Coca Cola Habanero BBQ Sauce

Even though it is February and I live up here in the Great White North (Canada), I still regularly crave something hot off the grill. Since it has been a mild winter, it has not been too bad standing by the grill while the meat is cooking. Winter has never stopped me before though. There have been times that I have bundled myself up in a winter coat and toque. A question for you southern readers…do you know what a toque is? I am willing to suffer potential frostbite if that means I get the joy of having some grilled meat in the dead of winter! It is worth it all.

Meat is fabulous cooked on the grill, but it can’t go on there naked! Whether it is crusted with a rub, soaked in a marinade or glazed with a BBQ sauce, meat is always better with something to dress it up! I love a good BBQ sauce and often make my own at home. Homemade BBQ sauce is always better than the store-bought counterpart and it is surprisingly simple to do.

This BBQ sauce has two signature ingredients that make it lip smacking delicious! Coca Cola is in this sauce and you can taste a hint of the cola flavour on whatever meat you slather this sauce all over. It truly is outstanding. A habanero pepper (seeds and all!!!) are also pureed into the sauce to give it some real heat. Both the cola and the habanero pepper work together to create an terrific glaze for chicken, ribs, chops, burgers, sausages….. I could keep going, but you get the point right?

You could make the sauce and seal them in mason jars for future use if you want! Make sure you process them in a hot water bath for 30 minutes.

Coca Cola Habanero BBQ Sauce

4.5 out of 5
12 reviews
A barbecue sauce made with Coca Cola and a habanero pepper. A wonderful sauce to glaze on chicken, ribs, steak, pork chops and so much more! This sauce is made for grilling.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion , minced
  • 1 red pepper , minced
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup Coca Cola
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz tomato paste


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, red pepper, garlic and habanero to the saucepan and saute until they are tender and beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the molasses, cola, brown sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Let it cook with a low rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and lower the heat. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • Puree in a blender until smooth.


Per serving:

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 281mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32g

Nutrition Disclaimer


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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Awesome sauce!!! I added another habanero pepper and used apple cider vinegar. AWESOME!!!I’m a pepper a holic!!! Thank you for this!!!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Awesome sauce!!! I added a lil more habanero pepper. I’m a pepper a holic!!!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Great sauce!!! Cut the sugar in half and used two habaneros, I like it more spicy! Thank you for sharing it, Steve

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    This is my go to. I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. Goes real good with smoked baby backs which I do over apple wood.

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  • 4 stars
    A great tasting sauce , I used chillies I had In Instead of the habanero so not the same flavour but it worked for me I will try with habanero next time .I have had two family members wanting the recipe though Many thanks for sharing

    • Reply
    • I have made this twice now it has to be the best barbecue sauce going. Five stars.

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  • 5 stars
    Your bbq sauce is my favorite by far. I love it. Could drink it. Also like to replace the ketchup in your smoked beans with it

    • Reply
    • Thanks! We feel the same way. Anytime I make it, we go through it so fast!

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  • Hi when you say tomato paste do you mean the concentrated stuff or something like passata?

    Thank you

    • Reply
    • The concentrated stuff. 🙂

      • Reply
  • 2 stars
    This sauce is way too sweet and the single habenero provided very little heat. The sugar needs adjusted to account for the cola and the sweetness of a red pepper. Disappointing. I also made the Guinness version and it was too sweet. Maybe using Guinness instead of cola in this and reducing sugar would work better.

    • Reply
    • 3 stars
      Did not like the idea of the amount of sugar either, so i used only a cup of the brown sugar.. i think i could have used only half a cup as it still came out too sweet for my taste, but sort of matches most of the way folks eat hot sauces here in the US (either with a lot of sugar or lots of vinegar to reduce the heat).
      I still think is a good flavor this sauce has.. i’ll try to tweak it down the road.. avoiding too many “sweet” ingredients like the bell pepper, sauted onion, coke, etc.. that adds up.

      • Reply
  • Red pepper as in Red bell pepper? Thinking about making this today! Sounds super yummy!!

    • Reply
    • Yes – Red bell pepper! Hope you enjoy it!!

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Awesome sauce, I’ve made it a bunch and worked it down to only putting a 1/2 Cup of brown sugar. It’s Justin a bit too sweet for myself with the full amount.

    • Reply
    • Awesome! Glad you enjoy it and have found a sugar quantity that suits your taste preference!

      • Reply
  • Instead of using as sauce I threw in a can of black beans and kidneys drained. Cooked for an hour and added some minced smoked tenderloin = awesome bbq beans. I did skip the molasses as I had none, and added extra heat.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I just made this sauce tonight and it is amazing! I’ve been eating it with a spoon since I got it out of the blender! I did not use the habanero seeds as I had never cooked with that before and didn’t want it too hot, but it would have been just fine if I had. Just a hint of heat at the end of each bite. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Reply
  • I am so into habenero. . So much more in sauces!! Definitely making this one

    • Reply

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