I’ve been on the search for the perfect barbecue sauce for…well, forever, and this Kansas City Barbecue Sauce sure did deliver! We’ve got the sauce that goes on the Old-Fashioned Barbecue Chicken Legs and it is totally swoon worthy, but it’s really at its best on food cooked over a flame. I was looking for a sauce that really stood out on its own, perfect for dipping, last-minute basting, slow cooking, etc.
This sauce is super versatile–it has a great base and there are a few variations you can try to mix things up a little. My favorite is the spiced variation–it tastes a lot like the sauce from my all-time favorite hole-in-the-wall barbecue joint and THAT is never a bad thing.
This sauce is kind of a mish-mash of barbecue awesomeness–tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, horseradish, apple juice, onions, garlic, yada, yada, yada…
- Horseradish – Feeling a little iffy on the horseradish? Feel free to leave it out if you just can’t get on board, but know that’s it’s not an overwhelming flavor in the finished sauce, just gives it a bit of an extra kick. You can find prepared horseradish in the produce section, condiment aisle, or near the dips at your grocery store.
- Spiced Variation: Add a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, and a pinch of cayenne pepper with the paprika.
- Smoky Variation: Substitute 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika for the paprika.
How To Make Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
- First you’ll sauté some onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Then everything but the horseradish gets tossed right in: apple juice, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, yellow mustard, paprika Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
- All of that barbecue goodness gets simmered down on the stove for about 30 minutes until it reaches the perfect consistency. Mix in the horseradish and it’s ready to go.
- This barbecue sauce is meant for dipping, making it perfect for onion rings, chicken strips, or French fries. Brush it on Babyback Ribs or use it for barbecue beef or BBQ Pork Sandwiches. It’s delicious on these BBQ Pineapple-Bacon Burgers, on a barbecue chicken pizza, or these Old-Fashioned BBQ Chicken Legs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to add the horseradish? Nope. It gives the barbecue sauce a little bite, but if you really don’t like horseradish, feel free to leave it out.
- Can I make this ahead of time? Absolutely. Allow the finished sauce to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Did You Make This?
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This barbecue sauce is slow simmered to perfection and is ideal for dipping, basting, and so much more!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup apple juice
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients except horseradish (apple juice, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, yellow mustard, paprika Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper) and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Turn heat to low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Add the horseradish and serve as desired.
Spiced Variation: Add a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, and a pinch of cayenne pepper with the paprika.
Smoky Variation: Substitute 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika for the paprika.