Copycat TGI Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Sauce – an easy, from scratch sauce that is great on chicken, fish, veggies – the possibilities are endless!

jack daniels sauce on a basting brush.

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

I love Jack Daniels BBQ sauce from Friday’s & this recipe tastes just like it.

It’s a super flavorful sauce that always gets rave reviews. Making it yourself gives it that extra special touch (and no high fructose corn syrup!) and it has become a staple at our annual summer bbqs.

close up of pastry brush with jack daniel's sauce on it

What does Jack Daniel’s taste like?

Jack Daniel’s tastes similar to a bourbon. It’s a Tennessee whiskey, which is the same as bourbon except its been charcoal filtered so it’s a little less harsh and more charcoal flavors, which makes it great in a sauce (especially paired with grilled foods).

glass bottle full of sauce dripping over edge

Today we paired this Jack Daniel’s with this boneless wings recipe & it tasted just like the Sesame Jack Strips appetizer from TGI Friday’s.

The second day (since there was a lot left), I made grilled chicken breasts & brushed the sauce over them. Delicious.

sauce in bowl next to pastry brush of sauce

How to make Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

Equipment you’ll need

  • Whisk – I actually need a new one and this one is calling my name.
  • Medium Saucepan – I really like when pans are dishwasher safe.
  • Container – for storing the extra sauce.
  • Silicone brush – for brushing this sauce onto chicken, veggies, etc.

TGI Fridays Jack Daniel’s Sauce Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Minced Garlic – I give instructions on how to roast a head of garlic below. If you want a short cut, you can buy the minced garlic in oil from the grocery store that I always keep on hand.
  • Olive Oil
  • Water
  • Pineapple Juice – you can use the juice from the crushed pineapple can you’ll need.
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Soy Sauce – you can use low sodium if that’s what you prefer.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – dark brown sugar has more molasses and a more complex flavor.
  • Lemon Juice – fresh is best!
  • White Onion – white onions are sweeter & cleaner in flavor than yellow onions with a milder flavor
  • Jack Daniels Whiskey – you can either buy a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey but a shot of jack daniel is all you really need so you can save money and just buy a shooter.
  • Crushed Pineapple – you’ll use both the juice and the crushed pineapple in the sauce.
  • Cayenne Pepper – gives the sauce a medium heat that is perfect on so many foods.

How do you make JD BBQ Sauce?

Making Jack Daniels Sauce is probably easier than you think. You take everyday ingredients (listed below) and bring them to a boil. Once they’re boiling, you let it simmer until it thickens. Easy!

  1. STEP ONE: To a medium saucepan, add water, pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat so it is simmering, stirring occasionally.
  2. STEP TWO: Once it is simmering, add the minced (or roasted) garlic and whisk to combine. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir.
  3. STEP THREE: Finally, you’ll let the jack daniel’s bbq sauce simmer for 40-50 minutes over low heat, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about half. It should be thick and syrupy.
pastry brush dipping into jack daniel's sauce

What to serve with Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce

How long does this sauce keep?

You can keep this Jack Daniel’s sauce safely up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Longer than that, I’d freeze it. (it’s probably fine longer because it has some natural preservatives in it, but I always am leery). I have not tried to can it.

Is Jack Daniel’s Sauce vegetarian?

Jack Daniels Sauce is vegetarian – even better, it’s vegan! You can use it as a dipping sauce, a glaze, or a marinade so meat eaters and vegetarians alike can enjoy it.

How to roast garlic

If you have time (and inclination), you can roast your own garlic for this recipe. Here’s how:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Next, cut about 1/2″ off of the top of the garlic. Cut the roots so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove the papery skin from the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Put garlic into a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle olive oil over it, and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour.
  3. Finally, remove garlic and let it cool until you can handle it.
jar of jack daniels sauce sitting next to a shooter of jack daniels whiskey.

Need more sauce recipes? Try these different sauces:

Yum Yum Sauce
Spicy BBQ Sauce
KFC Copycat Honey BBQ Sauce

Click here to view my entire collection of sauces and seasonings.

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jack daniels sauce on a basting brush.
4.38 from 202 votes

TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce

Servings: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Copycat TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce – great on chicken, fish, veggies – the possibilities are endless!


  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic OR 1 head of garlic – see instructions above
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • cup water
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ⅓ cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Jack Daniels Whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed pineapple
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • In a medium saucepan, add the water, pineapple juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar over medium/high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat until mixture is just simmering.
    ⅔ cup water, 1 cup pineapple juice, ¼ cup teriyaki sauce, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 1 ⅓ cups dark brown sugar
  • Add the minced garlic (OR if you’re roasting your own garlic, over the saucepan, squeeze the sides of the head of garlic until the pasty roasted garlic comes out). Whisk to combine.
    1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil, 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 3 Tablespoons minced white onion, 1 Tablespoon Jack Daniels Whiskey, 1 Tablespoon crushed pineapple, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Let the mixture simmer for 40-50 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about half and is thick and syrupy. Don’t let it boil over.



Adapted from Insider’s Recipes for Brand Name Foods
Instructions for roasting your own garlic is above.
The recipe makes approximately 1 cup once cooked down. For nutrition facts, I assumed a serving size is 1 Tablespoon.


Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Sodium: 117mg | Sugar: 19g

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Photos updated May 25, 2017

4.38 from 202 votes (181 ratings without comment)

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    1. same here–did it ever thicken? I feel I made a mistake…
      did yours finally thicken?

  1. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it came out great. I may add some red pepper flakes to change up the flavor a bit but it doesn’t need anything. It made more than I need so I’ll try to freeze and use on shrimp or chicken. We used it on Alaskan Cod which was decent. The recipe doesn’t give directions how to use it so I just glazed the fish after it cooked but for heartier cuts like chicken I think I’ll cost it then cook it to deepen the caramelization.

  2. I made this a few days ago and it turned out fantastic. Seems a little loose but at the end it thickened up beautiful. Have always enjoyed this and will make it over and over. Having it tomorrow with chicken and shrimp. Can’t wait. Thank you!

  3. Do you really get a cup of juice from a can of crushed pineapple?

    Can’t rate it, haven’t made it yet.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was so delicious. I didn’t have Jack Daniel’s so I used a better tasting Bourbon that I had. Roasting the garlic gave this the best flavor. I added a little more cayenne because I like the heat. I am so glad I made this sauce. It went great with my herb roasted pork loin. This sauce recipe is a definite keeper.

  5. 5 stars
    This sauce came out really good and I added in an extra tablespoon of whisky 😁👍. Since I didn’t have any fresh garlic I used 8-1/8 tsps. powdered and also used 1/2 tsp. powdered onion and added 1 more tablespoon of soy sauce & honey in place of the teriyaki sauce and I turned up the stove to a faster simmer and it was done in 40 min.

  6. simmered for 1.5 hours…never thickened…what did I do wrong? I finally added flour….now it is thicker…. as for taste…not sure yet.