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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, 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!

mustard bbq sauce - carolina mustard barbecue sauce - served in a bowl

Mustard-based BBQ sauce goes by many names – Carolina gold sauce, Carolina mustard sauce, 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.

This tasty sauce is heavenly drizzled on grilled chicken, smoked pork, pulled pork, tofu, jackfruit, and pulled chicken. 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 a BBQ restaurant 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.

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👨‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Amazing sauce in 5 minutes
  • Naturally gluten-free & dairy-free
  • Swap out the honey and make it vegan
  • Made with pantry staples
  • Budget-friendly & inexpensive
  • No cooking required
  • A great addition to almost any meal

🥘 Ingredients

ingredients for mustard bbq sauce recipe

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 & 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. You can also use backstrap molasses instead of brown sugar, and cane sugar instead of honey.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a slight sweetness and an acidic punch I love for sauce recipes. If you don’t have it, white vinegar works too.

Worcestershire: You won’t taste this ingredient but two tablespoons will give this recipe a savory, umami taste and a good punch of flavor.

Garlic powder & 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 1/2 teaspoon of each before whisking.

Ketchup: Ketchup adds a bit of sweet tomato flavor to this mustard sauce recipe.

📖 Variations

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.

Vegan mustard sauce: Swap the honey for white sugar and use vegan Worcestershire.

For a crowd: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re cooking for a large group of people.

Gluten-free: To make this recipe gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.

🔪 Instructions

Mix ingredients together: Stir all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl until smooth.

all ingredients combined in a bowl

When it’s ready to store, it’ll 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 immediately but the flavors won’t be as prominent.

carolina honey mustard barbecue sauce being poured into a mason jar

❓ Recipe FAQs

Where does mustard style BBQ 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.

What does mustard barbeuce 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, chicken wings, grilled vegetables, 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.

How long is it good for?

This condiment is good for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Unlike other sauces, mustard-style sauce only gets better the longer it sits. All the flavors marry and deepen in flavor.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Make this recipe in advance, because it tastes even better the next day!
  • Pour into squeeze bottles for easy drizzling.
  • This recipe can be doubled for large groups.
  • Store it in an airtight jar or container for best results.
mustard bbq sauce - easy homemade carolina barbecue sauce recipe in a bowl

🍲 More BBQ Recipes!

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mustard bbq sauce - carolina mustard barbecue sauce - served in a bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 7 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 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


  • 1 cup Yellow American mustard (not dijon)
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Honey use cane sugar for a vegan version
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce use vegan Worcestershire sauce for a vegan and vegetarian version
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup


  • 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.


  • This recipe makes 2½ cups of BBQ sauce. One serving is 3 tbsp.
  • Substitute the honey for white sugar to make this a vegan friendly sauce.
  • The longer you leave the sauce the more the flavors develop.


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


Posted In…

Vegetarian Side Dishes ·

These vegetarian side dishes are tasty enough to be the star of the show! Here you’ll find easy, healthy plant based side dishes that are packed with veggies, and are bursting with flavor. 

Some favorites include this vegetable au gratin, my roasted broccoli with potatoes, this jalapeno artichoke dip, and these healthy whole wheat vegan dinner rolls!

Try any of these veggie side dishes for the perfect accompaniment to your main entree, or pair them with a soup or salad to turn them into a light main meal.

10 responses to “Mustard BBQ Sauce”

  1. 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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