Keto BBQ Sauce

Low-Carb and Sugar-Free

Keto BBQ Sauce in a bowl with a brush

The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 14 servings
Yield: 1 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
40 Calories
2g Fat
5g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 14
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 173mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Barbecue sauce is a delicious condiment that typically contains a good amount of sugar in the form of molasses, honey, or brown sugar, making it less than keto-friendly. If you're following a sugar-free diet, make this diet-friendly sauce at home. It's an easy, flavorful BBQ sauce and you can control the flavor. Like it sweeter? Add more keto-friendly sweetener. Like hot stuff? Add some spices or hot sauce. Add more vinegar for more tang—it's easy to adjust to your tastes.

This version uses erythritol as a sugar alternative and is also paleo-friendly. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and even longer in the freezer. Keto BBQ sauce is the perfect addition to your summer barbecues and works well on a variety of grilled and smoked meats.

"This keto BBQ sauce had excellent flavor and a nice balance of acid from the vinegar and sweetness from the erythritol. You could easily cut back on the sugar if you like a less sweet sauce. This would be delicious slathered on ribs or served with pulled pork." —Diana Rattray

keto barbecue sauce
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large shallot, diced

  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup erythritol sweetener, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for sugar free bbq sauce in bowls

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  2. Add the olive oil to a small saucepan and heat on medium heat. Add the shallots and salt and sauté until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes.

    shallots and oil in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  3. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute on medium-low heat.

    Shallots and garlic sautéd in oil in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  4. Add the water, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, erythritol, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, mustard, and liquid smoke to the saucepan.

    Water, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, erythritol, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, mustard, and liquid smoke in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  5. Whisk the ingredients until combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened and slightly darker in color.

    BBQ sauce in a saucepan with a whisk on the burner

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard

  6. Allow the sauce to cool slightly. If a smooth sauce is desired, place it in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

    Keto BBQ Sauce in a blender

    The Spruce / Karen Hibbard


  • You can substitute other keto sweeteners like monkfruit sweetener. Use about half of the amount of sweetener if you are using monkfruit.
  • You can add more or less erythritol depending on how sweet you like your barbecue sauce. 

How to Use Keto BBQ Sauce

There are plenty of options for serving this sugar-free barbecue sauce:

Recipe Variations

  • If you’re looking to make the sauce spicy, you can add 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes when you add the other spices. Or add hot sauce to taste.
  • If you like a thinner sauce, add another 1/4 cup of water or, for a super tangy sauce, add 2 more tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. 
  • If you want the flavor to be even more intensified, you can add the spices when you add the onions and garlic. Sautéing makes the flavor of the spices even stronger. 

How to Store

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • The barbecue sauce freezes beautifully. Transfer the cooled sauce to a freezer container or zip-close freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. If using glass mason jars, use wide-mouth, and make sure you leave at least 1 inch of headspace.
  • Thaw frozen keto bbq sauce in the fridge overnight.

Is BBQ Keto-Friendly?

As with most foods, it depends on the dish. Grilled and slow-roasted meats tend to be keto-friendly but watch out for added ingredients, like sugar in a rub. Barbecue sauce tends to contain sugar, so look for a bottled keto sauce or make this recipe.