Alabama White BBQ Sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on traditional barbecue sauce recipe. It's delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more! This tangy and smoky sauce is perfect for chicken, pork, fish, and more. It's easy to make in 5 minutes and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

If you're looking for a delicious and tangy sauce to add to your next cookout, look no further than this Alabama White BBQ Sauce recipe. When grilling season rolls around, we do most of our cooking outdoors! Some of our other favorites are Grilled Pork Chops, Santa Maria-Style Tri-Tip, and Beef Kabobs!

A jar of homemade Alabama white sauce.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Alabama White BBQ Sauce made of?
  2. What does Alabama White BBQ Sauce taste like?
  3. What You'll Need
  4. How to Make Alabama White Sauce
  5. Tips for Success
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Can I Freeze This Recipe?
  8. How to Use Alabama White BBQ Sauce
  9. How to grill bone-in chicken breasts
  10. FAQ's
  11. What to serve with barbecued chicken
  12. Alabama White BBQ Sauce Recipe
  13. More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Today I've got an iconic Alabama recipe for you: Alabama White BBQ Sauce. It's part of my American Eats series and goes great with other Alabama favorites like southern tomato pie, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and banana pudding!

If you love barbecue, you probably know that there are lots of regional variations of bbq sauces to enjoy, depending on what part of the country you are from. Kansas City BBQ is known for it's thick, sweet Kansas City BBQ sauce, North Carolina has a thin vinegar based sauce, and South Carolina barbecue sauce is mustard based.

But chances are, you've never heard of this tangy white barbecue sauce unless you've been to Alabama.

What is Alabama White BBQ Sauce made of?

Alabama white BBQ sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce that is seasoned with tangy vinegar, mustard, horseradish, and various spices. It's ridiculously easy to make. You just whisk everything together in a bowl until smooth, then pour into a jar and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. It's so simple, but so, so good.

Alabama white bbq sauce is believed to have originated in North Alabama in 1925 in Decatur, Alabama by a man named Bob Gibson, who started a restaurant that is an institution today called Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Since then it has become a staple in BBQ restaurants all over the South.

What does Alabama White BBQ Sauce taste like?

The homemade white bbq sauce is white with a mayo base, but unlike the dressing you would use on classic coleslaw or broccoli salad, it is not sweet.

It has a more robust savory flavor thanks to the vinegar's tang and the black pepper and horseradish's mild heat.

Use the Alabama white barbecue sauce just like you would any other barbecue sauce - on smoked or grilled meats for basting or as a dipping sauce. We brush it on grilled meat or fish during the last few minutes of cooking on the grill and serve with extra sauce on the side.

A jar of Alabama white bbq sauce.

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. 

  • Mayo - If you are from the South, use Duke's. If that's not available, we recommend Hellman's or Best Foods mayonnaise (it's the same recipe and brand, just different packaging).
  • White vinegar
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Cream style horseradish
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika

How to Make Alabama White Sauce

Assemble. In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.

Finish. Transfer to a mason jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week. Brush on bbq chicken while grilling, use with fish or other meat, or as a salad dressing or dip for french fries.

Ingredients for Alabama white sauce in measuring glass jar.

Tips for Success

Here's how to make sure your Alabama white bbq sauce turns out perfect!

  • Sub up to half of the mayo with Greek yogurt. This will give the sauce a little bit of tang and make it slightly healthier.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright flavor.
  • Make it your own by adding in your favorite BBQ spices. Cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika are all great additions.
  • Try using it as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries. It's also delicious on burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add in some hot sauce for a bit of heat
  • Try using apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar in place of the white vinegar
  • Use creole mustard instead of spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard for a little bit of extra flavor
  • Add in a tablespoon or two of honey for a more sweet sauce
  • Try using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika for a smoky flavor
  • If you don't have garlic powder, you can use fresh garlic or leave it out altogether
  • Add a bit of xanthan gum for a thicker sauce
  • Add some cayenne pepper for a spicy sauce
  • Add in some diced onion or chives for extra flavor and crunch

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

Unfortunately, this recipe does not freeze well. The mayonnaise will separate when thawed, and the sauce will be watery. 

If you want to make a larger batch to have on hand, I recommend storing it in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Use Alabama White BBQ Sauce

This sauce makes a great versatile condiment! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:

  • Brush it on smoked chicken breasts or beef brisket while grilling for extra flavor.
  • Use it as a dipping sauce for chicken wings or fries.
  • Spread it on burgers or sandwiches in place of regular condiments.
  • Stir it into coleslaw or potato salad for a flavorful twist.
  • Drizzle it over salads for a dressing with a great tangy flavor.
  • Serve it as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables or fish.

How to grill bone-in chicken breasts

Heat the grill to medium-high heat.  Turn on all the burners if using a gas grill, or get the briquettes going if using charcoal, and close the lid. When the grill is hot (between 400-450 degrees), make sure the grates are clean and brush them with a little oil, then create an area of indirect heat by pushing turning off the burners on side side of the grill or pushing the charcoal over.

While the grill is heating, season the chicken with a little salt.  This is also a good time to gather the tools you will need to grill the chicken, like tongs, a basting brush, and a clean tray for when the chicken is done.

Grill the chicken skin side down over indirect heat.  Don't set the chicken directly over the flames (i.e., direct heat) because the fat from the skin will drip down and create flare-ups. Grill the bone-in chicken breasts for 10-15 minutes on the first side (7-10 minutes if cooking smaller cuts like chicken legs and thighs), then flip and grill for another 7-10 minutes over indirect heat.

Finish the chicken by grilling over direct heat on the other side of the grill directly over the flame or charcoal.  Grill skin-side down, just until the skin is well browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes, watching carefully for flare-ups, then flip and baste with Alabama white BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of cooking, until the breasts reach 165 degrees F. when tested with an instant read meat thermometer. Move the meat back over indirect heat if it needs more time to finish cooking.

Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving, then serve with extra white BBQ sauce on the side.

Chicken brushed with Alabama white barbecue sauce.


How long does white barbecue sauce last?

You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to five days. After that, you would get better results by making a fresh batch. But whenever we make it at our house, it doesn't last very long!

Is Alabama white sauce hot?

The level of heat in this sauce depends on the type of mustard you use. Spicy brown mustard will give the sauce a little bit of heat, while yellow mustard will make it milder.

You can also adjust the amount of horseradish to taste. Or, if you want a completely mild sauce, you can omit the horseradish altogether.

Does Alabama white sauce taste like ranch?

The acidic flavor of white barbeque sauce has a ranch dressing-like quality and is similarly highly addictive. It's equally adaptable and is excellent for use in homemade coleslaw and potato salad, as well as on chicken, pork, shellfish, and turkey. It's missing the herbiness of a classic ranch dressing, but it has the same creaminess with a slightly different flavor profile.

What is Alabama style BBQ?

Similar to Memphis barbecue, Alabama barbecue is mainly focused on hog shoulder and pork ribs served with a tomato-based sauce. But the state is also where mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce, which is typically served with chicken, was invented.

What to serve with barbecued chicken

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

4.79 from 111 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Servings 6 servings
Alabama White BBQ Sauce is a tangy, creamy twist on traditional barbecue sauce recipe.  It's delicious on grilled chicken, pulled pork, fish, burgers, and lots more!  This recipe is perfect for 4 large chicken breasts, but you may want to double the recipe if you are grilling for a crowd!


  • 1 cup mayo
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cream style horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika


  • In a medium bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.  Transfer to a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.  Brush on chicken while grilling, or use with fish or other meat, or as a salad dressing or dip for fries.



  • I have subbed up to half of the mayo with Greek yogurt with good results.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 467mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

This post was originally published in May, 2018. The photos and content were updated in October, 2022.

Share This With the World


Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids says:

    Yum! I can't wait to try this the next time I make ribs or shredded pork!

  2. Kitty says:

    I have never seen anything like this before, but I do love horseradish, almost as much as I love BBQ. I will totally have to pull this out for a twist on Memorial Day grilling.

  3. Tamara Andersen says:

    5 stars
    I'm a huge fan of Carolina BBQ (all the vinegar!), so this BBQ sauce is very appealing to me... I love the addition of horseradish! I also love your idea of an America Eats series. Fun!

  4. prasanna hede says:

    This sauce looks like a keeper,will definitely save this for when i will make bbq!

  5. Jenni LeBaron says:

    White BBQ sauce is one of my favorite things to make in the summer because it goes so well on so many things we grill. Your recipe looks fantastic!

  6. Leslie Haasch says:

    Giiiiiiiiiirl, yes! I already have an entire meal planned out in my head to use this on - so excited to try it out!

    1. Amy says:

      Yay! Ha, I'm the same way where I will see one recipe and immediately think of all the others I want to make to go with it!

  7. Jessica (Swanky Recipes) says:

    5 stars
    A few years ago I visited the Southern Living test kitchen studio in Birmingham, Alabama. They took us to a restaurant nearby called Jukes BBQ Joint and it had the best white bbq sauce I've ever tried! We always order this with our barbecue when we pass through on our way to the Gulf Shores every year and I'm excited I can make this at home now!

    1. Amy says:

      That's so cool that you got to visit the Southern Living test kitchen studio! I'm glad you tried the white bbq sauce while you were there in Alabama!

  8. Carol Borchardt says:

    So, I live in Memphis and it's all about the bark, the wet mop, etc. I've heard about white barbecue sauces but never tried them and by the looks of this recipe, I clearly need to!

    1. Amy says:

      It's so interesting how each region has it's own emphasis when it comes to BBQ!

      1. Jason Conway says:

        Follow Zagat on YouTube. They go to each area and you get to learn about the differences

    2. Marcin says:

      So good👍

  9. Anne Murphy says:

    5 stars
    White barbecue sauce? Intriguing! No added sugar? OK, I need this! For the first time I live in a house with a patio - and am looking at getting a small grill and learning to use it, so this recipe (and the directions for the chicken breast) come just at the right time!

    1. Amy says:

      How fun that you get to start grilling in your new place! We used to live in a little condo and had a tabletop grill that we cooked on often on our tiny patio. So many good food memories with that thing!

  10. lauren says:

    5 stars
    This looks awesome! We love BBQ but I've never had white sauce before. It sounds positively amazing and such a good addition to bbq comfort food. We will definitely be trying it this week!

  11. Sam | Ahead of Thyme says:

    You had me at BBQ! Can't believe the sauce is white, so creative!! Can't wait to use this next time I fire up the grill, yum!

  12. Julie says:

    I'm so used to BBQ sauce being some shade of red or brown that I'm having a hard time mentally classifying this as BBQ sauce! But I really love horseradish, so I bet I would love this as a great way to spice up normally bland grilled chicken!

    1. Amy says:

      Yes, it's definitely a bit of a shocker to use a white sauce instead of a red one! But if you think of BBQ as a cooking technique and sauce used to baste meat cooked using that technique, then it makes sense why this would be called BBQ sauce even though it's not tomato based.

  13. Michelle Blackwood says:

    5 stars
    I have never had white barbecue sauce before, the ingredients sound very flavorful and I love mayo so much that I believe this will be a huge hit

  14. Kushi says:

    5 stars
    Such a lovely combonation of ingredients. Looks amazing. Can't wait to try this out

  15. Erin @ The Speckled Palate says:

    5 stars
    This barbecue sauce just makes me so happy! While a white BBQ sauce isn't traditional in Memphis or Texas, I cannot wait to give this a try because I know it's gonna be yummy.

  16. Caroline @ Pinch Me, I'm Eating! says:

    5 stars
    As a South Carolinian, I've been a diehard fan of mustard-based BBQ sauce my whole life - but I have never made Alabama white BBQ sauce! I will have to give it a shot - it certainly looks delicious! And thanks for the tips on grilling chicken too — I am not yet a grilling pro so that will definitely help!

    1. Amy says:

      Lol - I know your love of mustard-based BBQ sauce runs deep!

  17. Amber says:

    Been waiting on Arkansas for a while now. Can't wait to see what you post!

    1. Amy says:

      I'm so glad you are enjoying this series! I meant to do Arkansas earlier but got a little behind with school starting back up again! The first Arkansas post is up now though and I will be sharing more throughout the week! 🙂

  18. Jessica says:

    3 stars
    I made this today, but I found the flavor of mayo and vinegar to be overwhelming so, I added 1/2 cup sour cream, then I ended up doubling everything except the mayo and vinegar. By the time I was done I had added 1 tsp. Onion powder, 1/4 tsp. Worcentershire sauce, and since I remember the white sauce I had in Alabama growing up, having a bit of heat outside of the horseradish, and I was out of cayenne pepper, I added a few dashes of habanero sauce I got from my trip to Mexico. THEN, it became the sauce my family used to make. Not that this isn't good for some, but for me, it was just lacking and tasted like it belonged used as coleslaw dressing not a BBQ sauce. I used it as a dipping sauce/sauce for my smoked wings and pulled pork at a big bbq I did, my sauce was gone before I new it with people asking for more. I didn't expect it to go over as well as it did, but they killed it! Note to self: make more of this! I still have plenty of traditional bbq sauce if anyone needs any. Lol! Enjoy!!!

  19. Ashley says:

    1 star
    I agree with Jessica above. The taste of mayonnaise was very overwhelming so I followed her recipe and it became a lot better but I will not make this again.

  20. PatriciaRN says:

    5 stars
    Wonderful 5 Star recipe! Alabama White BBQ Sauce is the bomb! Thank you for clarifying the mystery of tender, juicy, golden and crispy grilled chicken. This recipe is a keeper! My only changes included adding 1 tsp raw sugar to the BBQ sauce and 1 clove crushed garlic. Again, many thanks!

  21. Bob says:

    Old grouchy guy here. Why can't I just get the recipe at the top so I don't have to endure pages and pages of flowery b.s. before I get to it and find that its not what I want?

    1. Amy says:

      I understand your frustration, Bob. If you look at the top of the recipes on my blog (and many other food blogs), you will notice a button that says "Jump to Recipe". It's right under the title. If you just click on that it will immediately take you straight to the recipe, skipping everything else. I hope that helps in the future.

  22. Miranda says:

    This looks incredible! I might have to use the extra hot horseradish I have in the kitchen.... Can't wait to try!

  23. Lisa says:

    This was great, tried with brisket and pulled pork.

  24. Shawn M says:

    Never heard of this until visiting the one horse town  of fall brook Ca for lunch, they served this drizzled over fried green tomatoes! Amazing to say the least, this recipe is spot on.

    1. Amy says:

      Oh yes! It's amazing with fried green tomatoes!

  25. Mark says:

    Absolutely delicious sauce! Thank you so much. 

  26. Darcie says:

    I made this with part mayo and part crema; it lent a nice tang. Lemon, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, onion salt, celery seed, dill and creole mustard.  I don’t see a reason to add sugar as most recipes say. 
    I’m marinating on chicken thighs (which I hate) but I think this will be fantastic in my air fryer. I need suggestions for sides. 

  27. Lucas says:

    I've never had this! It looks so good, I'll definitely have to try it, thank you so much for sharing!

  28. Tanya says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I was looking for something different for grilled cajun chicken. Was thinking about a cucumber dip but then came across your recipe. I love horseradish so had to try it! I loved it! Thanks again!

  29. Dotzie says:

    This was an easy and excellent recipe we had it on chicken breast and the sauce gave it an amazing flavor, this is now a favorite of mine and i cant thank you enough for sharing your recipe 😊

  30. Wedding Shoot says:

    This recipe is fantastic!

  31. swadkrang says:

    this site is very intersting,and usfully...

  32. Jenn says:

    its* thick, sweet sauce

  33. Patricia Strahan says:

    I grew up eating Big Bob Gibson Bar B Que. Love their chicken with the white sauce. Just mixed it up for my husband to use it when he grills tonight.

  34. Carey says:

    I made this per the recipe but it had too much bite so I looked at some other recipes for Alabama white sauce.  One of them said to add 2 T brown sugar. Once I did it tasted much better.  

  35. Ron McNeal says:

    Since all the ingredients in white BBQ sauce have a long shelf life, and vinegar is even a preservative, why does it only last a few days in the refrigerator? I've made it often, living in Alabama, and kept it much longer. ??

  36. YumSauce says:

    5 stars
    Very good, I do prefer the recipes without sugar, and this was exactly the flavor I was looking for with a few drops of lemon juice added and extra pepper. Bookmarking this recipe to comeback again.

  37. Lois Bowers says:

    5 stars
    I really like the sauce, I only added 1tsp. of the horseradish sauce…
    ( my stomach can’t handle the spice, and I live in and am from Tucson…lol)

    I like the sauce on hamburgers and fish, preferably from the grill…

    It really brings out the flavors!

    Thank you,

    1. Amy says:

      Yes this sauce is a big hit at our house. And yes, I do tone down the horseradish sometimes too. Ha ha. No shame! Glad you liked it!