keto bbq sauce in a jar with a brush next to it

an easy keto BBQ sauce recipe {gluten-free + vegan!}

{This post is sponsored by llinea monk fruit, a brand I use and love.}

This easy keto BBQ sauce recipe has a bold, tangy and smoky flavor you’ll love, without all the sugar that’s typically found in most store-bought barbecue sauces. It’s simple, free of refined sugar, and low-carb, so basically PERFECT if you’re trying to reduce carbs or you’re following a ketogenic diet!

closeup of keto bbq sauce with brush

can I have BBQ sauce on keto?

Most store-bought sauces, dips, and salad dressings are either loaded up with added sugars and preservatives that affect the carb and sugar count– not ideal if you’re on a keto diet. Even low-sugar/low-carb sauces and dressings are not always good for you, as many brands use preservatives and oils that are high in omega-6 which can be inflammatory (i.e. canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, etc.).

Good news- this keto BBQ sauce recipe is EASY to make, and since it’s homemade, you’ll know exactly what’s in it! No more squinting at the bottle and trying to interpret that long list of ingredients. 🙂

Plus, I’ve found llinea monk fruit is the perfect sweetener for this low-carb barbecue sauce. It has zero calories, zero glycemic index and is a one-ingredient, all-natural sweetener! You can easily adjust the sweetness as you go (or even at the end), simply by adding a few more drops of the liquid sweetener. (Another reason why I love it for sauces and salad dressings).

With only 2g net carbs per serving, you can enjoy this low-carb barbecue sauce on a keto diet, and keep the grilling going all summer long!

ingredients for low-carb barbecue sauce

This keto BBQ sauce recipe includes two different options. You can use fresh onion and garlic. It is sautéed before adding in the rest of the ingredients and then blended as the final step in order to make the sauce smooth. OR you can opt for the shortcut and use garlic and onion powder (and skip the need to sauté and blend). Personally, I prefer using the fresh garlic and onion, but both ways taste great, so it’s entirely up to you!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

let’s make keto BBQ sauce!

More good news: it only takes about 15 minutes to whip up your own tangy, bold, and perfectly-spiced low-carb barbecue sauce. This keto BBQ sauce recipe makes a decent-sized batch, so you’ll have plenty (and possibly some left over) for all your barbecue needs!

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic- In a medium saucepan, melt the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, cooking 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add everything else!- Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan, starting with the liquids. Taste and adjust for sweetness (more monk fruit), smokiness (more smoked paprika/cumin/liquid smoke), and heat (more cayenne and chili powder). Bring the sauce to a boil, then let it simmer on low for about 5-8 minutes.
  3. Blend – Allow the sauce to cool for a couple of minutes, then carefully transfer it to a blender. Process for a full minute or until it’s smooth.

Note: If you opt to use garlic powder and onion powder instead of fresh onion and garlic, you can skip steps 1 and 2 above! Add the garlic powder and onion powder along with the rest of the ground spices.

keto bbq sauce in a small dish

tips for the best keto BBQ sauce

  • After the low-carb barbecue sauce is done, allow it to cool on the stovetop for a few minutes before blending. After you’ve blended it, transfer the sauce to a glass jar and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • When blending, do not close the small cap on the lid. Keep it propped open slightly and place a towel on top to prevent the sauce from splashing and to allow steam to vent out. This is important because blending hot liquids causes pressure to form inside the blender.
  • The flavor of the sauce will taste a little more intense by the next day. I find it has more of a smoky flavor and a little bit more heat (if you added the cayenne). If it’s not as sweet as you’d like, you can easily stir in a few more drops of monk fruit!

I’m a huge fan of this keto BBQ sauce and I’m sure you’ll love it too! It’s great on chicken, steak, pork, and even as a dip (tip: add a bit of avocado mayo to make your own keto-friendly campfire sauce and enjoy it with these jicama fries or as a creamy, tangy salad dressing)!

The barbecue options are endless… bring on grilling season. Enjoy, friends!

you might also love…

  • These keto lemon raspberry bars, a gluten-free and dairy-free recipe that’s sweet and tart and the best combination of flavors!
  • My favorite summer salad (that also goes great with anything barbecued!). This keto broccoli salad with bacon and maple dressing hits all the right flavor notes and has just the right amount of crunch.
  • Have you ever made your own almond milk? It’s such an easy process and it tastes better than any store-bought brand. Plus, find a tasty coffee creamer recipe in this post (dairy-free, too)!
keto bbq sauce in a jar with a brush next to it

an easy keto BBQ sauce recipe

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

A sweet and tangy low-carb barbecue sauce with a little bit of heat! This is an easy keto BBQ sauce recipe for all your grilling needs!


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or sub avocado or olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2, 6-oz. cans organic tomato paste
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons llinea monk fruit sweetener
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke (I use hickory)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the diced onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until they soften. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  2. Add the liquid ingredients, whisking well after each addition.
  3. Whisk in all of the spices. Taste and adjust, if needed (more liquid smoke/cumin/smoked paprika for smokiness; more monk fruit for sweetness; more chili powder/cayenne for heat).
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking often. Reduce the heat to low, then let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  5. Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and blend for 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth. (Do not close the small cap on the lid. Keep it propped open slightly and place a towel on top while blending to prevent the sauce from splashing and to allow steam to vent out. This is important because blending hot liquids causes pressure to form inside the blender).
  6. Transfer the sauce into jars (or other storage containers) to cool completely. Store the cooled keto BBQ sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


You can skip the sauté and blending steps if you choose to make this keto BBQ sauce without fresh garlic and onions. To do so, substitute the fresh ingredients for 1 teaspoon onion powder and 2 teaspoons garlic powder (and omit the coconut oil entirely).

This low-carb barbecue sauce will gain a slightly more intense flavor by the next day. What I love about llinea monk fruit is that it's so easy to add extra sweetness even after the sauce is made- just stir in a few more drops.

Nutritional information is based on a serving of 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 23Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0.5g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.


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