Deliciously Tangy: Homemade Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe

Summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and cook up some delicious BBQ. There’s nothing quite like the smell of charcoal smoke mingling with the sweet aroma of barbecued chicken or ribs, and nothing quite like that first bite of juicy, tender meat smothered in tangy BBQ sauce. But what if we told you that you could take your BBQ game to the next level with a unique and flavorful twist – Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce?

Yes, you heard it right. This sauce has become a fan favorite across the country because it offers a perfect balance between sweetness and heat on top of your savory BBQ dish. If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a real treat.

The secret behind this delicious recipe lies within a combination of savory and sweet ingredients with fresh strawberries as the star flavor. The strawberries are roasted alongside spices such as fresh ginger, cayenne powder, and soy sauce, creating irresistible flavor notes that complement almost any style of BBQ – from Carolina-style pulled pork to Kansas City-style ribs.

Not only is this sauce one-of-a-kind, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. In just 30 minutes, adding such a mouthwatering addition to your next dish will be doable!

Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just want to impress your family with unique and flavorsome BBQ sauces, make sure to give Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce recipe a try!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sweet-hot Strawberry Bbq Sauce
Sweet-hot Strawberry Bbq Sauce

Are you craving a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with a twist? Look no further than this sweet-hot strawberry BBQ sauce recipe! It’s unique, flavorful, and will take your grilled meats to the next level.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of fresh strawberries, which add a fruity freshness to the tangy BBQ sauce. The combination of soy sauce, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar create a perfect balance between sweet and tangy. And if you’re looking for heat, cayenne powder and jalapenos add a spicy kick that will tantalize your taste buds.

This sauce is not only delicious; it’s also customizable based on your preferences. If you’re craving something sweeter, increase the amount of strawberry preserves or brown sugar. Want it spicier? Add more jalapenos or cayenne powder. And with plenty of substitutions available, like Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce, it’s easy to make this recipe your own.

But what really sets this recipe apart is how versatile it is. This sweet-hot strawberry BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pork, but it’s also great as a dip for vegetables or drizzled over roasted potatoes. You can even use it as a base for homemade baked beans or stir-fry sauces.

So go ahead and try out this unique and delicious ingredient combination with our strawberry BBQ sauce recipe. You won’t regret it – in fact, you’ll wonder why you ever settled for plain old barbecue sauce!

Ingredient List

 A taste of summer in every bite!
A taste of summer in every bite!

The Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe requires a vibrant and diverse array of ingredients, from the spicy kick of jalapenos to the sweetness of fresh strawberries. Here is a complete list of all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

1. Fresh Strawberries: The star ingredient of this strawberry BBQ sauce, you’ll need 2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries for your sauce.

2. Strawberry Preserves: Using 3 cups strawberry preserves will add a thick and sweet texture to the sauce.

3. Ketchup: You’ll need 1 cup ketchup for the base of your BBQ sauce.

4. Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup brown sugar adds a rich flavor and sweetness that complements the tartness of the strawberries perfectly.

5. Balsamic Vinegar: Using 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar adds complexity to the BBQ sauce’s flavor profile while keeping with its sweet tangy style.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidity from 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar will balance out the sweetness and bring the freshness of fruit to the sauces’ taste.

7. Worcestershire Sauce: Adding 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce will bring depth, umami-packed flavors and richness to your sauce.

8. Soy Sauce: A couple of dashes of soy sauce, about 2 tbs, add savory notes and depth to this strawberry BBQ sauce.

9. Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice squeezed from one large lemon (about 2 tbs) brings citrusy brightness and helps balance the flavors in your BBQ sauce.

10. Brown Mustard, Using 1_4 cup brown mustard dives additional spicy flavor into the already zing refreshment barbecue sauce.

Moreover, this recipe needs freshly and finely chopped ginger, a garlic clove, freshly chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeños(or cayenne powder)for an additional touch of heat and smoky chipotle peppers(with adobo sauce) to incorporate that signature smokiness sometimes seen in Kansas City-style BBQ.

Tip: When making this sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe, I highly encourage using fresh produce like sorrel leaves or homemade jam so you can experience that incredibly refreshing and fruity flavor that only comes with fresh fruit.

The Recipe How-To

Now comes the fun part, where we start putting everything together. Don’t worry if you are not an experienced cook, this recipe is simple and straightforward. All you need to do is gather all the ingredients and follow these steps:

Step 1: Roast the strawberries

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a baking dish, spread 4 cups of fresh hulled strawberries in a single layer.
  • Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and gently toss them with your hands to coat.
  • Roast in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until they are slightly browned and soft.

Step 2: Prepare the sauce

  • Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, sauté 1 chopped medium onion, 2 scallions sliced, and 2 cloves chopped garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent.
  • Add 2 cups of roasted strawberries and stir it evenly with onions.
  • Then add 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 3/4 cup strawberry preserves, and 3/4 cup ketchup.
  • Add some kick to the sauce with half a teaspoon of cayenne powder or diced jalapeno.
  • Bring to simmer then lower your heat to medium-low.
  • Let cook, stirring occasionally, for around 20 minutes or until it has thickened up.

Step 3: Blend the sauce

Take your pan off of heat, add a handful of chopped fresh cilantro leaves or fresh ginger, as well as zest from one lemon and its juice. Use an immersion blender or pour contents into a blender/food processor to puree the mixture until smooth.

Step 4: Glaze your food

You can use this delicious sweet-hot strawberry bbq sauce on anything! Try glazing it over grilled chicken, ribs, shrimp––even tofu! Once you’ve basted it on your chosen dish at least twice near the end of cooking time for optimal flavor development–enjoy!

I hope these instructions will help you create your own unique homemade strawberry bbq sauce masterpiece.

Substitutions and Variations

 Add a punch of sweetness to your BBQ.
Add a punch of sweetness to your BBQ.

This sweet-hot strawberry BBQ sauce recipe is versatile and can be easily customized to fit your taste preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce: For a smoky twist, roast the strawberries before adding them to the sauce. Place hulled strawberries on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Add the roasted strawberries to the BBQ sauce mixture and blend until smooth.

– Jalapeno-Strawberry BBQ Sauce: If you enjoy spicy food, add minced jalapenos to the sauce recipe for a kick. Be sure to remove the seeds and membranes to control the heat level. You can also use a few dashes of Sriracha sauce instead.

– Strawberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce: For a Southwest-style BBQ sauce, add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the mixture. Start with one pepper and adjust according to your spice tolerance. The smoky flavor of the chipotles pairs well with the sweetness of strawberries.

– Homemade Strawberry Jam: If fresh strawberries are not in season, you can use store-bought strawberry preserves or homemade strawberry jam instead. Keep in mind that the sweetness level may vary depending on what type of preserves or jam you use, so adjust accordingly.

– Kansas City-style BBQ Sauce: To create a more traditional barbecue flavor, swap out the soy sauce for Worcestershire sauce and add tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and onion powder. This variation will have a sweet tangy taste that goes perfectly with grilled chicken or ribs.

Whether you prefer spicy, smoky, or traditional flavors, these substitutions and variations will help you create unique BBQ sauces that are perfect for your taste buds. Experiment with different ingredients until you find your perfect sauce.

Serving and Pairing

 A sauce so delicious, it's addictive.
A sauce so delicious, it’s addictive.

This sweet and spicy Strawberry BBQ Sauce can be served with a wide range of dishes to add a flavorful kick. Its sweet tangy taste goes well with everything from grilled chicken to pulled pork and even grilled vegetables. It pairs exceptionally well with roasted sweet potatoes, adding a delicious twist to traditional BBQ sides.

To enhance the flavors of your dish, brush the sauce over meat or vegetables during the last few minutes of grilling. You can also use it as a marinade for chicken or tofu. This sauce is versatile enough to pair with any style of BBQ, but especially complements the smoky flavors of Kansas City style.

If you’re looking for an extra layer of heat in your dish, serve it alongside jalapenos or drizzle some sriracha sauce on top. For those who like their sauce on the sweeter side, mix it with homemade strawberry jam for a fruity flavor explosion.

For those who prefer store-bought BBQ favorites, try using this sauce instead of traditional BBQ sauce for a new and exciting twist on classic dishes. Impress your friends at your next BBQ with its rich color and bold flavors, leaving them craving more of your homemade strawberry bbq sauce.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect sauce to impress your guests.
The perfect sauce to impress your guests.

When it comes to making and storing this sweet-hot strawberry BBQ sauce, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you can make this sauce ahead of time, which is a great way to save time on the day of your BBQ. You can make the sauce up to a week in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you plan on making a large batch of this sauce for future use, then freezing it is another option. Freezing the sauce is easy and ensures that you have it handy whenever you need it. To freeze, pour the sauce into an airtight freezer-safe container, leaving about an inch of room at the top to allow for expansion when freezing.

When reheating the sauce, place it in a small saucepan over medium heat until heated through. As this is a thick sauce, you may want to add a bit of water or vegetable broth when reheating to thin it out.

It’s worth noting that this sauce can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer. If you’re worried about the amount of sauce going bad before you have a chance to use it all, we recommend storing smaller portions in multiple containers rather than one big batch.

In conclusion, this sweet-hot strawberry BBQ sauce is incredibly versatile and stores well for later use. Whether you plan on making a small or large batch, storing it in the refrigerator or freezer will extend its shelf life so that you always have some on hand for future meals.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Sweet meets heat in this mouth-watering sauce.
Sweet meets heat in this mouth-watering sauce.

To achieve the best result for this Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe, here are some tips to consider.

Firstly, remember that patience is key when preparing this recipe. The strawberry barbecue sauce needs adequate time to reduce and thicken to achieve its perfect consistency. Rushing the reduction process may lead to a runny sauce, which won’t be ideal for use.

Secondly, it is important to keep an eye on the heat while making this sauce. You don’t want it to stick at the bottom of the pot or pan, which could ruin the taste and texture of the sauce. Use medium heat and stir frequently to prevent sticking.

Thirdly, ensure that you have fresh and high-quality ingredients. This implies using fresh cilantro, scallion, ginger root, garlic clove, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, ketchup, cayenne powder and strawberries in your recipe. The fresher your ingredients are, the more flavourful your sauce will be.

Fourthly, if you do not have fresh strawberries at hand, you can make use of frozen strawberries. However, in this case, ensure to thaw them to room temperature before use.

It is also essential to adjust seasonings according to personal preference. If you like spicy food, add more cayenne or chipotle powder as desired. Likewise, increase the sweetness by adding more brown sugar or honey.

Lastly, when storing your strawberry BBQ sauce in a container or bottle after cooking (as already mentioned in Make-Ahead Section), it is advisable to let it cool first before storage in your fridge or freezer. Doing otherwise could lead to spoilage of the sauce prematurely.

By considering these tips mentioned above carefully while preparing this Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe; you would be assured of having consistently perfect results every time you make it!


Before getting into the FAQ, it’s important to note that this Sweet-hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe is a unique take on traditional BBQ sauces. As such, you might have some questions about how to get the most out of this dish, including how to make substitutions, serving and pairing suggestions as well as how to make it ahead, store and reheat it. Here are some commonly-asked questions and tips for making the perfect strawberry BBQ sauce.

How can I sweeten my BBQ sauce?

When it comes to barbecue sauce, the sweetness level can vary quite a bit. Sometimes, the sauce is already sweet enough as is, but other times it may need a little extra help. If you find that your sauce is too tangy or fiery, consider adding some brown sugar, molasses, and/or honey to the mix. These sweeteners can help balance out the flavors and create a more well-rounded sauce.

What is Redneck BBQ sauce?

Introducing the newest addition from the renowned musician John Rich – Redneck Riviera BBQ sauce. This sauce boasts a genuine American flavor made with a combination of tomato puree, real sugar, apple cider vinegar, and an exclusive blend of savory spices. It’s the perfect condiment for the hardworking and fun-loving crowd.

What is sweet Heat BBQ sauce?

For just $8.99, you can taste the delicious blend of flavors in Southern Sweet Heat. This sauce contains hints of tomato, molasses, vinegar, pepper, and a touch of gentle heat. It’s a perfectly balanced combination of smokiness, sweetness, and spiciness that will tantalize your taste buds with rounded, savory notes.

What style of BBQ sauce is sweet?

When it comes to BBQ, Kansas City-style is one of the most popular and beloved types. This style of BBQ is known for featuring an array of slow-cooked meats that are generously coated in a sweet seasoning and then topped off with a thick and sugary sauce. It’s a flavor explosion that is sure to tickle your taste buds!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Sweet-Hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe is a must-try for adventurous foodies and BBQ enthusiasts alike. With its perfect balance of sweet, tart, and spicy flavors, this sauce will complement a variety of meats and dishes. The unique combination of fresh strawberries, cilantro, ginger, garlic, and scallions create a sensational taste profile that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Not only is this recipe delicious but it’s also easy to make with simple ingredients that are easily available at your local grocery store. You can even customize the recipe to suit your preferences by adjusting the amount of spice or sweetness.

Whether you’re grilling chicken or beef or even using it as a dipping sauce for fries, this Sweet-Hot Strawberry BBQ Sauce will add an excellent twist to your meal. So try out this recipe today and impress yourself with the homemade BBQ sauce made from fresh strawberries!

Sweet-hot Strawberry Bbq Sauce

Sweet-hot Strawberry Bbq Sauce Recipe

An unusual twist on BBQ sauce. I’ve not tried this yet. Found on the Michigan Dept of Agriculture web site and posted for the Spring 2005 Strawberry recipe swap.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups
Calories 255.3 kcal


  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.



Serving: 566gCalories: 255.3kcalCarbohydrates: 61.8gProtein: 4.2gFat: 0.8gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 1471.5mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 42.6g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Berries, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of…, Fruit, Healthy, Lactose-free, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Sauces, Small Appliance, Spicy, Strawberry, Sweet
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shara @The Bird BBQ

Shara loves to experiment with different flavors and techniques when it comes to BBQ. She has been perfecting her craft for years and loves hosting backyard BBQs with friends & family. She often comes up with creative recipes that her guests rave about.