The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce (sugar free)

It is grilling season, so it’s time to whip up my secret weapon. I have been adapting and changing this recipe for so many years that I don’t remember what I originally started with. All I remember is that I had a half used can of tomato paste in the fridge I was trying to get rid of, and this recipe was somehow born. I love that it has no sugar, but still tastes sweet and has this great spicy kick that goes well with just about any meat. I also really love the base of nourishing bone broth, which you can never have too much of.  Tonight we’re grilling bone-in pork ribs from our local farmer with some cornbread. Mmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

The Worlds Best Barbeque Sauce

makes 2 cups

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil

1 cup sweet onion, diced small

1 Tbsp soy sauce

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or beef or vegetable)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2-1 tsp stevia powder (or sweetener of choice)

Heat butter/oil in sauce pan and sauté onion for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. You can serve it just like this, but I like to boil it down to thicken it a while. I turn down the heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I also find the longer cooking time melds the flavors, and it turns out even more delicious.

I have used this sauce on every cut of pork, beef and chicken that I can think of. It is a great marinade, basting sauce, oven baking glaze and dipping sauce. If you are feeding young kids or someone who doesn’t like spicy food you may want to add the chili powder a little bit at a time and taste as you go.

If you want to make this even healthier, you could let it cool and add 2 tbsp of whey and leave it on the counter over night. Then you would have a sugar-free probiotic condiment.

This keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge, and also freezes very well. If you eat as much meat as we do, it won’t last you that long 🙂

Related Posts:
Coffee Spice Rub

Tender Grilled Brisket

Real Food Taco Soup (in the crockpot)

Real Food Chili (in the crockpot)

Real Food Lasagna (SO Simple)

Stuffed Green Peppers in the Crockpot

Country Fried Steak

Real Food Meatloaf

The Worlds Best Chimichangas!!



  1. May 16, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Sounds divine!

  2. ybertaud9 said,

    May 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Yum! I’ll do this next time I BBQ, will use Tamari sauce in place of soy sauce. Thanks for posting. 😉

  3. May 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM

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  4. Laura said,

    May 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    This is great, I’m so over sugary BBQ sauces, this looks perfect!

  5. May 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Oh the RIBS!!!!!! Oh I am drooling! That looks, WOW! Yum oh yum! 😀

  6. May 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    This looks great! I can’t wait to try it. I’m so glad it doesn’t have ketchup or sugar in the list of ingredients.

  7. May 29, 2012 at 1:06 AM

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  8. A. Dephue said,

    October 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    “… thicken it a while.”. Are you in PA? I am going to try this, probably tonight.

  9. Gerry Earl said,

    October 22, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    I’m soo excited about this recipe! I was just googling sugar free bbq sauce, and this one site had 6 recipes that ALL HAD MORE SUGAR IN THEM THEN THE STUFF IN THE STORES!!! lol!!! Anyways, pinned it and posted it to FB already!!!! Going to make this soon! : ) Thanks for help keeping me abstinent from sugar and flour!!! : )

    • Judy said,

      August 19, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      What is your pulled pork recipe that you use? Sounds like a great idea.

      • August 19, 2015 at 3:26 PM

        Judy, I smear THIS spice rub all over a good quality cut of pork and leave it in the crock pot all day. Voila! 🙂

  10. Pat Tulskie said,

    November 9, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Love this recipe! I make pulled pork in crockpot and use the saved liquid (minus the fat that rises to top) instead of the stock. I also add a little smoked paprika.

  11. shannon mcclellan said,

    November 13, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    i thought it tasted like spaghetti sauce

  12. kate said,

    December 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Excellent sauce! Really, really good. Found it by googling “recipe sugar free barbecue sauce” This goes in my favorites. Thank You!

  13. Ryatta said,

    January 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    This is awesome! Since my girl friend became diabetic I’ve been searching down sugar free varient’s of everything… Can’t wait to give this a try!

  14. Debbie said,

    January 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Has anyone else tried it yet?

  15. Kevin said,

    February 2, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    I just whipped up a batch and I must say its really really good. Very flavorful and just the right amount of spice

  16. March 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I am interested in using your BBQ Sauce and Spoon image. Did you shoot it? If so, please contact me via email and the sauce sounds delicious.

  17. Toni said,

    March 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    I added a scant 1/2-teaspoon of liquid smoke…very good.

  18. May 25, 2013 at 6:38 PM

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  19. CJ Huang said,

    May 28, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Looks like a great BBQ sauce! I’ve been looking for a new one. 🙂

  20. Joshua said,

    June 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Just wanted to say thanks. I found this when looking for some sauce my diabetic mother came over when we grilled and this has become our all time favorite BBQ sauce.

  21. June 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    That is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  22. teddynola said,

    July 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    BEWARE! This is disgusting. The only ingredients left out were oregano and chipotle chili powder, though I doubt this would save this recipe.

    • July 11, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Teddynola (terri), it’s a shame that you didn’t like it. I don’t know what you’re comparing it too, however. We eat very little sugar in our house, and most store-bought barbeque sauce is very sweet. I tasted some store-bought barbeque sauce at a friends house last weekend and couldn’t eat it, it was so sugary. I like the spicy, tangy tomato flavor of this homemade recipe. Keep trying and experimenting, I’m sure you’ll come up with a recipe that you do like. To each his own right? Let us know what you come up with. BTW, if you try a recipe and leave out ingredients when you make it, you’re not really trying the recipe.

      • Lee said,

        July 18, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        You’re so sweet and diplomatic. That person’s comment was just rude. It would be one thing if they gave specifics of what they felt were wrong. However when all they do is insult it without offering any reasoning or constructive alterations then it’s as bad as trolling.

      • Geniene Clark said,

        April 28, 2015 at 7:33 PM

        In response to Lee’s “when all they do is insult it without offering any reasoning or constructive alterations then it’s as bad as trolling”: I wouldn’t be too quick to judge. “To each his own” is certainly true. And though this person was not very kind in his/her assessment, perhaps they aren’t able to put their finger on what they don’t like about it. Maybe they do know and aren’t telling, which would be unkind and unfortunate, but some people aren’t able to discern such things about cooking. They can simply tell what they don’t like. I, for one, did not care for it either. It is not bad, but it is not a bbq sauce to me. It tastes like chili. I love cumin, but not in bbq sauce. This person might taste what I taste but not be familiar enough with cumin to realize that it’s the problem. ???

    • Sonia said,

      January 26, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      Oh my goodness, I agree! It is so bad!

      • Sonia said,

        January 26, 2015 at 6:31 PM

        I’m sorry, I really should be more thoughtful of my comments.
        I added more ACV, some SALT, more honey (That was my sweetener), liquid smoke, and smoked paprika, and it is just ok now. We’ll eat it, but the flavors are just not what we prefer. We also eat little to no sugar, and very little natural sweeteners. I don’t mind using some in bbq sauce though. It isn’t the entire meal, and it’s not often we have it.

  23. Derick said,

    July 24, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Fantastic posts, Appreciate it!

  24. leslie said,

    November 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    OMG!!!! This blog is so advanced! Thank you so much. So excited to have found this.

    How long does this sauce last?

    • January 10, 2014 at 8:15 PM

      Leslie, It sure depends on how fast you eat it! 🙂 We have never had a chance to let it go bad, because it gets consumed in a hurry. But I imagine that about a month in the fridge would be fine.

      • Glennis said,

        August 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        I was just gonna ask this question because I only have a few ribs tonight to baste. Thanks for answering! 🙂 Can’t wait to try this recipe tonight.

  25. January 11, 2014 at 1:02 AM

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  26. January 12, 2014 at 1:09 AM

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  27. Dustin said,

    February 17, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Can this be canned for much later use? If so, how long of a shelf life do you think it might have? Thanks for your input!

  28. Steve said,

    March 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Have you tried it without the stevia or sweetener. I find the aftertaste strong. I am cooking a batch as i type. I put little to now stevia powder in it. cant wait!

  29. April 19, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I really liked this 😉 Thanks for the recipe. One thing….the “look” of my sauce didn’t look like your picture..hahaha! Does yours come out looking like the picture? The look of mine is more like very thick tomato soup…doesn’t have that dark hue like the picture nor the clearish corn syrup like consistency. Maybe it will the next day??… I said it was really good…I just used it to dip but could definitely taste how this would be top notch spread on while the meat is cooking!!! 🙂 Thanks again..heather z

  30. NormL said,

    May 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I made up a batch of this today (had all the ingredients – & that’s pretty amazing!). The whole batch is going into the crockpot tomorrow to cook spareribs for Grandma and Grandkids….and Grandpa too!! I was looking to scale back on sugar and it’s many secret agents! I believe I have found it here. It tastes and smells wonderful! Thankyou in advance for the yummy in the tummy meal our family will have.

  31. Bela Sziklassy said,

    May 21, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I made this sauce the other day since I am on a cutting diet whereby I can’t eat much sugars and fats.

    Unfortunately it didn’t turn out the way it looks in the pics. It’s consistency is more like a thick pizza sauce. I tossed it in the blended, which helped, but the picture looks like actual BBQ sauce. Mine still does not.

    Not sure what happened here since I followed the recipe to a T. The only difference is I made a triple batch, though I don’t see how that screwed anything up.

    Anyway, it’s perfectly edible, especially when I’ve been missing BBQ for so long. Made some slow cooker chicken breast with the stuff and that REALLY hit the spot. Will try again maybe a different brand f tomato paste or something.

  32. Alan Kozeluh said,

    July 4, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Thanks for posting these recipes. Thought you’d like to know, I used this one in a youtube series I started on sugar-free dieting.

    I gave you credit of course

    You can watch it here if you like:

  33. meyzabu said,

    July 14, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    I’ve even made it over six months and even more delicious!

  34. liza said,

    July 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Thank for the receipt! It was so yummy!

  35. Teresa said,

    August 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    Have to say I’m disappointed. Didn’t taste like BBQ sauce at all to me. My kids thought I was making spaghetti based on the smell and flavor.

  36. Cinn Jenn said,

    November 18, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Made this today. I found out after I started that I didn’t have any stock, so had to use plain water, and it still tastes good! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  37. November 23, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    I’m new to my dr. Ordered low carb diet. This sauce was perfect! We’re Mexican so I used canned chipotle chiles. Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Sandra said,

    April 16, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    I want to make this tonight- is it possible to just use chicken broth instead of homemade chicken stock?

  39. Shawna said,

    May 3, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    It tastes nothing like BBQ sauce, disappointing to say the least. Tastes more like Spaghetti Sauce I followed the recipe to the T. I don’t know where u got the color in the BBQ sauce but mine turned out nothing like that!

  40. suzanne said,

    May 5, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    I’m making this today for some leftover pork roast. Topping sweet potatoes with the bbq pork with roasted zucchini and kale on the side, my oh my! 🙂 I have a wheat allergy and gluten free anything can be expensive and hard to find. Thank you for this great recipe. As to the negative comment about this recipe, you have to train your palate to get used to reduced anything. Sugar, salt, etc. But, once you do you never go back! Lol

  41. May 19, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Do you use fresh or dried herbs? I have a ton of oregano in my garden, so I’d love to use some of that.

  42. May 21, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks for the recipe! Love the natural sugar free idea! Going to make it in my slow cooker and add some natural liquid smoke I just bought like one person said. Keep on cooking real.

  43. May 22, 2015 at 7:13 PM

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  44. Johneen Morrow-Beckworth said,

    May 25, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    Do you have the nutritional values of the finished sauce. I know that the tomato paste adds carbs, but would like to have the amount because as a diabetic I must count my carbs.

  45. Autumn said,

    July 18, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for something that I had all the ingredients for (I didn’t have molasses). I thought it might be nice to have a savory version but unfortunately it was not a hit with my family. However, we love store bought BBQ sauce, so that was probably why. I even tried to add more sugar and brown sugar too to see if they would like it… maybe it was the soy sauce? I dont know. For some reason it tasted like Mexican food to us 🙂 Just wanted to inform those who really like store bought that this is not sweet.

  46. Lena N. said,

    August 1, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    I’ve made it four times now … today is my fifth. I absolutely love it. I also add liquid smoke, just to give it an extra smokey kick. Thank you for this recipe!

    • August 19, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      Lena, liquid smoke is a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that? So glad you love it as much as I do

  47. August 15, 2015 at 8:59 PM

    […] Also here is a link to the page that we used as our starting point. […]

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