Southern Classic Alabama White Sauce Recipe (2024)


If you’re a fan of southern BBQ, you simply must try Alabama White Sauce. This tangy and creamy sauce originated in the northern part of Alabama at Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ and has quickly become a staple in southern BBQ cuisine.

One of the best things about this Alabama White Sauce recipe is how easy it is to make at home. With just three simple ingredients – mayonnaise, white vinegar and pepper – you can whip up a batch in no time. The mayonnaise gives the sauce its creamy texture, while the white cider vinegar adds a tangy flavor that cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise. A touch of pepper gives the sauce a little bit of heat to balance out all the flavors. Other additions include lemon juice, horseradish and a dash or salt and hot sauce to fully balance the sauce.

Alabama White Sauce for Chicken and Pork

While Alabama White sauce is known for being used on Chicken, it is also delicious on Pork! Think of it as an all purpose marinade, baste and dipping sauce that keeps your meat extra moist and juicy!

To use Alabama white sauce as a marinade, mix the sauce with your choice of protein and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. To use as a basting sauce, reserve some of The Alabama White Sauce in a separate container and baste throughout the grilling process. The beauty of Alabama White sauce is that the acid in the vinegar helps to tenderize the meat, while the mayonnaise keeps it moist.

If you’re looking to impress your guests at your next BBQ, Alabama White Sauce is sure to do the trick. It’s unique flavor profile sets it apart from traditional BBQ sauces and is sure to be a hit with all your friends and family. It’s also gluten-free and low-carb, making it a great option for those on a special diet. What I love about Alabama White Sauce is that, unlike traditional Barbecue sauces that have a brown sugar or molasses bases, Alabama white sauce will not burn on the grill because it doesn’t have much sugar. So, it truly is perfect for all stages of cooking on the grill as a marinade, baste and dip!

Southern Classic Alabama White Sauce Recipe (1)

Ingredients for Alabama White Sauce

  • 2 cupsmayo (Southerners preferDuke’s) – these days I’m making my sauce with a seed oil free mayo
  • 1 cupdistilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cupapple juice
  • 2 tspprepared horseradish
  • 1 tbspfresh ground pepper
  • Juice AND zest of one lemon
  • 1 tspsea salt
  • ½ tspcayenne
  • 1 tspsugar
  • Dash (or more) hot sauce
  • Dash smoked paprika

Variations for Alabama White Sauce

Vinegar – while my sauce calls for White Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar can also be used. My favorite variation for making this recipe is to swap Pickle Juice – it adds a ton of flavor!

Mayo- most Southerners prefer Duke’s Mayo. However, these days I am using seed oil free mayo now that I’ve learned about how bad seed oils are for you. I like Kensington’s Avocado Oil mayo.

Alabama White Sauce as a Base for Coleslaw

BBQ and Coleslaw go hand in hand, and I can tell you that Alabama White Sauce is a great base for coleslaw. If you are looking for an awesome coleslaw recipe that even NON coleslaw eaters will rave about, you must try my Charleston style coleslaw recipe.

Alabama White Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings

Once you’ve made my Alabama White Sauce recipe, go try my Alabama White Sauce Smoked Chicken Wings! I also love using Alabama White sauce in my smoked turkey breast recipe and my spatchco*cked Turkey recipe for some grilling inspiration!

Southern Classic Alabama White Sauce Recipe (2)

Alabama White Sauce on smoked chicken wings is a match made in heaven!

Lastly, please don’t be a stranger! I love hearing from you guys, please give me a follow on facebook, instagram or pinterest and tag me when you try this recipe! BBQ brings people together so say hi and don’t be a stranger! 🙂


Southern Classic Alabama White Sauce Recipe (3)

Tangy Alabama White Sauce

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  • Author: Rick Browne
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups bbq sauce 1x
Print Recipe


Alabama White Sauce is a Southern Classic that is a tangy, mayo based marinade, baste and dip for chicken and pork that moisturizes and tenderizes meat while also adding great flavor.



  • 2 cups mayo
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • Juice AND zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash (or more) hot sauce
  • Dash smoked paprika


Combine all ingredients and store in a mason jar. Can be used for marinating, basting, and served tableside for dipping. Will last in refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Pairing note: Chicken plus white BBQ sauce plus smoked Brussels sprout slaw is a winning combination. Sauce can also be used as a base for a “White chicken Pizza.”

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Category: BBQ Sauce
  • Cuisine: American, Southern BBQ


  • Serving Size: 4 (plus dipping)

Sugar Free Keto Friendly Barbecue Sauce


Southern Classic Alabama White Sauce Recipe (2024)


What is Alabama white sauce made of? ›

Alabama white sauce starts with a base of mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar. Many variations exist but typical flavorings include mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar or honey, garlic and/or onion powder, and lots of black pepper.

Who made the original Alabama white sauce? ›

A staple of Northern Alabama barbecue, this sauce is primarily a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. It was invented by Robert Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Decatur, AL, where freshly smoked chickens are pulled from the pit and then "baptized" in a pool of the sauce.

What to pair with Alabama white sauce? ›

Alabama white sauce is great on meat, but it's also delicious on vegetables. Drizzle it on grilled veggies like grilled asparagus, zucchini, broccoli, or green beans.

Does Alabama white sauce taste like ranch? ›

Classically white sauce drizzled over smoked chicken, but you can also use it on grilled or barbecued meats, wings, vegetables, pizza, burgers, and more. Does Alabama white sauce taste like ranch? No, Alabama white sauce is tangy with notes of vinegar and black pepper.

Why is it called Alabama white sauce? ›

The creation of white barbecue sauce, often called “Alabama White,” is credited to Robert “Big Bob'” Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q restaurant, in Decatur, Ala., in 1925.

Can I buy ready made white sauce? ›


A full flavoured, ready to use versatile bechamel sauce enriched with butter. Perfect as part of a lasagne, pasta carbonara or chicken pie. This smooth and creamy sauce is very versatile and can also be used as a base for creating other sauces like Mornay sauce.

How old is Alabama White Sauce? ›

Alabama white sauce

It is believed to have been invented by Bob Gibson at the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur in 1925. The sauce's popularity was mainly confined to northern Alabama until 1994 when it began to be bottled and sold commercially.

What is Waldo's Alabama White Sauce? ›

Alabama white BBQ sauce is a mayonnaise-based dressing that also includes horseradish and cayenne pepper for a good amount of heat.

What is a fancy name for white sauce? ›

Another name for bechamel — or béchamel — is "white sauce." Making a bechamel is a very basic technique in French cooking which begins with a roux, a cooked mixture of flour and butter, and after slowly whisking in milk, ends in a creamy sauce.

Do you use hot or cold milk for white sauce? ›

In multiple tests, we found very little difference in the amount of clumping that occurred in the cold and room--temperature milks—both were fairly smooth, with minimal lumping. The hot milk, however, yielded significantly more lumps despite the same amount of vigorous whisking.

What are the two white sauces? ›

Béchamel – milk-based sauce, thickened with a white roux. Beurre blanc – Reduction of butter, vinegar, white wine and shallots.

Which mother sauce is known as white sauce? ›

Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel is made by thickening hot milk with a simple white roux.

What is the white sauce Americans call gravy? ›

Smooth and creamy white gravy, one of the American South's most beloved and versatile sauces, is really just a variation of béchamel, which was brought to Louisiana by French explorers in the 17th century. Excellent draped over chicken fried steak, biscuits or.

Is white sauce like alfredo? ›

Alfredo sauce is a classic cream sauce used in countless pasta dishes. Also known as a white sauce or “pasta in blanco”, alfredo blends simple ingredients and turns them into a rich, indulgent delight.

What does Alabama white sauce taste like? ›

The flavor of Alabama White Sauce

At first taste, Alabama white sauce has a slightly cool, neutral flavor thanks to the mayonnaise, with the tang of the vinegar to offset any spice. Before long, you start to pick up the exciting flavors from the spice blend, making you want to take another bite ASAP.

What is white sauce vs alfredo sauce? ›

White sauce – also known as béchamel – is made with flour, milk, and butter. It's a basic sauce that can be used as a base for other sauces or as a topping for dishes like lasagna. Alfredo sauce, on the other hand, is made with butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese, and has a much richer flavour than white sauce.

Where is Alabama white sauce from? ›

Alabama White Sauce was created by Robert Gibson at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama.

What does Alabama White barbecue 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.

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