Apricot BBQ Sauce

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Easy apricot bbq sauce that takes minutes to make and can be enjoyed right away with your choice of protein or stored for later use.

Chicken breast with apricot bbq sauce.
Pair with grilled chicken and salad for a delicious dinner option.

It may sound weird to add fruit to something like barbeque sauce but I can assure you, this is one of those ah-ha moments.

Apricot bbq sauce is something we came across on the food network and it is by far one tasty way to diversify the flavors in your kitchen. The sweet apricot flavor paired with smokey bbq sauce is unexpected and heavenly when slathered over grilled meats.

Our apricot sauce comes together quickly with the use of apricot jam. It’s made similarly to our homemade bbq sauce where the spices are toasted then all the ingredients simmer until melded together.

If you are looking for another fun bbq sauce flavor, try our popular blueberry bbq sauce or Jack Daniels sauce! Or this sweet mumbo sauce and honey sriracha sauce. All are perfect for serving with grilled chicken.

Ingredients in small glass bowls.


Apricot bbq sauce is made with just a handful of ingredients and can be adapted in a variety of ways.

  • Oil: Used to toast the spices.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder give the sauce that smokey bbq flavor.
  • Apricot jam: We use storebought apricot jam but if apricots are in season, try making your own jam.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Adds a lovely tang.
  • Ketchup: This is the base of the tomato-y bbq flavor. 
  • Honey: A little extra sweetness.
  • Dijon mustartd: Spicy brown mustard can be used if you don’t have dijon.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Helps to round everything out.

You can make this simple bbq sauce in…

  • Saucepan: We like to use a medium stainless steel saucepan. A heavy bottomed one is preferred.
BBQ sauce in a pot.

How to Make It

It’s all too easy to make this flavorful apricot bbq sauce.

  1. Toast the spices. Cook them with the oil over medium heat until fragrant. This takes around 3 minutes.
  2. Melt the apricot jam: Add the apricot jam and stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Simmer with remaining ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened.
  4. Use right away over grilled meat or allow the sauce to cool to room temperature before storing in glass jars in the refrigerator.

How to Serve It

BBQ sauce can be served in any of these ways:

  • With grilled meat: The most common use is grilled chicken and grilled pork! But it’s also great on baked chicken and baked pork.
  • With sandwiches and burgers: Add it to burgers and hot sandwiches.
  • With vegetables: It’s perfect with grilled veggie kabobs.
Overhead of apricot bbq sauce in white bowl.

Recipe Variations

If you would like to change things up, feel free to try these:

  • Add cayanne: Adding cayanne will kick up the heat so the sauce is sweet and spicy. Add a little at a time until the desired tasted is achieved.
  • Use chunky or smooth jam: Chunky jam will leave bit of apricot in the final bbq sauce. While, smooth jam will leave a smooth bbq sauce. Use whichever one you prefer.

How to Store

Refrigerate – Cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Freeze – Cool to room temperature then place in a zip-top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Apricot bbq sauce brushed over chicken breast.

Apricot BBQ Sauce

4.84 from 6 votes
Overhead of apricot bbq sauce in white bowl.
A tangy and sweet apricot bbq sauce that is great for meats and vegetables. Baste it over grilled chicken or vegetable kabobs at your next cookout.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serving Size 8


  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 13 ounces apricot jam
  • cup water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder and cook until spices are fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the apricot jam; cook until the jam melts, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • Pour in the water, cider vinegar, bring to a simmer, and then add the ketchup, honey, Dijon, and Worcestershire.
  • Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until reduced by half, 30-35 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.


Don't reduce the sauce by more than half; it will thicken more as it cools and refrigerates.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate – Cool to room temperature then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Freeze – Cool to room temperature then place in a zip-top freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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.


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Recipe Rating


  1. After you make the marinade, do you let it cool down, THEN put it in a bag & add chicken breasts (or other meats) & marinate for awhile?

    1. Sauce Fanatic says:

      This is a bbq sauce, not a marinade. You brush it over the meat as it cooks.

  2. I will be making this again. It is a very forgiving recipe. The seasonings are nicely balanced. My husband likes more of a kick so I think I will try it with some red pepper flakes next time

  3. My family loves this bbq sauce on just about everything! The sweet and sour flavor brings out the best in all meats.