Healthy Barbecue Sauce Recipes

Find healthy, delicious barbecue sauce recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

We gave classic barbecue chicken pizza a healthy twist with hidden shredded zucchini in the sauce. It's a great way to sneak extra veggies into both you and your children's diet!

Grilled Tofu with Korean BBQ Glaze & Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage

In this vegetarian grilling recipe, the hot grill gives tofu smokiness and some crispy edges. A BBQ sauce made with gochujang, the hot Korean chile paste, doubles as both a glaze and some sauce to slather on the tofu at the table. Serve with brown rice or farro.

Barbecue Pork Chops

The quick, super-easy barbecue sauce in this recipe would be great on roasted chicken as well. Serve with your favorite slaw and a cold lager.

Filet Mignon with Blueberry-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Rating: 4.33 stars
Blueberries, loaded with antioxidants, have a balance of sweet and sour, which makes them an excellent base for a rich, tangy barbecue sauce. Fresh thyme rubbed on the steak dovetails wonderfully with the blueberries. Serve with fresh tomato wedges.

Vidalia Onion BBQ Sauce

Use this sweet and tangy healthy BBQ sauce recipe to make pulled pork or slather it on chicken or even on a burger instead of plain old ketchup.

Bourbon Chicken Skewers

The deliciously thick, barbeque-based sauce on these chicken and zucchini skewers is flavored with bourbon and soy. Ready in just 35 minutes, this southern-inspired recipe is perfect served with brown rice and a side salad.

All-American BBQ Sauce

In this easy, homemade barbecue sauce, beer balances the sweetness of molasses while hot sauce provides heat. Brush on grilled chicken, tofu or shrimp during the last 5 to 10 minutes on the grill or use as a dipping sauce.

Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce

Rating: 4.83 stars
The tangy peach barbecue sauce that glazes these pork chops is incredible on grilled chicken or salmon as well. Bone-in pork chops (as opposed to boneless) are less likely to dry out. Just make sure to trim away as much fat as possible for healthier results.

Open-Face Barbecue Tilapia Sandwiches

Grilled fish nestled on a bed of crunchy coleslaw and capped off with a drizzle of barbecue sauce makes these diabetic-friendly sandwiches sure to please.

BBQ Chicken and Roasted Corn Salad

This main dish salad recipe combines chicken, corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Topped with queso fresco cheese and flavored with barbeque sauce, it's a great choice for a quick dinner.

Barbecue Chicken & Chard Quesadillas

Rating: 4.67 stars
Dark leafy greens give this healthy chicken quesadilla recipe a vitamin K boost. We also boosted the flavor in regular barbecue sauce. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, shredded lettuce and/or salsa, if desired.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Rating: 4.75 stars
In this pork tenderloin recipe, rhubarb cooks with ketchup and cider vinegar to make a tangy, healthy barbecue sauce. If you're lucky enough to have a lot of rhubarb, make a double or even a triple batch of the rhubarb sauce recipe and freeze it for later in the summer. It tastes great with grilled chicken and beef too.

Inspiration and Ideas

A Dozen Ways to Use a Bottle Of BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is great for grilling, but there is more than one way to use this sweet and tangy condiment. From barbecue chicken to quesadillas, BBQ sauce is the quickest way to perk up your meal. Try it in these delicious BBQ sauce recipes.

Grilled Chicken with Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Rating: Unrated
Chopped cherries combine with cherry preserves and smoky, hot chipotle peppers for an unusual marinade and sauce for grilled chicken. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Roberta Solomon's Barbecue Sauce

I found this recipe while going through my late mother Johnetta Miller's metal recipe file box. It's attributed to her mother, Roberta Solomon. Grandmother Solomon—I called her Granny— grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The combination of brown sugar, mustard and vinegar gives this sauce a tangy and slightly sweet flavor. This was my family's go-to sauce to add to barbecued chicken and pork spareribs which were served "dry." For us, barbecue season was essentially the summer holidays: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. This sauce pairs well with any baked or grilled chicken and pork dishes. To enhance the sauce's tanginess, a halved lemon would be added as the sauce cooked. I have fond memories of seeing that floating lemon and finding a stray lemon seed as I slathered the sauce on my barbecue.