Looking for a sugar free BBQ sauce? This tangy vinegar barbecue sauce is so flavorful, you’ll hardly notice there’s no added sugar (promise).

Sugar free BBQ sauce

So many store bought sauces are stuffed full of extra sugars these days…so why not make them at home instead? That’s what Alex and I said, at least. If we can make homemade sourdough bread and whipped cream, then we can certainly make homemade BBQ sauce! Luckily, that theory was correct. Today we’re unveiling this sugar free BBQ sauce, which has no refined sugar: simply tomatoes, vinegar and spices. And it’s so tangy and tasty, you won’t even know the difference. Keep reading for the recipe!

Try all the homemade sauces! Mustard BBQ Sauce, Classic BBQ Sauce and White BBQ Sauce.

Sugar free BBQ sauce

What is sugar free BBQ sauce?

So, what does sugar free BBQ sauce actually mean? This is a vinegar BBQ sauce: it’s tangy and tomato-based with no refined sugar. Many BBQ sauce recipes use ketchup, which has some sugar, and then add even more sugar to the sauce when simmering it. While this adds a great texture and addicting sweetness to BBQ sauce, it’s actually not needed at all! This sugar free BBQ sauce comes out so tangy and delicious, you won’t feel like you’re giving anything up!

When Alex served it to me for the first time, I was floored! It was so delicious that I almost like it even better than our classic lightly-maple sweetened homemade BBQ sauce — which is also very, very good.

As a note, there is a small amount of naturally occurring sugar in the tomato sauce and tomato paste in this recipe. However, since this a natural sugar and there are only trace amounts, this fit into our “sugar free “category.

Sugar free BBQ sauce

How to make sugar free BBQ sauce

This sugar free BBQ sauce is truly simple to make and takes just 10 minutes! (Though our mustard BBQ sauce takes only 5 minutes…head to that link if you’re intrigued!) Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make it:

  • Canned tomato sauce (this is not spaghetti sauce or marinara, but a cooked purée of unseasoned tomatoes — look for it in the tomato aisle)
  • Tomato paste
  • Vinegar: both apple cider and white
  • Smoked paprika
  • Hot sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Old Bay seasoning

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over low heat for about 10 minutes, until thickened. That’s it! The BBQ sauce keeps for about 1 month refrigerated. If you find that it lasts that long!

Vinegar BBQ sauce

How to serve it?

You can use this mustard BBQ sauce in the same way that you’d use a tomato-based barbecue sauce! Here are a few ways that we recommend:

Looking for more sauce recipes?

Here are a few of our other favorite homemade sauce recipes!

This sugar free BBQ sauce recipe is…

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined sugar free.

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Sugar free BBQ sauce

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 1 cup 1x


Looking for a sugar free BBQ sauce? This tangy vinegar barbecue sauce is so flavorful, you’ll hardly notice there’s no added sugar (promise).


  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat for 10 minutes on low heat.
  2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 month.


*This is not spaghetti sauce or marinara, but a cooked purée of unseasoned tomatoes. Look for canned tomato sauce with the other varieties in the tomato aisle.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sugar free BBQ sauce, Barbecue sauce without ketchup, Vinegar BBQ sauce

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Ok thanks! I can’t find any unseasoned tomato sauce. Would canned whole tomatoes blended work?