This zesty and delicious, southern inspired Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce makes the perfect addition to so many recipes! 

Unlike ketchup-based bbq sauce, this tangy mustard blend has robust notes of tomato paste, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and a handful of savory seasonings. Don’t forget the Worcestershire sauce for that signature flavor that we all know and love! This savory sauce has so many applications. Use it as a glaze for meat, a dip for veggie bites, or a simple condiment on burgers, hot dogs, and onion rings. This Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce recipe will end up being a kitchen staple, for sure!

jar of Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

What is Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce?

  • Take your bbq game to the next level with this sweet, savory and spicy sauce that is perfect as a dip, a dressing, a sauce, or a glaze!
  • Reviews of this copycat recipe say it’s just like the gourmet version from Trader Joe’s, or Cattleman’s but here you can adjust the sweet or spicy profile to create a sauce that’s best for your recipes.
  • Naturally, gluten-free Carolina Gold bbq sauce can be made sugar-free or vegan!

mustard , tomato paste , brown sugar , hot sauce and ingredients to make Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce with labels

Ingredients & Variations

MUSTARD: Start with a basic yellow mustard like French’s. Since there are dozens of mustard flavors on the market, experiment to find your favorite. Stone ground, horseradish, honey, or Dijon will all produce amazing results!

SWEET: Brown sugar can be replaced with honey or maple syrup, or use a sugar substitute like Swerve or Monkfruit.

SAVORY: AKA ‘umami’ ingredients like tomato paste, Worcestershire, and vinegar give Carolina Gold its depth of flavor. Molasses can be added to create a thick, flavorful sauce and natural smoke flavor is optional, but both are delicious! Use coconut liquid aminos instead of Worcestershire for a nutritional vegan recipe.

taking a spoonful of Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

How to Make Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

Just two easy steps create this gorgeous thick and rich BBQ sauce:

  1. Bring the ingredients (except for optional natural smoke flavor) to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  2. Add natural smoke flavor, using a small amount at a time, to reach the desired flavor.
  3. This recipe makes about 1 ¼ cup of sauce.

close up of Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce on a brush

How to Use

Use Carolina Gold barbecue sauce as a glaze for meatballs, or chicken drumsticks, or let the sauce infuse into ribs or pulled pork. It’s also great as a dip for veggies like roasted cauliflower, and air fryer broccoli.

How to Store

Keep Carolina Gold BBQ sauce in a cruet or mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a month. Shake or stir before serving. Freeze in ice cube trays and pop out a cube or two to add to a soup or stir fry!

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce on a brush with jar full in the back

More Sauce Recipes

taking a spoonful of Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
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Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

This Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce recipe makes a sweet addition to so many dishes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 20 Tablespoons
Author Candace




  • Mix together all ingredients, except the natural smoke flavor, in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until it reaches desired consistency.
  • Add optional smoke flavoring a small amount at a time, to taste.


  • Molasses is optional, but highly recommended! It creates a darker sauce with enhanced flavor.
  • This sauce will thicken as it simmers and reduces. 
  • Alternately, thicken the sauce using a slurry made with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 1 Tablespoon water.
    • Whisk a small amount of the slurry into the sauce until desired thickness is reached. All of the slurry mixture may not be needed.
5 from 7 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 23 | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Dips
Cuisine American

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Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce being scooped out of a jar with a spoon with a title

A jar of Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce with a title

Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce with a basting brush with a title

A jar filled with Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, and Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce being scooped out of a jar with a spoon under the title.



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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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