Home » Condiments » Blueberry BBQ sauce recipe

Blueberry BBQ sauce recipe

This bourbon blueberry BBQ sauce will soon be your go-to for ribs. The sweetness of the blueberries, the smokiness of the bourbon and the heat from the peppers come together to make this barbecue sauce out of this world. Bourbon BBQ sauce with the sweetness of blueberries pairs well with any kind of pork, especially ribs. It also goes really well with chicken thighs. 

For another fruit-based BBQ sauce, you might also enjoy my apple bourbon BBQ sauce recipe.

blueberry BBQ sauce in glass jar with brush

Blueberries and bourbon, like my blueberry bourbon jam recipe, are a match made in heaven.

If you make a purchase through one of the affiliate links, I make a few pennies at no extra cost to you. Questions? Please see disclosure for info.

Blueberry BBQ sauce recipe

Making blueberry barbeque sauce from scratch is not at all difficult. The most difficult part of the entire operation is waiting for it to cook down so it can be blended and consumed.

blueberry bourbon BBQ sauce in glass jar with blueberries

This easy homemade BBQ sauce, just like my pineapple mango BBQ sauce, is unlike anything you’ll find in the aisles of the grocery store. For that reason, I like to give this to friends and neighbors as a hostess gift. Homemade gifts are always special and this sauce definitely qualifies.

I have made this recipe 4 times already. SO GOOD!

– Will

How to make Blueberry BBQ Sauce

This recipe is incredibly easy. It’s the wait that is not.  

First, heat a bit of canola or olive oil in a medium pot, then add the onions and garlic. Let them sweat a few minutes until fragrant and starting to turn translucent. Next, add in the remainder of the ingredients and let the BBQ sauce cook down for roughly 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, it should start looking thick and syrupy.

Remove the bay leaves and using an immersion blender (or regular blender), carefully blend until smooth.

blueberry bourbon barbecue sauce with brush in jar

I have a couple of friends who are not experienced cooks, by their own admission, and they’ve made this blueberry BBQ sauce at least 4 times.

It is something different than the usual store-bought sauce and it barely requires more than an occasional stir.

If you are a beginner cook or you just want something delicious and unique that will not take the entire afternoon, this is the recipe for you.

bourbon blueberry bbq sauce on ribs

I love this homemade blueberry bbq sauce for ribs, but I’ve also put it on chicken thighs and a pork tenderloin and it was delicious.

Fattier meats tend to pair well with it, but a chicken breast or even chicken wings would be a fantastic pairing for this sauce.

Can I use frozen blueberries to make this BBQ sauce?

Yes! Frozen blueberries need to be thawed and drained before adding to the sauce.

They will make your sauce watery if they aren’t drained. Not the end of the world, but the sauce will require more time to cook down until it reaches that thick and syrupy stage before blending.

What can I serve with barbecue?

Here are a few options that will pair well with grilled meat and this sauce. This would make an easy and tasty summer menu!

Please share!

Your shares help this site to grow. Do you know someone who would like this? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or pin it to your favorite recipe board.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Please consider rating and/or commenting. I love hearing from you!

Did you make this blueberry BBQ sauce recipe? Tag me on Instagram @pookspantry or share it in the Fabulous Foodie Friends Facebook group! I can’t wait to see your version!

Used In This Recipe:

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

A delicious BBQ sauce made with fresh blueberries

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 lb fresh blueberries, picked over
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 small or 1 large bay leaf


  1. Heat canola oil over medium heat and sauté onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Combine everything in a large pot and cook down for approximately 30 minutes, until thickened and syrupy.
  2. Remove bay leaves and let cool slightly.
  3. Transfer to a blender and pureé until smooth.
  4. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.


I happen to love vinegar, so I used 3/4 cup. If you are not a fan of the strong flavor, use 1/2 cup.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 tbsps.

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 217mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

Questions? Send me an email, I’m happy to help. I’d love to send you weekly tips and recipes, so you can get updates about what’s happening in the kitchen!

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos or recipe without prior written permission. Thank you!

Originally published 6/12/17.


  1. can you use this to marinade steak overnight? And if you can’t use this to marinade when is it a good time to put it on the steak you are grilling?

    1. I’ve never used it as a marinade. I would brush it on during the last few minutes of grilling. Because of the sugar, it can burn. So, just keep an eye on it. Hope that helps, Matthew!

      1. Hi it says I need written permission to use your blueberry bourbon BQ sauce. I would like to try it for the ribs I am cooking today.

        1. Hi Bill!
          You don’t need permission if it’s for personal use 🙂 That’s more for people (companies, other bloggers, etc.) who want to use my recipes for commercial (for profit) uses. So, make those ribs and slather them with this sauce. I hope you love it.

          1. This is a great sauce. I used it for back ribs, but it would complement any pork or chicken dish. I will make this again as well as share it with friends and family.

    1. I haven’t processed it for canning, so I can’t say for sure… but, I’d certainly be willing to try! I would think it should be fine. If you are an experienced canner, give it a go and please let me know how it worked out 🙂

      1. Made this yesterday. We picked 3#. Blueberries, so tripled the recipe. After getting everything in the stockpot, let it start simmering then used an immersion blender to smooth it all out. Didn’t have to let it cool & process afterwards. Ladled into 24 4oz jelly jars. Put in canner, 5# pressure for 8 min, npr.. seems to have gone well!
        Hope this helps.

          1. Hi Becky, I’ve never canned it, I keep it in the fridge. But, a handful of readers have water bath canned the sauce and they reported success. So, I’d say maybe try it with some of the sauce and keep some in the fridge. I hope that helps 🙂

    2. This is hands down my favorite BBQ sauce. Easy to make, I used my own bourbon to make the sauce. Made this for a hog roast that I cooked for a party and it was a big hit! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  2. My favorite BBQ Sauce EVER!!!! When Jeremy made it with a pig he roasted it was by far one of my favorite meals. Once you have this BBQ sauce it will ruin all others!!!

    1. Thanks, Jenny!!! I’m so happy that you liked it! I’m thrilled that it’s one of your favorites 🙂 xx

  3. We have been blessed with lots of blueberries this year and I was looking for different recipes when I came across this one… I’m eager to try it and of course was wondering if this could be processed in a hot water bath. As I’m reading the reviews I noticed somebody else already tried it… Perfect! We love giving homemade food gifts…

    1. Ilona, I love homemade food gifts too! This will be great! I have never processed it in a hot water bath, but if if others have and it worked for them , that’s good news 🙂
      It rarely lasts long enough to bother canning it! Please do let me know how it turned out for you, as I am curious. A few people have asked this question, so I’d love more feedback! Thanks 🙂

  4. So I have 45# of blueberries …decided to try out this recipe…OMG amazing! I don’t give out compliments easily, but you nailed it! The only thing I have to say is hubby doesn’t like too much heat, so I left out the jalapeño and only put in 1/4 tsp ground red pepper…..perfect, just enough heat! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much, Jan! I appreciate the compliment 🙂 I’m glad that you were able to adjust the recipe to the perfect heat level for your personal taste! And, I’m jealous of your 45# of blueberries!!!

    1. Hi Jonah! I’m partial to Bulleit or Woodford, but use whatever you have 🙂 I hope you love the BBQ sauce!

  5. My husband made this to go with a smoked pork butt. Oh my goodness, I told him it was the best barbecue sauce I have ever had! I printed out the recipe to keep in my favorite cookbook so we don’t lose it. Thanks for Such a great recipe.

    1. Thank you so much, Patti!!! You absolutely made my night! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. Thank you!!! 🙂

  6. I made two slabs of pork ribs for supper. Instead of my usual doctored bbq sauce, I made it from scratch starting with the tomatoes, no ketchup here. I made several swaps. Replaced bourbon with scotch, swapped out the jalapeno and crushed red peppers with other tasty heat items that add depth. Then used roasted tomatoes and paste and built the flavors from there. So ono! Mahalo

  7. Have you tried canning this recipe? I am excited to give it a try, as an serious canner I am always looking to put up items for later use. The ingredients lend me to believe that it would do well. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Joanne, I have not canned it, but I know a few readers have. They’ve been successful, but as I have not done it myself, I can’t give you any tips or advice. Since you are a serious canner, I’m sure you already know what to look out for 🙂 If you do decide to can it, I’d love to hear the results – maybe I can update the recipe to include this option?

    2. I canned this last summer in a hot water bath. I have a lot of experience canning jams. The issue is whether this is acidic enough. My blueberry jam recipe needs 1/4 Cup lemon juice (equivalent acidity to vinegar) for 4 cups of mashed blueberries making about 5 cups of jam. This recipe uses triple the vinegar for much less blueberries so I think it is safe for hot water bath canning. But I have not measured it specifically myself only done the above analysis.

    1. Hi Jenn! I haven’t tried that, but *in theory*, it should work. I would suggest adjusting the SUGAR, because otherwise, I think it would be too sweet. Let me know how it turns out, I’d be interested to know what you thought.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.