This 3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce with ketchup is the only barbecue sauce I use! It’s sweet and tangy and comes together in minutes. Prepare it in advance, and use it for dipping chicken tenders, steak fries, and all your favorite recipes! 

Looking for more condiment recipes? Try our Chimichurri Sauce and Tzatziki Yogurt Sauce

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You Will Love This 3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce

  • Simple ingredients: Unlike most storebought options that have a long list of ingredients, this 3 ingredient barbecue sauce comes together with simple items you likely have on hand, just like our 3-Ingredient Alfredo Sauce.
  • Quick to make: Just combine the ingredients, and let them simmer. Your sauce is ready to use in about 5 minutes! 
  • Customizable: You can easily mix and match different ingredients to suit your flavor preferences and make this recipe your own.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

bbq sauce ingredients.
  • Ketchup: Regular ketchup works best for this recipe. I do not recommend using reduced sodium or reduced sugar.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: Feel free to substitute honey if preferred. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce: For extra depth and a smokey, slightly salty taste.

How to Make 3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce

You’ll need a small saucepan for this recipe. The recipe card below has all the details you need. 

ketchup, sugar, and worcestershire sauce in a saucepan.

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. 

homemade bbq sauce in a saucepan.

Step 2: Simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate for later.

Recipe Variations

If you’re looking for an even bolder flavor BBQ sauce recipe, here’s what you can add: 

  • Chili Pepper Paste: Add a teaspoon of chili pepper paste for an extra kick of heat. Chili powder and cayenne pepper will also work. 
  • Liquid Smoke: Include ½ to 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke for an extra smokey taste. 
  • Seasonings: Stir in a 1-2 teaspoons of onion powder or garlic powder for a stronger savory flavor. 
  • Mustard: Add up to a tablespoon of yellow mustard for a tangy sauce. 

Serving Ideas for 3 Ingredient Barbecue Sauce

Use this 3 ingredient BBQ sauce without vinegar in all the ways you use regular barbecue sauce! Some of our favorite options include: 

Storing BBQ Sauce

Allow your BBQ sauce to cool completely. Then, transfer it to a sealable jar or airtight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 month.

3 ingredient BBQ sauce in a glass container.

If you try our 3 Ingredient BBQ Sauce, please leave a star rating and a comment letting us know how you liked the recipe.

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bbq sauce in a glass jar with a silicone brush dipped.

3 Ingredient Barbecue Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: American


Make this 3 ingredient BBQ sauce recipe in about 5 minutes for a sweet, tangy condiment that’s flavorful and perfect for dipping! 


Units Scale
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup, regular (NOT reduced sugar or reduced sodium)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


  1. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Place the saucepan over low heat and simmer for 5 minutes, partially covered, while stirring occasionally.
  2. Serve immediately or allow your BBQ sauce to cool completely. Then, transfer it to a sealable jar or airtight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 1 month.


  • This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups of BBQ sauce.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 54
  • Sugar: 11.7 g
  • Sodium: 306 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat:
  • Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg