Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce

I’m sure everyone has had one of those weeks. I’ve had one of those weeks, maybe too. Can’t seem to get anything accomplished and cooking sounds like work. Not good when you are a food blogger. Then our refrigerator goes out on Tuesday. In truth, it has been dying a slow death since February. I am just to cheap to buy a new one until it is completely broke. Well there was no doubt that it flat-lined on Tuesday. “Hey (No Name Company) should a compressor die after 8 years?”  When you open up the freezer at 6:00 am and the ice cream is soft and when you touch the fridge, it is hot: you have a problem. I don’t make big decision easily, so trying to find the best appliances and price became a full-time job the past few days. But of course the new toys can’t be delivered until next Tuesday. Lucky I have a second fridge in the garage and a full size freezer in the basement.

So I didn’t lose any items, but it is very inconvenient to not have a working fridge in the kitchen. Hence I didn’t want to cook this week. Kids have cereal for dinner.


I had purchased two packs of chicken tenders, at Krogers, on Sunday. I also had pork tenderloin and swordfish, in the fridge, to cook this week. I had room in the freezer for all but the chicken tenders, so I had to cook them sometime this week. I also had two bags of cherries that would not fit in the garage fridge. So I came up with this recipe for Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fire Sticks on Tuesday and finally cooked it last night. At least the family had one descent meal this week.

I made the sauce using my homemade habanero jelly. I canned/processed around 40 jars in April and will be doing a new batch soon. I also tried my hand at mustard using habanero. As you can see I like habanero peppers. Even though they are very hot, if used correctly, they have a great flavor with a nice heat. If you are interested in purchasing jars of either the jelly or mustard, please send me an email and I will discuss the details.dadwhats4dinner.com

Okay back to the recipe… I also noticed that I have way to many sauces in my fridge. For this BBQ sauce I use my pepper jelly along with some habanero sauce I purchased in Chicago and some Sweet Baby Rays. I also use two must have kitchen gadgets to make this sauce. An Immersion Blender and a Cherry Pitter. I use the imersion blend when I make soups, and sauces. I love it. The cherry pitter I guess is not a must have but it does come in very handy when you are using fresh cherries.dadwhats4dinner.com

I am very lucky this week to be co-hosting Fiesta Friday #72 with Naina @ Spice in the City. She has a great blog with an international flavor.  I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday #72; Fiesta Friday is an ongoing blogging party put on by Angie of The Novice Gardener. Stop by today and bring your virtual dish.  If you’re a blogger and you haven’t yet joined in the Fiesta Friday fun, what are you waiting for? It’s a good way to share recipes with a great group of bloggers and show off your great creations. It’s easy and here’s The Guidelines – just make sure to link properly on your blog and Fiesta Friday’s so we can find you. And if you’re not a blogger, I know you’ll enjoy seeing all the posts and maybe you could be featured. Happy FF!!


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  • 1 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s (Use a bbq sauce of your choice or ketchup)
  • 1/2 cup Honey Habanero sauce (substitute with hot sauce, such as franks)
  • 1/2 cup orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbs habanero jelly (pepper jelly will also work) (Optional)
  • 16 oz (about 2 cups) fresh pitted cherries, chopped (can also use (16 oz bag frozen pitted cherries, thawed, chipped)
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, and garlic, saute until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Stir in ancho chile powder, and smoked paprika, toast for 1 minute.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Stirring often.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Puree with an Immersion blender until smooth. .
  7. Use 1 cup of sauce to baste the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fire Sticks
  8. Serve grilled chicken with remaining sauce and fresh cherries. Would also go great with pork.dadwhats4dinner.com

Enjoy and please join me at Fiesta Friday #72www.dadwhats4dinner.com

34 thoughts on “Cherry Habanero BBQ Sauce”

  1. I love the recipe, Quinn! I really think you have a winner here. You should enter this to a BBQ sauce contest! 🙂 I probably will sub the habanero, though. Not sure I can manage the heat! 🙂

    1. It really isn’t that hot in moderation. My habanero jelly is great served over cream cheese with crackers. Yum. Email me and I will send you a sample. Happy FF! :))

  2. Your sauce looks delicious Quinn! And with cherries and spicy too! Yum! Something tells me being in Spain does not make shipment of your sauce to me very easy.. 😦 Which means I’d have to make it! 🙂 Sorry to hear about your appliance woes.. hope it’s all sorted soon! And thank you for co-hosting this weeks Fiesta Friday!!! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    1. Thanks Lili… Yeah, unless you buy a case probably be a little to expensive to ship. Just starting this venture so I need to fine tune my process. Thanks for stopping by Fiesta Friday #72. Send me an email for the recipe. Have a great weekend and Happy FF!

      1. Am happily visualising a case of the sauce Quinn but will restrain my instinct to buy! Can I just use the recipe up on this post…? Thanks and happy FF to you too! 🙂

      2. The recipe on the post is for the cherry habanero bbq sauce. I haven’t posted the recipe for the habanero Jelly yet. Any pepper jelly would work for the BBQ sauce. Yeah you would need to have plenty of friends to hand out that many jars of Jelly. :))))

  3. Yay! So excited for you, Quinn. Glad to know that you are co-hostin. Have fun! 🙂

    This looks so delish, btw. My mouth is watering now. I need somebody make some BBQ for me. 😀

    PS: I can relate with the ‘bad days’ and yes, that is not good when you are a food blogger.

    Happy FF!

  4. If you’re working with a large batch of cherries, a pitter is an absolute necessity. My foray into cooking started last year with baking actually, and specifically, a cherry pie. Trying to pit a pie worth of cherries with chopsticks and straws takes all the joy out of the process. This looks very tasty, by the way. I’d never heard of a cherry bbq sauce before, but it sounds delicious.

  5. Gorgeous looking BBQ sauce!! I love habanero, and you’re right …the oils in the peppers give a beautiful layer of flavor that isn’t overly hot if used properly. I find anything sweet will tone down the kick for anyone too sensitive. I recently acquired a bottle of jolokia ghost pepper sauce with warning labels all over the bottle and I have to say it is hazardous. Though I think combining it in a BBQ sauce could really be something special.🔥😝

    1. Thanks Andrew. Yeah I don’t get eating something so hot it hurts. I like heat that compliments the recipe. Jalapeno are ok but I don’t care for the flavor.

  6. I love Fruity and spicy sauces!! i have never tried Cherries so I am so curious to try this out! Its such a beautiful deep dark red that I know I’ll be thinking about until I can try it out! 😀 Another awesome recipe to try out this summer!

  7. Love that color too! I love the fruit and spice combination! I can relate to you as my refrigerator decided to call it quits and am waiting for my new refrigerator to be delivered. Luckily I have my old fridge in the garage…so getting some extra steps walking to get every little thing:)

  8. It sounds amazing! What a pity I don’t live in the States … Thank you so much for co-hosting this week’s FF, I’ve been so bury I just couldn’t find the time to say hello. How’s your first time as a co-host? I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

    1. Thanks and I enjoyed it. It has been a busy week and I just finished my duties for FF! I grilled some pork chops yesterday and use the sauce on them with great results. Thanks for stopping by Indu. Have a great week.

  9. That sauce sounds delicious!! I’m always nervous to cook with habaneros, but I am thinking now I might just give it a try. You’re inspiring me!

  10. This looks so amazing! It’s featured this week on Funtastic Friday. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us. Join us again this week:-)

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