Nothing beats a good bbq sauce. It’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s tangy… it’s total deliciousness. I’ve been playing around the last few months trying to perfect my own homemade blend. The first one was too tomatoey, the second was a bit too spicy, but this one.. well this one is just right. It’s fun when you nail something the first attempt, but I knew a homemade bbq sauce would take me a few tries… not because it’s difficult, but because I was trying it in a whole new way- with 100 percent real food ingredients. No mystery junk in this… just plain simple goodness with foods found right in your pantry and fridge. The two musts: a scoop of smoked paprika and a touch of molasses. Must have that smokiness. 🙂
Once you gathered your ingredients, the process is super simple. Just saute, puree, and eat. Pretty pretty pretty easy (for all the Larry David fans here).
I’ve used this sauce in a few dishes already. It makes for some tasty slow cooked bbq chicken tacos… served with a light cabbage slaw, it’s the perfect balance. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe!
.. And I smothered some baby back ribs with it for a smoky delicious southern-style meal. Yummo. I’ve also served it along side some roasted sweet potato wedges, like fries and ketchup, but sweet potatoes and smoky bbq sauce. That’s why bbq sauce is the best- you can get creative and enjoy it in so many ways…
Homemade BBQ Sauce
makes approx. 8 oz
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 onion)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes (peeled, fresh or jarred)
1 tsp honey (I prefer raw)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup molasses
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp chipotle powder (this gives it a spicy kick- lessen or omit if you don’t want heat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Finely chop the onion and garlic cloves
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat
Stir in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper
Then add all seasonings (garlic powder, chipotle, smoked paprika, cloves, and chili powder)
(The chipotle is a bit spicy, lessen if you’d like a bbq sauce without heat)
Saute for about 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning
I like to keep peeled tomatoes in my fridge for times like this- they’re easy to make!
Just make an “x” in the tops of the tomato skins, boil for about 2-3 minutes, and
then the peels will easily come off. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Alternatively, you can buy whole stewed tomatoes from the store- same idea.
Add the tomatoes to the pot, with juices, and break up with the spoon or spatula
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor
Blend until smooth
Add the sauce back to the pot
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired…
Either store away for use another time or get cooking!
It will store well for at least a week…
but if you want to cook right away scroll down for some bbq chicken tacos!
BBQ Chicken Tacos…
2 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1 cup bbq sauce from above
1/2 cup good quality chicken broth
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
for cabbage slaw…
2 cups grated cabbage (green, purple, or a mix)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
2-3 radishes, sliced
small handful cilantro leaves
optional, Sriracha… for an extra kick
and of course, tortillas… I like homemade style corn tortillas
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker
Pour about 1 cup of bbq sauce over them
Slice yellow onion and add it in with the chicken
Add chicken broth
Toss it all until well-mixed and the chicken and onions are covered
Cook on high for about 3 1/2 hours or on low for about 5 hours
When it’s done, the chicken will immediately fall apart into pieces when touched
Shred it with a fork until it’s the size you want for your tacos
Grate about 2 cups cabbage (green, purple, or both)
Add approx. 1 tsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp mayonnaise (more if desired)
Season to taste with salt and pepper
That’s pretty much it!
Get your chicken ready to serve, bring out some tortillas, and garnishes…
To assemble, heat the tortillas either on the stove top (for a charred tortilla) or in the microwave
(it’s best to dampen a kitchen towel with water, wrap them up in that,
and then heat- they steam and stay moist using this method)
Top the tortilla with some shredded saucy chicken and cabbage slaw
Top with sliced avocado, radishes, cilantro leaves,
and if you’d like, some Sriracha (for a kicked up version)
Serve with some fresh lime and dig in!