BBQ Sauce Homestyle

There are so many bottled BBQ sauces out there – and most are high in sodium? Not so great for our blood pressure. When we last had baked chicken, I baked it with homemade BBQ sauce – YUM!! Now if we had a grill, I would have cooked it on the grill. But that is another story.

Mom (Nana Pullen) always made her own BBQ sauce, and I tried a take-off on hers with the addition of molasses, garlic, and a few other low-sodium flavor treats. All of the ingredients can be switched around depending upon your flavor preference. The full recipe is below. Ta-da on my chicken dish.


I checked the sodium content for commercial BBQ products. It is a bit shocking what the food companies add for sodium -you really have to wonder how they fit in all of this sodium: 1 tablespoon contains 392 milligrams sodium. Holy smokes! The American Heart Association suggests 1,500 milligrams per day: AmericanHeart.

It does take a while for your taste buds to become accustomed to less sodium/salt BUT they will adjust. It can take up to six to eight weeks for the food to taste A-Okay with less sodium/salt for seasoning. Herbs and spices do help but there really is no replacement for salt – it does add a special sparkle to dishes. But on the other hand, it may raise blood pressure, too, and that is definitely not good.

We had a lovely dinner last night at the Old Trail Golf Clubhouse with Michael and Roxanne, enjoying the view of the golf course and the Blue Ridge Mountains. My dinner was a beautifully cooked, tender, flavorful halibut, with a light sauce. Oh-so-good, but it certainly tasted a tad salty. Just not accustomed to the addition of salt in cooking. And then there were the delicious sweet potato fries. Terrific!!  But I can understand why I am so thirsty today.


Nutrition Note: When you are grocery shopping, be sure to check the sodium content on the food label. It is required by FDA law to be listed clearly on the label.  If the serving has 140 milligrams or less, you’ve got a pretty good product. By the way, salt is 40% sodium and 60% chloride.

BBQ Sauce Homestyle
Yields 1
A rich thick sauce that can be used to baste chicken or added to a shredded pork BBQ.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 clove minced garlic
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  4. 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  5. 2 tablespoons water (or more to thin it out)
  6. 2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  7. 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  8. 2 tablespoons molasses
  9. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  10. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  11. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  12. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  1. 1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until tender and soft.
  2. 2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until blended.
  3. 3. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until thickened.
  4. 4. Taste test the BBQ sauce and add additional ingredients as desired.
  5. 5. Use immediately or store in covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  1. Any of the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your own taste buds. Experiment! Have fun.
  2. Thin out, if needed, with more water, cider vinegar or molasses.
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