Creamy and Tangy White BBQ Sauce Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where southern-style cooking is an art form. Today, we are going to dive into the world of white BBQ sauce, Alabama style. This sauce may seem like a departure from your typical BBQ sauce, but I promise you won’t regret trying it out.

BBQ, pork shoulders, and briskets are staples and represent the soul of Southern cuisine. But what sets Alabama White BBQ Sauce apart from the rest? It’s the tangy zip that comes from the vinegar, apple cider, and lemon juice additions combined with its creamy texture.

Alabama White Sauce has a special place in history – it is said to have been invented by Bob Gibson in Decatur, Alabama over 90 years ago, and was first utilized on chicken before it became a ubiquitous sauce for all BBQ meats.

So what is Alabama White BBQ Sauce exactly? It starts with a base of mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar. Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and Creole or coarsely ground mustard give you an extra layer of flavor; while horseradish or cayenne brings a little bit of heat to the table.

This mayo-based concoction slowly won over fans outside of Alabama after its recipe was published in Southern Living Magazine in 1995. Today support for this sauce runs deep all over the South – and once people give it a try, they can’t wait to make batches at home.

Let’s get started on this Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe together so you can experience the taste that has been taking barbecues by storm!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style
White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style

Are you tired of the same old barbecue sauce for your grilled or smoked meats? Do you want to try something different, but still have that Southern-style taste? I have the perfect solution for you: Alabama white BBQ sauce.

This sauce is different from your typical barbecue sauce because it’s mayonnaise-based instead of tomato-based. This gives it a creamy texture and a tangy, slightly sweet taste. The ingredients include apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and of course, mayonnaise.

What makes this sauce truly unique is the addition of horseradish and creole mustard, which gives it a spicy kick that pairs perfectly with chicken and pork. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used as a dip or dressing for vegetables and salads.

One of the best things about this recipe is its simplicity. It only requires a handful of ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. Plus, it only takes five minutes to whip up, making it a quick and easy addition to any meal.

I know what you might be thinking – mayonnaise on my barbecue? Trust me when I say that once you try this sauce, you won’t go back to anything else. So take a chance on this twist on traditional BBQ sauce – I promise you won’t regret it.

Ingredient List

 Tangy and bright, white BBQ sauce adds a zesty kick to any dish.
Tangy and bright, white BBQ sauce adds a zesty kick to any dish.

Let’s dive into the ingredients that you will need to make this Southern-style White BBQ Sauce recipe. Don’t worry, you probably have most of these ingredients already on-hand! Here’s what you’ll need:

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


The beauty of Southern cooking is that there are always variations to each dish. If you want to try out a different flavor profile or want to switch things up a little bit, try out any of the following variations:

Worcestershire Sauce

Add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to enhance the sauce’s umami flavor.

Creole Mustard

Kick up your sauce with an additional teaspoon of Creole mustard.

Pepper Flakes

If you like your BBQ sauce spicier, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes for an added kick.

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s move on to the next step – preparing the recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 For a truly Southern flavor, this creamy sauce is a must-try.
For a truly Southern flavor, this creamy sauce is a must-try.

Now that we know the history and ingredients of this southern-style White BBQ Sauce, it’s time to learn how to make it. As I mentioned earlier, this mayonnaise-based sauce has a tangy flavor that makes it the ideal accompaniment for grilled or smoked meats, especially chicken. Let’s get started with the recipe.


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground creole mustard
  • Salt (to taste)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider, lemon juice, and prepared horseradish until well combined.
  2. Add in the sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and creole mustard, and continue whisking until smooth.
  3. Taste and add salt as needed to balance flavors.
  4. Cover the bowl and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Tips for Perfect Results

- Use high-quality mayonnaise for best results
- Allow the sauce to chill at least an hour before serving for optimal flavor
- Adjust salt levels to taste
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week

This recipe yields about 3-4 cups of sauce, depending on the consistency you prefer. Don’t hesitate to double or triple the ingredients if you are cooking for a crowd or want leftovers throughout the week.

Now that you know how easy it is to make this famous White BBQ Sauce, you can pair it with anything, from smoked chicken to pulled pork and grilled veggies. So fire up your grill and start whipping up a batch of this Alabama classic, your taste buds deserve it!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect balance of mayo, vinegar, and spices make for a unique and delicious sauce.
The perfect balance of mayo, vinegar, and spices make for a unique and delicious sauce.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to put your own spin on this classic southern recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations to choose from.

To start with, you could experiment with the level of heat in the sauce by adjusting the cayenne and black pepper according to your personal preference. If you’re looking for a milder version of Alabama white BBQ sauce, you can use less cayenne pepper or omit it altogether.

If you’re looking for a tangier flavor, try using white wine vinegar or rice vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar. Adding a small amount of prepared horseradish or creole mustard can add a bit of zip to the sauce.

For those who prefer a thinner sauce, add extra lemon juice or vinegar to loosen it up. Alternatively, more mayonnaise can be added for a thicker texture.

Another variation is to use smoked paprika instead of cayenne pepper, which imparts a smoky, slightly sweeter flavor. Lemon zest can also be used in place of lemon juice for an even brighter citrus flavor.

This versatile sauce is also suitable for pairing with grilled chicken or other types of meat, making it an excellent addition to any summer BBQ spread.

So go ahead and experiment! With some creativity and imagination, the possibilities are endless when it comes to variations on this classic Southern recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Impress your guests with this unexpected twist on traditional BBQ sauce.
Impress your guests with this unexpected twist on traditional BBQ sauce.

Now that you have your tangy and creamy Alabama White BBQ Sauce ready, let’s talk about the perfect ways to serve and pair it.

First and foremost, this sauce is an excellent accompaniment for grilled or smoked chicken. It adds a zesty kick to the meat that makes it all the more delightful to eat. You can also slather it on any other protein, such as pulled pork, beef brisket, or turkey, for a unique and delicious flavor.

If you want to go beyond the typical barbecue fare, you can use this versatile sauce as a dipping sauce for veggies, fries, or onion rings. Its sharp tanginess will complement the saltiness of these dishes perfectly.

Another way to serve the sauce is as a dressing for a salad. Its smooth texture works well with both mixed greens and slaws. Try adding some nuts, seeds or dried fruits to your salad along with the white BBQ sauce for a texture and flavor you won’t forget.

As for pairing, Alabama White BBQ sauce goes well with beer, pale ale or IPA being the preferred choices because they cut through the richness of the sauce while giving your palate enough hops to balance everything out. You can also serve it alongside a cold glass of iced tea or lemonade during summertime picnics.

Whatever you choose to serve and pair it with, Alabama White BBQ Sauce is bound to add that extra punch of flavor that will leave everyone wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Drizzle white BBQ sauce over grilled chicken, pork, or seafood to take your meal to the next level.
Drizzle white BBQ sauce over grilled chicken, pork, or seafood to take your meal to the next level.

One of the great things about this white BBQ sauce is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, so you can have it on hand whenever you need it. Plus, the mayonnaise base helps keep it fresh and prevent spoilage.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply prepare the sauce as directed and store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. It’s a good idea to give the sauce a stir before using again, as some separation may occur during storage.

If you have any leftovers or want to make a bigger batch for future use, you can also freeze your white BBQ sauce for up to three months. Just be sure to transfer it to an airtight container and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using again.

When it comes to reheating your white BBQ sauce, you’ll want to do so gently over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching or curdling. Alternatively, you can serve it cold straight from the fridge as a refreshing dip or spread for sandwiches, burgers or grilled chicken.

Overall, this Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating section is all about making it easy and convenient for you to enjoy your favorite Alabama white BBQ sauce whenever you like – whether that’s right away or a few days later. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to keep your sauce fresh and delicious for longer periods of time without sacrificing taste or quality.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This versatile sauce can also be used as a dip for veggies or wings.
This versatile sauce can also be used as a dip for veggies or wings.

To achieve the perfect white BBQ sauce, there are a few tips and techniques that I want to share. The following tips will ensure that your white BBQ sauce turns out as delicious as possible every time.

1. Use high-quality ingredients

White BBQ sauce only requires a few ingredients, so it’s essential that you use high-quality ones. Use fresh lemons for the lemon juice and good quality mayonnaise as the base of the sauce. Cutting corners on ingredient quality will reflect strongly in the final flavor.

2. Balance the flavors

The key to any successful BBQ sauce is to balance sweet, salt, sour and spicy notes to achieve a harmony of flavors. Start by making sure the acidity of your vinegar and lemon juice balances nicely with the sugar content. Add a pinch of salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to build out a deeper flavor profile without overpowering the other ingredients.

3. Allow time for flavors to meld

Allow ample time for your BBQ sauce to rest so that all of the ingredients have time to blend their flavors perfectly together, this is especially important when using fresh lemon or vinegar as it gives them time to lose some of their tartness and develops an even more well-rounded flavor.

4. Minimize clumping

To prevent clumping when mixing your ingredients together, begin by adding the vinegar gradually to whisked mayo until smooth before adding other sauce ingredients.

5. Chill before serving

Give your white BBQ sauce enough time in the fridge to allow all its elements to blend smoothly and cool off properly. This process strengthens its taste while avoiding separation on warmer dishes like grilled chicken.

By following these tips for cooking up a delicious white BBQ sauce, you’ll soon convince even your most discerning guests how delicious homemade “Alabama White style” can be!


Now that you have all the necessary information to make this delicious Southern-style White BBQ Sauce, let’s address some of the most common questions about this recipe. Whether you’re curious about the ingredients, or looking for advice on how to store leftovers, these FAQs will help ensure your success in the kitchen. So, read on to learn everything you need to know!

What is white BBQ sauce made of?

White BBQ sauce, famously known as Alabama white sauce, is a blend of mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar. Although there are many versions out there, the key ingredients usually include mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sweeteners like sugar or honey, and spices such as garlic and onions, alongside an emphasis on black pepper for an extra kick.

Is white sauce a southern thing?

If you’re searching for a Southern-style recipe that can add a new dimension to your meats, then you might want to consider Alabama White Sauce. This classic recipe is known for its tangy flavor, which comes from a base of mayonnaise mixed with a variety of flavorful seasonings. The sauce can be used as a marinade, baste, or dip for chicken and pork, adding moisture and tenderness to the meats while also enhancing their taste.

What is the white sauce at Mission BBQ?

If you’re looking for a flavor-packed sauce to enhance your next smoked salmon dish, look no further than our homemade Alabama White sauce. Made with a creamy mayo base and infused with horseradish and cayenne, this classic sauce is the perfect blend of sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness. Give it a try and experience a truly mouthwatering taste sensation!

What’s the difference between white and regular BBQ sauce?

When it comes to the sauce used in barbecue recipes, there are variations in the ingredients used for the base. Unlike traditional bbq sauces that use tomato as their base, white bbq sauce is made with a mayonnaise base.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style Recipe is a must-try for all southern cuisine lovers out there. The combination of ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and mayonnaise make for a perfect blend of tanginess and creaminess that is sure to delight your taste buds. Whether you’re looking to add some flavor to your grilled chicken or smoked pork, this sauce recipe is your go-to.

What sets this BBQ sauce apart is its unique Alabama white style that is mayo-based with a hint of horseradish and cayenne pepper. It’s different from the conventional tomato-based barbecue sauce but still packs a punch in flavor.

Plus, using this sauce in your cooking can enhance the overall dining experience, making it more inviting and enjoyable for everyone. Feel free to try out different variations with substitutions to explore new flavors.

So what are you waiting for? Give this White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style Recipe a shot and spice up your next meal with an authentic southern taste that will leave you craving more. Once you’ve had a taste of this delicious concoction, you’ll never go back to the same old boring barbecue sauce again!

White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style

White BBQ Sauce, Southern Style Recipe

For a different twist, try this. Dunk your food in it after it's off the grill rather bast it on the grill. Great dipping sauce too.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Fusion
Servings 2 cups
Calories 84.5 kcal


  • 2/3 cup of good quality mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons filtered apple cider


  • Combine all ingredients together and mix well.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 11gCalories: 84.5kcalCarbohydrates: 6.4gProtein: 0.2gFat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5.1mgSodium: 285.9mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 2.9g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Sauces, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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