Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce

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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.

You may also like to try:

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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

Course: Sauce, Sauces, Side, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue, BBQ, bbq sauce
Rich, sticky, and sweet, this homemade Kansas City style BBQ sauce is the perfect finishing touch to all your grilled foods.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 468kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 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


  • In a medium sized saucepan combine all ingredients well.
  • Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pour into a heat safe container (mason jars work well for this).


  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. 


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2447mg | Potassium: 1271mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 100g | Vitamin A: 1366IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 4mg

24 thoughts on “Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    Made this sauce for use with brisket and it is just too easy to make buying processed pre-made bbq sauce make sense. It is delicious!
    Only alterations I made was to reduce the sugar to 2T and used Stevia for my diabetic husband. I also subbed chipotle powder for the cayenne because I do like a little smoke and kick.
    It is delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    O! My!! Goodness!! This sauce is DELICIOUS!! Served it on wings at a Super Bowl party. It was a hit. And so simple to make!! Can’t wait to try it in the smoker. Thanks!

  3. Love this KC style BBQ sauce! I use “no salt added” ketchup so I can control the sodium for my husband who is on a low sodium diet. Now he can still have BBQ!

  4. 5 stars
    Just making this now. It’s winter and I want BBQ sauce! Making pulled pork in the crockpot tomorrow so I’m making the BBQ sauce tonight. Wish me luck for a double success. I love summer food in the winter. Keeps me from getting the Winter Blues in New England!

  5. YAY Malinda!!! 🎉
    Boy, did you really do loads of work around your house.
    They say that when you are super energized that it’s a sign, it’s almost time, you are getting closer for baby.
    How exciting for you and your family, please keep us posted if you can. 😊

    I’m always on the look-out for a new BBQ sauce, I’m not so wild about most store bought bottles.
    I know this one will be made very soon, it is grilling season after all.
    Have a nice day!


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