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A healthy homemade BBQ sauce is exactly what you need to take your dinner from bland to outstanding. But where on earth do you find one? Getting high quality, low carb sauces on the shelf at your local grocery market isn’t easy… and when you do, sugar-free BBQ sauce is usually code for flavor-free, as well. And no one wants that.
No, what you need is a rich, tangy, smoky sugar-free barbecue sauce that will take your chicken, ribs, or whatever else you’re cooking up to the next level! That’s why making sugar-free barbecue sauce at home is a great idea.
And with this recipe, you’ll never lack for a flavorful, delicious low carb BBQ sauce again. So fire up that grill and get cooking!
Creating a Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce Recipe
Before making this low carb BBQ sauce recipe, this store bought sugar-free BBQ sauce was the only way we could have a keto BBQ sauce when we grilled out. It’s decent, and much better than any other sugar-free barbecue sauce I’ve tried. However, the balance of flavors is not as rich and smoky as I would like.
The other downside to a purchased low carb barbecue sauce is that they often sweeten with sucralose. You want to be healthier than that when you can. It still tastes pretty good and contains no added sugar, so if you’re not up to making your sugar-free barbecue sauce, it’s still a good option.
However, I wanted to give you a great low carb barbecue sauce. And, here it is!
You can make your own bbq sauce at home that has blue-ribbon flavor.
Ingredients for Keto Low Carb BBQ Sauce
I must admit, this challenge was a bit daunting. Making homemade barbecue sauce can be a Big Deal. People have competitions for barbecue sauce recipes! And, different parts of the country (and the world!) all have different interpretations of what makes an excellent BBQ sauce.
As if that weren’t enough, this low carb blog is also all about recipes with ten ingredients or less. If you’ve ever looked at the ingredient list for a barbecue sauce, or tried to make your own using just about any recipe, you probably know this isn’t the easiest promise to uphold. No matter how you like it, BBQ sauce has a ton of complex flavors!
It took a few experiments to get my low carb barbecue sauce recipe just right. Or at least good according to the family and friends I had as taste testers.
So what’s in a keto BBQ sauce recipe? Not as much as you’d think… and that’s the key.
There is no high fructose corn syrup, pointless chemicals, or crazy additives when you make this keto sauce at home. A healthy, low carb BBQ sauce can be made with only a dozen ingredients that you likely already have in your cabinets.
How cool is that?
(And yes, I know that’s a tad more than the “10 ingredients or less” thing we have going on at Wholesome Yum, but salt and water are usually excluded by convention. Because who doesn’t have those?)
This low carb barbecue sauce is made with the following ingredients:
- Tomato Paste
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Erythritol Blend
- Worcestshire Sauce
- Liquid Hickory Smoke
- Smoked Paprika
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Sea Salt
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
As with any recipe, you can tweak it to your tastes. Want a low carb BBQ sauce with just a bit more heat? No problem! Increase the cayenne by a pinch.
Need it to be a bit sweeter to offset the other parts of the meal? Voila! Go ahead and a dash more sweetener.
This sugar-free BBQ sauce is delicious as is, but you can always tweak it to be even more perfect for the meal you’re serving it with. Or just to make your tastebuds happier. You do you!
How To Make BBQ Sauce Without Sugar
The perfect healthy barbecue sauce is a balance of sweet, smoky, spicy, tangy, and just the right thickness. This low carb BBQ sauce is all of the above. It’s got the perfect balance of flavors, smoky undertones, and consistency.
The liquid smoke really makes the biggest difference, so don’t skip that part. Even if you have to shop online to find it.
And because you are the master of this keto BBQ sauce recipe, you can make it “just right” for whatever you are planning to use it with. While most people think it’s just right, if you need to you can make it thinner for a dipping sauce, or nice and thick to stick to grilling meats.
Since BBQ sauce is a bit sweet, you’ll swap out the sugar and/or corn syrup used in traditional sauces and even the sucralose used in a store-bought keto BBQ sauce for powdered monk fruit erythritol blend (or your choice of another low carb sweetener). Take a peek at this Low Carb Sweetener Guide for a full explanation of your options when making a low carb keto recipe.
By the way, the wonderful thing about this particular sugar-free BBQ sauce is that it’s crazy easy to make! Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, then let it simmer for twenty minutes.
Totally effortless. You’re welcome.
How To Store Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce
One of the best things about this low carb barbecue sauce is how easy it is to make. But the other really great thing about it is how well your low carb BBQ sauce will keep for future use.
Go ahead and cook it up (just twenty minutes!), let it cool, and put it into a mason jar or two. Your low carb barbecue sauce will stay fresh in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
You can even your mason jars (just below the fill line) and freeze it for a couple of months if you want to batch cook.
It keeps well for at least a week, but I’ve even kept it for a few weeks with no problem at all. Come grilling season, you’re going to want to always have some low carb BBQ sauce on hand for quick weeknight dinners or weekend parties with friends. You just can’t beat the sweet, smoky, tangy flavors in this keto BBQ sauce recipe.
The Best Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce Uses
So, what’s your favorite way to use a low carb barbecue sauce? Chicken? Ribs? Fish? Salad? Pizza? A spoon?
Now that you have this easy sugar-free barbecue sauce recipe that only takes twenty minutes to make, and you know how to store it, the possibilities are endless!
Use it to make a low carb BBQ chicken pizza or to make oven-baked chicken thighs BBQ style. Or dip these yummy keto chicken nuggets into this keto BBQ sauce for a delicious, homestyle treat that you and your kids will both enjoy!
Your next sauce recipe to try: low carb enchilada sauce!
This easy keto BBQ sauce recipe is going to make grill season (and really, all year long) more delicious than ever. Bon Appetit, friends!
Tools To Make Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Saucepan – This one is a good size. Not too big or too small.
- Liquid smoke – My secret ingredient for the best, super smoky, sugar-free BBQ sauce!
- Basting brush – For brushing your sauce on whatever you like. This one is silicone and doesn’t retain odors.
Reader Fave Keto Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Low Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce Recipe - Keto & Gluten-Free
This keto low carb BBQ sauce recipe is sweet, smoky, spicy & tangy in one. If you want a super easy, sugar-free barbecue sauce that tastes delicious, this is it. Only 5 minutes prep time!
Recipe VideoClick or tap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make this recipe!
Click underlined ingredients to buy them!
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RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
- Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan, adding the water last. Start with a cup of water, then whisk in a bit more at a time, until it reaches a consistency *slightly thinner* than barbecue sauce. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups of water, but it will vary depending on how thick your tomato paste is.
Bring to a gentle boil at medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Taste and adjust sweetener or cayenne pepper if you prefer the sauce to be sweeter or spicier. If it's still thicker than you like, you can stir in additional water, a tablespoon at a time, until reaching desired consistency.
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The Worcestershire sauce linked in the ingredients list is gluten-free. Technically it contains a little sugar, but with 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce used for the entire recipe, each serving would contain only 1/20 tablespoon of it (like a drop). This is factored into the nutrition info and net carbs below. If you prefer, you could even omit it or use a dash of molasses with a little water instead, but it would affect the flavor.
Serving size: 2 tbsp
Entire recipe makes 2 1/2 cups.
This low carb recipe was featured in the June 2020 Wholesome Yum Challenge! Learn more and join the challenge to enter this month's giveaway.
Video Showing How To Make Low Carb Barbecue Sauce:
Don't miss the VIDEO above - it's the easiest way to learn how to make Low Carb Barbecue Sauce!
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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