Get saucy with it: All the best recipes involving BBQ sauce
When you hear “barbecue sauce” what you think of depends on where you live (or where you grew up). Slow-roasted meat is a staple of nearly every culture & subculture; in America alone, dozens of regional renditions of BBQ sauce recipes exist.
North Carolina takes its barbecue seriously! Eastern North Carolina would argue that it’s home to the original American barbecue sauce, which dates back hundreds of years and has a strong African heritage. Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce is thin, vinegary, and spicy, with none of the tomato or sweetness found in other parts of the country.
Western North Carolina, also known as Lexington-style, barbecue sauce adds a bit of ketchup or tomato sauce to the vinegary mix. And to the south, Carolina Gold BBQ sauce recipes include vinegar, mustard, and spices. Even further south, Alabama white barbecue sauce is a thick and creamy mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices (still no tomato, though). It goes best with chicken.
Moving towards the middle of the country, Memphis barbecue can be either “dry” with a dry rub of spices, or “wet” with a thin, slightly sweet, tomato-based sauce. Kansas City sauce may be the most quintessentially American barbecue sauce: it’s thick, sweet, and tomato-based sauce. St. Louis barbecue sauce is thinner and tangier with a sweet-and-sour flavor profile.
Oklahoma BBQ sauce recipes feature ketchup and Worcestershire sauce for a sweet & tangy flavor. Texas barbecue sauce is thin & spicy with meat drippings, cumin, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s usually served with beef.
Most of us know how to use barbecue sauce when we’re cooking meat or other proteins on a grill. But there are plenty of BBQ sauce recipes that let us use our favorite condiments in new & exciting ways!
The California Pizza Kitchen chain pioneered the barbecue pizza back in the 1980s. Their version substituted barbecue sauce for the more typical tomato sauce and topped the pizza with mozzarella cheese, chicken, cilantro, and green onions.
The thicker, sweeter sauces – Kansas City or St. Louis – work best with this. It’s also good with Alabama white sauce, but if you’re looking for a CPK clone, stick with the tomato base.
Top corn chips with your favorite barbecue sauce and some pulled pork, chicken, or beef brisket. Then melt cheese (real cheese, not that nacho cheese sauce abomination) on top and add sour cream and green onions. Delicious! You can also use tater tots and pimiento cheese for a truly American dish of totchos. Try Oklahoma or Texas barbecue sauce here.
Add some barbecue sauce to your favorite ranch dressing to make your salad taste like summertime. This is especially good on hearty meal-style salads with eggs, cheese, and other proteins. Any one of the Carolina-style sauces is super yummy this way.
Hot chicken dip in an itty-bitty crockpot is an easy, please-y treat to bring to parties or potlucks. Mix some shredded cooked chicken (hint: buy a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket) with cream cheese, shredded cheese, and your favorite barbecue sauce in the crockpot and heat until bubbly. Top with green onions and serve with crackers.
If you want to be really fancy, serve the dip in a hollowed-out round loaf of bread and use the bread you removed for toast rounds to spread the dip on!
It’s okay to be creative with your condiments! There are lots of different kinds of barbecue sauces, and plenty of BBQ sauce recipes & suggestions.
Depending on your mood & taste, try adding barbecue sauce to macaroni & cheese, stew of any sort, potato salad, tomato soup (so good with grilled cheese sandwiches!), baked beans, or seafood cocktail sauce.
Barbecue sauce can also be used as a dip for finger foods such as chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, or jalapeno poppers. BBQ sauce is also a spread, of course, so try it on turkey sandwiches, hot dogs, and meat or veggie burgers.