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Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce

By: Bill

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With Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce you don’t have to worry about how much sauce you slather on your meal. I modeled this sauce after my favorite Sweet Baby Rays Original Sauce (290mg / 2 tbsp) that I used to get all the time. This BBQ sauce recipe is now my go to sauce. It starts with a sweet tangy bite and finishes with a spicy warm aftertaste with no unnecessary sodium. I like it so much I even use it on my eggs now instead of ketchup!

Typical store bought sodium amount per serving300+ mg
Sodium per serving for this recipe6mg
Calories per serving86
Serving size = 2 Tbsp

How Much Sodium In Commercial Barbecue Sauce?

Commercial barbecue sauce labels
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Commercial barbecue sauce labels

Most barbecue sauces average more than 300mg of sodium per 2 tablespoons. And really who uses just two tablespoons of sauce? I never really measured it, but I’ll bet I used half a cup at a time on my meal. That’s nearly 2400mg of sodium just in the sauce. Yikes! Now with this low sodium barbecue sauce I can use as much as I want and not have to worry about it. Having just 6mg of sodium per two tablespoons and bonus time; it does not have high fructose sugar and unpronounceable preservatives.

My Tips For Making Barbecue Sauce

  • Measure the spices into a small bowl and whisk them together before adding it to the pan. This will ensure any hardened clumps are broken up.
  • Also, it is best to use a high side pot when boiling and simmering. This sauce really has a tendency to pop and spatter when it cooks!
  • Since barbecue sauce is really a regional and individual taste type of flavor, taste your sauce after it has simmered a bit. You can add more onion or garlic powder, sugar, vinegar or cayenne pepper to suit your particular taste, though I think this recipe has plenty of sweet taste.
  • If you like the sauce really thick, whisk in a teaspoon or two of cornstarch to the mix.
  • If I’m not in a hurry, I like to let it simmer on very low for 15-20 minutes and really let the flavors meld.

What To Use Barbecue Sauce On?

  • Baked beans
  • Pulled pork
  • Pork ribs
  • Chicken wings
  • Pulled chicken
  • Beef ribs
  • Meatballs
  • Over a burger

Storing Your Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce

When making this I will usually make a double or triple recipe. I use it on the meal I made it for and then use an old plastic ketchup squeeze bottle(s) to store it in. Works perfect! The sauce can then be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Also, you can also freeze them for up to 6 months. Just make sure to leave a bit of head space in the plastic bottle for freezing expansion.

Sweet and spicy low sodium barbecue sauce
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Sweet and spicy low sodium barbecue sauce

As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served your Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce. And please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have.

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Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce

Written by: Bill
A Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce that is sweet and tangy with a mild spicy finish. You won't be able to wait for your next bite! Made to replicate on of my favorite store bought sauces.
4.75 from 24 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 16 – 2 tablespoon servings
Calories 86 kcal


  • 1 1/4 cups Ketchup Heinz / Hunts no salt added (Hunts)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (I use the little cans)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce (See notes)
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper start low and add to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a high side sauce pot. Bring to a soft boil for 2 minutes while stirring.
  • Then reduce and simmer for five minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.
  • Serve immediately or allow to cool. Then cover and store in fridge.


Kitchen Bouquet Browning and Seasoning Sauce is available on Amazon.  But it is generally available at your local grocery for half the price.  It can be found in the aisle for gravy and seasoning packets.

Utensils & special ingredients used

high side sauce pan

I use, own and recommend these products and ingredients used in this recipe and I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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Serving: 3TbspCalories: 86kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 20.9g (7%)Protein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 106mg (3%)Fiber: 0.2g (1%)Sugar: 16.9g (19%)

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium and dietary requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed.

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Did you enjoy this recipe?Leave a comment and rating to let me know how it was!

© 2024 Tasty Healthy Heart Recipes

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Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctor’s or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.

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Hello, I'm Bill

Welcome!  After my stroke, I began to prepare low-sodium and reduced-fat meals. Tasty, easily prepared meals that can help you change to a low-sodium diet for a healthier life.  Read more

36 thoughts on “Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce”

  1. I just made this so I could make BBQ chicken tonight. It is AWESOME. I didn’t have Liquid Bouquet on hand so I used Liquid Smoke, but everything else followed to the tee. I can’t wait for my chicken to grill. Thank you for this great sauce.

  2. Bill, this BBQ sauce is AWESOME! THANK YOU SO MUCH. By the way, Hunts does still make NSA ketchup. Walmart sells in Tennessee.

  3. I was surprised to see the Hunts NSA ketchup had more sodium than any of the regulars! Maybe the recipe has changed. I went with Walmart brand (Great Value) 50% less sugar/sodium, which has 70mg per tbsp vs Hunts NSA 190 mg per tbsp.

    Reading labels is truly eye opening!!

    Got three racks of ribs in the oven and starting on the BBQ sauce now. My FIL should be out of the hospital today and will love the ribs!

    • Hi Barrie, I can’t even find the Hunts NSA being easily available to check the sodium content anymore. It may have been discontinued. I will have to revisit and update this post. Thanks for pointing out the Walmart brand.
      Yes, labels are truly eye opening and infuriating at the same time. With the way they sidestep serving sizes and changing things up all the time.
      Enjoy your ribs!

  4. 5 stars
    This is AWESOME! Gonna be trying your other recipes as well. Even my picky daughter loved it! Thanks Bill.

  5. Love this sauce….like most comments say, it is an easy recipe to tweak to different tastes. I’ve made it a few times, and did something a little different each time….added heat, or smokey flavor and it is aways good. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

  7. 5 stars
    This actually surprised me. I expected it to be ok but I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. Great BBQ sauce, it has a nice little kick to it. I plan to use it on all kinds of things.

  8. 5 stars
    This BBQ sauce is awesome! I made it exactly per the instructions and loved the flavor but I wanted a little more spice(not spicy, just a wee bit more) and so I added Hungarian Paprika. I also added some liquid mesquite smoke. I am gonna make the ribs next and this is definitely going on them! I’ve recently had to start watching my sodium and this fits perfect into my routine. Thank You!

    • Thank you Thomas,
      Great choice on the Hungarian Paprika. You will love the ribs! I have not had occasion to make them lately, now my mouth is watering.

  9. This recipe is saving our summer! My husband is on low sodium diet but loves to bbq. This sauce is the best bbq sauce we’ve had! I’ve made the recipe at least 5 times and can’t keep it n the refrigerator. Guest prefer this sauce over commercially produced sauces.

    • TDi, Thanks for your comment! This a great sauce! I am continually perplexed and confounded by there is so much sodium in our condiments. 90% of the time it rarely needs to be in it. And it is hard to keep very long in the fridge, haha.

  10. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe. My husband has to watch his sodium intake and I couldn’t find any good bbq sauce with low sodium. I’m so grateful to have found this recipe! Now my husband can still enjoy bbq’d food. This tastes great!! We were fans of sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce too until we had to give it up

  11. 5 stars
    Hi! My husband has to have a low sodium diet. So I keep searching for meals I can make that still taste good. So I was excited to see your recipe for bbq sauce. Well, it’s a winner in my house!! I will never buy store bought bbq sauce again! My husband was too happy to have some Good bbq baked chicken and that made me happy! Thank you so much from a wife who doesn’t know much about real cooking ??

  12. HI – thank you for this site. I clicked the link for the Kitchen Bouquet Seasoning Sauce and it isn’t available any more. Do you have a substitute?

  13. 5 stars
    I used this for pulled pork and then pulled chicken. Guilt free – thank you so much. Will make again and freeze some!!! So hard to find low sodium sauces in the grocery store. Plan to make the spaghetti sauce this week. My grocery doesn’t carry the brand of low sodium that I used to buy anymore..

    • Hi Kathy, Thank you for your comment. Low sodium sauces do seem to be particularly hard to find in the local groceries.

  14. Best low sodium bbw sauce recipe I have found. I did tweak by adding 1 top apple Cicero vinegar and used 1/2 top of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of Chipotle chili powder.
    My husband LOVED it!
    Thank you!

    • Thank you DebBi, I love your tweaks! I try to keep things mild or middle of the road for the recipes as some don’t like or can handle spicy. I tweak them up for myself also.
      Thanks for your comment.

  15. 5 stars
    Excellant recipe! We are new to no salt diet. This syace on grilled chicken made us feel more normal and not deprived of great flavors. just to mention, 1 recipe did not fit back into the ketchup bottle, we used an extra dish, which gets used up immediately anyway THANK you for this recipe.

    • Yes, when you feel deprived it is hard to stick the low sodium lifestyle. I saved a bunch of left over bottles that I use for various sauces. But the BBQ never does last long! haha

  16. Soooo cool! I woke up and later in the day I started thinking about this stuff. I found your site on Google and it totally answered my questions. Thanks so much!

  17. 5 stars
    Wow! Thank you for this grEat recipe! We tried it without cooking it, just mixing, & thought it taste Great just like that. Question: how long can this be stored in the fridge?

    • Hi Mary, I would think you could store for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Largely because of the ketchup base and vinegar. I always use mine up in a couple days. haha If I have leftovers I often use it in place of regular ketchup, adds more “zing”. Thanks for your comment! Bill


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