Healthier BBQ Sauce & Rub

These BBQ sauce and rub recipes are perfect for any outdoor family grilling this summer. They are extremely versatile and can be used for both proteins and veggies! Both are lower in sugar than bottled versions and use only simple ingredients that you probably have at home.







Health Benefit: Unlike many other recipes for BBQ sauces and rubs, these easy recipes use simple ingredients with much less sugar. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which supports immune function and cooked tomatoes contain an important antioxidant called lycopene which helps prevent cell damage from oxidation. Garlic, apple cider vinegar, and honey also stimulate immune function.


  • Small bowl
  • Small pot
  • Whisk or spoon
  • Storage containers

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup no-sugar-added ketchup

  • 1 can tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp onion powder

  • 2 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper


You can substitute/add any herbs and spices of your choosing. Feel free to add more sweetener and/or spice to taste. Maple syrup can be used as a substitute for honey. Tomato sauce can be used as a substitute for ketchup. 

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1
Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl; Mix thoroughly;  Use immediately or store in airtight container
Step 2
Combine all BBQ sauce ingredients in a small pot over the stove; Stir until well combined
Step 3
Bring to a simmer over medium heat; Cover with a lid; Stir occasionally until sauce thickens about 10-15 minutes
Step 4
Use immediately or let cool and store in airtight container
Step 5