Amazing Homemade Barbecue Sauce.

Last Friday I spent my lunch break huddled in my cubicle watching an old episode of Barefoot Contessa for escapism.  I love Ina Garten and all things Barefoot Contessa.  Watching her show always inspires me to cook up a storm in the kitchen and long for a house in The Hamptons or a trip to Paris. This barbeque sauce is such a great marinade with lots of great flavor. Ina gives a cute story in this episode about how she came up with this recipe. While running her old Barefoot Contessa store they were recipe testing three different BBQ sauce recipes (Chinese, Mustard, Tomato), but none of them seemed right. Ina brought all three home and mixed them together and came up with this genius sauce. Thanks Ina!


Amazing Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Summer Beach BBQ Episode

Yield: 6 Servings (1 1/2 quarts)


  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion or 2 small onions)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.*

*Notes / Tips:

  1. I allowed my sauce to cool uncovered at room temperature for about 30 minutes. After, I gave it a good stir and transferred a large amount to a freezer safe container because it will be a nice marinade to thaw and use.  The rest of the sauce was used to marinate chicken breasts and drumsticks. I let the marinade soak the chicken overnight and let me tell you it tasted so delicious and well seasoned the next day for dinner.


I went all out and made the Garlic Broccoli and Szechuan Noodles to go with it. It was a wonderful Sunday night dinner topped off with a Chocolate & Caramel Saltine Ice Cream Sandwich for dessert. Plus there was lots of leftovers for lunch the next day!


The garlic broccoli was another real winner of a recipe and the garlic tasted almost on the sweet side. Another plus with making it was that I had leftover garlic oil that tasted wonderful smashed into my avocado toast the next day.

The Szechuan Noodles are a fun treat and different than anything I usually make with pasta.  They definitely paired well with the meal.


For once I’m actually looking forward to eating chicken for dinner when I have this marinade to use.

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Travel addict with a champagne taste.

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