This easy Balsamic BBQ Sauce uses a handful of ingredients, and has a beautifully tangy/sweet/savory flavor combination! Perfect for slathering on grilled meats, vegetables, burgers, or as a dipping sauce!
This is part of a series of recipes here on the site that I’m calling “Back to Basics“. In this series you’ll find recipes that are common building blocks for beginner cooks, as well as homemade versions of pantry/store-bought staples, such as cream of mushroom soup, cocktail sauce, garlic bread, etc. With easy to follow instructions, detailed notes, and step by step photos, you’ll be on your way to being a master in your kitchen in no time!
Store-bought barbecue sauce is good, and certainly convenient, but have you tried homemade bbq sauce?
It’s so easy to make, stores well, and tastes so much better!
Those sauces are fabulous, but this balsamic bbq sauce just might be my all-time favorite. It’s sweet and tangy, with plenty of savory flavors going on.
So without further adieu, let’s see how easy it is to make!
How to make balsamic bbq sauce?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Add ingredients to saucepan. No particular order needed here, just dump them in.
- Bring to a boil. Heat the saucepan over medium/medium high heat.
- Reduce and simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low/low and simmer until thick.
Since there’s a large amount of balsamic vinegar in this recipe, you want to make sure you’re using a good quality vinegar. That doesn’t always mean the most expensive, but I also wouldn’t use the cheapest vinegar at the store.
Variations of this recipe
- Spicy – to increase the heat level, increase the amount of cayenne used, or add some hot sauce/sriracha.
- Herbs – for a more complex flavor profile, try adding some dried rosemary or thyme. Fresh herbs can be used, but you’ll want to stir them in at the end, rather than cooking them with the sauce.
- Other vinegars – I’ve not tested this recipe with other types of vinegar, so it’s not recommended to substitute the balsamic.
You may be wondering why you’d go to the trouble of making bbq sauce when there are so many bottled varieties available. I’m not knocking those sauces, but in my opinion, homemade tastes so much better. Plus you can add real sugar and ingredients you can pronounce, control the sugar/salt levels, and have a sauce with way less preservatives.
Even though there’s a whole cup of balsamic vinegar in this recipe, it doesn’t taste overly vinegar-y. The balsamic cooks down with the other ingredients, and it adds a tangy sweetness to the sauce.
Making balsamic bbq sauce ahead of time
The main reason I used to find myself reaching for a bottle of bbq sauce at the store, is that I just didn’t want to hassle with making the sauce while I’m already cooking the other parts of the meal.
But the great news is, it’s easy to whip up in advance!
This sauce can be made several days or even a week in advance if you’d like. Just keep it refrigerated in an airtight container.
Homemade bbq sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.
No need to break out a big pan for this recipe, so this 1.5 quart pan is perfect. It’s also great for reheating soups and more!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste or about 3 cloves, very finely minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil over MED/MED HIGH heat.
- Reduce heat to MED LOW/LOW and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and glossy.
- Serve on your favorite grilled meats, vegetables, or as a dipping sauce!
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- Recipe makes approximately 2 cups of bbq sauce. However you choose to divide that up in terms of serving size, is up to you 🙂
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.