Erin’s Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is a condiment I used to keep in the fridge and use so sparingly it would meet it’s expiration date before the bottle was empty. There are some GREAT BBQ sauces out there (commercial brands and local), but I hate the thought of using the same sauce once every 2 months – I prefer something a little… fresher.

This BBQ sauce is simple, easy and quick to make (under 30 min!) and includes ingredients probably already sitting in your pantry right now. The ingredient list is extensive, mostly because this is what I’ve had on hand when I developed it, but the beauty of this recipe is that it’s a good starting point and you can refine to your taste (sound familiar? Check out my Cajun Spice recipe for a flavorful dry rub).

The base of the BBQ sauce is canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These peppers can pack a punch. If you’re not a fan of spices, I recommend going heavier on the brown sugar and vinegar than the recommended amounts below to cut through that spice.

My absolute favorite dish to make this BBQ sauce with are my Southwest Chicken Burgers – together the burgers and BBQ sauce come together in a smokey, spicy, oh-so-southern tasting heaven.

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1 – 7 oz. can Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I use Embasa brand)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp vinegar (I use apple cider)
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 oz tomato sauce OR 2 tbsp ketchup
½ tsp salt
¼ black pepper

*Pro level: Add a hearty splash of bourbon for a rich addition to the flavors.


In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a slow boil. Turn down heat to medium/low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the sauce to reduce.

Remove from heat.

Using a hand strainer, strain sauce to remove and dispose seeds and minced garlic.

Serve warm or refrigerated (and enjoy!).

*Leftovers are great stored in a sealed, refrigerated container up to 1-2 weeks*


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