{Recipe} Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce for #foodieextravaganza

Welcome back to our monthly Foodie Extravaganza!


If this is your first time joining us, the Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient into recipes to share with you, and this month that ingredient is a Valentine’s Day classic…cherries!

That means there are 17 delicious & unique cherry recipes waiting for you at the end of this post. Yay!


Cherries! I love cherries, but I must admit that I don’t bother buying them until the Ranier Cherries are in season. Those are my faves. When I saw this month’s theme was cherries, I was a bit confused because I didn’t think cherries were available yet, so I went and bought myself a pack of the fuzzy variety.


Frozen cherries. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the last few days of January suddenly cherries hit the grocery. I guess cherries really are available right now. *shrug*


All that to say…cherries! Is it weird that the first thing I thought of making with cherries was meat? You’d think it’d be a pie or something, but no, my mind doesn’t work that way. After spending weeks going back and forth over which protein to use, I finally settled on…none. I know, I’m so decisive.


This BBQ sauce is such a great mix of sweet, tangy and smokey that it would work with almost any protein. I paired it with meatballs (made from my turkey kale slider recipe) here and with slow smoked pork ribs for the Super Bowl (nom nom nom). I’m drooling over the thought of it slathered over grilled chicken or paired alongside pork chops. Yum!


All the sweetness in this sauce comes from the cherries, so there’s no added sugar for those who avoid it.

Cherry BBQ Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 2 cups


  • 1 cup sweet cherries (thawed if previously frozen)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
  • 1-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Roughly chop the onion and garlic.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the onion until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute more.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring to combine.
  5. Lower the heat to medium low and add the cherries and paprika.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook for 10-12 minutes more, breaking up the cherries as they soften and using the juices to deglaze the pan.
  8. Add the vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  9. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool enough to handle.
  10. Transfer mixer to a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached.
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  12. Depending on the flavor of your cherries, you may also want to add a bit of sugar or vinegar at this point.


Have cherries hit your local markets? Check out the rest of the amazing #foodieextravaganza bloggers for ideas on how to use them!

17 Delicious Cherry Recipes

Real Maraschino Cherries by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Fresh Cherry Crisp by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Chocolate Cherry Brownies by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cherry Apple Crumble Tart by Food Lust People Love

Cherry Pie Bites by The Freshman Cook

Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce by The Joyful Foodie

Balsamic Cherry Brie Stuffed French Toast by Pantry Friendly Cooking

Cherry Chocolate Coconut Slices by Baking in Pyjamas

Cherry Danishes by Passion Kneaded

Dark Cherry-Cranberry Compote by Rhubarb and Honey

National Cherry Month by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Cherry Glazed Cherry Muffins by We Like to Learn as We Go

Special shout out to our host this month – Kaylin of Keep it Simple, Sweetie. You rock!


In search of vegan condiments?

 My favorite vegan mayo recipe using...tofu!

My previous #foodieextravaganza contributions:

Savory, lemon ginger oat porridge replaces the rice in traditional lugaw (Filipino rice porridge) with steel cut oats for a satisfying chew.   Slow cooked, peanut butter based beef stew inspired by the Filipino dish Kare Kare.   A simple and festive holiday treat. Can be served warm or cold.

The Joyful Foodie Posts are shared at these Link Parties

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  1. I am able to get to the recipe now and it sounds great!!!

    • Thanks! You were totally right, though. I’m getting a bunch of pingbacks on the photo even though the link should go directly to the post. So weird!

  2. I had the same thought. Unfortunately my stores don’t carry frozen cherries for some reason! I could get them in FL. I was thinking, oh well I guess I’ll just pay a lot of money for out-of-season cherries. Nope, there weren’t even cherries in the store. So I used dried cherries. Then after I made my ice cream all of a sudden there were a few bags of cherries sitting pretty amongst the strawberries. Go figure!
    I like that you went in a savory direction for today!

    • Hahaha! Isn’t that just how things go? You can’t find what you want, so you improvise only to find what you were looking for after you’re done. 😛 I have to say I was very surprised to see cherries out this early. I had no idea!

  3. I want to put this on everything!

  4. I could eat this on all. the. things. It looks and sounds seriously good!
    Stacy recently posted…Petit Croquembouche Citron Framboise #ValentineCroqueMy Profile

  5. Sounds amazing. I bet this would be great on some barbecued chicken breasts. YUM!!
    Kathleen recently posted…Teen Room DecorMy Profile

  6. I can Imagine the flavour of this sauce is out of this world! It sounds great.
    Laura@Baking in Pyjamas recently posted…Honey Multigrain Bagels #BreadBakersMy Profile

  7. I love all things cherry and all things BBQ … this is a perfect combo! Love it!
    Kimberly recently posted…Dark Cherry-Cranberry Compote for #FoodieExtravaganzaMy Profile

  8. Wow, there’s a restaurant around where I live and they have a cherry cola bbq sauce and this totally reminds me of it. Sounds so good!
    Jacklyn recently posted…Chocolate Cherry Protein Smoothie for #FoodieExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • I can see cola being an awesome addition to this sauce! And now you’ve got my wheels turning again. 😉

  9. This would be a delicious marinade base in the crock pot.

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