Easy Homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 tablespoons

Jump to Recipe

This Easy Homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is sweet, sticky, and is great on grilled chicken, beef, pork or anything! Quit the store bought  and make your own homemade barbecue sauce, it’s easier than you think! Perfect for making Dr Pepper pulled pork!

homemade dr pepper bbq sauce in small glass jar in front of can of dr pepper

So, here’s something you’ve never cared to know but I’m going to tell you anyway: I don’t really drink pop.

I quit drinking soda years back when I was in University and decided to make some big Lifestyle Changes — i.e., no cake for lunch, no pop, making healthier swaps in recipes. I still enjoy the odd Sprite, Fresca, or Cream Soda, but it’s a pretty rare occurence.

small jar of dr pepper bbq sauce with spoon scoop and drizzling sauce in jar

Coke (or Pepsi — whatever you fancy), Root Beer, Dr Pepper, things like that I have never liked and never drank except when I was young and living at home and all my Mom had was Coke or Pepsi and you’re young so any pop is kind of a big deal.

But lately I’ve been enjoying cooking with pop — Coke, Ginger Ale, etc — it makes the most incredibly stick glazes and adds a punch of sweetness to any meal! And since Father’s Day is coming and I’m gearing up for allllllll the summer barbecues — like The Best Burgers — I thought I’d let my man pick a flavor to go with. If you’d rather swap out Coke or Root Beer, the sauce will work equally as well with those, it will just — obviously — taste a little different.

pastry brush brushing dr pepper barbecue sauce on chicken skewers

This barbecue sauce will keep for a long time in the fridge, so you can definitely make a larger batch to use throughout the summer — I definitely did.

And just, please, PUH-LEASE make this Chocolate Chip Cooke Oreo Brownie Ice Cream Cake to serve for dessert — you will earn some major brownie points! 😉

How to make Homemade Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce:

  • I use regular Dr Pepper, but I’m sure diet would work just fine if you want to drastically reduce the sugar. It may not be quite as sweet, but you can add in a little extra sugar or sweetener if needed!
  • Be patient: it takes a little time to thicken, but don’t raise the heat too high because all of that sugar burns easily!
  • Save your leftover squeeze bottles from other condiments, rinse them out and use them for your homemade sauces — they will make pouring and slathering so easy!
  • Try experimenting with other flavors of soda — there are no rules here!
ashley avatar

Pin this recipe to save for later

Pin this recipe to your favorite board

Easy Homemade Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

5 from 9 votes
This Easy Homemade Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce is sweet, sticky, and is great on grilled chicken, beef, pork or anything! Quit the store bought barbecue sauces and make your own!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Sauces and Condiments
Servings 24 tablespoons
Calories 12cal


  • 1 355ml can Dr. Pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes optional


  • Combine all ingredients in a large pan with a whisk. 
  • Turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
  • Serve with pork, chicken, beef, or almost anything! Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 12cal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Want to save this recipe?

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Register Now

Tried this recipe?

Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel —
I love to see what you’re making!

Tag @thereciperebel

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

Read More

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions


  1. Dustin says

    Trying the recipe now. It smells amazing. Tweaked it a little with some kitchen bouquet, just to darken it a little.

  2. Lori says

    I want to try this on chick wings tomorrow. Any tips on how to give it a little kick so it’s sweet and spicy.

  3. Sean says

    Delicious sauce! I subbed Pecan Rum for the water, Apple Cider vinegar for white vinegar, left out the liquid smoke, and cut back on the red pepper. Amazing. Thank you so much.

  4. Amanda says

    Has anybody made this without the liquid smoke? Does it alter the flavor much? It’s he only ingredient I don’t have on hand regularly…

    • Cheryl says

      I made this sauce for ribs today. Did not add smoke, as I did not want a Smokey flavor. Also, did not add the chili flakes, but made it with all of the other ingredients. This was wonderful! It is sweet and tasty. Now, it is not a tomatoey sauce, which we enjoyed for a change. Will make again!!

  5. Camille Wilding says

    Im wanting to make this for my husband as part of a gift. If I seal it after its freshly made do I need to put it in the fridge right away or would it be okay to be out a couple days at room temp wrapped up?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Camille! Unfortunately I don’t know the pH level of the sauce, so I can’t say whether it would be safe at room temperature. I would refrigerate it just to be safe.

    • Robert says

      I believe that if your jars/lids/bands and sauce are hot and you seal immediately turning jars upside down for 10 min then upright to cool, you should be fine if left out for a few days. Refrigerate after opening.

  6. David says

    Made your sauce this weekend to go along with a brisket I smoked for a church potluck this past weekend. Got a ton of great reviews! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  7. Marilyn K. says

    I personally think Dr Pepper tastes like cough medicine. Does the sauce come out tasting strongly of it? And also, at the moment I don’t have any tomato paste, it is possible to substitute ketsup and if so, approximately how much?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      If you don’t like the taste of Dr. Pepper I would use something else — maybe Coke or Root Beer. You can definitely substitute ketchup for the tomato pasta but keep in mind that it will alter the flavor considerably as ketchup has vinegar, sugar, and other things already in it.

  8. Amy Shelton says

    My daughter absolutely loves “Chili’s” Dr Pepper bbq sauce. Unfortunately they don’t sell it in the store. She’s a super picky eater, but she ate a whole boneless pork rib made with this sauce. She asked me if I could make more so she could use it for other foods. Hey, what ever works.

  9. ColleenB.~Texas says

    Will be making Large batches of this, putting in freezer containers / jars and storing in the freezer. Making at least a gallon or more of this for large BBQ gathering coming up in June for our 47th anniversary.
    Thanks for the recipe. Will be heading off to the store to buy a few cases of soda :}
    I just might make some using beer in place of the soda

  10. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven says

    I’m definitely not a soda drinker either, but I could SO get behind Dr. Pepper hanging out in my BBQ sauce! I mean, this sauce is EXACTLY what my grilled chicken is missing!! That is, if I don’t eat it all straight from the jar with a spoon. 😉

  11. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says

    I don’t drink much pop, either! I used to drink it growing up, but I quit about 10 years ago. Now, I usually drink water (and coffee, of course). Occasionally though, I do get a craving and drink diet cherry Dr. Pepper lol. This bbq sauce sounds like it was made for me. I love the ease of this recipe and have a feeling I would spread this on just about everything!

  12. Lyn Brown says

    In an effort to save you from a crowd of irate Texans (and they’re a rowdy bunch), just thought I’d warn you that the “doctor” in Dr Pepper doesn’t have a period. Hope this news saves you from some verbal cuts and bruises! 🙂

    Seriously, the BBQ sauce sounds wonderful, especially the news that it will keep for a couple of months in the refrigerator.

  13. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! I like making my own sauces, salad dressings and spice blends because I know exactly what is in them! So often store bought items contain excess sugars and salt and things I can’t even pronounce! Plus it is usually less expensive to create your own! I will be trying this soon! 🙂

Leave A Reply

Have you tried this recipe? Leave a rating