Do you reach for the bottle of BBQ sauce every time you grill meat, but you're trying to cut back on the carbs? Well, you're not alone. Personally, I've tried different recipes and never really found anything that I thought was fantastic; they end up being salty, thin, or otherwise not to my liking.
This recipe is based on a few different recipes; the original inspiration was the Apple City Barbecue Sauce recipe, with inspiration taken from others; what I've ended up with is a sauce that is almost completely unlike the Apple City recipe, and finds a balance between sweet and tart. Among the many substitutions was a ham flavor packet rather than bacon bits, diet cola and tomato paste instead of ketchup, and Splenda and molasses in place of brown sugar.
If you're used to Kansas City style sauces, this one is a little more tart than you may be used to; it also has a reddish color rather than brown. To make it look more "authentic", you may use 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of 1/2 Splenda, but the sugar content will be higher.
If you have anyone who doesn't like overly spicy foods, you may omit the cayenne and it will still have a hint of heat from the white pepper.
Diet Cola BBQ Sauce
- 1 can diet cola (I use Coke Zero, but any should work)
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup Splenda
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (low-sodium soy sauce should be fine)
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 packet ham flavor (I use Goya Jamon)
- 1 quarter cup unsweetened applesauce
- pinch of cloves
Pour the can of diet cola into a large saucepan; pour in ham flavor packet and wait for bubbles to subside. Add tomato paste and stir until blended. Add rest of ingredients; stir and let simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Should keep refrigerated for two weeks. Enjoy on your favorite grilled items whenever you would reach for commercial BBQ.