Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

  • This Kansas City style BBQ sauce is the perfect finishing touch to your grilled foods. It’s rich, thick, sticky and sweet just like it should be!

    Closeup shot of Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce in mason jar with spoon next to it.

    Well, summer is in full force here now. The kids are out of school and I am grilling everything as the weather gets warmer and warmer. This recipe has become a new staple around my house. It’s one of my husband’s favorites, along with this Texas Style BBQ Sauce.

    Sweet & Sticky Sauce:

    I am calling this a Kansas City style BBQ sauce because it is that classic sweet and sticky goodness you expect. It has a decent amount of molasses in it, which gives the sauce that deep beautiful color. It also helps make it really thick which makes it perfect as a finishing or dipping sauce.

    It’s actually a super simple recipe. Just combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes! That’s it!


    • LIQUIDS: The base of this sauce is made up of ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
    • SEASONINGS: This delicious BBQ sauce comes together with seasonings you likely already have in your pantry, including onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
    • MEAT: What’s BBQ sauce without chicken or pork? Slather slow cooker BBQ pulled pork or chicken in this homemade Kansas City style BBQ sauce at your next backyard get together.
    Chicken breasts with sauce on top on white plate.

    How to Make Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce:

    MIX: First, fully combine all the ingredients in a medium sized saucepan.

    SIMMER: Next, simmer the mixture on low for approximately 10 minutes.

    STORE: Finally, remove from heat and pour into a heat-safe container (mason jars work well for this).

    Red kitchen brush sweeping bbq sauce onto chicken breast


    How long will this BBQ sauce last?

    This will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks and probably even longer.

    What do you store homemade BBQ sauce in?

    I like to store my BBQ sauce in mason jars because they are heat-safe. You could also let the sauce cool in the pan and then store it in empty ketchup or BBQ sauce bottles.

    What makes Kansas City BBQ sauce different?

    This style is generally heavier and sweeter. It’s less smokey and more sweet, thanks to the ketchup and molasses.

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    4.25 from 4 votes
    This Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce is rich, thick, sticky and sweet. Perfect for all your grilling needs this summer!
    Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    5 mins
    Total Time
    10 mins

    Rich, sticky, and sweet, this homemade Kansas City style BBQ sauce is the perfect finishing touch to all your grilled foods.

    Course: Sauce, Sauces, Side, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: barbecue, BBQ, bbq sauce
    Servings: 3 cups
    Calories: 468 kcal
    Author: Malinda Linnebur
    • 2 cups (475ml) ketchup
    • ½ cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar
    • cup (80ml) molasses
    • ¼ cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • teaspoons garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • salt and pepper to taste
    1. In a medium sized saucepan combine all ingredients well.

    2. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

    3. Remove from heat and pour into a heat safe container (mason jars work well for this).

    Recipe Notes
    1. STORAGE: This will keep in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks and probably even longer.
    2. FREEZER FRIENDLY: Freeze cooled sauce in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. 
    Nutrition Facts
    Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce
    Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
    Calories 468 Calories from Fat 9
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 1g2%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Sodium 2447mg106%
    Potassium 1271mg36%
    Carbohydrates 113g38%
    Fiber 2g8%
    Sugar 100g111%
    Protein 3g6%
    Vitamin A 1366IU27%
    Vitamin C 9mg11%
    Calcium 171mg17%
    Iron 4mg22%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.
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