Barbecue sauce is a near-perfect condiment, marinade, and dipping sauce. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, savory, smokey, and sometimes spicy. This means it lends itself to all sorts of meals, from meatless Monday dinners to meaty rib recipes. Take your love of barbecue sauce to new heights by adding fruit into the mix — these 15 recipes will make you realize that, whether berry, stone fruit, or citrus, fruit is the best way to balance out your next batch.
1. Zesty Apricot-Thyme Barbecue Sauce: Sometimes sweet, sometimes tart, apricots are an ideal ingredient to transform into a sauce. Enhance their flavor with minced ginger and fragrant fresh thyme. (via Autoimmune Wellness)
2. Plum Barbecue Sauce: Ripe summer plums add an unexpected freshness to your barbecue. Take a bite to see how sweet they are, then add vinegar and honey accordingly to balance things out when you’re cooking your sauce. (via Prairie Californian)
3. Spicy Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs: This classic slow cooker appetizer provides a craveable blast of sweet, sour, and savory flavors. Whole cranberry sauce brings a fruity flair to the mix, and you can even use frozen meatballs if you’re feeling lazy. (via Yellow Bliss Road)
4. Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce: Finally, a use for rhubarb that has nothing to do with pie. Tame its tartness with brown sugar, honey, and sweet sherry, for a complex sauce you’ll want to slather over everything. (via The Lemon Press)
6. Mango Habanero Drumsticks: When you’re craving something spicy but not too overwhelming, tropical mango can help you beat the heat. This sauce gets beautifully caramelized when cooking, adding a hint of smoke to each bite. (via Good Life Eats)
7. Peachy Barbecue Sauce: It doesn’t get more summery than a barbecue sauce that’s packed with ripe peaches. We like this one drizzled over grilled chicken salads, or paired with arugula, prosciutto, and burrata on a pizza. (via Kiwi and Carrot)
8. Barbecue Chicken Cauliflower Couscous Bowls: Fluffy cauliflower couscous is a low-carb alternative that’s just as satisfying as the real thing. Top it with chicken and sautéed greens for a healthy meal. (via PinkWhen)
9. Slow Cooker Pineapple Brown Sugar Barbecue Pork: Tangy, tropical pineapple is right at home in this pulled pork dish. Make a big batch in the slow cooker, then enjoy it in sandwiches, burritos, and grain bowls all week. (via The Recipe Rebel)
10. Slow Cooker Asian Fusion Barbecue Wings: Slow cooker wings are great for parties, getting more tender and infused with flavor than wings cooked in the oven alone. If you want a crispy finish, just pop them under the broiler for a few minutes before serving. (via Seasoned Sprinkles)
11. Apple Cider Pulled Pork With Pomegranate Bourbon Barbecue Sauce: Infuse this pork with double the flavor by cooking it in apple cider, then topping it with a pomegranate bourbon barbecue sauce. Turn it into sandwiches, placing a few crisp apple slices on top for refreshing crunch. (via Spices in my DNA)
12. Cherry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce: Pitting cherries is totally worth it to make this glaze, which relies on pear juice instead of sugar for sweetness. Slap it on some shrimp skewers, then put them on the grill for a meal you won’t soon forget. (via Healthy Nibbles and Bits)
13. Strawberry Barbecue Sauce: Strawberries and balsamic always bring out the best in one another. They’re the backbone of this sticky sauce, which is delicious on everything from chicken drumsticks to steak tips. (via Our Salty Kitchen)
14. Blueberry Bourbon Ribs: The rich, meaty flavor of succulent ribs can stand up to a bold condiment. In this case, it’s a mustardy, bourbon-laced mix made with summer blueberries. (via Froment Free)
15. Barbecue Chickpea Flatbread Pizzas: Vegan food is anything but boring when you serve it with a sauce like this. It’s made from plums and jalapeños, then paired with a creamy plant-based ranch sauce so each bite of flatbread pizza is perfectly in harmony. (via Keepin’ It Kind)
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