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Sugar Free Carolina BBQ Sauce

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Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce gets a keto makeover! This tangy, sweet sauce is easy to make and adds a delicious twist to your grilled favorites. And it’s totally sugar-free.

My classic Easy Sugar Free BBQ Sauce is a fan favorite, but this is another great sauce to add to your summer line up.

Okay, there’s a reason they call this Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce. Because it truly is like liquid gold! It’s tangy, sweet, and a little bit spicy. And at 2 grams of carbs per serving, you can afford to slather it on!

Most of us are much more familiar with tomato based sauces, and I had honestly never even tried Carolina style sauce until I made this sugar-free version. But now I am completely hooked. And I am confident you will be too.

Sugar free Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce being poured into a glass jar.

What is Carolina BBQ Sauce?

There are actually a couple of varieties of Carolina style barbecue sauce. They are both quite different from the thicker tomato or ketchup based sauces.

One is heavily vinegar-based and quite thin and watery. It’s very tangy and acidic, and is usually served with pork.

The other is based on yellow mustard with vinegar, honey, brown sugar, and spices. That’s the variety I upon which I based this Keto BBQ sauce. Switching out the brown sugar and honey for keto-friendly sweeteners, of course. It’s tangy and sweet, but also thicker. And oh, so flavorful!

I had a hard time not just spooning it directly into my mouth. Okay, I admit it, I may have taken a few extra licks of the spoon.

Sugar free Carolina style bbq sauce being brushed over a plate of grilled chicken.

What do you serve it with?

Honestly, this sugar-free Carolina BBQ Sauce goes well with all meats. I paired it with some easy grilled chicken this time, but it’s also perfect for:

Close up shot of a pastry brush dipped into sugar free carolina bbq sauce next to the jar.

How to make sugar free Carolina BBQ Sauce

This fabulous mustard bbq sauce is so easy to make, there’s simply no excuse not to. Here are my best tips for getting it right:

  1. Yellow mustard: This is the base of the sauce, and you want just regular yellow mustard. Skip the Dijon or spicy brown mustard this time as they will change the unique flavor.
  2. Brown sugar replacement: I like Swerve Brown for this, as it’s the closest in taste and texture to real brown sugar. You can use regular granulated Swerve or any granulated sweetener instead. You can add a teaspoon of molasses to get that brown sugar flavor (it will only add about 5g of carbs to the entire recipe).
  3. Honey replacement: Replacing the honey is a bit more tricky. I used an allulose-based honey flavored syrup and it worked perfectly. However, I realize that’s not available to everyone. My best suggestion is to use regular allulose or BochaSweet in order to keep the sauce from re-crystallizing as it cools.
  4. Whisk the ingredients together. Just add in the vinegar, spices, and other ingredients and whisk to combine.
  5. Bring to a simmer: I consulted quite a few different recipes, some of which were cooked and some of which were not. I found that by simmering it for 5 minutes or so, I got a thicker sauce and the sweeteners dissolved more easily.
  6. Store in the fridge. This is a great make-ahead recipe. Nothing in it spoils easily so you can make a big batch and store in the fridge for several weeks. Because it’s a bit acidic, I recommend storing it in glass jars.

How simple is that?

A jar full of Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce in front of a plate of grilled chicken.

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