It’s barbecue season! Ok, I will happily eat barbecue any time of the year, but it’s basically a requirement for summertime. And what is barbecue without barbecue sauce? Unfortunately, most store-bought barbecue sauce is essentially pure sugar. What’s a keto mama like myself to do? Throw together this bourbon maple keto barbecue sauce, of course!
The non-keto barbecue sauce that’s in my refrigerator right now has a whopping TEN grams of carbs per tablespoon! And 9 of those are added sugar. That’s just insane, even if you’re not on a keto diet. This barbecue sauce has only one carb per tablespoon! And that’s mostly just from the tomato sauce.
I like my barbecue sauce sweet and tangy, so that’s how I developed this one. But this sauce is SUPER easy to adjust to your specific preferences! Throw everything in and taste it. If it’s not exactly how you like it, add more of your favorite ingredients until it is!
Let’s get to it!
Maple Bourbon Keto Barbecue Sauce
If you’ve never made barbecue sauce, you’re going to be floored at how easy this is.
Tomato sauce is the base of our barbecue sauce. This is a 14.8 oz carton. Throw it all in a small saucepan.
Next you’re going to add some grated onion. Grating is the best option here because it gets the pieces extra small and lets all the juice out so it can permeate the sauce well. I like using this Microplane grater but you can also use a box grater if that’s what you have.
Next you throw in tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos for completely sugar free), spices, mustard, bourbon, a little water, and a bit of sweetener and stir it all up.
Notes On Ingredients
For the maple flavoring, I used a few drops of LorAnn Super-Strength maple flavoring but you can use regular maple extract. Just start with an 1/8 tsp and add from there. I like just a hint of maple, but you may like more.
I put a little molasses in here– just half a teaspoon for the whole batch– because I think it really makes a difference in the flavor. But it’s optional if you want this to be 100% sugar free. If you choose this option, I’d suggest using Sukrin Gold as your sweetener.
The other thing I add to this that’s completely optional, but does add a little something special is some tamarind concentrate. It’s not something you likely keep around in your pantry, but it’s in a lot of barbecue sauces and does give it more interest. Feel free to leave it out– the sauce will still be delish.
Then you bring the whole thing to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cover, then simmer it for half an hour or so. You’ll need to stir it occasionally, but you don’t need to babysit it too much. Simmering it helps really develop the flavors, so don’t skimp on the time here.
That’s it! It’s ready to be added to whatever you like to put barbecue sauce on.
We’ve put it on ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and on brats and burgers. It works everywhere!
Barbecue on, my keto friends!
Bourbon Maple Keto BBQ Sauce
15 oz (425g) tomato sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp grated onion
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos)
2 Tbsp bourbon whisky
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp brown mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
5 drops LorAnn Super-Strength maple flavoring or 1/8 tsp maple extract
1 1/2 Tbsp low carb sweetener like Sukrin
1/2 tsp molasses (optional)
1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate (optional)
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine well. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. Add more water as necessary to get to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups.
This sauce freezes well.
Nutrition (per 2 Tablespoon serving): Calories: 16 kcal; Total Carbs: 2.6g; Fiber: 0.6g; Net Carbs: 2g; Protein: 0.5g; Fat: 0.1g