Homemade Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce for Ribs, Chicken & Burgers!

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For your next outdoor meal why not put your usual BBQ sauces to one side and try this stunning homemade Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce Recipe. This is an Instant Pot recipe and takes around 15 minutes using ingredients like chilies, ginger, cinnamon, and maple syrup. It’s a great sauce for ribs, chicken, and burgers!

A white bowl with cherry barbecue sauce, with some sprigs of rosemary on the side. Some ribs are just in shot. Text overlay says"Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce - Good on Ribs, Chicken & Burgers". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce Recipe

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading all the way through for any tips or substitute suggestions, to ensure that you have any specialized ingredients and equipment required and that you understand the steps and timings involved.

Sure it’s easy to buy a jar or bottle of barbecue sauce from the store, but did you know that it’s just as easy to make your own?

Furthermore, you’ll be able to make to your exact taste requirements, and you’ll known exactly what goes into it!

This flavor-packed BBQ sauce combines the natural sweetness of cherries and maple syrup with the welcoming warmth of the ginger, cinnamon, and rosemary.

And while this sauce is made an Instant Pot, but there is no reason why you can’t follow the recipe in a regular saucepan on the stovetop, extending the time for all the ingredients to combine and mingle.

This cherry barbecue sauce recipe is used in our Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs, but goes just as well with all sorts of barbecued meats including steak, pork, chicken, burgers, and sausages.

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.

It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce

More Recipes Using Cherries

One of the hero ingredients in this dish is cherries, so here are some more recipes using the same:

More Barbecue Recipes

Looking for more barbecue dishes to make? Check these recipes out next:

Instant Pot Recipe - Cherry BBQ Sauce

Recipe Tips

  • For best results you should try to prepare 1-2 days in advance, to give the flavors the best opportunity to develop. However, if you’re in a rush then it’s no problem, you can create the sauce and use it immediately – and it will still taste divine!

How Do I Make Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe

Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

For your next outdoor meal why not put your usual barbecue sauces to one side and try this stunning homemade Dark Cherry Barbecue Sauce Recipe.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 2½ cups fresh or frozen dark cherries, pitted
  • 1 (10-oz/285g) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function on the high temperature setting. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until soft and slightly golden.
  2. Turn Instant Pot off and add remaining ingredients, including the liquid from the tomatoes and the liquid smoke, if using. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
  3. Add lid and lock into place. Make sure the valve is set to the “Sealing” position and set the “Manual” setting to high for 10 minutes. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.
  4. When finished cooking, do a quick release (QR) of the pressure according to the manufacturer’s suggestions before unlocking and removing the lid.
  5. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  6. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.

    Dark Cherry BBQ Sauce Recipe


For a thicker sauce, return to the Instant Pot and bring to a low boil using the “Sauté” function set to high. Heat, stirring frequently, until the excess liquid is reduced and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 77Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 186mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Full Meal

You’ve made the side, but what about the rest of the courses?

Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:

There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too.

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