This strawberry BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy, and a perfect companion to juicy grilled chicken. For my vegetarian friends, try it as a base for pizza with thinly sliced new potatoes, blue cheese, and arugula. Jump to recipe »
A couple weekends ago we hauled home nearly ten pounds of strawberries after our first trip to our favorite local you-pick farm. I tossed some into the freezer for smoothies and (hopefully) a batch of late summer jam (if they last that long!). I threw some into salads, while handfuls more went into our greedy little mouths. And yet…they persisted. So I ended up making a batch of this sweet and tangy strawberry BBQ sauce. This recipe makes enough for two meals, so I slathered some all over these bone-in chicken pieces and topped them with fresh tarragon from the garden. An oh-so-perfect late spring/early summer meal. Cassian, aka the pickiest eater ever, ate every last bite of his dinner. A sure sign of a winner winner chicken dinner. Follow me on Instagram to see what I did with the rest of it.
Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe Notes
I love BBQ, but I don’t love the sugar-laden recipes that saturate google. No hate, but me and sugar simply don’t jive well. So I turned to my favorite paleo BBQ sauce for inspiration. This strawberry BBQ sauce is sugar free, nearly-paleo, and perfect. I say nearly paleo because it does contain worcestershire sauce. While I love paleo and frequently adhere to the diet (I’m about 70/30) I’m not paleo perfect. If you aren’t either, you’ll love this sauce. If you are, it’s fairly easy to make you own compliant worcestershire sauce.
This strawberry BBQ sauce is sweet and tangy and super easy to make. You don’t need any fancy kitchen equipment, although a blender is useful if you want your sauce super smooth. It takes about 30 minutes to make. Go ahead and make a double-batch and tuck half into the freezer. It keeps well for about two months, and your belly will thank you in August.
Ways to use Strawberry BBQ Sauce:
On bone-in grilled chicken topped with tarragon (recipe below)
Tossed with pulled pork for super seasonal pulled pork sandwiches
As a sauce for flatbread with thinly sliced potatoes, blue cheese, and arugula
As a condiment with burgers, chicken tenders, or wings
In a wrap with leftover chicken, lettuce, and tomato
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- ½ c. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce (see notes)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium high heat until it foams. Add the strawberries and diced tomatoes to the butter and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are soft and starting to break down, 10-12 minutes. You'll know it's ready when you can easily crush one of the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Scrape the berries and tomatoes into a blender and blend until super smooth.
- Return the berries and tomatoes to the pot and add the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, honey, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bring the ingredients to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer over medium low heat. Allow the sauce to simmer until its volume is reduce by about a third and the flavor profile is sweet and tangy and not vinegary, 15-20 minutes. Taste frequently, and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- 8 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1 c strawberry bbq sauce
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil, and season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Roast the chicken in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken, then roast for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and baste with the bbq sauce on all sides. Return the chicken to the oven (skin side up for thigh and breast pieces) and roast another 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 160* and the sauce is charred and bubbling. Top with fresh tarragon. Serve immediately with additional sauce at the table for dipping.