Sugar Free BBQ Sauce


5 from 54 votes
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This sugar free bbq sauce is sweet, tangy, and takes minutes to make! Using just a handful of ingredients, this keto and low carb sauce makes a fabulous condiment!

sugar free bbq sauce.

When I’m watching my carbs or trying to cut back on sugar, it seems sauces and condiments are usually the first thing to go. 

Of course, I LOVE my condiments, so I’m always taste-testing and coming up with sugar free versions of my favorite sauces, like sugar free honey mustard, and now, sugar free barbecue sauce. 

With the same savory, sweet, and tangy flavor as traditional BBQ sauce, this sugar-free version is equally as satisfying, just without the guilt. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I LOVE this recipe
  2. Ingredients you’ll need
  3. How to make sugar free bbq sauce
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More homemade condiments to try
  8. Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (Keto) (Recipe Card)

Why I LOVE this recipe

  • Diet-friendly. With no added sugar, this is a low-calorie, low-carb swap. Plus, it’s gluten-free, which, surprisingly, is not the case for a lot of mainstream sauces due to Worcestershire sauce. 
  • Better than store-bought. Making BBQ sauce from scratch is less expensive, and it tastes better than what you’d find at the grocery store. You also have more control over the ingredients that go into it, so you can feel better about sharing it with your family. 

Pairs with everything. With its sweet, smoky, tangy flavor, it works drizzled on all your favorite recipes, from 3-2-1 ribs to air fryer BBQ chicken and sous vide pork chops.

Ingredients you’ll need

A combination of sweet and tangy ingredients, this version uses a secret ingredient to give it that smoky flavor we love: liquid smoke! If you can’t find it in stores, that is okay. Here’s what you need to make this recipe:

  • Tomato paste. A concentrated version of tomato sauce or passata. It is much thicker and has a more intense flavor. Only a small amount will be used and thinned out with water. 
  • Apple cider vinegar. Unlike my sugar free ketchup recipe, we will use strictly apple cider vinegar here. The subtle apple flavor is perfect for the barbecue flavor. 
  • Liquid smoke. A secret ingredient to give this sauce the more smoky bbq flavor. While relatively flavorless on its own, it intensifies once mixed with all the other ingredients. 
  • Brown sugar substitute. This special sugar has such a distinct flavor that is synonymous with any good bbq sauce. If you don’t have any of this, use a powdered sugar substitute.
  • Garlic and onion powder. Adds extra flavor. 
  • Smoked paprika. Intensifies the smoky flavors of the sauce. Contrary to popular belief, smoked paprika is not spicy! 
  • Water. To thin everything out.

How to make sugar free bbq sauce

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Combine ingredients. In a small saucepan, add all your ingredients and mix to combine. 
Step 2- Simmer. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely to thicken.

keto bbq sauce.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Adjust the consistency. The longer you simmer the sauce, the thicker it will be. If you’d prefer a thinner sauce, add extra water to it.
  • Taste test. Taste the barbecue sauce before you remove it from the heat. If it is too tangy, add a little extra sweetener. If it isn’t salty enough, add a dash more salt. 
  • Make it spicy. For a spicy kick, add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Alternatively, you can even stir through some hot sauce or buffalo sauce after it has thickened up. 
  • Enhance the flavor. While optional, sometimes I like to stir in yellow mustard or lemon juice for extra flavor. 
  • Avoid using stevia. I tested this recipe with stevia, and it made the sauce super bitter, so stick to allulose or erythritol. 
  • Make honey flavored BBQ sauce. Swap the brown sugar substitute for keto honey.

How to store leftovers

To store: Leftover BBQ sauce must always be stored in the refrigerator. Kept in an airtight container, it’ll stay good for up to 1 month. 
To freeze: Place the BBQ sauce in a freezer-friendly container and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and give it a mix before enjoying it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which BBQ sauces are sugar free?

Sweet Baby Ray’s and G Hughes are two popular brands that have sugar free barbecue sauces. They are easily found in mainstream grocery stores and online.

How many carbs in sugar free barbecue sauce?

There are less than 1 gram of net carbs in homemade bbq sauce.

More homemade condiments to try

sugar free bbq sauce recipe.

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce (Keto)

5 from 54 votes
This sugar free bbq sauce is sweet, tangy, and takes minutes to make! Using just a handful of ingredients, this keto and low carb sauce makes a fabulous condiment!
Servings: 20 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 11 minutes



  • In a small saucepan, add all your ingredients and mix well.
  • On medium heat, heat up the saucepan until it begins to simmer. Once it begins to simmer, reduce to very low and stir for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, to thicken.


TO STORE: Barbecue sauce must always be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealed container or jar. It will remain fresh for up to 2 weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place leftover sauce in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 8kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 185mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 1g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was the best bbq sauce, and easy to make. The only thing I added was a lg can of tomato sauce instead of the paste, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, and chili powder.

  2. 5 stars
    This sauce was excellent! I used Lakanto “Golden” and it dissolved well for the brown sugar substitute.

  3. How will this turn out using Lakanto brown? Have you tried using that? I am celiac and unable to use Sukrin gold as it contains barley malt (gluten) which is a big no,no for celiacs.