8 Ways to Use Up Your Favorite BBQ Sauce

Nicole Fallon

bbq sauce

Image credit: New Africa / Adobe Stock

The 4th of July is just around the corner, and if you're like many Americans, you're cooking up a tasty barbecue meal on the grill with all the fixings.

If you made or bought a big batch of BBQ sauce, you'll probably have leftovers -- but you don't have to wait for your next cookout to use it! Here are some unique ways to repurpose your favorite BBQ sauce to serve right alongside your main entrees.

Salad dressing

Leftover BBQ sauce can be the perfect complement to salads of all kinds. Experiment with southwestern-style salads by mixing BBQ sauce with black beans and crisp tortillas over a bed of lettuce. You can even try a light BBQ drizzle over a macaroni salad or mixing it in with your potato salad dressing. BBQ sauce adds a tangy flavor to the creamy and sweet flavors in these recipes.

Pizza sauce

A smokehouse-style pizza is easy to make by substituting BBQ sauce for tomato sauce. Add toppings such as grilled chicken, scallions, roasted corn and cilantro to create this southern-inspired Italian classic. You can also drizzle BBQ sauce on top of a tomato sauce pizza with some grilled chicken and mozzarella for a more complex flavor.


Instead of the usual cheese and salsa combo, reimagine your nachos by using BBQ sauce as the final touch. Add toppings such as pulled pork, pimento cheeses, and pickled or roasted peppers to tortilla chips. Finish with a generous helping of BBQ sauce.

Chip/appetizer dip

Create a simple chip or appetizer dip by mixing your leftover BBQ sauce with sour cream or Greek yogurt. Pair it with chips, jalapeno poppers, or even mozzarella sticks to create a spicy-smoky flavor your guests will love. 

Meatloaf glaze

While meatloaf is typically glazed with a ketchup mixture, using BBQ sauce instead of (or in addition to!) ketchup brings out the smokiness of the meat and adds more flavor to an otherwise plain meatloaf. Try adding BBQ sauce directly to the meatloaf as well for unexpected spice and deepening of flavor.  

Burger sauce

Get creative with your usual burger recipe by utilizing your leftover BBQ sauce and adding soy sauce, brown sugar, or even soda! You can baste your burgers with the sauce before putting them on the grill or slather it on your burger buns as a condiment.


Want to kick your quesadillas up a notch? Spread BBQ sauce onto a tortilla and add Monterey jack cheese and pulled pork or chicken. Top with poblano peppers, beans, diced tomatoes, and roasted corn. Cook on the stovetop or in the oven, drizzled with additional BBQ sauce.

Cornbread muffins

If you’ve ever had a bit of BBQ sauce soak into your cornbread during a cookout, you may have found it to be a perfect sweet and savory combination! Clue your guests in on this delicious discovery by swirling a bit of BBQ sauce directly on your cornbread muffin batter before baking. The BBQ sauce cuts through the sweetness and adds that classic tang. You can even experiment with a combination of mascarpone cheese and BBQ sauce as a muffin topper!

Still deciding what to serve at your 4th of July barbecue? Order some sweet and savory treats from The Cookie Cups! Our bite-size desserts and appetizers are the perfect way to round out any BBQ menu. Place an order for pickup or ask us about our catering menu.

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