Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce

Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

I try to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). One of the biggest challenges is finding a barbecue sauce without HFCS. There are a few, but they’re darn expensive. An alternative is making your own homemade barbecue sauce.

Here’s a recipe I got from my colleagues at The Mom Central Blog, where I'm the managing editor. It originally used Pepsi Natural soda, which didn't have HFCS and was made with natural caramel, sugar, kola nut extract, and apple extract for color.

Pepsi no longer makes Pepsi Natural. However, it does make Pepsi True, which is sweetened naturally with real sugar and stevia leaf extract and has 30% less sugar than regular Pepsi.

Coca-Cola has a similar product called, Coca-Cola Life, which is a naturally-sweetened, stevia-based, low-calorie soda. I've tried both low calorie sodas. While they're tasty, they lack the fizz of regular diet sodas. However, either soda - or any "natural" colas are perfect for this recipe.

Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce stays good in the refrigerator for about two weeks.

Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 cup any natural cola soda
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup high fructose corn syrup free ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the above ingredients in heavy saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups of sauce, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cool and transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.
  4. Marinate pork, chicken or beef to be grilled overnight in the sauce. (Don’t forget to reserve some sauce to serve at the table.)
  5. Grill to taste and baste with extra sauce.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: 1 1/2 cups
  • Serving size: varies

3 thoughts on “Southern Cola Barbecue Sauce

  1. Grandma Loy

    Hi, Anne-Marie. I am making a quick stop to let you know that this is the recipe I made for April 2013’s Secret Recipe Club. This is very good, and I will be making it again. You have a very nice blog here. I will be coming back for more recipes. Thanks. Have a great week.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1