If you’re just not satisfied with a bottle of barbecue sauce from the store, this incredible apricot BBQ sauce recipe is going to be your new go-to. Perfectly tangy and sweet. This homemade bbq sauce is a fun and fruity twist on a classic that is sure to liven up all your favorite BBQ recipes.
This post may include affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This sweet apricot barbecue sauce is based on my classic Tennesse-style sauce.
And when offering a pair of BBQ sauces to choose from I always pair this one with the Jamaican jerk BBQ sauce. They just could not be more different.
🌟Why This Recipe Works
Fruit is a great way to achieve sweetness in BBQ sauce without adding refined sugar. This recipe uses fresh fruit rather than apricot jam for 2 reasons.
First, if you ever made BBQ sauce that is too thin then you will appreciate the texture the apricots provide. Second, they add more flavor in addition to their natural sweetness.
Apricots - Be sure to use fresh apricots, apricot jam or apricot preserves are not recommended in this recipe.
Brown Sugar - This is on BBQ sauce recipe where I do not recommend molasses.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Try to use apple cider vinegar, as this gives the sauce its tangy twist.
Worcestershire Sauce - For a vegetarian substitute, you can use soy sauce.
Smoked Paprika - Smoked paprika brings a light smokiness to the sauce that makes it perfect for pairing with grilled meat and vegetables. I would use chili powder rather than regular paprika if you are looking for a substitute.
Cumin - Cumin adds more flavor to the sauce. It tastes great with the apricots and the paprika.
Onion - I prefer white onion in this recipe. Do not use onion powder or sweet onion.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
- If you like your barbecue sauce spicy, add crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chopped jalapenos, or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
- Add in a splash of bourbon for a boozy twist.
- You can use any other stone fruit in this recipe including peaches and nectarines. Unlike the apricots, you will need to peel them first.
🍲How to Make Apricot BBQ Sauce
In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and add diced onion. Sweat the onions, cooking until they are translucent.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to a blender jar, or you can use an immersion blender right in the pot. Blend the sauce until smooth and continue to cook the sauce until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
🥣 How to Use Fruit BBQ Sauces
There are so many ways to use this delicious sauce. Personally, I think apricot and pork are a delicious pairing. Try brushing on grille pork chops, or use it to make a pulled pork sandwich. You can use this recipe just like all your favorite BBQ sauce recipes.
- Use it as a dipping sauce for chicken tenders, fries, or wings.
- Use as a grilling marinade and mop sauce for grilled chicken or ribs.
To make the sauce extra smooth, you can use a wooden spoon to push the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any tiny pieces of onion or apricot skin. You could also use a food mill.
Store apricots at room temperature to ripen. Once ripened, store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the sauce.
For the sauce, cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. The sauce will keep for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
This sauce can also be frozen, perfect if you have an abundance of apricots. Freeze in an ice cube tray for easy portioning, then transfer into a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw at room temperature or in the microwave before serving.
💬Frequently Asked Questions
The apricots don’t need to be peeled before cooking the sauce. Apricots have very thin peels that will break down as the sauce cooks and will be pureed in the blender. If you are worried about the skins, you can strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer after it’s been blended.
Apricot BBQ Sauce
- Medium Saucepan
- Immersion blender
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup white onion diced
- 6 apricots pitted and diced
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add the apricots and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.1 Tablespoon vegetable oil, ½ cup white onion, 6 apricots
- Add all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes.½ cup ketchup, ½ cup cider vinegar, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.