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Dr Pepper Glaze is a savory, sticky-sweet sauce that’s perfect for glazing salmon, chicken, beef, ham, and vegetables. You can use it pretty much any way you’d use teriyaki sauce!

dr pepper glazed salmon with broccoli and couscous salad

Dr Pepper is a pretty interesting drink (yes, these are the things I find interesting, lol!).

Maybe that’s because it supposedly got its name from a love affair (it wasn’t the name of the girl though – popular belief is that it was the name of her father!).

Or maybe it’s because there’s so much speculation as to what its 23 flavors include. (Yup, you read that right, 23 flavors).

Or it could be because this drink has been the stuff legends are made of. (Since around 1930, rumor has held that it contains prune juice. While the Dr Pepper company keeps the ingredient list secret, it has explicitly stated that there is in fact no prune juice. Here’s what they said: “Dr Pepper is a unique blend of natural and artificial flavors; it does not contain prune juice.”

No matter what, it is without a doubt one of my favorite soft drinks, and probably the one I drink most often (which says a lot since I can count on both hands the number of times I drink soda in a year). Why not make it into a sweet and savory glaze, right?!

dr pepper glaze on salmon
Broiled Salmon with Dr Pepper Glaze, Steamed Broccoli, and Couscous Salad

The Inspiration for This Recipe

One day I had a little bit of Dr Pepper leftover in my fridge. You know, the bottom of the bottle that no one really wants to drink since it’s gone a little flat? (Sure I could have dumped it down the drain, but where’s the fun in that? Lol!)

I decided I wanted to make it into a glaze, so I raided the pantry for spices and this was what I came up with. It’s essentially a Dr Pepper reduction, and you can use it the same way you’d use meat glaze.

My favorite way to use this sweet and savory glaze to make Dr Pepper glazed salmon, but I’ve also made Dr Pepper grilled chicken, Dr Pepper broiled steak, and brushed it on roasted vegetables. And a reader emailed me to say that this Dr Pepper glaze is now her family’s favorite ham glaze, and she makes it for their Easter holiday table every year.

If you’re a fan of cola glaze for meat, I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe!

glass jar with dr pepper glaze

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • With a blend of 23 flavors, there’s already a ton of flavor in Dr Pepper. In this glaze recipe, we use that to our advantage. It means fewer ingredients we need to add to get a flavorful end result!
  • You can use flat soda to make this recipe. This is perfect if you have a little bit of soda left in the bottle and are looking for ways to use it! It’s great if you’re trying to reduce waste or are already a zero waste household.
  • This glaze is really versatile! I have yet to find a meat that it isn’t delicious on, and it’s good for veggies too.

Dr Pepper Glaze Recipe

This glaze is a bit reminiscent of teriyaki sauce, but spicier and with different flavor nuances. You can use it for grilling, baking, or broiling beef, chicken, fish, pork, ham, or even veggies.

Ingredients

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

  • Dr Pepper – use regular Dr Pepper soda here; this provides a flavorful base for our glaze
  • Apple cider vinegar – adds tangy flavor; you can substitute with balsamic vinegar for an even richer flavor
  • Honey – adds sweetness and balance; you can substitute with 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, which will add a subtle smoky sweetness
  • Lemon juice – use fresh lemon juice for best flavor
  • Tamari sauce – or soy sauce
  • Garlic – peel and crack the garlic clove for this recipe; to crack a clove of garlic, place it on a cutting board and use the side of a large knife to carefully and firmly press down so the garlic crushes but stays in 1 piece
  • Ginger – peel and cut in half a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • Cinnamon stick – or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Cardamom pods – or 1 generous pinch of ground cardamom
  • Whole cloves – or 1 generous pinch of ground cloves
  • Bay leaf – don’t worry if you don’t have this on hand
  • Salt – to season the glaze and help create a balanced flavor profile
  • Mustard powder – for depth of flavor
  • Crushed red pepper flakes – we only use a small amount; the end result isn’t spicy-hot, but it adds a touch of spiciness to round out the flavor profile
  • Black pepper – adds another layer of flavor
close up of dr pepper reduction on salmon

How to Make Dr Pepper Glaze

Step 1: Cook:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2: Strain:

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve, and transfer to a glass jar.

Storage

Store homemade Dr Pepper glaze in a lidded glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Tips

  • Make a double batch because this lasts in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and you’ll keep thinking of new ways to use it.
  • You can use ground cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves if you don’t have the whole spices on hand.

More Sauce Recipes to Make

sweet and savory dr pepper glaze on salmon

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Dr Pepper Glaze

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Dr Pepper Glaze is a savory, sticky-sweet sauce that’s perfect for glazing salmon, chicken, beef, ham, and vegetables. You can use it pretty much any way you’d use teriyaki sauce!

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve, and transfer to a glass jar.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe makes about 1/3 cup of glaze, or 4 servings. Each serving is 4 teaspoons.
  • Storage: Store homemade Dr Pepper glaze in a lidded glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 4teaspoons | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 557mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dr Pepper Glaze, Dr Pepper Glaze Recipe

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dr pepper glaze recipe pin
Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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32 Comments

  1. I am just starting to like salmon but it has to be cooked just right and this sounds really good! I will have to give it a try!

  2. How interesting, a Dr. Pepper glaze! Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who finds Dr. Pepper interesting as well ;). I’m easily amused by anything. Teehee. I used to be a huge soft drink fan, but have cut down a lot. So needless to say, I love this glaze. Sounds interesting and yummy. Will definitely have to keep this one in mind.

  3. Oh, it was a bit since I last had a look at your blog, and now it’s much better! Good job, amazing! As for Dr Pepper, in Italy we don’t have it, but it sounds very misterious and… delicious!

  4. Magic of Spice says:

    What a unique and creative glaze…I would never have though of Dr Pepper, or any soda for that matter. Sounds pretty darn good though!

  5. nancy at good food matters says:

    this is indeed an inspired use for Dr. Pepper–and the results look terrific on that salmon fillet.

  6. I’ve heard of using cola or Dr. Pepper on baked ham but never salmon. I love it!

  7. fact: dr pepper is my favorite soda of all time. i obviously have it on hand much of the time, yet i’ve never used it for anything other than to wet my whistle. great post, faith!

  8. I’ve been to the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, TX. Really a fun trip for a day. We were also able to make a side trip to another local museum to see the world’s largest collection of barbed wire. I’ve great pics from then.

    Your glaze with the other ingredients makes this look like an East-meets-West fish. It sounds thrilling.

  9. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    I love Dr. Pepper. I seldom drink sodas, but for me it’s either Coke or Dr. Pepper. I do remember the mystery of it when it came out way back when. My brother in law cooks ribs in Dr. Pepper and they are delicious. This glaze looks delicious as well- there’s a flavor in that soft drink that you just can’t find anywhere else! :)

  10. sheila @ Elements says:

    What a brilliant idea! And I love that you used something that would normally be discarded to make a fabulous glaze for your salmon! It sounds wonderful!

  11. OMG..Faith..what a nice styling of salmon..I need some tips, friends.Love the glaze with Dr Pepper..I m not a big fan of it but husband is ..so this recipe will be tried for him :)
    Have a nice day!

  12. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Just saw the pictures of your Middle east vacation…lovely. Seems you enjoyed and had loads of fun there! How is your project going? (Book)

    1. Sanjeeta, My book is coming along very well…and thank you, you are so sweet for asking!

  13. Well, a Pepsi glaze works beautifully on a baked ham, so why not salmon? Super idea, Faith. Love all the flavors in your glaze too. I usually poach, but think I better try this lovely recipe next.

  14. CJ Marley says:

    I’m a Dr. Pepper fanatic so I look forward to trying out this glaze!

  15. Blond Duck says:

    It sounds delicious!

  16. Michele | Cooking At Home says:

    Very clever, especially with salmon.

  17. Angie's Recipes says:

    Don’t know about Dr Pepper, but the glaze sounds terrific!

  18. I like, I like! I’d also heard that Dr. Pepper was flavored with prune juice so thanks for helping clear that up for me. Now I wonder what IS in there! It’s been a favorite of mine since high school but I seem to have developed an aversion to it and go for Pepsi or cream soda instead. But I know I’d like this glaze–you are brill!

  19. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Either I am late, but love the new look and blog design. What an unusual glaze but I can see it working. I do like Dr Pepper too but induldge rarely.

  20. Lovely! I don’t drink much soda either but I think I could drink up a Dr. Pepper for the sole purpose having this glaze on hand. Nice job Faith!

  21. BeadedTail says:

    We had salmon for lunch so I wish I’d seen this before! We’ve made a root beer glaze once which I think was in an Emeril Lagasse cookbook although I’m not positive but this Dr. Pepper one really sounds good!

  22. This is a great use of leftover soda. I’ve used soda in a glaze I make for ham, but never thought of using it in one for fish. It’s a great idea. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  23. I have never heard of a drink called Dr Pepper, don’think you can get it in France or the UK for that matter. Otherwise the meal looks delicious. Diane

  24. Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook says:

    So you’re a Pepper?
    I would cook with it for sure, looks fantastic glaze on the salmon! Great idea for the glaze! But I’m not a Pepper, I’m Coca Cola, it’s the Real Thing! LOL!

  25. Umm Mymoonah says:

    Lovely healthy plate of meal, looks delicious.

  26. I agree- Im not sure what it is about the flavor or Dr. Pepper, but it is very good. Using it as a glaze is a fun idea!

  27. I’m not really the biggest dr. pepper lover (though I do love the cherry vanilla version!) but I imagine I’d love it in glaze form. In general, the idea of making a glaze out of leftover soda is awesome! Now I know what to do with my next bottom-of-the-bottle collection!

  28. Blond Duck says:

    LOVE the new look! I’ve wanted to try Dr. Pepper chicken forever!

  29. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I love the idea of this glaze, I think the warm flavours from the Dr Pepper would make a fabulous glaze, come to think of it.
    *kisses* HH

  30. It sounds delicious! Lovely with salmon.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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