top of page

Low sodium (low carb) barbecue sauce

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

This tangy low sodium barbecue sauce is perfect on a burger or pulled pork sandwich. I originally sweetened it with white and brown sugar, but recently shifted to using fresh apples and raisins in place of the sugar while keeping the molasses and honey. To reduce the carbohydrates even more, substitute all the sweeteners for dried, pitted dates. Dates have no sodium, are very sweet, high in fiber, and have a low glycemic index so they're perfect for a low sodium, low carb swap.

For a quick barbecue sauce that uses Heinz salt-free ketchup as the base, go here.

Servings: Makes 2 cups

Sodium: 3 mg per tablespoon

Time: 1 hour


One 6-7-ounce can tomato paste with no salt added (Bionaturae is my favorite)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon salt free mustard (or 2 tsp dry mustard) (Westbrae's is great!)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark is fine)

3 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Optional: Worcestershire sauce (1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, depending on your sodium limits but note the sodium estimate above does not include this)

*To reduce the sugar make the following adjustments:

-omit white and brown sugar,

-add 1 medium apple, chopped, and 1/4 cup of raisins,

-reduce the apple cider vinegar to 1/4 cup,

-increase water to 1 and 1/4 cups,

*To lower the carb load even more:

-omit all sugars--white, brown, honey and molasses,

-add 80 grams (about 10-12) dried, pitted dates,

-increase water to 1 and 1/2 cups, and

-add 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.

This lower carb version has just 4 mg of sodium and 2 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.

If using an apple, peel and cut into small pieces. I like firm, tart apples like honey crisp, gala, pink lady, or envy but I really think any type would work just find. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT for balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. With the lid on, simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

If I'm using sugar, I simmer for about 30 minutes. If I'm using apples and raisins or dates, I'll simmer for about an hour and then use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth. Let the sauce cool for 15 minutes then stir in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Keeps at least 2 weeks refrigerated.

3,264 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 commentaire

19 mai 2023

This is similar to my homemade concoction. I haven't tried apples or raisins yet which sound great. I would add Granny Smith apples to your list - an excellent tart apple. I also have to control sugar because of kidney stones, in addition to limiting salt for both kidney stones and high blood pressure. Luckily, I was never a salt or sugar freak, but I still needed to make adjustments to stay within my goals. Low salt/sugar barbecue sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, ketchup are truly a challenge, so your site is a Godsend. Since I must also limit added sugar, I found that molasses gave me a "big bang for my buck." I found that "warm," "sweet" spi…

bottom of page