love? Go ahead and try this recipe, and you’ll never go back to any other barbecue sauce again.

Ingredient List

 A pool of Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce waiting to be basted over your meats!
A pool of Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce waiting to be basted over your meats!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious and flavorful Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (32 oz.) bottle ketchup (we recommend Casa Di Graffagnino’s Sweet & Tangy Sauce Mix)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup raw sugar (apple juice or honey can be substituted for a healthier version)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Additional Spices:

  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper


  • 2 cups water

Note: If you prefer a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect blend of sweetness and spiciness in every drop of this barbecue sauce.
The perfect blend of sweetness and spiciness in every drop of this barbecue sauce.

Now that we have all of our ingredients ready, let’s dive into the process of making this mouth-watering Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe. Follow these steps closely and you will be surprised at how easy it could be.

Step 1: Start with a sauté

  • Heat up the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the 2 cups of chopped sweet onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, and minced jalapeño pepper.
  • Cook and stir occasionally until the onion becomes transparent and tender.

Step 2: Combine Everything in the Pan

  • Pour the 32 oz ketchup bottle into the saucepan.
  • Add a pack of Tay Purpose Southern BBQ Sauce Mix along with 1 tablespoon ground mustard, 1 tablespoon onion powder, fresh ground black pepper, 1 cup raw sugar, 1/4cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup water.
  • Make sure to mix altogether with a whisk until everything is incorporated.

Step 3: Let It Simmer

  • Set your stove to low heat and bring your sauce to a slow boil while constantly stirring.
  • Lower the heat but still simmer uncovered for about 35 minutes.

Step 4: Skim It Up

  • Remove any foam or bubbles that appear on top of the sauce while it boils.

Step 5: Serve It Up

After letting it cool down or storing it in an airtight container or jar, you can start adding this remarkable barbecue sauce to any meat, poultry, or seafood that you’re serving up tonight!

Substitutions and Variations

 Add some pizzazz to your meat dishes with this Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce.
Add some pizzazz to your meat dishes with this Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce.

Now, sometimes you might want to switch things up a bit and try something different. If that’s the case, don’t fret, there are many substitutes you can use to create your own unique twist on this sweet and sassy southern barbecue sauce recipe!

One alternative you could try is using different types of vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar. Try experimenting with balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar to see which one appeals to your palate.

If you’re looking for a spicy kick, consider adding more jalapeño pepper or chili sauce to the mix. Alternatively, you could substitute some of the raw sugar for spicy brown sugar to give it an added zing.

For those who prefer a sweeter taste, increase the measurement of raw sugar or add 1/2 cup of peach preserves to get a burst of flavor.

If you’re trying to keep your sodium intake low or prefer things less salty, opt for low-sodium ketchup and water when making the sauce.

Another way to customize this classic sauce is by adding or subtracting ingredients from it. For example, if you want a more tangy barbecue sauce like in North Carolina style BBQs then replace half cup of ketchup with equal amount of tomato puree and add 2 tablespoons more of apple cider vinegar.

You can also use this sauce recipe as a base for other recipes such as sassy salad dressing or even pork chops glaze.

In conclusion, there are many ways in which you can modify this southern bbq staple into your own unique version. So be bold and have fun as you experiment with substitutions and variations to create an entirely new and exciting dish!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to add some Southern charm to your barbecue with this sauce!
Get ready to add some Southern charm to your barbecue with this sauce!

Once you have prepared this classic southern BBQ sauce, make sure to store it in a tightly sealed jar or bottle in the refrigerator. With its sweet and sassy taste, this BBQ sauce is perfect for adding a bold and flavorful punch to your grilled pork ribs, burgers, chicken wings, pulled pork sandwiches, and also pairs well with crispy potato wedges.

The tangy vinegar undertones will complement both smoked meats and traditional bbq fare. This southern BBQ sauce makes a scrumptious dipping sauce that allows you to savor every bite of your favorite grilled items.

If you’re looking for an exciting salad dressing alternative, give the Sweet Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe a try for some irresistible culinary experimentation. The smoky flavor from the sauce is guaranteed to take your salads from bland to bold overnight.

For an even more tempting treat, try using our Sweet & Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce as a marinade to bring out the flavors of any meat. Its sweetness distinguishes it from other barbecue sauces and adds an alluring aroma to glazes and roasted meats.

Whether you want to infuse your meal with sweet flavors or heat things up with spicy zest, this versatile southern-style BBQ sauce delivers every time. As you enjoy each bite of your dish, the rich aroma of spices will transport you to the heart of Carolina’s barbeque country.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The star of the cookout, Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce, is ready to impress.
The star of the cookout, Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce, is ready to impress.

Preparing a large batch of Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce ahead of time can save time and effort, especially when planning for an event or large gathering. This recipe can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for later use.

After cooking the sauce, allow it to cool down naturally. Store it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When ready to use, remove the sauce from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.

Reheating the sauce is easy on stovetop or microwave. To reheat on stovetop, pour the sauce into a saucepan and heat over low heat while stirring occasionally. On the other hand, reheating in a microwave requires you to transfer a portion of your sauce into a microwavable bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid, and heat it up using 30-second interval stirring in between until heated through.

One possible variation idea is adding more sugar and vinegar before storing it. It will give your sauce an even sweeter flavor with just the right amount of tanginess – perfect for those who prefer their BBQ sauce sweet and tangy.

Overall, make-ahead Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce is a convenient way to add an extra pop of flavor to your future meals without all the last-minute hassle of cooking everything from scratch.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Let the flavors of the South dance on your taste buds with this barbecue sauce.
Let the flavors of the South dance on your taste buds with this barbecue sauce.

As a southern-style chef, I have cooked numerous barbecues and experimented with different sauces. From my experience, here are some tips to help you achieve perfect results with your Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe:

1. Balance the sweetness and spiciness

The recipe calls for a perfect balance of sweetness and sassy heat. Make sure you stick to the right proportion of sugar, apple cider vinegar, and chili sauce, and refrain from adding extra sugar. For extra spiciness, consider adding more jalapeno peppers or cayenne pepper but make sure not to overpower the sweetness of the sauce.

2. Simmer it low and slow

The key to achieving the rich flavor of the southern-style barbeque sauce is by allowing it to simmer slowly over low heat. The longer it simmers, the thicker the consistency of the sauce will be, which is perfect for glazing your meats.

3. Minimize stirring

Stirring your barbecue sauce can be tempting as you watch it cook down, but be patient and only stir occasionally when necessary. This will help prevent any unwanted burning or sticking of your sauce on your pot or pan.

4. Use fresh ingredients

For that authentic southern taste, use fresh ingredients such as minced garlic, chopped sweet onions, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Fresh ingredients always produce superior flavor compared to pre-packaged or powdered ones.

5. Don’t overlook low-sodium options

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional southern-style barbecue sauces but don’t want to sacrifice flavor, try using low-sodium BBQ sauce options in your recipe. Brands like Casa Di Graffagnino and Tay’s Purpose Southern Sauce Mix offer great flavor with reduced salt content.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create that sweet-spicy tangy flavor profile that defines Southern BBQ without breaking a sweat. Happy cooking!


Before we wrap up, let’s take the time to address some Frequently Asked Questions, so you have all the information you need to make this sweet and sassy southern barbecue sauce recipe a success. Here are some of the most common inquiries that come up when making this sauce, along with some helpful answers and tips.

Is Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy BBQ sauce spicy?

The Rich & Sassy® Mild sauce is a delectable blend of carefully selected herbs and spices that adds a mild yet flavorful touch to any dish.

What’s the difference between Kansas City and South Carolina BBQ sauce?

When it comes to barbecue, there are many unique styles each with its flavors and sauce bases. For instance, one of the popular styles is Kansas City BBQ, which has a sweet sauce made of tomatoes and has a tangy flavor. On the other hand, Carolina BBQ is known for its spiciness, and the sauce has vinegar as its base.

What is in redneck BBQ sauce?

If you’re looking for a BBQ sauce with authentic American flavor, try Redneck Riviera BBQ sauce. This sauce, created by country singer John Rich, is made from a combination of real sugar, tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, and a special blend of spices. It’s a sauce that’s perfect for those who know how to balance working hard and having fun. Find it at a store near you.

What is a sweetest style BBQ sauce?

When it comes to barbecue sauce, there are some tasty options to choose from depending on your flavor preferences. Those who crave a sweet sauce can opt for a tomato-based Kansas City or St. Louis style. Those who prefer a robust and rich taste can try out the South African Braai sauce or the Baltimore sauce.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this sweet and sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce recipe is a must-try for all barbecue enthusiasts. Its unique blend of ingredients and flavors will leave your taste buds wanting more with each bite of your favorite barbecued dish. From the tangy apple cider vinegar to the sweet brown sugar and honey, this sauce is a perfect balance of flavors that will elevate any dish it’s paired with.

Not only is this sauce delicious, but it’s also versatile. You can use it as a marinade, dipping sauce, or even as a salad dressing. And with the array of substitutions and variations available to you, you can make this recipe your own and cater to your personal preferences.

Moreover, this recipe’s make-ahead, storing, and reheating tips make it a perfect meal prep companion when dishes need to be made ahead of time or amplified with an extra layer of flavor.

In conclusion, whether you’re a fan of Kansas City-style barbecue sauce or North Carolina BBQ typically served with vinegar-based sauce, this Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce will satisfy any palette preference. So why not try it out for yourself? Bring home the taste of southern comfort in every bite.

Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and Sassy Southern Barbecue Sauce Recipe

This recipe was created for my husband after he survived an Aortic Dissection. (YEA) I needed to learn how to cook all over again. I needed to create flavor without any salt or salt substitutes. I won't give out all my secrets but I will tell you that if you are looking for a true southern style or Carolina BBQ recipe, this is the one. Feel free to add salt but believe me it is not needed. It is also made with mostly all natural ingredients. My neighbors have me bottling it. I even created a label. I hope you enjoy!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 21 ounces
Calories 32.8 kcal


  • 14 ounces no salt ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups water (add more for thinner version)
  • 1/4 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons coconut sugar crystals
  • 5 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (substitute no sodium tamari)
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped fine and seeds removed (for spicier version-optional)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced (optional)


  • Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. .
  • Bring to a boil slowly over low to medium heat. (stir occasionally).
  • Once boiled immediately lower heat to a simmer. (stir frequently).
  • Simmer 45 minutes.
  • Strain if you don't want veggies in sauce. .
  • ENJOY !

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 972gCalories: 32.8kcalCarbohydrates: 8.2gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSodium: 213.1mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 7.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Chicken, Meat, Pork, Poultry, Sauces
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