Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

Are you a Pepper?

I sure am. Dr. Pepper is one of my favorite pops along with root beer. It has a wonderful blend of flavors and I love debating with people about what is exactly in Dr. Pepper. Some people say cherry, while others say vanilla. There are a few people who choose some spicier ingredients like cloves and star anise. It doesn’t matter what is in it, I love it.

Here is a bit of trivia for you. Did you know that Dr. Pepper is older than Coca Cola? I was shocked when I read that this week. Dr. Pepper was first created in 1885 and Coca Cola was made one year later. I had no idea this pop was that old.

I love to make different kinds of BBQ sauces. Homemade is so much better than store bought. This recipe takes the unique flavor of Dr. Pepper and puts it in the sauce. Just try it on grilled chicken or pork chops and you will discover how amazing this sauce really is.

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce text

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

3 out of 5
1 review
Simple homemade bbq sauce recipe with Dr. Pepper, tomato paste, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar and more. Great on grilled chicken, pork chops, ribs and more!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 cups


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion , minced
  • 1/2 red pepper , minced
  • 5 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 can (355 ml) Dr. Pepper soda pop
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, red pepper, garlic to the saucepan and saute until they are tender and beginning to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the molasses, Dr. Pepper, 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.

Pepperoni Pizza Burger 4x3 b


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

Leave a comment


  • I forgot…….No tomato paste and no red pepper. Add one 14.5 oz can of Rotel Tomato’s and Chilies

  • I didn’t know that Dr Pepper is older than Coca Cola! And your BBQ Sauce sounds so enticing!

  • I love a great BBQ sauce and am sure this one has some great caramel flavor from the soda pop!

  • Love homemade BBQ sauce, and your sauce sounds so good.

    • Reply
  • How long does it keep in the fridge?

  • I loved this recipe which I just made. Did add a few things….about a tablespoon of hot and sweet mustard, a few shakes of worchestershire sauce, about 3 chopped and seeded chipotle chilies in adobados sauce, also about A teaspoon of the sauce.These are hot, even if the seeds are mostly removed, so consider that.

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  • I am trying this recipe but, I didnt have the dr.pepper. Any thoughts on me using Cheerwine instead?

    • Reply
    • Oh wow – Cheerwine! I have not had that in years. Cannot buy it up here in Canada. Yes, I bet it would work great. I am sure that the taste would be a bit different, but delicious just the same.

  • When I put this recipe together, I found I needed a red pepper, so I substitued cayenne pepper and I didn’t have tomato paste so I used tomato sauce, which just increased the cook down time. I put it on a pork shoulder with Arthur Bryant’s rub. After 4 hours in the slow cooker the pork shoulder came out excellent!! I’ve tried a lot of BBQ sauces and this one ranks right up with the best. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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  • Brilliant, thank you Steve, I cant wait to try this sauce and glad I checked as tinned tomatoes really would not have been as effective like you say, In uk its sold in tubes like toothpaste or tiny tins about 1oz in size, off to bulk buy some tubes now lol x

    • You can buy them here in tubes, but they are much harder to find that way. I love having them in the tube as they can stay in the fridge for any time that you need a dab of paste! Buy, yes, for this recipe it called for a LOT! Hope you enjoy the sauce!

  • Hi Steve, I’m from the UK and spend forever trying to interpret usa vs uk meanings when it comes to ingrediants, can you help educate me:
    Tomato paste? in the UK this means concentrated Tomato puree, in USA is this actually tinned whole/chopped tomatoes or italian style passata? I need to adopt myself an american buddy so that they can play translater all day long on pinterest recipes for me lol!
    Em x

    • Hi Emma. Over here tomato paste means the same thing as in the UK. It is a highly concentrated tomato puree. It is very thick and will thicken a sauce when added. I hope that helps!!!

  • can you specify what kind of vinegar to use? white? apple cider? rice? thanks!

    • Reply
  • Ah genius! I so had the same idea months ago but it never came to fruition

  • I didnt know Dr P was older than Coke either! Cool. I absolutely LOVE that addition in this sauce. I love homemade BBQ sauce too! Cant wait to try this one 🙂

  • I used to love Dr. Pepper as a kid. Do you think this would work with diet Dr. Pepper? We’re trying to reduce the sugar in our diets, and since you have brown sugar, I’m thinking it might still work.

    • I do not know – never tried it. But I agree, there is brown sugar and molasses so I do not think the sweet flavour will be altered much. If you try it, please come back and comment, letting me know how it turns out.

    • NO….
      Add use Apple Cider Vinegar instead of white vinegar
      2 cups of HUNTS Ketchup…not Heinz
      NO salt…….use 3 Anchovies
      Place all ingredients in a blender till smooth

  • Steve, you know how much I LOVE Dr Pepper! I can’t wait to try this recipe! You should sell it ! There should be an option to select 7 starts out of 5!

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