pomegranate bbq sauce with basil and spoons surrounding it

Sweet and Tangy Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

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This unique BBQ sauce is one for the books! From the tangy pomegranate juice and apple cider vinegar to the sweet brown sugar and ketchup, this sauce really amplifies any protein you pair it with. Whip it up in less than 30 minutes and slather it on chicken, ribs, tofu, or steak — you’ll have a flavor packed meal in no time. Keep this sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce in your refrigerator for up to 7 days and use it to pack a punch to any lunch or dinner throughout the week. 

pomegranate bbq sauce in jars with a spoon covered in sauce

What makes this sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce so good?!

Inspired by a recipe in my Cuisine at Home magazine, I wanted to take my Fall Off the Bone BBQ Baby Back Ribs to the next level. I didn’t want to use a boring ‘ole store bought BBQ sauce, so I decided to experiment. And now, I will never go back! 

Not only does this sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce take less than 30 minutes to make, but it uses simple ingredients, allowing you to cut out a lot of the “junk” that you typically find in a commercialized sauce. By making BBQ sauce from scratch, you get to determine how much added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients you want to add, while also giving you the ability to adjust the spiciness and other flavors to your taste, as well.

The unique flavors in this sauce balance each other out nicely and compliment many other foods. Keep reading below for different ways you can use this incredibly versatile sauce.  

Ingredients

pomegranate bbq sauce ingredients
  1. Pomegranate Juice
  2. Ketchup
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Brown Sugar
  5. Worcestershire Sauce
  6. Paprika and Smoked Paprika
  7. Garlic Powder
  8. Onion Powder
  9. Ground Mustard 
  10. Cayenne, optional
  11. Lime Juice

A few notes about the ingredients:

  1. Make sure the pomegranate juice is 100% juice. That means the ingredients on the bottle should only list “pomegranate juice” and not sugar, corn syrup, or anything else. I found mine in the refrigerated area of the produce aisle in my grocery store. 
  2. You can use all smoked paprika instead of regular paprika if you’d like an extra smokey BBQ sauce.
  3. The cayenne is optional based on your spice preference. If you like a little heat, add a dash of cayenne when the sauce is done reducing.

How do you make sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce from scratch?

Pour the pomegranate juice into a saucepan. Place it on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the juice until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes. There should be about ½ a cup of juice left in the pan.

pomegranate juice reducing on the stove

Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients, besides the cayenne and lime, and add them to the reduced pomegranate juice. Cook until it thickens again, around 10 more minutes. Stir constantly so the sauce doesn’t burn. If it is bubbling and splattering, you can lower the heat to medium low.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add a sprinkle of cayenne (optional, based on spice preference) and the juice of half a lime.

pomegranate bbq sauce with jars, lids, and spoons

Brush the sauce on your favorite protein, like these Fall Off the Bone BBQ Baby Back Ribs, and place sauce-side down on a BBQ grill to caramelize. Use any extra sauce for dipping or for additional recipes throughout the week.

slab of bbq ribs with basil on a metal sheet pan

How do you use BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce has many different uses. Top chicken, ribs, steak, or seafood with this sauce and grill it sauce-side down to caramelize it, making it sticky and delicious. You can also use it to enhance the flavor of tempeh or tofu, as well as a topping on salads or nachos. 

Made too much? Here are a few great recipes to help you use up the rest of your sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce:

What are the best kinds of BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce should have a perfect harmony between sweet, acidic, and smokey. Since meats contribute their inherent gamey flavors, you need a sauce that’ll stand up and compliment whatever it is paired with. This sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, composed of all 3 elements, does just that. The sweet balances out the acid, which works well with the smokiness of the paprika. In addition, if you choose to pair this sauce with something other than meat, it’ll pack a punch of flavor without overpowering anything else. 

What makes this BBQ sauce healthy?

Store bought BBQ sauces are usually made with high fructose corn syrup, dyes, and preservatives. This BBQ sauce eliminates all of those junky ingredients. For this recipe, make sure to buy ketchup with as few unnecessary ingredients as possible. Heinz Simply Tomato Ketchup is a great option. 

Additionally, making BBQ sauce from scratch allows you to decide how much sugar you’re adding to your diet. Many store bought versions include loads of sugar to help stabilize and make them taste better. Instead, opt for a homemade version and adjust the sugar content based on your personal taste and health requirements.

One more tip

  • Keep this sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. Get creative and see how many different meals you can make with this 1 sauce. From BBQ ribs to BBQ chicken for dinner, to southwestern style BBQ nachos as an appetizer, and BBQ ranch chicken salad for lunch. This sauce can feed your family in SO many different ways! Let me know what you come up with 😊
pomegranate bbq sauce in a jar with a spoon

Looking for more healthy recipes? Try these:

Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!

pomegranate bbq sauce in jars with basil and spoons surrounding it

Sweet and Tangy Pomegranate BBQ Sauce

Sweet and tangy pomegranate BBQ sauce is the answer to all your BBQ prayers. Made in 30 minutes or less, add flavor to nearly any protein or salad. Kick nachos or BBQ chicken pizza up a notch with this unique sauce. And experiment with different flavor combinations until the last drop of sauce is gone. Try it with these Fall Off the Bone BBQ Baby Back Ribs!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups

Equipment

  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • sprinkle of cayenne optional, based on taste
  • juice from half a lime

Instructions
 

  • Pour the pomegranate juice into a saucepan. Place it on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the juice until it thickens, about 10-15 minutes. There should be about ½ a cup of juice left in the pan.
  • Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients, besides the cayenne and lime, and add them to the reduced pomegranate juice. Cook until it thickens again, around 10 more minutes. Stir constantly so the sauce doesn’t burn. If it is bubbling and splattering, you can lower the heat to medium low.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and add a sprinkle of cayenne (optional, based on spice preference) and the juice of half a lime.
  • Brush the sauce on your favorite protein, like these Fall Off the Bone BBQ BabyBack Ribs, and place sauce-side down on a BBQ grill to caramelize. Use any extra sauce for dipping or for additional recipes throughout the week.

Notes

  1. Make sure the pomegranate juice is 100% juice. That means the ingredients on the bottle should only list “pomegranate juice” and not sugar, corn syrup, or anything else. I found mine in the refrigerated area of the produce aisle in my grocery store. 
  2. You can use all smoked paprika instead of regular paprika if you’d like an extra smokey BBQ sauce.
  3. The cayenne is optional based on your spice preference. If you like a little heat, add a dash of cayenne when the sauce is done reducing.
  4. Keep this sauce in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. Get creative and see how many different meals you can make with this 1 sauce.
Keyword Barbecue Sauce, Healthy Recipe, Homemade Sauce

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