Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

by | Jul 10, 2014 | All, Side Dishes

This tangy Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce puts a summery spin on a family favorite. 

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

My mom was kind enough to host our family and Pat’s family for Father’s Day last month. There were 11 of us total, so not a huge group, but a wide variety of ages, including toddlers. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to serve a diverse group of people, especially when kids and adults are eating together since tastes of those two age groups usually differ vastly. I really loved what my mom came up with to deal with this dilemma, so much that I had to share it with you: the sauce bar. She grilled several pork tenderloins and placed the meat on the buffet with three different sauces, including this tasty Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

I’m the first to admit that I usually buy my BBQ sauce because I have a favorite brand (Hello, Stubb’s!), but I loved the tanginess from the rhubarb in this sauce. Not to mention that it’s a breeze to throw together. Dump the ingredients in a pot, let it boil and puree it in a blender. Seriously straightforward and absolutely delicious with simply prepared grilled meats like the pork tenderloin. The other two sauces on the buffet were our Sweet & Tangy Tomato Jam and some store-bought mango chutney. I tried all three sauces – research, people! – and loved the variety it lent my meal. 

Judging by the clean plates at the end of the evening, the rest of the crew agreed with me.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Homemade Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Give your traditional bbq sauce an update and make this homemade rhubarb BBQ sauce.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 6 stalks fresh rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 ounces Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  2. Simmer until rhubarb and onion pieces are very soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour half of sauce in blender and puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining sauce. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 1g

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      Hard to go wrong with those ingredients, right, Kelly?

    • Avatar

      Thanks, Mallory! It’s a bit unexpected, which I love.

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      I love easy, too, Becca!

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    I usually buy my bbq sauce at the store too – soooo many good options! But….I have yet to see one with rhubarb! This sounds amazing! Can’t imagine how well it goes with the pork!

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      Definitely a great pair together, Jessica.

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    I just got lots of rhubarb in my CSA basket and I want to do something OTHER than bake with it. SOLD! Pinned! Can’t wait to try this!

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      I know what you mean about needing new inspiration sometimes, Nicole. Hope you enjoy it!

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      It’s fun to give the every day a little twist, isn’t it, Angela? Thanks for stopping by!

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    Made this today with frozen rhubarb I had on hand. Used a pound of rhubarb which is approximately 6 stalks. Way too much vinegar for my liking. I had to go out and pick more rhubarb twice to try to get the potency down and it’s still too strong. Mine didn’t thicken up like the picture either or is as red and I have very red rhubarb, did you use a thickener and food coloring? I like the idea of the BBQ sauce, but I’m going to have to cut back on vinegar next time. Most recipes I looked at after I tasted this recipe this morning call for 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

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      I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you, Susan. I did not use a thickener or food coloring. I hope you can adapt the recipe for your tastebuds or find an alternative that suits you better. Thanks for stopping by!


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