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This zingy white BBQ sauce hails from Alabama and tastes incredible on just about anything! It’s creamy and savory, with a little heat.

White BBQ sauce
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If you live in the Southern US, you already know the phenomenon that is white BBQ sauce. Yes, you can use this Alabama-style white sauce just like a red BBQ sauce: for basting, grilling and drizzling! It’s got a unique, creamy flavor and spicy finish: think black pepper and horseradish. Alex and I whipped up a batch and fell in love immediately. Our first use was on a platter of grilled eggplant, then we started splattering it on just about everything.

What is white BBQ sauce?

White BBQ sauce is a tangy, mayo-based sauce was invented by a man named Bob Gibson in 1925 in Decatur, Alabama. At his restaurant Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, he would smoke chickens and douse them in his homemade white sauce. (More about Bob is here: you can buy his original sauce too!) It caught on, and now people in Alabama think of a white sauce when they think of grilling.

White BBQ sauce

What it’s made of

Mayonnaise is the main ingredient in this magic sauce: it’s what brings the creamy body. All homemade recipes vary, of course: Bob would never give away his secret recipe! White BBQ sauce is made of:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • White vinegar
  • Honey
  • Horseradish
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Cayenne

Ways to serve white BBQ sauce

There are so many ways to serve white BBQ sauce, from traditional to more unique! Of course, it was developed to go with pork and chicken: so we’ll start there. But there are so many more creative ways to use this sauce on vegetables. Here are some ideas:

  1. Use on grilled chicken: brush on in the last minutes of grilling, then serve with more on the side.
  2. Slather on a pulled pork sandwich.
  3. Serve on salmon like perfect grilled salmon.
  4. Use as a dipping sauce for shrimp, like perfect grilled shrimp or blackened shrimp.
  5. Serve with burgers like portobello burger, grilled veggie burger or chickpea burger.
  6. Drizzle on grilled veggies like grilled eggplant, grilled asparagus, grilled zucchini, grilled broccoli, grilled green beans, or grilled carrots.
  7. Use for dipping fries like baked fries or grilled potato wedges.
  8. Slather on corn on the cob like boiled corn or grilled corn.
Grilled eggplant
White BBQ sauce is just as good on grilled vegetables as smoked meat.

Make it vegan

Are you into eating plant-based? If you plan to use your white BBQ sauce on vegetables, you can easily make it vegan by using vegan mayo and using pure maple syrup instead of honey. Vegan mayonnaise is easily accessible at most major grocery stores or online. If you can’t find it, substitute cashew cream.

Storage info

Throw this white BBQ sauce into a sealed jar, and you can keep it as long as opened mayonnaise lasts. That’s about 3 months…but it won’t last that long! (Promise.) You may want to double the quantities below if you’d like to have a good amount of leftovers.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, use vegan mayonnaise or substitute cashew cream for the mayo.

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White BBQ sauce

White BBQ Sauce

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About ¾ cup 1x


This zingy white BBQ sauce hails from Alabama and tastes incredible on just about anything! It’s creamy and savory, with a little heat.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise (vegan as desired)*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne


  1. Stir all ingredients together. Store in a sealed jar for up to 3 months.


*Easy to double as needed to make more for storing.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Southern
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More BBQ sauce recipes

There are lots more ways to make BBQ sauce, from traditional to unique! Here are a few more we love:

  • Homemade BBQ Sauce Sure you can buy it at the store, but homemade BBQ sauce tastes infinitely better and is SO easy to make!
  • Sugar Free BBQ Sauce This tangy vinegar barbecue sauce is so flavorful, you’ll hardly notice there’s no added sugar (promise).
  • Vegan BBQ Sauce It tastes way better than store bought: oh and it takes just 10 minutes!
  • Mustard BBQ Sauce Made with mustard, honey, and vinegar, it’s tangy and sweet all at once.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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