DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

Prep: 5 min | Cook: 30 mins | Total: 35 mins | Servings:16


Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce
I am often asked what my favorite BBQ sauce is. I'm asked just as often where people can find MY BBQ sauce recipe. To be perfectly frank, I'm occasionally lazy and have slipped completely into the habit of purchasing BBQ sauce, having never attempted to crack the sugar-free BBQ code, myself. Having MADE lots of BBQ Sauces in my past, it's not something that I'm new to; I just haven't ever tried to remove all the sugar from it.

To my mind, a good BBQ sauce has some spice to it, a bit of smokiness, definitely some sweet, but above all, it should have TANG! There should almost be pain coming from the inhalation of its vapor. I LOVE a VERY strong and vinegary BBQ sauce.

The following recipe is somewhat toned down from what I would personally make (if you want to get closer to my personal preference, double the vinegar), but this recipe is by no means lacking in flavor. It's everything a good BBQ sauce should be, but without the unnecessary carbs!

All I can say is, don't knock it till you've tried it!

Note: Makes about 2 cups of sauce. Recipe is calculated for 16 two-tablespoon servings.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
1 cup (256g)  reduced sugar ketchup (Buy Now) 8000160016
1 6-oz can (170g)  tomato paste13917327025
1 cup (239g)  apple cider vinegar (Buy Now) 0000000
1/4 cup (60g)  liquid smoke (Buy Now) 0000000
2 tbsp (24g)  brown sugar equivalent (Buy Now) 12080240024
2 tbsp (10.75g)  unsweetened cocoa powder24.
2 tbsp (16g)  new mexico chile, powdered (Buy Now) 50.242.721.928.85.4403.36
2 tbsp (14g)  smoked paprika40.461.822.107.845.1802.66
salt and pepper, to taste0000000
Totals (of 16 Servings):454.215.79g13.15g94.89g21.25g0g73.64g
Per Serving:28.390.99g0.82g5.93g1.33g0g4.6g *


  1. Place all ingredients on the stove, in a small sauce pot, over medium-low heat.
  2. Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until the sauce has thickened appropriately (keeping in mind it will thicken when it cools). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


Have been doing the LC for a couple of months and love this site! Just wondering if you had considered breaking down the serving size into the actual measurement? So for this BBQ Sauce is the 4.6 carbs per tsp, tbsp etc?? Thanks! :)

 Monica  6/7/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 6/7/2015
Hi Monica, thanks for the kind words! There's a note at the base of the description that says a serving is 2 tablespoons. So, 1 tbsp. would be 2.3 net carbs and a tsp would be about 3/4 net carb. I hope this helps! :)

Hi BeaJay ... kinda? It really depends on the sauce, to be frank. There are many sauces that have no sugar, whatsoever ... and then there are many that are sickeningly sweet. This one DOES have some actual sugar in it, so it will caramelize ... but it'll also be a bit sweeter that it should be, considering the amount of actual sugar it contains. The rest of the sweetness comes from sucralose, which doesn't caramelize. For the most part, this should behave like a standard BBQ sauce, but not one which has a lot of sugar. It's NOT going to behave like something from Walden Farms, though. This will be much closer to what you're looking for ...

 DJ  9/24/2014


Will it caramelize on the grill like a sugar heavy one will? I used to buy one that's since been discontinued and all of the homemade ones I've tired so far just don't hold up to smoke and flame.

 BeaJay  9/21/2014


Thanks, J.M.! :)

 DJ  7/30/2014


Unknown, (poster on July 28, 2014)look at the numbers again. It is hard to see the decimal point in red, but there are 5.93g carbs per serving, 4.6g net carbs per serving. (Not 46)

 J.M.  7/29/2014


This recipe looks really good but wow am I reading that correctly that it has 46 carbs per serving? Way way too many for me.

 unknown  7/28/2014


---Reply posted by Mary on 4/26/2015
It has 4.6 grams of carbs, the period is hard to see.

Hi MOPrincess. Yep! Either of those will work. I might also suggest looking into yacon syrup. A bit of that mixed with other sweeteners REALLY works to replace the brown sugar taste, without adding any sugars. I hope this helps!

 DJ  7/6/2014


Sorry! I meant to say Hi!!! not Hat!!! lol!

 MOPrincess  7/4/2014


Hat can I use in place of the brown sugar equivalent? I can't have anything with sugar in it (or I would have made my own brown sugar). Can I just use Splenda or Truvia in its place? Halp!!

 MOPrincess  7/4/2014


Rita, you could just use a chili powder. Just a standard "chili powder". That should do it!

 DJ  3/24/2014


I just want to let you know I ????? your site! ! You are AMAZING! Also, Amy suggestions to replace the chile? I don't have this at our store? Thanks!

 Rita  3/23/2014


Hi Unknown, I'm working on it. They started as a cute and fun idea, but I realize it makes things harder to read. The site gets better, every chance I have to work on it. Please be patient. I'm on the case! :)

 DJ  3/1/2014


Disappointed with this site...very difficult to read the "fancy" colors. Do not LIKE!

 unknown  2/28/2014


Excellent Lisa! Thank you for sharing! I get comments about this sauce often on my Facebook page, but ... you're right. You're the first to post it on the actual recipe. Thank you for the vote! :)

 DJ  1/28/2014


Hi DJ! I already posted a picture and comment on your FB page, but figured I'd add a comment here so if anyone is looking for a good BBQ recipe they will know it's delicious!! I will make it again and again. I think I'll keep it on hand in my fridge as regular bbq sauce is so high in sugar but I just love it! Thanks again for yet another great recipe!

 Lisa  1/27/2014