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Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

5 from 7 votes
Total Time: 25 mins

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.

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

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.

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce on a pastry brush

Ingredient Notes

  1. Olive Oil – for sautéing the onion and garlic
  2. Onions – finely dice your onions to very small pieces
  3. Garlic – minced, again very small pieces
  4. Apple Butter – feel free to use homemade or store bought varieties
  5. Ketchup – any kind works, I used a homemade ketchup from garden tomatoes
  6. Apple Cider Vinegar – gives our sauce tang, can be subbed our for rice vinegar
  7. Brown Sugar – gives the sauce a deeper molasses flavor
  8. Worcestershire Sauce – is it really a BBQ sauce without it?
  9. Spices (salt, pepper, chili powder) – adjust the chili powder to your preference of spice
Ingredients for Apple Butter BBQ sauce.

Making the 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!

Overhead shot of BBQ sauce on a pastry brush resting on top of the glass jar filled with Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Apple Butter BBQ Sauce in a jar with a pastry brush and apple to show the major flavor.

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

Elizabeth Swoish
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.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 10 1/4 cup servings
Calories 130 kcal

Equipment

  • Medium sized saucepan
  • 2- 12 ounce jars

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Storing Information:
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Keyword CONDIMENTS, COOK, GLUTEN FREE, MEAL PREP, NO FAIL, SAUCE, STOVE TOP

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!

By Elizabeth Swoish on September 11th, 2021

22 thoughts on “Apple Butter BBQ Sauce”

    • 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.
      ~Elizabeth

      Reply
  1. Can I use regular vinegar as a substitute? I plan on putting some jalapeños in this and actually make chicken fajitas using it!!

    Reply
  2. 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

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    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!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    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!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    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!

    Reply

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