This apricot barbecue sauce is a little bit sweet and a little tangy; delicious basted on grilled meats and veggies.
Fruit barbecue sauces, fruity meat marinades, basting sauces, and glazes are a delicious and unexpected way to sauce your grilled meats and vegetables. When it comes to fruit and meat, this flavor combination is a match made in heaven!
It's also works great as a gift, or item to bring to barbecues and potlucks.
Apricot barbecue sauce is one of the best varieties of fruit based barbecue sauce. It's sweet with a subtle tang and spice. It has all of the ingredients you see in a normal barbecue sauce, plus added sweetness from apricots, simmered together until thick and sticky and glorious.
Brush it over every nook and cranny of chicken drumsticks or bone-in pork chops and you're in for a treat.
- Barbecue sauce is one of those things that is always better when made from scratch. Not only do you get to control the quality of the ingredients, but it's impossible to beat the flavor of home simmered ingredients when it comes to any barbecue sauce, really.
- Try this delicious Honey Bourbon BBQ Sauce that has been a favorite of pinners on Pinterest.
Using jam vs fresh fruit
This recipe calls for using apricot preserves. Fresh apricots are one of my favorite things, but in my experience can be somewhat difficult to find if you are not within the perfect window.
If you've been able to snag some fresh apricots, try this fresh Apricot BBQ sauce from Salt and Lavender.
If again, you've snagged some fresh apricots but don't plan on making apricot BBQ sauce right away, make your own apricot preserves in under 15 minutes with this Quick Apricot Jam recipe from Fine Cooking. You're BBQ sauce will be extra delicious using your homemade jam.
**No time to make jam? Just remove the pits of the apricots and puree (you may need to add a bit of water to do this, depending on how juicy the apricots are). Measure the same amount of puree as jam.
It is not recommended to use dried apricots.
How to make it
Start by adding a tiny amount of oil to a small sauce pan (just enough to prevent sticking) along with the tomato paste and spices. Toast them on medium heat for a few minutes to release and develop their flavors.
(Use the bare minimum amount of oil-in my nonstick pan with a single batch this was roughly a half teaspoon. Not using enough can cause spices to stick and burn.)
Once the tomato paste looks darker and the spices have become fragrant, add everything else. Whisk everything together. It will look a little thin at first. Cook on a medium-high simmer until thickened and reduced by half; about 20 minutes.
Scaling the recipe
This recipe yields about 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce. If you know you're going to be using this often, double the recipe. You can also triple it, and freeze the excess as it will keep in the fridge for up to one month, and the freezer for up to three months.
To thaw, remove from freezer (store it in freezer zip lock bags) and let thaw in the fridge or at room temperature. Transfer to a more convenient, air tight jar and store for up to one month.
- If you have apricot pieces, you may use an immersion blender to make things perfectly smooth, or you can leave it chunky if you like. You may not have any pieces if your jam was smooth to begin with.
- If you prefer making the bbq sauce with fresh apricots, you can remove the pits and puree (with a bit of water) until smooth. Or follow directions linked to create homemade apricot jam, then follow the recipe as is.
- Turn up the heat by adding additional pepper; you can also substitute cayenne which is spicier than white.
- Sauce will look thin when first combined, it will thicken as it simmers (reduces).
- Reducing, just means literally, to reduce the volume of sauce in the pan by one half.
- Sauce will thicken even more as it cools, and is refrigerated.
- Let the BBQ sauce cool for several minutes before transferring to an air tight container.
Use the apricot barbecue sauce on anything you'd use barbecue sauce on! Try it with:
- Grilled bone in chicken or pork
- Grilled burgers or veggie burgers
- Baked or grilled chicken breast
- Swap in for regular BBQ sauce on BBQ Chicken Flatbread Pizza
- On grilled cauliflower, eggplant or veggie kabobs
- Chicken thighs served with rice or quinoa
Enjoy a new flavor to grill with, and leave a comment on how you like it! If you love it, don't forget to share it with your friends and family, or Facebook or Pinterest by clicking the share buttons. You can also subscribe with your email to get all the latest recipes and kitchen hacks.
Apricot BBQ Sauce
- stove top
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp white ground pepper more or less for heat
- 1 tsp salt
- Add small amount of oil, tomato paste, garlic and onion powders, both kinds of paprika, and cumin to a small sauce pan and saute on medium heat for five minutes until spices are toasted and fragrant.
- Stir in the water, apple cider vinegar, apricot jam, honey, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and salt and pepper.
- On medium high heat simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced by half and thickened.
- Cool and store in an airtight container in fridge until ready to use.
- Use chunky or smooth apricot jam, and either leave pieces in, or puree once the sauce has simmered all the way.
- Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
- Adjust the pepper amount up or down depending on heat desired. Swapping for cayenne pepper will increase spiciness.
- Will store for up to one month in fridge, covered.