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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Mustard BBQ Sauce

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Tangy yet sweet, homemade Mustard BBQ Sauce has a yellow mustard base that’s sweetened with honey and brown sugar. It’s delicious slathered on everything from pulled pork to veggie burgers to chicken sandwiches. This barbecue sauce recipe is sure to become a favorite!

Carolina honey mustard bbq sauce served in a grey bowl.

Mustard-based BBQ sauce goes by many names – Carolina gold sauce, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce / Carolina mustard barbecue sauce, Carolina mustard sauce, SC BBQ, or southern gold BBQ sauce.

It’s popular in South Carolina, especially Charleston, hence its name. Traditional barbecue sauce is tomato-based, while mustard barbecue sauce has a yellow mustard base with a small amount of tomato paste or ketchup.

If you’ve been to a BBQ or a BBQ restaurant or BBQ joint in South Carolina, chances are you’ve seen a few yellow barbecue sauces (anywhere else and you’d likely see red sauce!).

Such things might be considered blasphemy in many sections of the United States where barbecue sauce is a religion (I’ve read some very strong opinions on social media!), but in North Carolina, this sauce is the holy grail! (I don’t take responsibility for anyone’s feelings on this topic, check my terms of service, hah!) There are many types of barbecue sauce out there (did you know there’s even white barbecue sauce?), and this is just one of them.

If you’ve never tried any mustard bbq sauce recipes, you’re going to love this great recipe. Fire up the gas grills or grab your charcoal!

This tasty sauce is heavenly drizzled on grilled chicken (or baked whole chicken), smoked pork, pulled pork, tofu, jackfruit, and pulled chicken. I’m no native South Carolinian, but I would drink it from the squeeze bottle if it were socially acceptable. It’s just that good!

You don’t have to hit up BBQ restaurants to enjoy the best homemade BBQ sauce. It’s easy to make at home with basic ingredients like mustard, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar.

This honey mustard bbq sauce recipe is a cinch to make with no cooking required. Just mix all the ingredients together, pour into an airtight container, and let the flavors develop overnight. If you can’t wait that long, I don’t blame you! It will still taste delicious right away, but it’s best to make it the night before if possible.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Pantry Ingredients: This mustard vinegar BBQ sauce is made with all budget-friendly pantry ingredients. You might even have everything you need already! If not, a quick trip to the grocery store is a good idea. You should be able to find these simple ingredients at any grocery store.
  • Versatile: My South Carolina mustard BBQ sauce goes with virtually every meal. Slather on some of this delicious mustard BBQ sauce before cooking and/or use it as a condiment at the table. This barbecue sauce is a great way to add a lot of flavor to your meals.
  • Kid-Friendly: Unlike some tomato-based barbecue sauces, this sauce is not spicy. Any kid who likes mustard will love this mustard based BBQ sauce.
  • Special Diet Friendly: This great sauce is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Swap the honey for agave syrup to make it vegan if needed!

Latest Recipe Video!

🥘 Ingredients

Shop your pantry and see if you have the ingredients for this South Carolina mustard sauce below! If not, your local grocery store should have everything you need. See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for nutritional information.

Ingredients for easy homemade mustard bbq sauce on a white background.
  • Yellow Mustard: This is the main ingredient, and if you want to keep it classic, yellow mustard is the only way to go! Yellow mustard has just the right amount of tang to balance out the sweet. Make sure you don’t use dijon mustard – you won’t get the right flavor in this delicious sauce recipe.
  • Brown Sugar And Honey: The combination leaves you with a sweet but honey-like flavor. Brown sugar contains molasses which has a caramel-like flavor perfect for BBQ sauce recipes.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a slight sweetness and an acidic punch I love for sauce recipes.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: You won’t taste this ingredient but two tablespoons will give this recipe a savory, umami taste and a good punch of flavor. If you are vegan (or a vegetarian who does not eat fish), make sure to get a vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce (most Worcestershire sauce brands include anchovies or fish sauce).
  • Garlic Powder & Paprika: These pack a punch of flavor that complement this recipe perfectly.
  • Ketchup: Ketchup adds a bit of sweet tomato flavor to this mustard sauce recipe.

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • Brown Sugar And Honey: You can use blackstrap molasses (keep in mind this will add dark colors to your sauce) instead of brown sugar, and cane sugar or agave syrup instead of honey. Note that if you use cane sugar, sometimes it can be gritty in the sauce, so you might want to cook the sauce in a small pot over low heat or medium heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the sugar to melt.
  • Vinegar: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, white vinegar works too.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Soy sauce is a good alternative to worcestershire sauce.
  • Garlic Powder And Paprika: Common spices are all you need for a perfectly spiced recipe. If you can’t live without onion powder or chili powder, you can add those too. Add ½ teaspoon of each before whisking.
  • Ketchup: If you don’t like ketchup, you can use a little bit of tomato paste or purée instead.

🔪 How To Make Mustard BBQ Sauce

This easy mustard BBQ sauce recipe comes together with a handful of ingredients, simple steps, and almost no effort! Here’s how to make it:

Mix Ingredients Together: Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl until smooth. A whisk helps incorporate the spices better than a spoon or spatula.

all ingredients combined in a bowl

How To Know When It’s Ready: When it’s ready to store, your sauce will have a nice golden color and will be completely combined.

carolina mustard bbq sauce whisked in a bowl

Refrigerate Overnight: Pour the golden sauce into an airtight container or a glass jar. Resist the urge to drink it straight and place it in the fridge overnight. You can use it immediately but the flavors won’t be as prominent.

carolina honey mustard barbecue sauce being poured into a mason jar

💭 Expert Tips

  • Stick To Yellow Mustard: Dijon mustard is the wrong flavor for this recipe, and stone ground mustard will make you mustard-based BBQ sauce grainy and gritty.
  • Make Ahead: Make this recipe in advance, because it tastes even better the next day!
  • Taste And Make Adjustments: Although the recipe tastes even better the next day, try it before storing it. If you want it a little sweeter, add a little more brown sugar and honey. If you change the recipe, write it down. I have a whole file of my own versions of recipes I’ve tried.
  • Pour Into Squeeze Bottles: For easy drizzling over hot dogs, veggie dogs, hamburgers, and more!
  • Double The Recipe: This recipe can be doubled for large groups.

📖 Variations

There’s many different types of BBQ sauce out there, but mustard-based barbecue sauce is one of my favorites. Here’s a few variations to try:

  • A Touch Of Heat: Make a spicy mustard BBQ sauce with a dash of hot sauce, black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Start with a little bit then add more until you reach the desired heat level. Some of these are stronger than others; I’d use less cayenne pepper to start, for example.
  • Make It Smoky: Add some smoked paprika or a small amount (like a half teaspoon to start) of liquid smoke to this yellow bbq sauce recipe.
  • Mustard BBQ Sauce With Honey Mustard: If you want a sweeter sauce, try making BBQ honey mustard sauce by using honey mustard in place of yellow mustard. You may want to pull back on the amount of sweetener added to this recipe, but taste as you go!
  • North Carolina BBQ Sauce: North Carolina vinegar BBQ sauce normally uses vinegar like apple cider vinegar as the base and no mustard.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Use this recipe for mustard BBQ sauce as a marinade or serve it at the table as a condiment (or both!). Bring it to your next gathering – it makes a great addition to any meal! Here are a few of my favorite things to enjoy this BBQ mustard sauce recipe with:

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

  • Gluten-Free Option: Make sure to use a certified gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
  • Vegan Option: Swap the honey for agave syrup and use vegan Worcestershire sauce!

🫙 Storage Directions

  • Refrigerating: Pour the sauce into an airtight container like a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  • Make Ahead: Unlike other sauces, mustard-style sauce only gets better the longer it sits. All the flavors marry and deepen in flavor. Make this amazing sauce at least 24 hours ahead of time for the best flavor.

❓Recipe FAQs

Where does mustard style BBQ sauce come from?

South Carolina! The area from Columbia to Charleston, also known as the mustard belt because of its large population of German immigrants, is famous for it but you can find it all over the state. You may hear it called Carolina gold sauce, South Carolina barbecue, or Carolina mustard sauce, but the use of mustard in barbecue sauce is definitely a South Carolina thing.

What does mustard barbecue sauce taste like?

It tastes tangy and sweet from the mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar. Sometimes it can be spicy too. It has a strong mustard flavor since the base is predominantly mustard.

What does mustard based BBQ sauce go with?

Everything! It’s especially good on barbecued meats, pork shoulder, chicken thighs or drumsticks, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken wings, grilled vegetables, smoked pork, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, veggie burgers, pork chops, or even tofu. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for appetizers or a dressing for a BBQ-style salad.

Carolina honey mustard bbq sauce served in a grey bowl.

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

https://youtu.be/G4Oj7ctpCDY
Carolina honey mustard bbq sauce served in a grey bowl.
Print Recipe
5 from 11 votes

Mustard BBQ Sauce

Tangy yet sweet, Mustard BBQ Sauce has a yellow mustard base that’s sweetened with honey and brown sugar. It’s delicious slathered on everything from pulled pork to veggie burgers to chicken sandwiches. This barbecue sauce recipe is sure to become a favorite!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegetarian
Servings: 13 servings
Calories: 55kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour sauce into an airtight container, refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to enhance.

Notes

  • Stick To Yellow Mustard: Dijon mustard is the wrong flavor for this recipe, and stone ground mustard will make you mustard-based BBQ sauce grainy and gritty.
  • Make Ahead: Make this recipe in advance, because it tastes even better the next day!
  • Taste And Make Adjustments: Although the recipe tastes even better the next day, try it before storing it. If you want it a little sweeter, add a little more brown sugar and honey. If you change the recipe, write it down. I have a whole file of my own versions of recipes I’ve tried.
  • Pour Into Squeeze Bottles: For easy drizzling over hot dogs, veggie dogs, hamburgers, and more!
  • Double The Recipe: This recipe can be doubled for large groups.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tbsp | Calories: 55kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g

🥘

18 responses to “Mustard BBQ Sauce”

  1. Its tangy, zesty flavor instantly takes any dish to the next level. The perfect balance of sweetness and spice makes it a scrumptious addition to grilled meats and sandwiches.5 stars

  2. I love when barbecue sauce has a little more zing to it so this was perfect for me! I will definitely make this one again!5 stars

  3. Love this! I’m making up some hampers of homemade goodies for friends and this will be such a great gift, perfect on burgers. Thanks so much!5 stars

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