Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes)

Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes) #keto  keto-bbq-sauce

Barbecue sauce (or BBQ sauce) is an essential part of American cooking…it’s used to marinate meats, as a dip for chicken fingers, and as a tangy condiment to enjoy with grilled meats.

So, it can be a bit disheartening to learn that your regular store-bought BBQ sauce and traditional BBQ sauce recipes are NOT Keto-friendly.

And it’s not just the copious amounts of sugar they often contain. Even reduced sugar versions will still contain non-Keto ingredients like sunflower oil, food coloring, and preservatives.

But fear not, we’ll show you how you can easily make your own Keto BBQ sauce here as well as how you can customize our basic Keto BBQ sauce recipe to create all your favorite regional BBQ sauces, including:

  • Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Barbecue Sauce
  • South Carolina-Style Mustard Barbecue Sauce
  • Texas-Style Mop or Basting Barbecue Sauce
  • Piedmont Lexington-Style Dip
  • Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce

We’ve got recipes for all of these styles below!

What is the traditional BBQ sauce recipe?

References to BBQ sauce start back in the 17th century and the first BBQ sauce to be commercially produced was in Atlanta, Georgia.

(This might explain why my husband and his friends from Atlanta are so obsessed about barbecues and BBQ sauce recipes…)

But when it comes to a “typical” or “traditional” BBQ sauce, you’ll be hard pressed to find a consensus.

All that I can say is most BBQ sauce recipes are ketchup/tomato-based and use these 4 simple ingredients:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard or Vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar

It’s that sweet and sour mix that makes BBQ sauce so addictive and tasty!

But as you can see from the ingredients in BBQ sauce recipes, 3 of them (ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce) are definitely not part of the Ketogenic diet food list!

So, here’s how we’ve modified the regular recipe to create our Keto BBQ sauce recipe instead:

The Keto BBQ Sauce Recipe…

Instead of ketchup (which usually has added sugar), we start from tomato paste and thin it out it with water and flavor it with apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Then we add in yellow mustard, which is Keto since it just has mustard seeds and vinegar in it.

Instead of Worcestershire sauce, we use coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce. This creates a flavorful, umami-filled, salty flavor to the sauce.

And instead of adding lots of sugar (which is obviously high in carbs), we use stevia to give our BBQ sauce that sweet kick.

And lastly, we add in a magic Keto ingredient…ghee. This provides a creamier flavor to the whole thing, plus it gives it a boost of healthy Keto fats.

Slather some of our Keto BBQ sauce on your chicken tonight for a super easy and low carb meal.

Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes) #keto  keto-bbq-sauce

Regional Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes

OK, there’s a ton of regional differences when it comes to BBQ sauces. And I learned this when we spent a month traveling to different parts of the US to eat BBQ!

So, let me go through 5 very popular types of BBQ sauces and how you can create your own Keto-friendly versions of them at home.

Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Barbecue Sauce

This is a vinegar-based BBQ sauce that’s naturally low in carbs already so it’s really easy to make it into a low carb, Keto BBQ sauce. Here’s the Keto version of the Eastern North Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce recipe:

Yield: 4-6 servings
Nutritional data: negligible

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of stevia

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes) #keto  keto-bbq-sauce

South Carolina-Style Mustard Barbecue Sauce

Luckily, mustard is a very Keto-friendly condiment since it’s so low in carbs. So, once we substitute the copious amounts of sugar that the traditional recipe uses, you get a lovely yellow-ish low carb BBQ sauce that’s perfect to go with some Keto pulled pork and slaw.

Here’s the basic recipe:

Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional data: negligible

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Stevia and erythritol, to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Texas-Style Mop or Basting Sauce

Why “mop” sauce? Well, it used to be applied to meats with a mop. This is a sauce you cook your meats in. And it’s pretty low carb and Ketogenic friendly to begin with. Slather this BBQ sauce on your ribs or chicken breasts before cooking them.

Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional data: negligible

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika powder
  • Hot sauce, to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Piedmont Lexington-Style Dip

Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional data: negligible

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz (170 g) can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) hot sauce, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Stevia, to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a small pot on the stove for a few minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.

Kansas City-Style Barbecue Sauce

Our basic Keto BBQ sauce recipe below is very similar to the classic Kansas City-Style sauce. If you prefer your BBQ sauce a bit sweeter, then add in some erythritol (or Swerve) in addition to the stevia. That way you can enjoy a sweet and tangy sauce without any extra carbs.

Enjoy this sauce with your grilled chicken, ribs, pulled pork, or even Keto pork chops.

Make This Keto BBQ Sauce Recipe Your Own!

There are so many ways to customize this Keto BBQ sauce recipe. Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Add in additional spices like onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder, and hot sauce to these recipes.
  • Instead of water, use bone broth. The gelatin in bone broth will help thicken the BBQ sauce as well as provide it with extra flavor and nutrition.
  • Add in more or less stevia, erythritol (or Swerve) to sweeten the BBQ sauce to your liking while keeping it low in carbs. Then it’ll truly be reduced sugar!
  • The vinegar and/or mustard in the recipes helps to create that tangy flavor, so don’t forget to add it in.

 

Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes) #keto  keto-bbq-sauce

Keto BBQ Sauce Recipes (6 Versions, Including Regional BBQ Recipes)


  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Condiment
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 6 oz (170 g) can of tomato paste
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup (60-120 ml) of water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) coconut aminos or tamari soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) ghee
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) yellow mustard
  • Stevia, to taste

Instructions

  1. Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water to a saucepan on medium heat.  Stir in the tomato paste and the rest of the ingredients.  Add in more water and stevia, to taste.  More water creates a more liquidy BBQ sauce.  More stevia will create a sweeter BBQ sauce

Notes

All nutritional data are estimated and based on per serving amounts.

1 g net carb

Nutrition

  • Calories: 28
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 1 g

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