This Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce recipe is the perfect start to a crazy-flavorful and healthy dinner!
Hey guys! So I know that with this Apple Cider BBQ Sauce recipe coming directly after my Easy Instant Pot Mole Sauce post, you're probably thinking "Is she only making sauces now?"
Uh, maybe? Ok, I'm kidding, but let's be real, sauces are freaking fun. There's no better way to spice up a meal than with a flavorful saucy something (like this one!), right?
Anyway, normally I would've tried to not post two sauces back to back but IT'S CIDER SEASON, MY PEOPLE AND I'M HERE TO DELIVER.
I'm figuring a lot of you are like me and pick up more apple cider than you could possibly drink this time of year and you know what? That's the smart idea because it's so amazing to cook with!
Need proof? Here are a few more faves:
- Cider-Glazed Sweet Potato and Apple Bake
- Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Garam Masala-Cider Sauce
- Chai-Cider Protein Shake - ok, so no cooking here, but you know what I mean.
You guys. I'm so excited for you to make this sauce. It's sweet, it's spicy (if you want it to be!), it's completely addicting and I have so many recipe ideas for it that I can't wait to get cooking!! In the meantime, here's a little helpful Q&A 🙂
Can I freeze Apple Cider BBQ Sauce?
Yes you can!
Can I freeze apple cider?
Yes again 🙂 You can freeze some in ice cube trays and then put those in a freezer bag or you can freeze in an airtight container - note: if you freeze it in an airtight container, be sure to only fill it ¾ of the way up because the cider will expand when frozen.
Can I double this Apple Cider BBQ Sauce recipe?
Absolutely! Just note that it'll take longer to cook down.
Is this kid friendly?
Yes! My kids are obsessed with this barbecue sauce! You can always leave out the cayenne for your littles 🙂
Is this cider barbecue sauce gluten-free?
Yes, as long as you use gluten-free tamari instead of the soy sauce (this is noted in the recipe card to remind you!).
Is this apple cider barbecue sauce recipe vegan?
Is the BEST Apple Cider BBQ Sauce healthy?
Yep! Made with clean ingredients, it's perfect for the 21 Day Fix (<- affiliate link), 2b Mindset and for Weight Watchers (each serving only has 2 freestyle points!). I love that it's also lower in sugar than most store-bought BBQ sauces.
Is apple cider 21 Day Fix approved?
Yes!! 4 ounces of any 100% juice (including cider) counts as a purple treat swap for the 21 Day Fix
Can I substitute apple juice for the apple cider in this Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce recipe?
Yes! If you're checking out this recipe at a time of year when it's hard to get your hands on the good stuff, you can totally sub for some 100% apple juice. I highly recommend Simply Apple (it's kept in the refrigerated section near the OJ) because it tastes a lot closer to cider than shelf-stable apple juice.
Just note that since the sweetness level will likely be different with the juice, you may need to change the seasoning amounts a bit (and perhaps use less maple syrup).
What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice?
Ok, so this can vary depending on where you live, but generally, apple cider is unfiltered apple juice (which is why it's usually darker, cloudy and opaque) and the stuff labeled "apple juice" is filtered until clear and light in color.
What can I put this healthy barbecue sauce on?
While you may not want to drink it like I do (kidding - well... mostly) here are some delish options:
- Top a meatloaf with it.
- Mix it with some healthy Southwest Pulled Pork for a bangin' sammie.
- Dunk some delish air fryer french fries in it.
- Baste some grilled chicken with it.
- Use it to make BBQ chicken pizza - I love using whole wheat pita bread for a quick, personal pizza 🙂
There are probably a million other awesome ways to use it, so if you get creative, please let me know!!
Anyway, hope you guys get as obsessed with this sauce as we are!
Don't forget to save The BEST Apple Cider BBQ Sauce Recipe to Pinterest for later! ↓
If you make this Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce, be sure to snap a pic and tag me @thefoodieandthefix or use #thefoodieandthefix on Instagram so I can check it out! It makes me ridiculously happy to see what you guys are making 🙂
How to make the BEST Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 cup apple cider (if cider is out of season you can always sub a refrigerated apple juice like Simply Apple!)
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 3 Tbs - ¼ cup pure maple syrup (depending on sweetness of cider)
- 2 Tbs low-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari if you're GF!)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- black pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste (optional, but I love a good pinch in this!)
- Put all ingredients except cayenne into a small saucepan and bring to a bubble. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat until thickened and reduced by half to about 1 cup.
- Add cayenne (optional) little by little until you get your desired heat level, I use a good pinch!
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: ¼ Purple Treat Swap, 1 sweetener teaspoon (or if you use the higher amount of maple syrup, 1 ½ teaspoons)
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 2 (calculated using 3 Tbs of maple syrup)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 Tbs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 0g