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Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce

With Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce you don’t have to worry about how much you slather on your meal. I modeled this sauce after my favorite Sweet Baby Rays Original Sauce that I used to get all the time. This rendition is now my go to sauce. It starts with a sweet tangy bite and finished 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 recipe6 mg
Calories per serving86


Commercial barbecue sauce labels
Commercial barbecue sauce labels

Most barbecue sauces average more than 300 mg of sodium per 2 tablespoons. And really who uses just two tablespoons of sauce? I never really measured it, but I bet I used half a cup at a time on my meal. That’s nearly 2400 mg 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 6 mg of sodium per two tablespoons and bonus time; it does not have high fructose sugar and unpronounceable preservatives.


  • 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.


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


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 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 leave a bit of space in the plastic bottle.

Sweet and spicy low sodium barbecue sauce
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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5 from 2 votes

Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce

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.
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 2 tablespoon servings
Calories 86kcal


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup 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
  • 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 cover and store in fridge.

Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors or nutritionist’s advice.

8 thoughts on “Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce”

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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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