Spicy blueberry barbeque sauce

A great way to use up frozen fruit!

This is a great basic barbeque sauce recipe that can easily be customized based on what you have on hand. No blueberries? Try blackberries or raspberries instead. When it comes to the sweetener and the acid, you’ve got lots of options as well, as the ingredients list below clearly demonstrates. It’s important to do a few taste tests as the sauce is cooking so you can increase the amount of spice heat (or sweetness or acidity) to suit your preferences. We love this sauce on ribs but it would be equally delicious on chicken, pork tenderloin, steak or fish. Next up, I’m planning to try it on some grilled cabbage wedges as well. If this recipe makes you a fan of fruit-based barbeque sauces, you might like this cherry-chipotle sauce as well.


  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups (750 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries *
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) molasses (or maple syrup, honey or agave syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, white)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper

* if using fresh blueberries, you should mash or crush them before adding to the pot, so they release their juice more quickly


  • Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot placed over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 – 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
  • Add blueberries and all remaining ingredients to the pot; stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer (it needs to maintain a little bubbling action) for 20 minutes. As it simmers, be sure to carefully taste the sauce a few times and adjust seasonings to suit your preference for sweetness, acidity or heat.
  • Remove pot from heat; cool slightly then puree until smooth in the pot with a stick blender or transfer to a conventional blender or a food processor and puree in batches.
  • Sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month and freezes well.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) of sauce.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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