Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I won the Paleo Iron Chef competition.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw that; I honestly did NOT expect to win.  Wow.

Anyhoo, today’s recipe.  If you’ve been reading here any time at all, you know I love a good barbecue sauce.  My go-to recipe has been the Maple Barbecue Sauce since the first time I made it – it’s just so darn good.  But I had meatloaf on the brain and some wonderful, fresh blackberries in the fridge (on sale for $1 a pint – you can’t beat that with a stick) so I decided to make a sauce that’s a little different.  Different it is – differently delicious.

The original version of this recipe not only called for brown sugar, but suggested you puree all the ingredients before cooking the sauce; I’m not sure why, but the fact there is no butter suggests the author wanted to keep away from any fat in the recipe.  Well, you know me – there are few recipes that can’t be helped with at least a little bit of healthy fat, so I decided to saute the onion and garlic in a little ghee; I thought that besides adding a little flavor from the ghee, it would also help soften the harshness of the onion and garlic to precook it.

Of course, I wasn’t going to use the brown sugar, either, so I substituted some coconut sugar instead – a mild-flavored honey would probably also work well.  You need to assess the tartness/sweetness of your berries, too; if the berries are very sweet, you can reduce the amount of sweetener you use.

I didn’t strain the sauce I made, but The Young One, who loved the flavor of it, complained about the seeds so I suggest straining it through a fine-mesh sieve in the recipe.

If nothing else, it certainly is a pretty color, don’t you think?

Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
Serves: 12
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries (thawed, if using frozen)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Melt the ghee or butter in a medium skillet or saute pan over medium heat; cook the onion until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute more.
  2. Add the blackberries, water, sugar, ginger and pepper flakes to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently and mashing the blackberries with the spoon, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the berries have broken down and the mixture is simmering well. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. If desired, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Sealed tightly in a clean jar, the sauce should last 2 weeks refrigerated.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 30 calories, 1g total fat, 2.5mg cholesterol, <1mg sodium, 29.4mg potassium, 4.9g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 3.9g sugar, <1g protein


22 thoughts on “Blackberry Barbecue Sauce”

  1. It does indeed look beautiful! I will be making this and what a good idea to put it on meatloaf! Did you put some on before you cooked the meatloaf as well or just after ??

    1. Charity – yup! Glazed the meatloaf with the sauce the last 10 or 20 minutes it was in the oven. It was very, very good.

  2. we pick buckets full of blackberries in august. this recipe will be used for some fall bbq’s. thx for posting.

  3. This really is delicious. We’ve been putting it on all kinds of leftovers! A definite keeper! How about with blue berries?

  4. My parents would love this sauce…and so would I! I’m sure the fresh ginger in there adds something magical. I can’t wait until I can pick up some blackberries and get grilling. : )

  5. Thank you for this recipe. I have a daughter who can’t eat nightshades, so I had to replace the peppers with fresh-ground horseradish, but it turned out wonderful!

  6. Thank you for your recipe love it! It’s amazing. Since I can’t eat night shades vegetables I’ve been suffering for someone who loves tomatoes. I adjusted the recipe to my taste but again thank you

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