My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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blueberry barbecue sauce

It’s finally time around here where the berries are diminishing and the stone fruits are popping up in every direction.  If you can believe it this dry + hot state produces some of the most delectable fruit I have ever tasted.

Normally, you will find me shoveling berries—or any fruit, really—into my mouth by the handful.  I rarely cook or bake with fruit.  I much prefer fruit in its raw state.

Once in awhile I do crave grilled fruit or incorporate it into a recipe but it’s rare. 


blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

I’ve put fruit in guacamole, in cornbread, and on top of an avocado sandwich to name a few.

And now?  I’m putting a savory spin on blueberries with a blueberry barbecue sauce.

And I’m spreading it practically everything.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

Creamy polenta seemed like an obvious choice as layer number one.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

Followed by a pile of grilled tofu and a heaping scoop of this sauce.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective-4

Sweet + savory with a subtle kick of heat.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

light comparison – I took nearly the same shot above and below using two different lighting approaches. {above – backlit} {below – sidelight from the right} I much prefer the backlit photo in this scenario.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

Print this!

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce [yields 1 1/4 cup] adapted from Food and Wine

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp minced jalapeno, seeded
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4tsp liquid smoke
  1. Set a med-large pot over medium heat with the oil. 
  2. Once hot add in the onion and jalapeno, stirring frequently for 6-8min until the mixture starts to soften and turn light brown.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds then add all other ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to simmer [uncovered] for about 20-25min until it reduces and starts to thicken.
  5. Take off the heat and partially blend with an immersion [hand] blender.  *You can also leave it as is [without blending] or use a blender to make the sauce completely smooth.
  6. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or smoke flavor if desired.  For extra heat add cayenne pepper.
  7. Let sit for 5 minutes as it will continue to thicken.

notes: Jalapenos can vary in their level of spice.  I used 2 Tbsp [seeded] and it left the sauce with a mild-medium bite.  I used a combination of liquid smoke [original] and smoked paprika but feel free to use just one or the other. 

For the polenta:  Bring 1c unsweetened almond milk and 2 cups water to a boil.  Stir in 1 cup of polenta grits until combined, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.  Uncover and stir the mixture until creamy and thick, ~2 minutes.

For the tofu:  Slice the tofu into 8 triangular slabs about 1/4” thick and press them between two kitchen towels [with books stacked on top] for 20 minutes.  Lightly grease all sides of the tofu with oil and sprinkled salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika on both sides.  Heat your grill to about 400 degrees.  Once hot, thoroughly grease the grill grates to avoid sticking.  Grill the tofu for 5-8min per side to reach a crispy exterior and soft interior.  More tofu grilling instructions can be found here.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

Dinner was great.  Lunch will be even better.

blueberry barbecue sauce | edible perspective

If you want to read more scoop about my adventures in food + blogging, check out my interview with The Food Network’s Healthy Eats: Blogger Spotlight.  Quite thrilled about this!

Also, I made a fun animation from some of the wedding photos.  You can see it here.


iPhone capture

blueberry bbq

Reader Comments (39)

This looks really good--would never have thought to use blueberries to make a BBQ sauce! I tend not to cook with fruit very often either, unless its baking a pie or a quick bread/muffin of some sort. But roasted/grilled fruit can be amazing!

Hopefully my comment trick from the other day is working well! :)
say what??? blueberry BBQ sauce!! what freaking fabulous idea! I'd put that on everything... I think tempeh will be on the menu tonight, drowning with this sauce... genius I tell ya!
WHOA congrats on the food network interview! can't wait to read it in t-minus 5 seconds...right after i bookmark this sauce recipe :)
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Laura - Yes, it is! Thank you so much. Very helpful!

Christa - Enjoy!

Heather - Thank you, thank you!!!
August 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
ahh so funny I was dreaming up some cherry bbq sauce last night... guess I should change up the recipe a little haha!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @KatieDid
I love sweet and savory mixed. This looks delicious and could be used in so many ways. I wonder what a peach version would be like. I just have a minor peach obsession right now! ;)
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkim@hungryhealthygirl
How delicious does this look?! Blueberries are my favorite fruit of all time, I just love summer fruit!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (The Menu Mama)
I adore this idea!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCait's Plate
I don't think I've ever had blueberry BBQ sauce but I've always thought it sounded delicious! This looks great!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ Blonde Ambition
I have to try this! I think I would be putting this sauce on everything, but it looks perfect with the polenta and grilled tofu. I wish I could reach through the screen and take a bite!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
Kim - I definitely think peaches could work! Sounds good to me. :)
August 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Wow this looks great, so inventive. Since blueberries are rather hard to come by in England and the hedgerows are heavy with blackberries at the moment do you think they'd be an ok sub? Perhaps a little less sweet but probably still yummy...
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
Wow, congrats on the Food Network Interview!
This is so interesting. I never would of thought to use blueberries in a savory or spicy way. I can't wait to make this, and I am really inspired to use blueberries in a new way now!
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @FoodSnobSTL
Laura - Thank you!! And I hope you enjoy this new spin on blueberries if you decide to give it a go. :)
August 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Congrats to you on the food network. I've been following your blog for quite a while but never really commented. Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks for all your wonderful blogging. I made your smokey black bean burgers last night. Delicious. They are right up there with your sweet tater black bean burgers. Love them both. I am also a big fan of your taco night, done right! And I super appreciate all your photography tutorials. I've printed them all and am just waiting for "time"...right....aren't we all. I've had a nice camera for years now and never take it off automatic. It's one of my goals for the year.
August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVal
I am the same way with fruit, eat it by the pound raw, but usually don't like it cooked as much.
This Blueberry BBQ looks so inriguing though, I have to try it!
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
You and your savory blueberries, I love it! Can we have THIS next time I come over for lunch? ;-)
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Yessery, the stone fruits are coming in by the dozens! I'm sad to see the fresh, juicy berries go. Guess this is about time I should start planning on my yearly canning adventures. Love the end result, but the whole process takes days and days... and days!

I love the idea of doing a savory blueberry barbecue sauce, I bet it's something else! Would be fabulous on grilled portabella I bet!
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne @ Healtursuit
I love your recipe posts because they always inspire me to think creatively in my own kitchen. Though I have yet to follow a recipe of yours word-for-word, they have frequently served as a springboard for me, like your avocado pasta sauce and summer vegetable spaghetti. Now, I'm looking at polenta in a whole new way: instead of tomato sauce, why not do BBQ sauce! I'm really excited to give it a go soon. Keep it up because I just love your creativity and how it inspires creativity in others!
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeatrice
This recipe looks awesome; I can't wait to give it a try! So glad to have found your blog via pinterest (:
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke Guevara
Oh good gosh...this looks fabulous!
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
I really need to catch up on your last few posts (i'm so behind!) but am lusting over this recipe. And the idea of putting it over Polenta! Ahhh.... I love polenta. Congrats on the food network interview- that is so awesome!!
Wow, what a cool idea! I've heard of other fruit being used in barbeque sauce, but it never occurred to me to try blueberries... this makes me want to try a peach barbeque sauce, and other fruit! I don't know that peach would be any good, but I would like to try it! Thanks for sharing, I'm new to your blog and your photography is beautiful, drew me right in! I also like your watercolor header, very cool.
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon
some of your loveliest photos ever!
Beatrice - Thank you so very much. I truly appreciate your kindness and am glad to hear I've helped inspire you in the kitchen!

Lauren - Thank you!

Brandon - Thanks for stopping by and saying hello! It's always fun to hear from new readers. I appreciate the photography + header compliments. That header took me quite some time to get just right!

Ashley - Thank you, dear! I've been thinking about my photography and trying harder lately to make improvements.
August 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Val - Your comment truly made my day. Thanks for saying hi and letting me know you've been a long time reader. I'm so grateful for that! Glad you've enjoyed a few recipes and I hope you eventually get to reading through those tutorials. I completely understand about waiting for the right time. Take care!
August 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
I had a party last night and I made the blueberry barbecue sauce and everyone loved it and I would love to give the credit to you. The sauce not only tastes good but looks great as well.
Hey Ashley!
Your pics make me miss CO soooo much! The husband and I have moved to OH and if you ever come back to visit your family, I'd love to do a blogger meet up :-) Your photography and recipes are even better than ever...amazing!

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa
oh. my. gosh. That meal looks delicious! I have a feeling I would love that BBQ sauce; I never would have thought of blueberries as an ingredient! I also like the backlit photo the best. Although the plate might be considered the main subject, the light on the jar draws your eye there as well.
August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara @ sarasmiles
This looks incredible! I've been looking for a BBQ sauce like this.
August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Savory Simple
YUM! Sweet + Savory = amazing. Especially when it involves fruit and a little kick. How about on some fish maybe? Awesome1
August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily @
I have to try this one! Great idea! The recipe sounds delicious! ;)
Those photos - wow. I am continuously blown away by your photography. And the fact that you learned it all and made progress so fast! That itself is very inspiring to me, and makes me think that maybe I could do the same some day!
August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
@Dennis - I can't tell you how excited that makes me to hear!! Thank you for letting me know.

@Sara - Thanks, Sarah!!

@Andrea - *blushing* Thank YOU.
August 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
I adore fruity BBQ sauces. It is a great way to hide over-ripened fruit :)
Your recipe is very similar to my Blackberry BBQ sauce that I adore. I will have to try this while blueberries are still available :)
What a unique use for blueberries! I have several bags of berries in my freezer and I'm looking for new ways to incorporate them in my meals. This sounds like just the thing to try! I love that this sauce is dairy free; do you have any other recipes that are friendly for those of us who are lactose intolerant?
September 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth
@Ruth - I have loads of dairy free recipes! A lot of the recipes I make are vegan and are noted with a "v" on my recipe page if they are. I rarely call for dairy in my recipes, except for sometimes using yogurt or cheese. Thanks for saying hello and hope you enjoy this sauce!
September 5, 2012 | Registered CommenterAshley
Made this for dinner tonight using some frozen blueberries I picked last summer! This was amazing! Especially the tofu - definitely going to be grilling tofu like this again!
April 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
@Andrea - Happy to hear!! Thanks for letting me know! :)
April 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterAshley

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