Spicey Homemade keto Barbecue Sauce with onions and seasoning

Keto BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce - Keto BBQ Sauce


It’s amazing how insidiously our intake of sugar has increased over the past 100 years. When I talk about sugar intake with patients and clients, they’re quick to reply “I don’t eat a lot of sugar”. When most hear the word “sugar”, they think table sugar, the white stuff in the sugar bowl. Sometimes they’re thinking of brown sugar, honey, and syrup.


It’s true, they’re all well-known sources of sugar. What I’m referring to is the added sugar found in nearly all prepared foods. If it comes in a package, tub, container, etc., it will have added sugar, and a lot of it, most of the time.


To be clear up front, you can’t be addicted to sugar in the traditional use of the word addiction. I work in addictions and it’s not the same. It’s true, people can have problematic or maladaptive eating behaviours as a way to cope, but no one is being admitted to the medical detox unit where I work for sugar withdrawal management. But I digress.


Sugar is everywhere. It’s in cereals, cereal bars, pasta sauces, salad dressings, frozen dinners, prepared salads, cookies, snack foods and more. It’s not just the obvious sources like iced tea, soft drinks (soda or pop), or energy drinks. Some of the worst offenders are everyday condiments like relish, mustard, ketchup and BBQ sauce.

BBQ sauce. Oh so sweet

Whether it’s homemade or a commercial BBQ sauce, it’s up there as a significant source of hidden sugar. A run-of-the-mill store-bought BBQ will run you 7 g of carbohydrate, (that’s essentially all sugar), per 1 Tablespoon serving.


Making your own is no guarantee that it will be lower in sugar. 🙁


It’s not uncommon for homemade recipes to call for 2 cups of ketchup (128 g sugar) AND 1/4 cup of brown sugar (53 g sugar) as the base before you get around to adding any of the spices.


Lower carb or keto inspired versions are a great way for ANYONE who’s looking to reduce how much sugar, and carbs they eat. Cue Keto BBQ sauce. By using a well-tolerated sweetener like erythritol, you can cut the sugar big time.

Keto BBQ Sauce

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Author Doug Cook


  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vinegar white vinegar doesn't carry a lot of flavour. I like to use apple cider vinegar and I use Bragg's
  • 1/3 cup erythritol a well tolerated sugar alcohol
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika smoked adds nice depth
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder or a scant, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt tomatoes need salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


  1. Add the tomato paste, sweetener and vinegar to a saucepan; cook over a medium heat

  2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk. Cook until everything is mix thoroughly and the BBQ sauces has thickened a bit

  3. Add water as needed to thin

Recipe Notes


  1. One serving is 2 Tbsp. One serving has 2 g carbohydrate versus 14 in regular BBQ sauce

Doug Cook RDN is a Toronto based integrative and functional nutritionist and dietitian with a focus on digestive, gut, mental health.  Follow me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.