Healthy Barbecue Sauce Recipes

BBQ Grill

Make robust healthy barbecue sauce low in fat and calories.

Why would an innocent product like barbecue sauce be under scrutiny in a story on cutting fat and calories? Corn syrup and molasses are the main ingredients in most sauces. A two-tablespoon serving of barbecue sauce has about 50 calories. That will not cause too much damage, but most of us have more than that in one serving.

Homemade recipes can be even more fattening. Many call for one or two tablespoons of oil but in truth, there is no reason to add oil to a barbecue sauce It does not keep food from sticking, and it does not keep grilled food moist. We’ll share some of our favorite healthy barbecue sauce recipes – give one (or all!) a try next time you barbecue!

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Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

2 green bell peppersFresh sliced pineapple
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno Chile, cored, seeded and minced
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 medium tomato, cored and chopped
1-cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
Freshly ground pepper

Place the peppers, onion, garlic and Chile in a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes, adding water by the tablespoon, if necessary, to prevent the vegetables from burning. Add the pineapple juice and tomato. Cook the combination, stirring often over medium-low heat until the amount of mixture is reduces by half.

Add pineapple. Remove the mixture to a blender. Puree in batches until smooth. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, hot red pepper sauce and pepper.

Makes about 3 cups of healthy Pineapple Barbecue Sauce for 12 servings. Each serving is approximately 1/4-cup. Eash serving has about 30 calories; 0.5 grams of fat; 0.5 grams of protein; 7 grams of carbohydrate; 74.5 milligrams of sodium; 0.75 grams of dietary fiber and no cholesterol.

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Hot and Spicy Healthy Barbecue Sauce

1 tablespoon minced gingerHot and spicy healthy barbecue sauce
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can of tomato sauce
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Simmer the ginger and garlic until tender in 1-tablespoon water in a small pot. Stir in onion, tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder and vinegar. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before using, stir in the pepper.

Makes about 1-3/4 cups for seven servings of Hot and Spicy healthy barbecue sauce.

Each (1/4-cup) serving has about 30 calories; 1 gram of protein; 6.5 grams of carbohydrate; 265 milligrams of sodium; 1 gram of dietary fiber and no cholesterol or fat.

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Man Made Healthy Barbecue Sauce

For incredibly satisfying ribs, try this healthy barbecue sauce and one of the two methods noted below!

1 can of (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drainedBBQ Grill
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
8 drops Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup regular vinegar or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop onions and celery then saute in skillet with olive oil until tender.

Chop tomatoes; put tomato, onion and celery into a saucepan and cook uncovered over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Force tomato, celery and onion mixture through a fine sieve into another saucepan. Discard remaining solids.

Add remaining ingredients to saucepan. Discard remaining solids.  Stir until blended. Simmer uncovered about one hour, stirring occasionally.

Add water soaked hickory chips to charcoal. Brown ribs directly above coals. Once brown, use indirect heating method with foil pan beneath grate. Make sure pan contains liquid such as water; add wine to water for a sweeter flavor. Cook approximately one hour and 30 minutes or until ribs begin to tender. Add barbecue sauce and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

Quick Ribs to go With the Sauce Method: Place ribs in shallow pan. Add several cups of water to pan, sprinkle with Lipton’s onion soup mix. Bake, covered with foil at 300-degrees until tender (about three hours). Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Place ribs on grill, directly over coals, top side down. Once top is brown, flip and top with above sauce or Open-Pit Original barbecue sauce until hot. This will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

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Thick Healthy Barbecue Sauce

An easy-to-do spicy sauce to use on frankfurters or burgers.

2 medium onionsTomato based sauce
3/4 cup Coca-Cola
3/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Shred or blender-chop the onions. Combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil; cover pan; reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes until sauce is very thick. Stir occasionally. Makes about 2 cups. To serve, heat frankfurters in sauce or spoon sauce over cooked burgers.

Freebie: Download Recipes in a PDF file.

Chef’s Tip

Use barbecue sauce only during the last few minutes of grilling your meat. Any earlier, and the sugars in the sauce will cause meats to blacken, burn or turn bitter.

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing