Copycat TGI Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Sauce

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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.

TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce

Melissa | Persnickety Plates
Copycat TGI Friday’s Jack Daniels Sauce – great on chicken, fish, veggies – the possibilities are endless!
4.36 from 182 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 86 kcal


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir.
  • 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: 1TablespoonCalories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 20gSodium: 117mgSugar: 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

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  1. Susan says

    I worked there and a lot of these ingredients are incorrect. It’s really only 5 ingredients

    • Melissa Williams says

      Well, it tastes the same. Want to share your recipe?

  2. Anthony Evans says

    I found that Scottish Whiskey gave much better flavour to the sauce

  3. Ashley says

    How long would this last stored in the refrigerator?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’d say 5 days in the fridge. I elaborate a couple paragraphs up 🙂

  4. Charina Mina says

    Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for the Jack Daniels?
    Thank you!

  5. Bev says

    What would need to be added to thicken the sauce? It tastes amazing! However, when I made it, I found it to be a bit loose.

    • Melissa Williams says

      I suppose you could add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it but I always just let it cook down to get syrupy 🙂 glad you liked it!

  6. Britney Gross says

    5 stars
    Perfect burger sauce!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes! It’s been perfect on everything I’ve put it on!

  7. Diane says

    5 stars
    What brand of terriyaki sauce did you use?

  8. Phoebe says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe it turned out great!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reporting back 🙂

  9. Melissa Torres says

    5 stars
    I love the TGI Friday’s JD sauce so I had to try this. It is SO close to the restaurant version and it was AMAZING on a burger! Can’t wait to eat it with other foods.

  10. Daniela Thompson says

    Our daughter is allergic to pineapple is there anything I could supplement it with?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I have not tried, but I think you could swap it out with orange juice & it would be similar.

  11. Kelsie H says

    5 stars
    This recipe was amazing!! I actually doubled the whole entire recipe because I wanted to have a lot of it.
    It tastes identical to JD sauce.
    I put this on chicken, burgers, and dip my fries in it.
    I worked at a tgi Friday’s for years, and ate this everyday. Now we don’t have a local T.G.I. Friday’s anymore! I’m SO happy I found this recipe, it was spot on! Thank you!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Made my day – thanks for reporting back!

  12. Patricia says

    How long will this sauce last in the refrigerator? And can you Can it

    • Melissa Williams says

      I answered above:
      You can keep this Jack Daniel’s sauce up to 5 days sealed in the fridge safely. 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.

      But I have never canned anything so I’m no help with that.

  13. Wendi Garland says

    5 stars
    This recipe was great. I’ll definitely make it again. It does resemble the original. Although I had trouble with it being too spicy, next time I’ll use 1/8 tsp. of cayenne. And I couldn’t get my sauce to thicken up but still worked. I poured it over 2 steaks and baked. Yum with a little lip sweat lol.

  14. Ginger Kratochvil says

    I don’t see where it calls to add in the whiskey lemon juice and cayenne pepper?

    • Melissa Williams says

      Step #3 is add remaining ingredients 🙂

  15. Annette McClain says

    5 stars
    It was good I had to substitute crushed pineapple cause I didn’t have it with appriots in a can and I crushed it. Worked out great. Oh I used Scottish whiskey too.

  16. Cindy says

    One tablespoon of garlic or one head of garlic? Not the same amount. Start with 3 cloves then add if you need more.

  17. Amy Eaves says

    5 stars
    This was amazing and tastes exactly like what is served at TGIF! Super thick and yummy. We used it on our grilled pork chops tonight! I wish I found this sooner, but I will be using it all of the time now!!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      That makes me happy. Thanks for reporting back!

  18. Tommy says

    5 stars
    Greetings from Norway!
    The sause is amazing and I cannot tell the difference from the original.
    I have made this sause on a number of occations and now freinds and family are dropping by with jars for me to fill up every 3-4 months:)

    • Melissa says

      Are you making this in bulk and if so what is recipes on that and are you canning it how long are you keeping this

  19. Dee says

    If you use vanilla extract instead of whiskey, how much do you use?

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