The new king of barbecue sauce! This Apple Butter BBQ Sauce is sweet, tangy, and spicy. Perfect for smoked ribs, barbecue pulled pork, to top burgers, and even slathering on grilled chicken.
Try my Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders. More serving suggestions below!
This Apple Butter BBQ Sauce gives off the best vibes and has a depth of flavor made for fall.
It has some common barbecue sauce ingredients like the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. But, it also has some very special flavors. The apple butter gives it more sweetness while the chili powder gives it a little spice, and the sautéed onion gives you an earthy flavor.
Not to mention, look how beautiful the color is of this sauce! And this recipe will get you close to two 12 ounce jars of BBQ sauce.
Let’s Make It Together:
Ingredients In Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
- Olive Oil – for sautéing the onion and garlic
- Onions – finely dice your onions to very small pieces
- Garlic – minced, again very small pieces
- Apple Butter – feel free to use homemade or store bought varieties
- Ketchup – any kind works, I used a homemade ketchup from garden tomatoes
- Apple Cider Vinegar – gives our sauce tang, can be subbed our for rice vinegar
- Brown Sugar – gives the sauce a deeper molasses flavor
- Worcestershire Sauce – is it really a BBQ sauce without it?
- Spices (salt, pepper, chili powder) – adjust the chili powder to your preference of spice
How to Make Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
Finely dice your onion and mince your garlic. Keep in mind, the size you cut them to will be the size they are in your barbecue sauce.
Then in a medium sized saucepan sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the rest of your ingredients: apple butter, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Whisk it all together until smooth and bring to a boil.
Once the Apple Butter BBQ Sauce is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes.
Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate for up to three weeks.
TIP: If you cut your onions a little too large you can always throw your cooked barbecue sauce in the blender. Pulse it for 10 seconds or until smooth before pouring into your jars.
What is Apple Butter and Where Do I Find It?
Apple butter is the complex cousin to apple sauce. It is apples and cinnamon simmered for an extended amount. This allows the apple to caramelize and become more like a paste. There are many recipes to make it on your own or you can buy it at any grocery store.
Confession, I developed this recipe because I had leftover apple butter that needed to be used as it was about to expire!
Apple Butter BBQ Sauce Uses:
You will love how versatile this sauce is. The sweet, savory, and slightly tangy flavor is an asset to a lot of different dishes. Here are a few ideas:
- with pulled pork or pulled pork sliders
- on sandwiches or burgers
- chicken wing dipping sauce or coating- try it with my crispy baked wings
- toss meatballs in it
- to dip fresh vegetables or fries
- as a salad dressing
- a dip for these Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
More Condiment Recipes To Try:
- Horseradish Aioli
- Yogurt Dill Sauce
- Sriracha Aioli
- Chipotle Southwest Sauce
- Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
- Hot Honey Sauce
Thanks for dropping in! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my weekly newsletter for fun NEW CONTENT and CONVERSATION delivered to your inbox. If you love this recipe save it now so you can find it later. Thank you for your support!
Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
- Medium sized saucepan
- 2- 12 ounce jars
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion; finely diced
- 1 clove garlic; minced
- 1 ¼ cup apple butter; homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Add the olive oil and onion to your saucepan and heat over medium heat. Sweat onion for 5-10 minutes or until soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add to the saucepan apple butter, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Incorporate until smooth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Pour into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
- Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight jar, for up to three weeks.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
If you make my Apple Butter BBQ Sauce, don’t forget to leave this recipe a rating, comment, or like. Tag me on social media using the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth when sharing your own personal photos making this recipe. I would love to see your version and know your thoughts!
29 thoughts on “Apple Butter BBQ Sauce”
does it need to be run through a blender at all?
If you very finely mince the onion and garlic, no. If you keep them larger it is suggested, but you don’t have to.
Just wanted to come back and let you know we made this to go with our pulled pork and it is amazing! We did add some heat after taste testing but that’s purely for us. The applebutter is a great addition! Thank you
Has anyone tried this on a meatball yet?
YES! I put this on precooked meatballs in my slow cooker all the time. Sometimes I will add Sriracha sauce for a kick.
Hope you enjoy it!
Anyone ever used it on chicken wings?
YES! I actually just used some this last weekend on bone in party Chicken Wings. It was so good. If you follow my recipe here https://entirelyelizabeth.com/oven-baked-chicken-wings/. Coat them in the sauce and throw them back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. SO GOOD!
This is my first time making this BBQ sauce could I freeze it? I ended up tripling the recipe by accident haha its sooo yummy
Hey there Cassie;
So glad you enjoyed the BBQ sauce. And yes, you can freeze it. Just place it in an airtight container and place it in your freezer for up to three months. Let it defrost overnight and keep it in the refrigerator when you are not using it.
Can I can this rather than just refrigerating?
Yes you can, just follow your favorite method for canning sauces.
Can I use regular vinegar as a substitute? I plan on putting some jalapeños in this and actually make chicken fajitas using it!!
Hey there! Yes regular vinegar will work in it’s place. Be sure to come back and let us all know how it works for you.
I smoke a lot of meat in my back yard can’t wait to try your sauce I make pulled pork on a regular basis thank you sweet smoke bbq
Fantastic! But of course I had to tinker with it. To reduce the sugar content a little, I substituted molasses for the brown sugar and a 6-ounce can of tomato paste + 1/4 cup water for the ketchup. We’ve used it on pulled pork and spare ribs and it was great on both. Thank you!
My Wife and I love this sauce. Good on chicken, pork, and beef.
So glad to hear! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!
Awesome combination, mouthwatering delicious.
Thank you so much!
So yummy and SMOOTH! The apple butter lends another layer. Can’t wait to put it on the pulled pork once done today! Thanks Elizabeth!
This makes my heart SO happy Maureen! Thank you for trying it! Enjoy!
This is the best BBQ sauce ever! Absolutely love that you use apple butter in this recipe, it is perfect for the upcoming fall days!
Awesome! I am glad you enjoyed it!
Thank your for taking the time to share your experience.
Wow what a cool recipe! I’ve never heard of this combo but instantly know it will be amazing! Love that sweet and savory! I’ll be making this after I get my apple butter made this season! Thanks!
Awesome! I hope you enjoy it! I bet it will taste even better with homemade apple butter!
I never thought of using apple butter in BBQ sauce but this is genius! So sweet and savory and pairs perfect with some pulled pork!
Yes! Pairs great with pulled pork.
This is so flavorful and delicious! Wow!
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!