RhuBarb-ecue Sauce (Chipotle Rhubarb BBQ Sauce)
Elevate your summer grilling with homemade spicy chipotle rhubarb BBQ sauce, packed full of fresh rhubarb! Spicy, tangy, and just a little sweet, this barbecue sauce is the perfect use for your CSA and farmers market rhubarb.
Every May, I think I make the same joke about the trendiness of rhubarb among food bloggers. I mean, really – it’s nuts, right? Do that many people really have rhubarb that we need this many recipes? For such a weird, geographically limited fruit/vegetable/whatever you want to call it?
Apparently – yes. This is my first time in a few years that I (sadly) did not join a CSA. Every year, I seem to find a new one that I love… and then the pickup site moves too far away. So given my lack of CSA boxes, I asked my neighborhood group if anyone had any excess rhubarb they weren’t going to use.
The response I received was pretty overwhelming. I did get all the rhubarb I needed (and more!) from some awesome neighbors (thank you!). But I’ve also been getting a lot of messages from people asking for suggestions of what to do with their rhubarb. The message almost always start with “What can you do with rhubarb other than strawberry rhubarb pie?”
Point taken. Everyone has heard of strawberry rhubarb pie, but you want something different. Somehow, there is still a need for more rhubarb recipes, and I am more than happy to fulfill that need! (No rhubarb left behind in my house.)
This is a mostly-baking blog, and rhubarb desserts are so on point this kind of year. Buuuuut… we’re doing something a little different. Besides, I’ve already done strawberry rhubarb oatmeal bars and cinnamon streusel rhubarb bread. So this year, we’re going savory instead. And spicy.
Chipotle rhubarb BBQ sauce. Spicy, sweet, rhubarb-y barbecue sauce. It’s possible I first made this solely because I love puns so much that I wanted to get to tell people they were eating RhuBarBQ sauce. But then I kept making it because it’s actually really good.
Here’s what I love about this rhubarb BBQ sauce: it’s the perfect combination of tangy and spicy, with just a little sweetness mixed in. It tastes a little fruity, but not so much tat you’d take a bite and ask if there is rhubarb in it. It’s a more complex flavor than just tomato based BBQ sauce (and I’m truthfully not a big fan of Carolina-style sauces).
Rhubarb BBQ sauce is also completely versatile: it’s delicious on grilled chicken or pork, and while I haven’t tested it (yet), I imagine it would be just as delicious on burgers, on fish, or used to marinate some tofu. And the best part of homemade barbecue sauce? Totally customizable! Make it spicier (or not). Leave it a thicker or dilute it to a thinner sauce.
Just don’t forget the rhubarb so you can keep your trendy points for the summer!
Chipotle Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
Elevate your summer grilling with homemade spicy chipotle rhubarb BBQ sauce, packed full of fresh rhubarb!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 4-5 long stalks rhubarb, chopped into quarter inch pieces (2-3 cups)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2-3 chilies in adobo
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 to 1 cup water or chicken stock
- Add olive oil to a small, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add in the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and cooked through.
- Pour mixture into a blender or use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend ingredients. Add water or chicken stock, a quarter cup at a time, while blending. Continue to add water until desired barbecue sauce consistency is reached. Blend until completely smooth.
Barbecue sauce should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol