No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce

September 24, 2015

No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce

The main taste tester in my house (aka The Todd) is participating in a wellness challenge this month. One of the challenge guidelines is to avoid all refined sugar, which rules out pretty much anything pre-made in a bottle. Having toyed with my fair share of BBQ sauce recipes I knew I could make him something super tasty and still stay within his dietary needs.

I know the hubs isn’t the only person in the world trying to watch his figure, so I thought I’d pass the recipe along to anybody who might just be craving something saucy for their grilled chicken breast without the consuming guilt and subsequent comfort food binge eating that always comes after falling off the health food wagon. No? Just me?

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

Whether you are eating the sweet stuff or not, this BBQ sauce is freaking good. I think we both agreed it was actually the best of all of my previous sauce attempts (notice how there isn’t another BBQ sauce recipe on my site yet… it’s been a struggle.) The sweetness in this no sugar added homemade BBQ sauce comes from local honey and the richness from caramelized onions and unsulphured blackstrap molasses. I hope you love it as much as we do!

No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce


Now pat yourself on the back for staying on track and feeling healthy and stuff. And maybe don’t do too much searching on my site if you’re really trying to watch calories. There’s always a balance, but I gotta tell ya, bacon weighs as heavily on my mind as it does on my hips. Happy grilling!

no sugar added bbq sauce

No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce

The sweetness in this no sugar added homemade BBQ sauce comes from local honey and the richness from caramelized onions and unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Perfect with any grilled meats or as a delightful dipping sauce.
3 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 30 mins
Total Time : 35 mins
Servings : 3 cups


  • 1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard ((check label for no sugar))
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 medium red onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cold water (optional)


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the diced red onions and cook until they are lightly browned and completely tender. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, making sure to thoroughly scrape the bottom of the pan, then add in the remaining ingredients, except for the cornstarch and water. If you want a slightly thinner sauce, you can skip the cornstarch. If you want your sauce to be thick, then combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add it to the pan.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 more minutes. Allow to cool before transferring to a storage container. Sauce will last 1 week in the refrigerator.
    No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
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5 thoughts on “No Sugar Added Homemade BBQ Sauce

  1. You had me a no sugar; however, the addition of molasses and honey is a LOT of sugar (ie carbs). Won’t even try to substitute for these 2 items, as the molasses is the same thing as brown sugar. Try again….?

    1. I share your frustration. There are sugar free bbq sauces available such as G Hughes sugar free bbq sauce (sweet and spicy is best) and you can substitute serve brown sugar replacement for any brown sugar such as in the sweet rub recipe. I’ve used these in ribs and many other recipes and gotten compliments and empty plates. But I am missing making my own bbq sauce like I used to.

  2. Been doing the low-carb thang for a few months now and have come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much relegated to using North-Carolina-style vinegar & red pepper flake sauce. Absolutely no regrets as I think it’s actually better than typical sweet sauces. Give it a try!

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