Here’s a terrific recipe for a delicious low sodium barbecue sauce that you will want to use again and again. It features all the flavor of traditional barbecue sauces without all the unnecessary sodium.
Approximate sodium content: 7mg per serving
What is Barbecue Sauce?
Barbecue sauce varieties and flavors vary greatly from region to region. Most commonly, traditional barbecue sauce is a combination of a tomato base (such as ketchup), vinegar, brown sugar or molasses and various herbs and spices. You’ve probably heard of Memphis BBQ, North Carolina BBQ, Kansas City BBQ and Texas BBQ. They feature flavor profiles that range from sweet to savory to some that are more thin and vinegar based. We won’t get too caught up in all that. For our purposes, we want to make a good general purpose BBQ sauce that can be enjoyed on a variety of meats and dishes.
We don’t have to look much farther than our pantry for most of our ingredients including onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder (with no salt), ground mustard, paprika, and brown sugar. For our liquid base we’ll use no-salt added tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, no-salt added ketchup and some water. Ingredients such as no-salt added tomato paste and no-salt added ketchup are now readily available in most supermarkets. They are great additions to everyday grocery items for those seeking lower sodium diets.
Sodium Notes By Alex G., Registered Dietitian
Traditional barbecue sauce flavor comes from a variety of ingredients, but it’s undeniable that store bought brands contain too much salt for a low sodium diet. Common household name brands of barbecue sauce can have as much as 230-370 mg per 2 tablespoon serving, so this quick recipe will save you hundreds of milligrams of sodium. The no salt added seasoning powders in this recipe like chili, onion, garlic, and ground mustard pack in rich flavor without adding any significant sodium. Apple cider vinegar adds tangy flavor and the brown sugar balances out the savory ingredients with a little sweetness and no extra salt.
Making our BBQ sauce is as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a pot and simmering over a low flame for about 30 minutes. Start by whisking together all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Then in the pot, whisk together the liquid ingredients and tomato paste until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Mix in the dry mix, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Make it Your Own
If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, you can always add some cayenne pepper powder. If you’re looking for more flavor from the onion or garlic – simply add more. This recipe will give you a base to start with which will be delicious. Feel free to experiment a little if you like. And most of all, enjoy barbecue sauce without all the unnecessary sodium!
This low-sodium barbecue sauce can be stored in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze in airtight freezer containers for up to 3 months.Print
Low Sodium Barbecue Sauce
- Total Time: 40 min
- Yield: 2 cups
Enjoy this delicious low sodium barbecue sauce with your favorite meats and meals. With only a fraction of the sodium of commercial barbecue sauce, it’s perfect for cutting back the sodium in your diet.
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 (6 oz.) can no-salt added tomato paste
- ½ cup no-salt added ketchup
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili powder (salt free)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Place all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat.
- Stir well, and bring to a simmer.
- Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, and let come to room temperature.
- Pour sauce into a container with a lid, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
*This recipe and all the recipes on EasyLowSodiumRecipes.com are meant to offer alternatives for individuals seeking low sodium recipes. These recipes DO NOT follow any specific medical guidelines for individual diet needs or specific sodium restrictions. Be sure to check with a medical professional regarding your individual sodium and dietary needs.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
My husband has CHF and we love ribs. Can’t wait to try the BBQ sauce! I’m going to try the taco seasoning too!
Made this sauce, I tweaked it and added 1/2 teaspoon of wright’s liquid smoke hickory good to have bbq sauce back on the menu. Wright’s has no sodium. Thank you for this recipe 😊
Made this sauce today and it is wonderful ! Thank you so much for sharing. Made pork barbecue for supper. It will definitely be the sauce I will use from now on ! I am on a 1500 mg. Low sodium diet. Thank you for making delicious barbecue possible for me again !
Sure wish there was a share button so I could post this on Facebook, so many of my friends are on Low Sodium diets. :
Thanks Lillian. The whole site is getting a major facelift shortly and all the share functionality will be in place. Nutritional info as well.
How do u know just how much sodium in the recipes if it didn’t tell you
Hi Christie, i’m currently in the process if obtaining nutrition labels for all the recipes here. In this particular recipe, only the no-salt added ketchup and the no-salt added tomato paste contain sodium, and very small amounts at that. Please check back soon for exact numbers. In the meantime, it’s approximately 16mg of sodium per 2 tablespoon serving.
That’s one of the very dishes i’ve used it for. Hope you enjoy!
This was exactly what I wanted it to be. Great for pulled pork!