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This easy homemade apricot BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, and you can really taste the flavor of the fresh apricots. It’s great on grilled chicken!

mason jars with apricot homemade barbecue sauce and basting brush

It’s no secret that I love BBQ sauce. Up until this point, I’ve never tried making my own. I fancied an apricot BBQ sauce, and I feel like sometimes the more fruity sauces etc. lose some of their flavor when they’re commercially produced. I am pleased that the apricot flavor comes through very nicely in this easy homemade barbecue sauce recipe.

Would you believe I had to go to no fewer than FOUR grocery stores to find apricots?! I nearly gave up, I tell ya. I didn’t think they were ever hard to find in the middle of the summer… but leave it to me to need them when there’s some sort of shortage. 😛

several whole apricots on a counter

I did some research on how to make barbecue sauce, and as expected, there are maaannny recipes for homemade BBQ sauce out there. They all contain many of the same ingredients. Ketchup or tomato sauce. Brown sugar and/or honey. Worcestershire sauce. Some spices. Garlic. Vinegar. Those are all in this recipe.

What sets it apart is the fresh apricots (I used 6 large ones) and the smoked paprika. I was debating adding liquid smoke as well, and you could if you wanted to, but I decided to go with a more subtle smokiness and really let the fruit shine through.

This BBQ sauce is not spicy. I do not like my BBQ sauces to be too hot, but feel free to throw in some chili powder and/or cayenne pepper if you need some more kick.

several apricots cut in half on a white plate

This sweet BBQ sauce can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. If you want it even sweeter, add more honey or brown sugar. If it’s too sweet, add more apple cider vinegar. I recommend tasting it after it’s been simmering for about 20 minutes. That’ll give you a good idea of what the final flavor will be.

Since I used fresh, cut-up apricots in this recipe, I did end up having to mash them while cooking them. It’s definitely not a difficult step, but I think it’s a necessary one unless you’re ok with pieces of apricot in your sauce. I just used my potato masher to mash ’em right in the pan. I chopped the apricots fairly small but not so small that they were completely absorbed in the sauce.

I simmered this BBQ sauce for about 40-45 minutes in total. There’s plenty of water in fresh fruit, and I wanted it to reduce a bit, thus the length of cooking time. I kept the pan mostly covered (but left the lid slightly ajar) so it didn’t splatter all over my kitchen. 😉

mason jar with apricot BBQ sauce and BBQ brush

Will you give this apricot BBQ sauce a try?

Talk to me in the comments!

This easy homemade apricot BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, and you can really taste the flavor of the fresh apricots. It's great on grilled chicken!
5 from 9 votes

Apricot BBQ Sauce

This easy homemade apricot BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, and you can really taste the flavor of the fresh apricots. It's great on grilled chicken!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 large apricots (or 8-10 smaller ones) chopped small
  • 1 (7.2 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion power
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Give it a stir. Bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover it with the lid slightly ajar. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, giving it a stir every 5-10 minutes or so, just to prevent it from burning on the bottom. 
  • After about 20 minutes, the apricots should be very soft. Using a potato masher or whatever works for you, mash the apricots down if you do not want whole apricot pieces in your sauce. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as needed (or add more sugar or vinegar to adjust taste). Cover again, with the lid slightly ajar, and continue simmering the sauce for another 20 minutes or so, again stirring every 5-10 minutes.
  • If the sauce looks thick enough for your tastes, remove it from the heat and let it cool for at least 20 minutes prior to transferring it to airtight jars. The sauce should keep for about a week in the fridge.

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If you like apricots, you may also like my crispy apricot chicken or my 3-ingredient apricot energy bites.


Hi! Iā€™m Natasha.

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48 Comments

  1. Lori Willemsen says:

    5 stars
    I have apricots chopped and frozen in my freezer. Do you recall approximately how many cups that would be equal to?

    1. Natasha says:

      Ahhh I don’t. This is just a wild guess, but maybe 3 cups?

  2. Mickey says:

    5 stars
    Very good recipe. I added a little more paprika, salt and pepper to the mix, but overall really tasty.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s so nice to hear, Mickey!

  3. Keesha Poyer says:

    Any chance you know what the finished volume is? I have a lot of cots and am thinking of making multiple batch to can it.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hello Keesha! I’m sorry, but I don’t. šŸ™ You may want to read through the comments to see if anyone else has any suggestions.