Low Sodium BBQ Sauce

One of the great joys of cooking is creating your own sauces. A good friend of mine shared his barbecue sauce recipe when he started the DASH diet and it has quickly become a family favorite. I should note that friends who have tried it tell me that they enjoy it and don’t even realize that it’s a low sodium recipe.

There are variations that you can use if you are looking to add more smokiness or spicy flavor. If you have been around the country and tried multiple sauces, you will find that people have their own local tastes when it comes to barbecue sauces.

Because of the history of barbecue sauce and pork production, salt has consistently been a mainstay in the recipe. In fact, most rubs that you will find are tremendously loaded with sodium. These rubs should be avoided at all costs if you are looking to reduce your sodium intake. For this reason, this recipe is good because it avoids the added salt while allowing the natural flavors to come through.

The following recipe is a brown sugar and tomato based recipe that utilizes common ingredients and takes little time to make. Please be aware that many canned tomato products are high in sodium so look for no salt added or low sodium tomato products when creating your sauce. Also, please be aware that most canning companies who use the label low sodium will replace that salt flavor by using potassium instead. If you are on certain heart medication or have kidney issues, please use caution when adding potassium to your recipes.


  • 1 cup no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup no salt added ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2⁄3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and place on medium heat.
  • Continue, stirring occasionally to mix flavors for about 15 minutes.
  • BBQ sauce is ready for use. Remaining sauce can be refrigerated for up to 30 days.

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