Low-Sugar Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce

Texas-Style Barbecue Sauce (Diabetic)

 Daniel Loiselle / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 17 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
13 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 13
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 281mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 100mg 2%
*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.)

Most store-bought bottled sauces are packed with sugars and preservatives, so if you need to keep your sugar intake in check, or are sugar-conscious, you know how hard it is to find something flavorful that is also suitable for your dietary needs and preferences. Besides naturally occurring sugars in the tomato paste and no-sugar ketchup, this flavorful preparation contains a total of two teaspoons of agave (9.2 grams of sugar) plus a minimal amount of sugar contained in the Worcestershire sauce. It's up to you and your needs to omit the agave altogether or to use less of it. Our flavorful mixture makes around one cup of sauce, so when eating a tablespoon or two at a time, the sugar intake shouldn't be too much. Our preparation is an easy and budget-friendly recipe that makes an ideal substitute for sugar-heavy sauces, and it's also a really delicious one.

This is a great sauce to use on pork chops, chicken, or fish. Use it as a table sauce alongside your favorite grilled meats, or brush it on salmon, tofu, seitan, or tempeh before baking to make a delicious and chewy crust. This sauce can also be a great marinade for chicken thighs, wings, pork chops, or tough cuts of meat that could use some tenderizing, as the vinegar in our mixture will help with that while the sauce will inject a ton of flavor into the meat. Add a few tablespoons next time you're making beans in your crockpot, or use it as a dip for fries, yuca batons, or cheese fingers. Mixing this sauce with no-sugar mayonnaise makes creamy dressing for original cold pasta and potato salads. It's also a great spread for sandwiches stuffed with your favorite cold cuts and cheeses.

If you need to double the recipe to make a bigger batch, let the sauce cool off completely and take out only what you need for your meal, keeping the rest of the sauce in the refrigerator, covered, at all times for up to a week. Because it has tomato paste and ketchup, the sauce can get sour and very acidic after a few days and lose its pleasant flavor. This recipe only requires 17 minutes of your day, a small investment for a tasty reward.


  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) tomato paste

  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) no sugar ketchup

  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) pure agave syrup (omit if on a strict diabetic diet)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (7 milliliters) onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) salt

  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 1/2 milliliters) liquid smoke

  • Dash cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine ingredients in order listed over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so.  

  3. Once cooked through, remove from heat and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before using.

  4. Serve over grilled chicken, beef, pork, fish  or frankfurters.


Use 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce for a more fruit-based barbecue sauce. 

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Article Sources
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  1. Agave Syrup, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.