What is white barbecue sauce? At first glance, it looks like a mayo dressing or drizzly aioli. In a way, it is. But Big Bob Gibson’s naturally dairy-free white BBQ sauce is more vinegar forward and spiked with bold spices. It’s useful as a marinade or can be transitioned into a dipping sauce that’s made with a mayo base instead of the traditional barbecue tomato base. You’ll love it for tailgating and when grilling season rolls around.
Naturally Dairy-Free White BBQ Sauce or Marinade
This recipe is from Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book, and was originally shared with us by Robert Fernandez when he wrote for the blog Get Your Grill On. The original recipe is dairy-free, as is, but we’ve updated this post to include options and other information in the FAQs below.
Is this Sauce Spicy?
It’s tangy and spicy! It has a warm spice from the horseradish and a hot spice from the cayenne pepper. If you want to reduce the heat, you can reduce the cayenne, or substitute paprika or smoked paprika. The horseradish provides a lot of flavor, so I’d be hesitant to remove it. But you could omit it and add mustard or Worcestershire sauce to taste to help fill out the flavor while keeping the sauce very mild.
Can I Use Egg-Free Vegan Mayonnaise?
Many brands of vegan mayonnaise thin readily when a liquid is added. So this dairy-free white BBQ sauce might be watery if you use vegan mayo. If you want to try it, I would use the reduced amount of vinegar suggested. You might still need to add more of the vegan mayo to thicken it.
What is Prepared Horseradish?
It’s grated or crushed horseradish that’s been jarred with vinegar, salt, and sometimes a little sugar. It’s different from horseradish sauce, which is more of a mayo-based sauce. If you have fresh horseradish, you can even prepare your own. If you only have dairy-free horseradish sauce, you can use that and add it to taste. It will be less potent than prepared horseradish.
My Alabama White Sauce is Quite Thin. What Happened?
As noted, the original Big Bob Gibson Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe is quite thin and can be used as a marinade or dipping sauce. We often like to reduce the vinegar for a thicker sauce, as shown. See the notes for this option. But if using it as a marinade or a drizzly salad dressing, I stick with the higher amount of vinegar.
How Can I Use Dairy-Free White BBQ Sauce
This particular recipe makes a great marinade for all types of meat, but is expecially delicious with chicken. It can also be used as a sauce over skewers, for dipping chicken wings, or even on steak. It’s also great on pulled pork or smoked brisket sandwiches, in coleslaw, or even over grilled vegetables or corn on the cob. We prefer the thicker, less vinegary option (like pictured) when using it as a sauce.
Special Diet Notes: Alabama White BBQ Sauce
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, keto-friendly, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose mayonnaise and horseradish that suits your dietary needs.
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (see below for Thicker Option)
- ½ cup apple juice
- 2 teaspoons dairy-free prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoonsalt
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, apple juice, horseradish, black pepper, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne until smooth and combined.
- Use it as a marniade, baste, or dipping sauce.
- Store this sauce and marinade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.