Balsamic Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Photographs: Joshua Bousel

The tang and robust flavor of balsamic vinegar dominates, but also finds a nice balance with barbecue sauce standards like ketchup, honey, mustard, and molasses.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 12 servings
Makes: 1 1/2 cups

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  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/3 cup finely minced shallots (about 1 medium)

  • 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon molasses

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, plus more to taste

  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vinegar is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add in shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  3. Stir in reduced balsamic vinegar, ketchup, honey, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, Worcestershire, and white pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Season with salt and additional pepper to taste.

  4. For smoother sauce, puree with an immersion blender, or in the jar of a regular blender, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Special equipment

Immersion blender or regular blender (optional)

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
80 Calories
1g Fat
17g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 80
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 118mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)