This 10-minute sugar-free BBQ sauce requires no cooking and contains just a few simple ingredients and no added sugar.
Simply drop the ingredients into a bowl, whisk them for two minutes, and your delicious homemade sauce is ready!
BBQ sauce is delicious, but store-bought varieties often contain large amounts of sugar. This homemade version is just as good, and it's sugar-free.
It's also incredibly easy to make - it requires no cooking and is ready in just a few minutes. You can keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to a week; I make a batch almost weekly and use it in several recipes.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Tomato paste: I use tomato paste in a 7-ounce glass jar. After I empty out the tomato paste, I use it to measure the vinegar.
- Balsamic vinegar: You definitely want to use balsamic vinegar in this recipe. Other types of vinegar will be too harsh and acidic, especially distilled white vinegar.
- To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
- Sweetener: You can use any sugar-free liquid sweetener or the equivalent in stevia.
- Sometimes I use smoked salt instead of regular salt. It adds a lovely smoky flavor to the sauce.
- You can add 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter for a richer sauce.
- If you don't mind the carbs, you can use real maple syrup or honey instead of a sugar-free sweetener.
- To make it spicy, add a generous pinch of cayenne pepper.
Making this sugar-free BBQ sauce is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Place the tomato paste in a medium bowl. (Photo 1).
- Add the balsamic vinegar. (Photo 2).
- Add salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. (Photo 3).
- Add a sweetener. (Photo 4).
- Use a hand whisk to whisk the ingredients until well-blended. (Photo 5).
- Use immediately in your favorite recipe, or refrigerate for up to a week. (Photo 6).
It's fine to use this sauce immediately after you mix it, but it's even better to make it an hour or so ahead and let it rest at room temperature. This allows the flavors to meld and makes for a more flavorful sauce. Give it another stir before using it.
I define it as "free of added sugar." So while there are naturally occurring sugars in the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar used in this recipe, I don't add any sugar to the sauce or use ingredients that contain added sugar.
Yes. You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to three months and thaw it overnight in the fridge. You can use an ice cube tray if you'd like to freeze small quantities. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
No. Balsamic vinegar is syrupy and almost sweet; white vinegar is acidic and harsh. I hardly ever use white vinegar for cooking. It's much better as a cleaning agent!
This sauce is sweetened with a sugar-free sweetener such as stevia.
It's very similar, but it's not as sweet, and it's a bit more acidic. It's best used as a cooking sauce, not a dipping sauce.
This sauce is excellent for brushing on meats, then slow cooking or grilling them. Cooking caramelizes the natural sugars in the sauce and brings out its sweetness.
You can store this sauce in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week. Remember to stir it again before using it.
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Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
- 1 (7 oz) jar tomato paste (¾ cup)
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons liquid sugar-free sweetener or the equivalent in stevia
- Place the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and sweetener in a medium bowl.
- Use a hand whisk to whisk everything together until well-blended.
- Use immediately in your favorite recipe, or refrigerate for up to five days.
- This recipe makes about 1.5 cups of sauce.
- While it's OK to use this sauce immediately after you mix it, it's even better to make it an hour or so ahead of time and let it rest at room temperature, allowing the flavors to meld. Just make sure to give it another stir before using it.
- You can store this sauce in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week. Remember to stir it again before using it.