Low Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce (Easy Homemade Recipe)
This Low Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce is a total game-changer if you are following a keto or low-carb lifestyle. With these keto-friendly ingredients, you no longer have to worry about a high carb count! With the tartness from the tomato sauce, the tanginess of the vinegar and mustard, and the sweetness of keto-friendly sweetener, It is sure to bring tons of flavor to any meat! Sugar-free BBQ sauce goes perfectly on your favorite grilled chicken, keto pork chops, or low-carb casseroles!
Low Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
Growing up, my parents made homemade BBQ sauce all the time. I can even remember my Daddy standing over a hot pot of BBQ sauce, tasting it by the spoonful until it was just right. Traditionally, BBQ sauce has a high carb count due to sugary ingredients. While I had found some keto-friendly store-bought options, nothing compared to my Daddy’s homemade recipe. So, I decided to use his recipe and make a keto version! After experimenting, I found the perfect combination of low-carb ingredients to make the best sugar-free bbq sauce recipe.
This keto BBQ sauce is easy to make with only six main ingredients! It is versatile and can go on any of your favorite meats, be used as a dipping sauce, or even go in some low-carb casseroles!
Is BBQ Sauce Sugar-Free?
No, traditionally, bbq sauce contains ketchup, brown sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, which has tons of sugar. With around 15 carbs per two tablespoons, it is not keto-friendly.
Will BBQ Sauce Kick You Out of Ketosis?
Since regular BBQ sauce contains so many sugary ingredients, it would not take much to kick you out of ketosis. However, you do not have to miss this sugar-free keto bbq sauce recipe!
Tomato Sauce – This tomato sauce creates the base for sugar-free barbecue sauce without adding a lot of sugar.
Mustard – Helps tone down the tomato taste.
Vinegar – Gives that famous delicious tang to this sugar-free bbq sauce recipe.
Water – Adds extra liquid so the sauce can be simmered and reduced, intensifying all the flavors.
Lakanto Monkfruit Golden – A sugar-free sweetener that makes this keto bbq sauce low in carbs.
Braggs Aminos – Braggs is a healthier version of soy sauce. It gives a little boldness to the flavor.
Chili Powder/Garlic Powder/ Salt/Pepper – Flavor is the name of the game when you make dipping sauces. Don’t skimp, or you’ll miss the fantastic flavor.
Specialty Ingredients Used in this Recipe:
As I had mentioned before, regular BBQ Sauce is loaded with sugar. When making a keto-friendly version, an excellent sugar-free substitute is an essential ingredient. In creating this recipe, Lakanto Monkfruit Golden Sweetener yielded the best results. It is a fabulous brown sugar substitute that works perfectly in keto recipes. An alternative sweetener is Swerve Brown. Lakanto Monkfruit Golden and Swerve Brown measure the same and are interchangeable.
How to Make Homemade Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
Step One: Add tomato sauce and mustard to a saucepan and use a whisk to stir vigorously to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Don’t skip the whisking. You want to make sure your low-carb sauce will be smooth!
Tip: The canned tomato sauce is located in the canned food aisle, usually with several varieties of canned tomatoes, such as diced, whole, tomato paste, etc. With all the tomatoes next to each other, it is easy to grab the wrong kind, so you may want to double-check before checking out!
Step 2: Dump the spices, water, vinegar, and Monkfruit Golden into the mixture and stir together. Turn on medium-high heat to bring it to a boil.
Step 3: Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer on medium heat. While simmering, the sauce will begin to reduce and thicken and infuse with flavor. Leave on the stove until it has reached the desired thickness. Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: If you feel like the bbq sauce is too thin, don’t take it off the stove yet. All you have to do is keep simmering with the lid oof the pot and it will thicken perfectly.
Variations to Low Carb BBQ Sauce:
While I used regular white vinegar in this recipe, you could substitute it with apple cider vinegar. Additional ingredients that can be added to this recipe for sugar-free bbq sauce include liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, onion powder, and chopped onions.
In addition, if you want to make spicy sugar-free bbq sauce add cayenne pepper and a dash of your favorite ket-friendly hot sauce!
How to Thicken Homemade Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce:
To thicken, all you have to do is let it cook down and simmer for a bit; this does not take too long but is incredibly important as it allows the flavors to infuse together. If you are in a time crunch or the sauce is not thickening, you can turn up the stove (make sure to watch it carefully so it doesn’t boil over or stick), or add about 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum. You have to be careful not to use too much xanthan gum as it can make the texture slimy if you use too much. I prefer boiling it down on the stove instead.
Can I Make This Recipe in a Slow Cooker?
I don’t think it would work, as sauces don’t typically cook down and reduce in a slow cooker. You need to boil the sauce down without a lid on it for it to thicken properly.
Is this BBQ Sauce Gluten-Free?
All of the ingredients used to make this sugar-free bbq sauce are gluten-free. Although, I would suggest checking the labels on the brands you use.
Braggs Aminos is a healthier version of soy sauce that is naturally gluten-free and does not contain wheat, additives, or preservatives.
How Many Carbs are in Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce?
This recipe only has one carb per serving of two tablespoons, making it the perfect keto sauce option! Having tomato sauce replace ketchup and a keto-friendly sweetener instead of brown sugar dramatically reduces the number of carbs!
How to store this recipe?
I store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I’ve saved empty ketchup bottles or mason jars to store the bbq sauce. The keto-friendly sweetener can crystallize when refrigerated, but once you heat the sauce, it will be nice and smooth again.
You can also place the sauce in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months if you wish!
To reheat low carb bbq sauce, you can either warm it up in a glass container in the microwave at 30-second intervals stirring between each one or add it to a saucepan on low and heat until the desired temperature. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating for best results.
What Do I Serve Low-Carb Sugar Free BBQ Sauce on?
Being from the south, I can eat keto BBQ sauce on anything, but some of my favorite ways to serve are on top of chicken, beef, ribs, or even in a casserole. Below I have added links to my favorite dishes and low-carb bbq meals:
- Bacon-Wrapped Onion Rings
- Smoked Sausage & Cabbage
- BBQ Meatloaf
- Pulled Pork
- BBQ Chicken with Bacon & Cheese
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Juicy Keto Ribs
- bunless hamburgers – makes a great dipping sauce
Are there store-bought bbq sauces that are sugar-free?
Sure! If you don’t have time to make homemade, I’ve linked a few of the best store-bought sugar-free bbq sauces below.
- Yo Mama’s BBQ Sauce
- Halo + Cleaver BackYard BBQ Sauce
- Famous Daves Sugar-Free Sauce
- G. Hughes Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
Low Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
- 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- 2/3 cup Monkfruit Golden Sweetener
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp Braggs Aminos (Can also use coconut aminos if avoiding soy)
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Mix the tomato sauce and yellow mustard with a whisk until thoroughly combined in a saucepan.
- Add all other ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Turn down to medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow the bbq sauce to cook down until it begins to thicken until the flavors are thoroughly combined (approx 20-30 minutes).
I messed up and used regular lakanto sweetener. Is there a way to “fix” this? Can I add something and re-heat it?
I don’t know. I’ve only made them as is.
Did it taste bad?
I use swerve granulated and add sarcum syrup or molasses to give it color
If you are watching carbs, look out for molasses, which is very high in carbohydrates.
How do you store & how long does it last?
I store in the fridge for approx 2 weeks.
What substitution would you suggest for brags aminos or coconut amino when allergic to coconut and soy?
I used liquid smoke in place of the Bragg’s aminos
Yet another delicious and spot on recipe, Kasey!! What would I do without your fabulous work!! Thank you.
You’re so welcome, Amanda. Thank you for your kind words. It really means a lot to me.
It says 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce- you dont mean tomato paste?
No, it is canned tomato sauce and not tomato paste.
Made as instructed. Tastes wonderful and easy to make.
Fantastic! I’m so glad you liked it.
What does the aminos do/add?
Easy to make & very good!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Would tomato passata be ok? We don’t have canned tomato sauce in Australia that I know about.
I’ve never used tomato passata before so I’m not sure how it would work but it’s certainly worth a try.
I use tomato passata instead of tomato sauce for everything calling for sauce. Works just fine. If you want it completely smooth with no texture at all, you can blend it. I live in Italy so completely understand the tomato differences.
I also could NOT find the aminos at the store today and forgot and am in the middle of making this. DO I just leave it out. other people have asked about the Aminos and you haven’t answered that I can find. help!
Just made this with diced tomatoes as tomato sauce in cans could not be found.. tastes delicious 👌🏻 I also added less sugar substitute but probably a tad too much chilli
Aminos are similar to a soy sauce. It usually beside them in the store or near international food sauces. Based on soy I’d say its a salt and liquid component. If you can’t find it you could use soy sauce, go without, or maybe add a pinch more salt and add a couple extra tbsp of water.
Just so you know – a regular can of tomato sauce does have sugar in it – 10 grams. not completely sugar-free
Hi! Sugar-free is referring to added sugars not naturally occurring sugars. There is no sugar added to the cans of tomato sauce. That number only reflects what is natural in tomatos. It also means no sugar is added to the bbq sauce. Instead, a sugar-free sweetener is used.
This makes a terrific BBQ Sauce. I’ve made it before, but this time I changed it up a bit. After pre-cooking my seasoned ribs, I used the juices from the pan instead of water, and used some of the left over rib rub seasonings I had – In addition to what’s in the recipe. I also doubled the recipe and let it simmer on low for about 2 1/2 hours. It reduced down by about 1/2 in volume and was a perfectly thick sauce, just right for basting the ribs and serving along side them. This was THE BEST sauce I’ve made so far and will use this process again for my BBQ pork ribs!
Thanks for the basic recipe!
Yum! Your ribs sound amazing! So glad you enjoyed the sauce.
I made a double batch for my son and his college friends – easy to make and great flavor.
I added a dash of liquid smoke – thanks for the recipe!
Awesome! So glad you all loved it.