This low carb, keto BBQ sauce is sweet, smoky, tangy, and customizable to your taste buds! This recipe takes just 10 minutes to pull together, is packed with flavor, and yet gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegan.
10 Minutes To Make
The summer sun is here, which means it is officially BBQ season everyone! And with BBQ season comes lots and lots (and lots) of BBQ sauce, please. This summer looks set to be a little bit ‘different’ to most – but that doesn’t mean we can’t still spend some time in the garden, enjoying a delicious vegan barbecue (or ten!).
Now, barbecue sauce can be a bit of a touchy subject. Depending on where you live and who you are – the ingredients and flavors of this condiment can vary massively. However, that’s why it’s so handy being able to adjust ingredients when making it at home.
So, what do I look for in the perfect low carb barbecue sauce? A delicious blend of smoky, sweet (but not too sweet), and tangy. Which is exactly what I’ve made here. Want more heat? Sweetness? Smokiness? – No problem just slightly tweak the amounts of certain ingredients and away you go.
Oh, and did I mention that since this gluten free BBQ sauce is also sugar-free, it will work amazingly for marinating proteins like tofu, for the grill/oven, without burning the same way sugar does?!
Unfortunately, while there are many vegan BBQ sauce options in-store, they are still highly processed and contain tons of sugars (thus not keto-friendly or low carb). A quick search of some major brands contained ingredients like fructose syrup, preservatives, and even gums. And the options that are low carb/sugar-free are often ridiculously sweet, containing unhealthy sweeteners like aspartame.
By making your own, you’re able to customize it to your tastes. Plus, this healthy barbecue sauce is made up of ingredients, most of which are probably already in your kitchen/pantry.
And there’s no need to worry about missing out on the ‘sweetness’ in this sugar free BBQ sauce because this recipe simply exchanges the sugars for a low carb sweetener.
I’ve also made this homemade BBQ sauce without ketchup (unlike many recipes), instead choosing to use natural tomato sauce and paste, to avoid the extra sugars and processing of store-bought ketchup.
So, what are the actual ingredients?
- Tomato sauce & paste
- Powdered Erythritol, or sweetener of choice
- Apple cider vinegar
- GF tamari (or soy sauce/coconut aminos)
- Hot sauce
- Spices like smoked paprika, onion powder, etc.
However, there are various ingredients swaps and additions that you can make, so read the recipe notes for suggestions and options.
For the full ingredient list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information of this keto BBQ sauce, then please read the printable recipe card below.
This Recipe Is:
- Low carb
- Keto friendly
- Yet versatile & customizable!
How To Make The Keto BBQ Sauce
It takes just 10 minutes to whip up this healthy BBQ sauce, consisting of combining all the ingredients and heating to reduce- that’s it!
Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a saucepan/skillet and stir well to combine.
Step 2: Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Taste and adjust the seasonings (for more tang add more vinegar, for sweetness increase the sweetener, for smokiness add more paprika/liquid smoke, for heat add more hot sauce or additional chili powder). Add a splash of water if you prefer the sauce to be thinner and then allow it to cool. Pour the sauce into a serving dish or mason jar.
Once ready, you can serve immediately or save for later.
How To Serve
The obvious serving place of this homemade keto BBQ sauce is, of course, a BBQ. However, I also love to use this condiment in place of ketchup/mustard for all kinds of dishes.
Use a marinade for proteins, slather over foods, or use as a dip- there are tons of ways to enjoy this!
If you’re looking for more dish inspiration for your next BBQ, then here are some vegan options for you.
How To Store
Store any leftover BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
I haven’t yet tried to freeze the sauce; however, it should be freezer friendly. I would imagine that it would do best for up to two months in an airtight container in the freezer.
Recipe Notes & Variations
- I used Erythritol for a sugar-free, low carb BBQ sauce (other options include Xylitol, Stevia, and Monk Fruit powder). However, feel free to use your favorite sweetener (e.g., organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.)
- You can use soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of the GF tamari. Alternatively, vegan Worcestershire sauce would work great.
- This recipe makes a small batch (1 ¼ cups/300 g). Feel free to increase the recipe, as required.
- One serving is 1/8th cup (2 tbsp/30 g) – with 15 kcal and 3 g carbs.
- Instead of hot sauce, you can use chipotle pepper or chili pepper powder. Or even a combination of two, for more heat.
- I prefer the taste of apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce; however, you can use a variety of vinegar options, including balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, etc. They will all affect the flavor in different ways.
- For a thicker sauce, you can simmer it for longer. This will reduce the mix and intensify the flavors.
- Flavors may mellow when chilled, so feel free to taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed, before serving.
- If you’re using this BBQ sauce as a marinade (i.e., for tofu) that is going to be baked/grilled, then you can get away with not heating the mixture at all when making. Just throw everything together, mix well, and baste.
If you give this keto BBQ sauce recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram and/or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Keto BBQ Sauce
- 2/3 cup (160 g) tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup (75 g) tomato paste
- 3 tbsp Erythritol powdered, or sweetener of choice (*see notes)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari (*see notes)
- 2 tsp hot sauce or less/more to taste
- 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Pinch of ground cloves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Liquid smoke to taste (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan or skillet and stir to combine.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. You can add a splash of water if you prefer a thinner BBQ sauce or cook it longer for a thicker sauce. Allow to cool and pour the sauce into a serving dish or mason jar. Enjoy!
- I used Erythritol for a low-carb and sugar-free version, but you can use your favorite sweetener (e.g. organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.).
- You can use soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of tamari. Or use vegan Worcestershire sauce.
- The recipe makes a small batch of about 1 1/4 cups (or 300 grams). Feel free to double or triple the recipe. One serving is 1/8 cup (30 g).
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