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5 from 2 votes

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

I am often asked what my favorite BBQ sauce is. I'm asked just as often where people can find MY BBQ sauce recipe. To be perfectly frank, I'm occasionally lazy and have slipped completely into the habit of purchasing BBQ sauce, having never attempted to crack the sugar-free BBQ code, myself. Having MADE lots of BBQ Sauces in my past, it's not something that I'm new to; I just haven't ever tried to remove all the sugar from it.

To my mind, a good BBQ sauce has some spice to it, a bit of smokiness, definitely some sweet, but above all, it should have TANG! There should almost be pain coming from the inhalation of its vapor. I LOVE a VERY strong and vinegary BBQ sauce.

The following recipe is somewhat toned down from what I would personally make (if you want to get closer to my personal preference, double the vinegar), but this recipe is by no means lacking in flavor. It's everything a good BBQ sauce should be, but without the unnecessary carbs!

All I can say is, don't knock it till you've tried it!

Note: Makes about 2 cups of sauce. Recipe is calculated for 16 two-tablespoon servings.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 16 Servings
Calories: 28.3875kcal
Author: DJ Foodie


  • 1 cup reduced sugar ketchup
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar equivalent
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp new mexico chile powdered
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all ingredients on the stove, in a small sauce pot, over medium-low heat.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes (stirring occasionally), or until the sauce has thickened appropriately (keeping in mind it will thicken when it cools). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve!


Serving: 16g | Calories: 28.3875kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.930625g | Protein: 0.821875g | Fat: 0.986875g | Fiber: 1.328125g