Fire up the grill, it’s barbecue time! Cherries add sweetness and depth to this cherry barbecue recipe that’s delicious and simple to make.

Surprise friends and family with this original cherry recipe that can be slathered on grilled meat, chicken or vegetables. Its smoky flavor will take your summertime burgers and sandwiches to the next level. 

YIELD: About 3 1/2 cups

Recipe Development and Photography By: Williams-Raines


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 

Cherry BBQ Sauce


  1. In a large saucepan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Down the heat down to medium-low and add the rest of the ingredients: cherries, brown sugar, ketchup, crushed tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, Worcester sauce, molasses, mustard powder, smoked paprika and liquid smoke.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are tender.
  5. Transfer to a blender and blend until very smooth.


*Make the sauce a couple of days ahead of time – it tastes even better after a couple of days.

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