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A sugar free 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 keto BBQ sauce on the shelf at your local grocery market isn’t easy… and when you do, “sugar free barbecue sauce” is usually code for flavor-free and full of artificial ingredients. No, thanks.
Before developing this recipe, I thought store-bought sauces with sucralose were the only way to enjoy that sweet and smoky flavor — but there’s a better way! This rich, tangy, smoky sugar free BBQ sauce has been popular every summer for years, and for good reason. It packs a flavorful punch with no added sugar, and will take your chicken, easy grilling recipes, or whatever else you’re cooking up to the next level. Readers have even told me it won awards in contests. Fire up that grill and get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Sweet, smoky and tangy taste
- Thick and smooth texture
- Ready in less than 30 minutes
- No artificial preservatives, thickeners, colors, or sweeteners
- Just 3.5g net carbs per serving
- Healthy, gluten free, sugar free BBQ sauce for tons of flavor
- Award winning in reader contests!
Since BBQ sauce is a bit sweet, we’re swapping out the sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners with Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend. This blend gives super smooth texture to sauces, all with 0g net carbs and just-like-sugar sweetness. I use it to make sugar free ketchup, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best sugar free barbecue sauce ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Tomato Paste – Gives BBQ sauce a thick, rich texture and natural sweetness. If you don’t have any, you can use triple the amount of tomato sauce instead and just simmer for longer to thicken.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Adds tang. If you don’t have any, you can use white vinegar or lemon juice for a similar tart alternative.
- Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend – I exclusively use and recommend this one because it dissolves completely, unlike other sugar substitutes that can leave your keto BBQ sauce recipe gritty or crystallize when you store it. If you still want to use something else, make sure it’s powdered and use my sweetener conversion chart to get the correct quantity.
- Worcestershire Sauce – Adds umami flavor and slight sweetness. I like this one, which is gluten-free. Technically it contains a trivial amount of 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). If you prefer, you could omit it or use a dash of blackstrap molasses with a little water instead.
- Liquid Hickory Smoke – For true barbecue flavor, this ingredient makes the biggest difference — don’t skip it! Many grocery stores carry liquid smoke near other seasonings or condiments, or you can find the one I use online here.
- Spices – Like many store bought brands, this sauce uses a combination of smoked paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (more or less depending how spicy you like it), and chili powder to give the perfect flavor.
VARIATION: Want brown sugar flavor?
Replace half of the Besti powdered sweetener with Besti Brown Sugar Substitute! It dissolves just as easily and tastes just like brown sugar, with zero net carbs.
How To Make Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
This section shows how to make keto BBQ sauce, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
TIP: Water quantity will vary.
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.
- Cook to reduce. Bring to a gentle boil at medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened to your liking.
- Adjust sweetness and heat. Taste and add more Besti or cayenne pepper, if desired.
- Store: Keep homemade sugar free BBQ sauce in a mason jar, airtight container, or condiment bottle in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Freeze: Keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze in an ice cube tray, then transfer to a freezer bag, to have individual portions on hand for your favorite recipes.
Best Keto BBQ Sauce Uses
You just can’t beat the sweet, smoky, tangy flavors in this sugar free BBQ sauce recipe. It can add a kick of flavor to so many dishes! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:
- Chicken – Make a BBQ chicken pizza on cauliflower crust, baste crispy oven baked chicken thighs with sauce, or use as a dipping sauce for keto chicken nuggets or keto chicken tenders. You can also toss your shredded chicken in it! My favorite way to use it though is slathered on grilled BBQ chicken legs.
- Beef – Slather sirloin steak, ribs, or chuck eye steak with keto BBQ sauce before throwing them on the grill. Or, use it to top keto meatloaf instead of ketchup.
- Pork – Make pulled pork sandwiches or slather sauce on air fryer pork chops.
- Salad – I always use this to make my BBQ chicken salad.
More Low Carb Sauce Recipes
Keep sugar and fillers out of your sauces with these recipes. If you like this low carb BBQ sauce, you’ll love these other keto sauces to pair with your favorite low carb mains:
Keto Sugar Free BBQ Sauce
Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (Keto)
Satisfy your craving for barbecue with this sweet, smoky, and tangy keto sugar free BBQ sauce. It's so easy to make and has won awards!
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Tap 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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Serving size: 2 tbsp
- Entire recipe makes 2 1/2 cups.
- 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.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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