Apple BBQ Sauce

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This homemade Apple BBQ Sauce has a deliciously sweet apple flavor with simple ingredients. It comes together easily and is perfect for pork or chicken!

Ribs with a ramekin of apple bbq sauce.

We love a good BBQ sauce and have been experimenting with fruity varieties. Our apricot BBQ sauce and blueberry BBQ sauce are two of our favorites.

We wanted a sauce that was a little more versatile. One that can be used on EVERYTHING. This apple BBQ is just that.

It is sweet, acidic, and slightly smokey. The sweet apple flavor is noticeably at the forefront then the smokey flavor comes in. This is truly a sauce you will want to make time and time again.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Fresh whole apple plus apple juice offers a rich apple flavor.
  • Everything is combined in 1 pot and simmered for 30 minutes.
  • Savory spices combined with sweet apples create an unmatched flavor profile.
Ingredients for apple barbecue sauce in bowls.

Ingredients

For the ingredient measurements and the entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Butter: Unsalted butter is what we prefer to use.
  • Onion: 1 small yellow onion is recommended but a sweet onion will also taste great.
  • Apple: 1 fresh apple plus apple juice will give the sauce the signature apple flavor. Choose an apple that breaks down during cooking such as MacIntosh.
  • Ketchup: This is the base of the sauce.
  • Vinegar: Use apple cider vinegar for the best results.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds a layer of flavor.
  • Sweetener: Brown sugar and molasses are used to add a touch more sweetness and spicy molasses flavor. Honey is also added.
  • Spices: Ground mustard, chili powder, and garlic powder round out the savory flavors in the sauce.

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

  1. Sautee the onion and apple with butter in a medium saucepan until tender.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before using.

Tips For Success

  • Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of apple if you desire a smoother sauce.
  • If you want to reduce the sugar and salt content of the sauce, use a ketchup with no sugar or no salt.
  • Make it in advance! This sauce can be used the day it is made but we suggest letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This gives the flavors time to meld.
  • Store it! Once the sauce has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Two ribs with apple bbq sauce on white plate.

FAQ

What to serve with apple BBQ sauce?

It is good with any meat or chicken that pairs well with fruity flavors, such as pork ribs, pork chops, or chicken.

How to make it spicy?

Add up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper depending on your heat preferences.

Apple BBQ Sauce

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Ribs with a ramekin of apple bbq sauce.
This homemade Apple BBQ Sauce has a deliciously sweet apple flavor with simple ingredients. It comes together easily and is perfect for pork or chicken!
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 24

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and apple, and cook until tender.
  • Stir in the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, apple juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, honey, mustard powder, chili powder, and garlic powder.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure to keep an eye on the sauce so that it does not burn.
  • Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool for 10 minutes before using. This sauce can be used the day it is made but we suggest letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator. This gives the flavors time to meld.

Notes

  • Apple: Choose an apple that breaks down during cooking such as McIntosh apples.
  • If you want to reduce the sugar and salt content of the sauce, use a ketchup with no sugar or no salt.
  • Make it spicy: Add up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper depending on your heat preferences.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree the bits of apple if you desire a smoother sauce.
  • Storage: The sauce can be stored in a plastic container or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week after preparation. 
  • Freeze: Once the sauce has cooled completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and use immediately upon thawing.
Makes about 3 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 222mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.4mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

CourseCondiments
CuisineAmerican

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