The Ultimate Guide to Making Delicious Low Sodium BBQ Sauce

Are you in search of a mouthwatering low sodium BBQ sauce recipe? Look no further! This delectable sauce is perfect for enhancing the flavors of anything you throw on the grill. Whether you’re a BBQ enthusiast or simply trying to cut down on your sodium intake, this recipe will surely impress your taste buds.

The Benefits of a Low Sodium Diet

Why should you opt for low sodium BBQ sauce? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that individuals limit their daily salt intake to 2,300mg. However, most of us consume closer to 3,200mg of sodium per day! By following a low sodium diet, you can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and even certain types of cancer.

A low sodium diet is particularly important for individuals with health conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, or kidney stones.

BBQ Sauce on a Low Sodium Diet

If you’re a BBQ sauce lover like me, finding a good low sodium option is essential. Surprisingly, nearly 80% of the salt in our diet comes from the food we consume, while only 20% is added during cooking or at the table. To effectively reduce your salt intake, it’s important to be aware of the salt content in your food. Here are some common sources of salt:

  • Condiments (BBQ sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, soy sauce, etc.)
  • Salty snacks (salted nuts, chips, pretzels, etc.)
  • Deli and processed meats (bacon, sausage, salami, pepperoni, etc.)
  • Restaurant foods
  • Frozen or canned prepared foods
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How Much Sodium Is in BBQ Sauce?

The sodium content in BBQ sauce varies depending on the brand. Here’s a comparison of popular BBQ sauce brands in terms of sodium content per 2 tablespoon serving:

  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue Sauce: 290mg sodium
  • Heinz Original Sweet & Thick BBQ Sauce: 300mg sodium
  • Kraft Slow Simmered Original BBQ Sauce: 350mg sodium
  • Yo Mama’s Foods Keto Barbecue Sauce: 150mg sodium
  • Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce: 360mg sodium
  • Annie’s Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce: 260mg sodium

As you can see, most store-bought BBQ sauces are high in sodium. In contrast, this homemade low sodium BBQ sauce recipe contains a mere 7mg of sodium per serving.

Comparison of store bought BBQ sauce with up to 350mg of sodium, with homemade BBQ sauce with 7mg of sodium per 2 tablespoons.

Always remember to check the nutrition facts label on whichever BBQ sauce you choose to buy!

Can’t Find Low Sodium BBQ Sauce?

While it may be convenient to purchase low sodium BBQ sauce at the grocery store, it can be surprisingly difficult to find. Most store-bought options are high in sodium. The definition of a low sodium food is less than 140mg of sodium per serving.

The only two BBQ sauces I found with less than 140mg of sodium per 2 tablespoon serving are:

  • Mr. Spice Organic Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Hive Organic Classic BBQ Sauce

If you have a favorite low sodium BBQ sauce, feel free to share it in the comments below!

Low Sodium BBQ Rubs

Alternatively, you can achieve that delectable BBQ flavor with a rub instead of a sauce. However, be cautious, as most rubs contain a significant amount of salt. Look for salt-free BBQ rubs or consider making your own at home!

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Low Sodium BBQ Sauce Recipe Ingredients

Since finding a good low sodium BBQ sauce can be challenging, I highly recommend making your own at home. It’s incredibly easy and takes only about 30 minutes to prepare. Plus, this homemade BBQ sauce contains only 7mg of sodium per serving, a staggering 98% less sodium than most store-bought BBQ sauces.

Here are the key ingredients for this delightful low sodium BBQ sauce recipe:

Low Sodium Ketchup

Start with a low sodium ketchup as the base for your BBQ sauce. I highly recommend using Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup. If you can’t find low sodium ketchup, regular ketchup can be used, but keep in mind that it will increase the sodium content to about 135mg per 2 tablespoons. However, this is still significantly less than most store-bought BBQ sauces.

No Salt Added Tomato Sauce

To enhance the tomato flavor, add a small can of no salt added tomato sauce. You can usually find this ingredient near the canned tomatoes in your local grocery store.

Brown Sugar

A touch of sweetness is essential for any BBQ sauce. Brown sugar adds a caramel-like warmth to the sauce. If preferred, you can use granulated sugar or honey instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar

To achieve that tangy BBQ flavor, include apple cider vinegar in your homemade sauce. It adds a delightful kick and a hint of sweetness.


Don’t overlook the magic of molasses! Apart from providing texture, molasses adds a unique depth of flavor to your low sodium BBQ sauce.


Since we’re omitting salt, it’s crucial to incorporate a variety of spices to create a flavorful sauce. This recipe includes paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cinnamon, and chili powder. For those who prefer a spicier BBQ sauce, a dash of cayenne pepper can be added.

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How to Use Low Sodium BBQ Sauce

You can utilize this delectable low sodium BBQ sauce in the same way you would use your favorite BBQ sauce. Slather it on chicken or salmon and place it on the grill for a tantalizing meal. For a plant-based alternative, coat some portabella mushrooms with the sauce, or drizzle it over a refreshing salad. This sauce is also perfect for recipes that call for BBQ sauce, helping to keep the sodium content low. Additionally, this sauce freezes well, allowing you to make large batches and store them for later use.

Happy Eating!


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