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barbecue sauce made with molasses

Southern-Style Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Make this beautifully sweet molasses sauce the day before in just minutes to have at the ready for your southern style ribs, chops, burgers, and barbecue chicken.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: authentic bbq sauce, barbecue, bbq, bbq sauce, grill, molasses, molasses bbq sauce, sweet barbecue sauce
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 115kcal

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    Ingredients for Southern-Style Molasses Barbecue Sauce

    • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
    • 1 cup diced sweet onion such as Vidalia
    • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, about 2 cloves
    • 1 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 cup molasses I am using blackstrap molasses, but regular molasses works great, too
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • salt and pepper to taste


    The Method

    • In a 5 quart heavy bottom sauce pan, heat the olive oil.
    • Add the onion once oil is shimmering and reduce heat immediately. You want to sweat the onions rather than brown them.
    • Add the garlic, red wine vinegar, molasses, and ketchup. Bring to a simmer and reduce until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, about 15 to 20 minutes. **I like to reduce mine by half.
    • When the sauce is viscous enough to coat the back of a spoon, taste. Season if necessary with salt and pepper.
    • Sauce may be used immediately, or refrigerated overnight. The vinegar profile mellows with refrigeration. Sauce may also be frozen for future use.


    Serving: 1servings | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

    Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.