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Blueberry BBQ Sauce: with Chipotle or Bourbon

Blueberry BBQ Sauce: with Chipotle or Bourbon
Home » Blueberry Recipes » Blueberry BBQ Sauce: with Chipotle or Bourbon

This robust blueberry BBQ sauce makes so many average dishes special, from a simple hamburger to Atlantic salmon to pork chops to the expensive rib eye steak. I have also used it as a savory dipping sauce for wings and a spread on a grilled cheese sandwich. I like mine with a bit of bourbon but it is a stellar sauce all on its own. Some people like it spiced up with a bit of chipotle or hot sauce. The recipe below is totally flexible.

Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce
Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Jump to:  RECIPE | What Goes with Blueberry BBQ Sauce? | Ingredients | Using Alcohol in Sauces Grow Blueberries in Containers

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What Does a Blueberry BBQ Sauce Go With?

I love it on a bacon cheeseburger like the one below, but I’ve also enjoyed it on pork chops, on salmon and on chicken thighs.

blueberry bacon cheeseburger on a white plate.
Blueberry Bacon Cheeseburger

The sauce is quite robust and tangy so as a condiment or topping it is best used with stronger flavors, like smoked ribs or grilled pork chops. It is also a classic pairing with salmon, however, and adds a delightful flavor to gooey cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. Here are a few other favorite pairings:

  • Grilled lamb chops
  • Spare ribs
  • Cheese boards
  • Chicken thighs
  • Pulled pork quesadilla
  • Pheasant or game dishes
  • Trout
  • Smoked brisket

Ingredients (and Using Frozen Blueberries)

Blueberries contain minimal water and freeze beautifully. You just want to freeze them properly (no air) so they don’t get freezer burn, and the taste will be as fresh as it was in July.

We cannot keep up with our blueberries at the farm and freeze many of them for our preserves. The recipe below was tested with frozen blueberries.

Here is a visual list of the ingredients. Check out the recipe below for exact measurements:

Ingredients for homemade blueberry BBQ sauce.
Ingredients for homemade blueberry BBQ sauce.

Is Alcohol Cooked Out When Using Bourbon?

While a good portion of alcohol is evaporated, or cooked out, not all of it is. The amount of alcohol left after cooking depends on three factors: concentration, heat, and time. 

This recipe boils the sauce for 5 minutes and simmers the sauce for another 20 minutes, so the heat and the time will evaporate quite a bit of the alcohol. The concentration is a bit high, however (the recipe uses 1/2 cup of bourbon).

The amount of alcohol retained in food can range from 5 to 85 percent, with the lower end more applicable to baked goods that have a low concentration and cook for 1-2 hours. I would guess this sauce retains around 50% of the alcohol as a sauce but then loses another 25% to the high heat of grilling it with a protein.

Process shot of making a blueberry sauce
Cooking the blueberry sauce down

At any rate, the amount of sauce you actually “imbibe” is only a couple of tablespoons, so given the cooking time and the high heat, I would guess the alcohol percentage left to be pretty low. It is not non-existent, however.

Best Side Dishes to Serve with Blueberry BBQ Sauce

Because the blueberry bourbon BBQ sauce has such a dominant flavor profile, side dishes shouldn’t compete, but rather be a milder complement. I like to add something cool and refreshing (think cucumbers) to pair with the smoky robust sauce. Here are a few of my favorites:

Watermelon jicama fruit salad in black bowl.

Grow Your Own Blueberries in a Container or Garden:

Did you know? You can easily grow blueberries in a container (and of course in your garden). As a long-time gardener growing both ways, my post below can inspire you to try it yourself!

If you have never had a garden, (or even if you have), growing vegetables in containers on your deck, balcony, or patio can be surprisingly fun, rewarding, and even meditative. You just may get hooked!

Blueberry plant in pot starting to fruit in July.
Blueberry plants in pots will overwinter in cold climates.

More Berry Recipes:

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Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This savory low carb BBQ sauce is great on many proteins, including burgers, pork chops, chicken or salmon.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 8 1/4 cup
Calories 67


  • ½ Teaspoon hot sauce can use chipotle if you prefer smoky flavored hot sauce. I used choula
  • ½ Teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ Cup catsup
  • ¼ Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons brown sugar packed down in spoon
  • 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • Teaspoon ground allspice freshly ground if possible
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ Medium onion chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic minced
  • Cup bourbon
  • 3 Cups blueberries can be frozen
  • ½ Teaspoon kosher salt


  • Mix together the first seven ingredients in a bowl (the hot sauce through the allspice).
    1/2 Teaspoon hot sauce, 1/2 Teaspoon liquid smoke, 1/2 Cup catsup, 1/4 Cup balsamic vinegar, 3-4 Tablespoons brown sugar, 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard, 1/8 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • Add 1 Tablespoon oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. When hot add the chopped onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes or until caramelized. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
    Add the bourbon, and bring to a low boil for about 3 minutes. Add the blueberries and the vinegar-mustard mixture, stir, and return to a boil.
    Add the salt, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until thickened to your preference
    1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 Medium onion, 3 Cloves garlic, 1/3 Cup bourbon, 3 Cups blueberries, 1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • Serve on top or on the side of your favorite protein. Refrigerate any leftover sauce for up to a week.


Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce on Pork Chops #shorts
Watch this video on YouTube.
Watch the Step by Step Video for More Details


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Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 353mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 111IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.3mg
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Love this!5 stars

  2. Dorothy Stainbrook says:

    5 stars

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