Healthy Homemade Spicy Bbq Sauce Recipes!

With a perfect smokey, salty and sweet flavor, BBQ sauces can transform a typical grilled meat into a dish that can dance on your taste buds. A powerful BBQ sauce augments dishes with a smokey and tangy flavor. But the irony is many of the sauces you find in grocery stores are full of questionable ingredients and lack enough SPICE. Being a rather health-conscious BBQ Grill lover, I have faced a challenging situation. If you are planning to avoid unhealthy sauce filled with preservatives, thickeners, shelf-stabilizers or other chemicals, you don’t have any other choice than to make your own sauce. Of course, you can buy sugar-free BBQ sauce (click here for a few of them) when you are short of time.  So try your hand at making your own homemade spicy BBQ sauce with these recipes.

In this article, I am going to share two healthy homemade spicy BBQ sauce recipe which will surely surpass your prior BBQ experience. I am also sharing a low-carb sugar-free bbq sauce recipe. So, If you are following a ketogenic diet, you can also indulge with your favorite BBQ grilled meat with mouthwatering and healthy sauce.

Low-Carb Sugar-Free Easy BBQ Sauce Recipe

You might think that making a Low-Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce would be very complex. This Low-Carb Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce is very simple to cook and it requires only 10 or 12 ingredients that are all flavor-packed! 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • Tomato paste - 2 6-oz cans [No paste? Sub out a can of tomato sauce or pasta sauce and reduce water to ⅛ cup total]
  • Liquid hickory smoke - 1 Tbsp [No smoke on hand? Use 1 TB of Worcestershire] 
  • Smoked paprika - 2 Tsp 
  • Garlic powder - 2 Tsp 
  • Onion powder - 1 Tsp
  • Apple cider vinegar - 1/2 cup [Use white vinegar if no apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is a super flavor enhancer]
  • Chili powder - 1 Tsp
  • Cayenne pepper - 1/4 Tsp  (or more if you like it hot)
  • Liquid or powdered sweetener to taste. Start with ¼ cup. We recommend Swerve or monkfruit.
  • Salt - 1/2 Tsp
  • Water - Start with one cup


  • 1
    Add all the ingredients to a medium saucepan except water. Stir, then add water a 1/4 cup at a time. It will be a bit thin and then thicken as it cooks down. [Did you add too much water? You can rescue a thin bbq sauce by simmering on low for an hour or more. Just don’t forget to keep checking the pot on the stove. Burned sauce on the bottom of the pan is no bueno.]
  • 2
    On medium-high-ish heat, bring to a gentle boil, watching the pot so it doesn’t stick or boil over. Then simmer for 20 minutes on low-medium heat.
  • 3
    Taste the sauce. Need it sweeter, saltier or hotter? Start with 1/4 teaspoon of seasoning at a time and let the flavors meld in the pot for a few minutes before adding more. Sauce will get bolder even as it cools so don’t over-season (with heat, especially.)

Storage Instructions:

The great thing about this smokey BBQ sauce is that even though it's homemade you can store it for six to eight weeks in the fridge. A glass container works best for storing high-acid foods.

Healthy Homemade Spicy BBQ Sauce 

This sauce is one of my favorite bbq sauce recipes. It’s bold, veering toward pungent, which goes perfectly fine with any BBQ food recipe on your portable smoker (Grills forever lists a few here). Dab it on thick before your meat goes to the grill, and again while it’s cooking. Furthermore, it has no artificial sweeteners—it’s honey-sweet, but you can forego this altogether and just go for the savory gusto.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


  • Olive oil 1.5 Tbsp 
  • One finely chopped onion, medium [or use 2 Tbsp of onion powder] 
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped 
  • Ground chili powder - 2 Tsp 
  • Ground paprika - 1/2 Tsp 
  • Sea salt or Himalayan salt - 1/2 Tsp 
  • Ground black pepper - 3/4 Tsp 
  • Ground cayenne pepper - 1/4 Tsp 
  • Tomato ketchup -  (Sugar-free if possible - find some here) 1 cup 
  • Honey - 1 Tbsp [It can take a lot of honey to “get” the sweetness. Add more to taste.] 
  • Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar - 1.5 Tbsp
  • Yellow mustard [dark brown mustard like Gulden’s works too] - 1.5 Tbsp
  • Worcestershire sauce - 1.5 Tbsp
  • Liquid smoke (Hickory or Maple) - 1 Tsp


  • 1
    Add oil to saucepan; bring to medium heat. 
  • 2
    Add onion and stir, heating until onion is translucent. [If not using raw onion, forego this step.]
  • 3
    Add chopped garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, paprika and salt. Cook for 1 minute. 
  • 4
    Now, add the tomato paste and honey, vinegar, mustard, liquid smoke and Worcestershire. Cook over low to medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Careful not to overheat, you don’t want it to stick to the bottom. 
  • 5
    Taste the sauce. Tailor this recipe to make it your own: more sweet? Add honey a tablespoon at a time, then simmer. Is it too tomato-y? Add a 1/3 c of water and vinegar. Always adjust seasoning 1/8 teaspoon at a time because flavors meld as they sit.

Storage Instructions:

Let it cool, then pour it into a glass container with tight-fitting lid. Sauce can be frozen or stored in the fridge for 6 to 8 weeks.

Until we "meat" again...

You don’t have to forsake your favorite bbq grill item to avoid the sweetened sauces. With these healthy and easy bbq sauce recipes, now you can also enjoy all types of grills. My favorite grilling meats with these sauces are grilled turkey and beef. Now It's your turn to surprise your friends and family with your homemade spicy bbq sauce recipe.

Let us know in the comments if you've made one of these recipes and how you tweaked it!

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