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This blueberry bbq sauce is the first official Maine recipe I’ve tried my hand at. At first, I thought it sounded less than tasty. But after living here a while, I figured I’d put on my brave girl cap and give it a good, ol’ fashioned Mainer try! And it wouldn’t be on this blog for you to try if it hadn’t turned out well.
Don’t panic. You don’t have to come to Maine and spend half a day picking wild blueberries in the fields, I promise!
Did you know that 99% of all US blueberries are grown in Maine? It’s true! And you don’t even have to seek out wild blueberries because regular blueberries will do just fine. Either way, they are most likely from Maine!
What Is Blueberry BBQ Sauce?
Blueberry barbecue sauce is a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce that can be used in any way you would normally use barbecue sauce. The difference? There are no mile-long lists of unpronounceable ingredients. Just good, honest food.
Where Does Barbecue Sauce Come From?
According to Bob Garner (1996). North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time,
“Some place the origin of barbecue sauce at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century.”Wikipedia
Why You’ll Love This Blueberry BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Easy – It’s super easy and quick to make. It only takes about 10 minutes in total.
- Flavor – Yes, it actually tastes like blueberries! The blueberry flavor does not get lost amongst all the other ingredients.
- Nutrition – Blueberries are a superfood!
How To Use Blueberry BBQ Sauce
This sauce is perfect for chicken, pork, or ribs. Steaks would do well with this as well, particularly on the grill. So would pork tenderloin, chicken wings, chicken breast, or chicken thighs. It’s also great in slow cooker recipes for things like slow cooker barbecued beans.
For meats, it’s best to marinate the meat in the sauce for at least 2 hours in the fridge. You can also brush on a little extra sauce during grilling if you wish. However, never save the marinade for use after cooking, unless you cook it with the meat. The raw juice left behind from the meat will make you sick.
- Berries – You can use a different berry if you prefer. Raspberries or blackberries would be delicious!
- Vinegar – You can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer that flavor.
- Maple Syrup – You can use honey instead.
Please note that these amounts are a general ballpark. Prices vary from place to place.
- Blueberries: $2
- Balsamic vinegar: $0.31 to $1.25
- Tomato paste: $0.21 to $0.63
- Pure maple syrup: $0.89 to $1.67
- Coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari): $0.30 to $0.60
- Dijon mustard: $0.13 to $0.25
- Garlic powder: $0.07 to $0.14
- Onion powder: $0.07 to $0.14
- Smoked paprika: $0.07 to $0.12
- Salt: $0.01
- Ground black pepper: $0.01
The cost total ranges from approximately $4.07 to $6.82.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, a food processor or blender will work just fine. But let it cook down first before blending so the heat doesn’t blow the lid off your blender or processor.
- To deepen the flavor, you can add a tablespoon or two of molasses.
- You can add oil to this if you wish. It’s not necessary, but if you prefer it, some olive oil or avocado oil will do the trick nicely.
- To play around with the spices a bit, you can add a half teaspoon chili powder if you like.
- If you like, you can substitute the onion powder for a shallot, or the garlic for garlic cloves. But you may need to cook it a bit longer. Make sure to finely mince them, and let the sauce simmer just a tiny bit longer to infuse the flavors into the sauce. You may have to add a bit of extra water if the sauce gets too thick.
- You can add as much or as little water as you want to this recipe. I found the given measurement to be perfect. But stoves vary as do the people cooking on them. So if you need it, use it.
About The Ingredients
Fresh or frozen blueberries – These can be any variety you can get at your local store. Organic is best simply because blueberries are one of the dirty dozen. But buy what you can afford.
Balsamic vinegar – Don’t use white balsamic. This should only be dark balsamic.
Tomato paste – No sugar added.
Pure maple syrup – Use the real stuff. You can also use honey but cut back to a half cup.
Coconut aminos – You can also use soy sauce or tamari.
Dijon mustard – No sugar added.
Garlic granules – Garlic powder works too. Just don’t use garlic salt.
Onion granules – Onion powder works too.
Ground black pepper
Water – Use good filtered water.
Step-by-Step Instructions For How To Make Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Gather and measure all your ingredients.
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Once thickened, you can use an immersion blender to blend the berries into the sauce.
Blend until the sauce is smooth. (Careful, this can really splatter!) Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Let the sauce cool down before using it to baste or serve with your favorite grilled or roasted meats or vegetables.
Store this in an airtight container (a mason jar will work great) and store this in the fridge for up to 1 week.
This will freeze just fine. Pack it in an airtight container that is freezer-safe and freeze for up to 3 months.
From frozen – Thaw in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
More Sauce Recipes
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Maine Blueberry BBQ Sauce Recipe Card
Blueberry BBQ Sauce Recipe (Using Wild Maine Blueberries)
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup tomato paste (no sugar added)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- water (as needed)
- Gather and measure all your ingredients.
- In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
- Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Once thickened, you can use an immersion blender to blend the berries into the sauce.
- Blend until the sauce is smooth. (Careful, this can really splatter!) Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Let the sauce cool down before using it to baste or serve with your favorite grilled or roasted meats or vegetables.
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
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