Sweet and tangy with a little kick, this quick homemade BBQ sauce – or barbecue sauce depending on where you’re from – has become a family favorite on briskets, ribs, grilled chicken, pulled pork, and BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes.
Unlike the bbq sauce recipe of my childhood, it’s naturally sweetened with molasses and maple syrup instead of loads of brown sugar. Also, although there are some healthy ketchup options out there, they’re not always easy to find so we’ll be working with from-scratch ingredients. Don’t worry, thought, it’s super fast and easy, and you have total control over the ingredients.
Not quite as sweet as you like? Dial up the maple syrup. Want to add a little black pepper even though it’s not in the recipe? No problem. It’s a pretty forgiving recipe that can be adapted to your preferences.
Sure, you’ll find fancier versions out there: a dash of Worcestershire sauce with a smidge of smoked salt, subtly flavored by oak barrels once used to age chardonnay. But here’s the thing: I have KIDS. If grilling is going to happen the sauce needs to be ready in ten minutes flat. Twelve, tops.
If time is a consideration for you, too, I think you’ll love this version. It has just the right amount of smokiness, sweetness, tang and heat. Serve it up with your favorite protein and some coleslaw or other side dish – you’ll find a list of BBQ and picnic-friendly recipes at the bottom of this post.
Easy Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce Recipe
- Add all the ingredients except cayenne pepper to a medium saucepan and simmer over low/medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until it reaches the thickness you prefer.
- Remove the sauepan from heat and add cayenne to taste. If more tang is desired, add a little more mustard. Use right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Looking for more easy recipes for picnics and BBQ’s?
Here are a few of my favorites:
Easy coleslaw recipe – If you’re not a fan of soggy, super-sweet slaw that is drowning in sauce, check out this crisp, fresh version. It’s sweet (but not too sweet), creamy and light with a little bit of tang. My kids love it!
Easy chicken salad recipe with apples – Light and delicious, this easy chicken salad recipe is my favorite ways to keep lunch simple.
Skirt steak with chimichurri sauce – I love that this recipe uses a more affordable steak cut. The chimichurri is also amazing and goes well with chicken, too.
Lavender lemonade – This refreshing lemonade is tart and sweet with aromatic notes of lavender and a hint of thyme. You can serve it in the classical style, or dress it up by replacing the water with sparkling mineral water.
Homestyle potato salad with bacon and egg – Bacon, hearty red potatoes and onion are the star flavors in this potato egg salad recipe. It packs well for a picnic or barbecue, and always gets lots of compliments from guests.