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Sweet BBQ sauce and dry rubs usually rely heavily on brown sugar, molasses, or other high carb sweeteners. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to give it up when you’re sugar-free, keto, or low-carb.
In fact, it only takes a few modifications and simple ingredients to have the flavor you’re used to with a fraction of the carbs. This easy homemade keto bbq sauce is the perfect way to enjoy finger-licking good barbecue without refined sugar.
Can you eat BBQ on a Keto Diet?
The answer: it depends. Most barbecue that you will find in a store or out to eat is loaded with sugary ingredients even if you opt to skip the sauce. For example, most dry rubs include sugar in the list of ingredients since sugar can help flavor and caramelize the meat.
That means the juicy cuts of low carb meats that would otherwise be totally fine on a keto diet might actually be sugar bombs. So, like most things, it’s important to ask about ingredients, read labels, or make your BBQ at home.
Why is BBQ Sauce Not Keto?
BBQ sauce is typically made with a lot of sugar. Some recipes use brown sugar. Others rely on molasses or fruit compotes. Since a lot of sugar, especially refined sugar, impacts ketosis, BBQ is not usually keto-friendly.
But, my easy homemade barbecue gives you a low carb way to enjoy sticky, saucy barbecue without added sugar.
Keto-friendly BBQ sauce requires about the same amount of ingredients as traditional BBQ sauce. The main difference is that I’m using sugar-free or no-sugar-added substitutes.
The ingredients you’ll need to make keto BBQ sauce include:
- SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Cola or granular keto sweetener
- No Sugar Added Ketchup
- Chicken Broth
- Keto Brown Sugar Replacement
- Sriracha or Hot Sauce
- Garlic Powder
Once those are gathered, you can head to the recipe card for amounts.
How to Make Sugar-free BBQ Sauce
If you have never made BBQ sauce at home, you may be surprised at how easy it actually is to make it homemade. In fact, once you gather all the ingredients, it is a one-pot recipe and only requires about 10 to 15 minutes of cook time.
To make keto-friendly BBQ sauce:
- Gather all the ingredients and put them into a small pot
- Whisk the ingredients together until they are smooth
- Heat the BBQ sauce on medium-low for 10 to 15 minutes
The BBQ sauce will thicken as it cooks.
There are some variations you can make in this BBQ sauce recipe. For example, instead of using sugar-free ketchup, you could use tomato paste instead. Tomato paste helps thicken the BBQ sauce as it cooks.
Another variation you can try is adding liquid smoke. You would add this at the beginning of the cooking process with the other ingredients. Liquid smoke, which comes in different flavors, can add a nice smoky taste to the BBQ sauce.
Where Can I Find Keto BBQ Sauce Online & In Stores
With keto and low carb diets gaining more attention in recent years, it is becoming easier to find keto-friendly BBQ sauces both in stores and online. For example, Walmart sells G. Hughes.
If you are looking online, I suggest trying AlternaSweets BBQ sauce. They sweeten their BBQ sauce with Stevia, which contains no calories.
Recipes to Enjoy Sugar-free Keto BBQ Sauce With
Keto BBQ sauce pairs well with a lot of different grilled food recipes. Some of my favorites include:
- Bacon-Wrapped Cola BBQ Chicken Kabobs
- Keto Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork
- Keto BBQ Ribs Recipe
What other sauces are keto-friendly?
You can make a variety of sauces that are keto-friendly based on what you are hungry for. For breakfast and dessert, I often top things like cheesecake with sugar-free strawberry sauce.
Lastly, if you love low-carb and keto versions of Italian food, then you might also be interested in my easy alfredo sauce. I pair it with broccoli, a protein, and low-carb pasta substitutes for a meal.
Easy Homemade Keto BBQ Sauce Recipe
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- Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and whisk them together.
- Heat on medium-low for 5-10 minutes (it gets thicker as it cooks)
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!