Molasses BBQ Sauce

Tanya Holland

Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland, CA


4 cups


  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped canned peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onion starts to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, chipotle chiles, and chile powder, and continue cooking for 10 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and molasses and cook until the sauce is thick and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.