Sunday, December 16, 2012

Alabama style White BBQ Sauce - Lighter Version

Perhaps the oddest BBQ sauce is the mayonnaise based white BBQ sauce in Alabama.  If you taste it straight out of the jar, it has a vinegar twang that will cross your eyes.  Glazed onto smoked or grilled chicken it has a flavor that is all kinds of crazy good.  

Yesterday I was making a smoked chicken to go with beans and mac and cheese when inspiration struck.  The mac and cheese is a stove top version by Chef Richard Blais, runner up in Season 4 of Top Chef.   Richard has been working on taking holiday classics and giving them a healthier spin. 

Speaking of healthier, he has lost 60 pounds in the past few years and is now an avid runner. Look how slim he is now compared to when he was on Top Chef.

Okay, back to the mac and cheese and bbq sauce.

Dannon Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt Macaroni and Cheese

by Chef Richard Blais for Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt

Ingredients (4-6 servings)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 13 fl oz low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt
  • 6 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  1. Melt the butter and add in the flour while cooking in a pan over low heat. Continue to whisk the mixture until the flour's color is tan and has a sand-like texture. Reserve for step 3.
  2. Cook elbow macaroni in boiling salted water per box instructions and then chill under cold water. Set aside.
  3. Bring the milk to a boil. Then reduce the heat and whisk the roux into the hot milk. After the roux and the milk are fully combined, mix in the cream cheese and the Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt. Once this mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the heat and whisk in the shredded cheese, garlic salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Add the chilled macaroni to the sauce.
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 I did his recipe as written except
  • I substituted neufchatel cheese for cream cheese (1/3 the calories)
  • I used penne instead of elbow macaroni
  • I cooked the roux in the pot and then added the milk instead of messing up two pots.  

As I hauled out the mayo jar to make the white BBQ sauce, I saw the yogurt next to it and that is when inspiration gave me a good whack.  Why not try making the white sauce with Greek yogurt?  Then I compared nutritional values and found that just by substituting one cup Oikos non-fat Greek yogurt for mayo, I was cutting 630 calories and 77 grams of fat from the recipe and adding 21 grams of protein.  

Holy schnikes!   It was worth trying on that alone.  But the real test is the taste.  So I made up a batch of the white bbq sauce using it and found not only was it "as good" as the regular recipe, I actually liked it better!  
Alabama Style White BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0

Ingredients (2 cups)
  • 1 cup Oikos No Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
Thoroughly whisk ingredients together and store refrigerated.
Brush on to smoked or grilled chicken in the last few minutes of cooking.
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Big Bob Gibson's actually dunks their whole birds in a big pot of the sauce but I just glaze it on.

Smoked chicken, mac and cheese, and pit beans.

The family loved it all, going back for seconds.  We always do baked mac and cheese so I was wondering how they would like this easier stove top version.  Trevor specifically mentioned how good it was. 

This will be my "go to" version of Alabama style BBQ sauce from now on.  As I write this, I find that I am craving that bbq sauce again already.  I might go grill some wings for the game and toss them in it. 


  1. We have tried the White Sauce several times. We just do not get it.

  2. I don't believe I've ever eaten the white BBQ sauce. Just when I thought the Carolinas couldn't quit disagreeing on whose BBQ sauce is the best - eastern vinegar based, western ketchup based, or South Carolina's mustard BBQ sauce - here comes Alabama and throws their hats in the ring...

  3. I have never heard of a white bbq sauce before this. I just added it to my must-try list! Thanks, Chris.

  4. What an interesting concoction. Reminds me of some Greek-like chicken I made years ago with yogurt. That's all I remember about it. You know what a Greek pig says? "Oikos, Oikos, Oikos."

  5. Both look great. I'm going on a low fat kick after the holiday but I refuse to give up taste. I need some of that yogurt...

  6. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo & sour cream in a lot of recipes - why not white bbq sauce? That Alabama sauce just hasn't caught on down here either, so I haven't been real big on giving it a swing yet but it's on my foodie bucket list. Plate looks scrumptious as always Chris - Merry Christmas!

  7. Apologies for being WAY behind - thank goodness for Facebook (a rare instance for that!), so I can at least scroll down and drool over the photos. I love learning about regional cuisine, and am aghast that I'd never heard of this Alabama white bbq sauce before. I'm not the bbq guru that you are, but still! I know about mustard- and vinegar- and tomato-based sauces, so where has this been hiding??? Why, in 'bama, of course! I will definitely have to try it ....

  8. I love it when inspiration strikes you Chris. I've never heard of white bbq sauce. I'll have to try that mac and cheese now and save the chicken for when the Weber comes out of hibernation next Spring. You know me, I'm your fair weather grilling fan.

  9. In the big bob gibson's cookbook, he has a recipe for Alabama white sauce. In the book there is a recipe for "loaf pan chicken. Essentially you stuff a whole chicken in a loaf pan and smoke it. Idiot proof way to cook chicken perfectly. Anyways I always eat it with white sauce. Dang good on smoked chicken....but it is the combination of the white sauce and smoked chicken together that does it.

  10. White BBQ Sauce?!? The end is near! The end is near! Or maybe this is just the thing I've been looking for to give as a gift to my foodie long do you think it will last in the refrigerator? One week? Two?

  11. What a delicious sauce....I would love to try it!

  12. The whole meal sounds fantastic! I love Greek yogurt even more now :)!

  13. Oh my goodness... my favorite sauce made lighter??? Sign me up!!!

  14. I'm a big fan of the white bbq sauce ala Big Bob Gibson's recipe - but Marilyn, not so much. Maybe this version will change her mind.

  15. Yes he is much skinnier! Especially his face!! I wanted him to win that season :) I still have yet to try this infamous white bbq sauce but I'm dying to. Love the shot of the whole bird lathered in the white bbq sauce! What a beauty.

  16. it looks really good and comforting!

  17. Ive had bob gibson version its good .will try yours nest


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