This spicy Peach BBQ sauce is delicious on these juicy spice-rubbed grilled chicken thighs (and would be perfect on ribs or shrimp, too!).

Peach BBQ Sauce on grilled chicken thighs
  • Bold and Spicy: This Peach BBQ Sauce packs a smoky-sweet punch that perfectly complements juicy grilled chicken. It turns out peaches make one seriously amazing BBQ sauce. The flavour of the peaches was wonderfully prominent in the sauce, in fact it actually surprised me just how peachy it is. The ginger and chipotle give it wonderful heat, and the vinegar brings out the tartness of the peach.  It is balanced, and definitely not too sweet (which can be a problem for me with fruity barbecue sauces). It is so delicious brushed over crispy, flame-kissed, spice-rubbed chicken thighs.
  • Perfect for Grilling Season: Tailor-made for warm summer evenings spent on the patio. Fire up the grill and savor every delicious bite. Who doesn’t love juicy, flavorful chicken smothered in bold sauce?
  • Versatile: We like barbecue (and most other things) spicy in our house – I used 1 1/2 teaspoons of chipotle powder and it was definitely hot.  Start with 1 teaspoon (or even 3/4 teaspoon, if you prefer to keep things mild).
  • Got extra Peach BBQ Sauce? The sauce would be delicious on seafood like salmon or shrimp skewers, or on grilled pork tenderloin , too. I’d use the same spice rub for either. We have some sauce (and lots of peaches) left, so I will probably try one or both.
  • Peach lover? Triple down on juicy peach season with this peach sangria, peach caprese salad, and/or a delicious Peach Cobbler Pound Cake for dessert.

Gather Your Ingredients

Before you get started, gather all the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. Here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need and what each ingredient does:

Here’s what’s in the Peach BBQ Sauce:

  • Vegetable oil: used for cooking the onion, garlic, and ginger
  • Onion: adds flavor and texture to the sauce
  • Garlic: adds flavor to the sauce
  • Ginger: adds a subtle, spicy flavor to the sauce
  • Peaches: the star of the show, the peaches give the sauce its sweetness and fruity flavor
  • Apple Cider vinegar: adds tangy acidity to the sauce
  • Brown sugar: adds sweetness and depth of flavor to the sauce. You could swap in honey if you like
  • Soy sauce: adds saltiness and umami flavor to the sauce
  • Kosher salt: enhances the flavor of the sauce
  • Ground chipotle: adds heat to the sauce. Add more or less to taste
  • Water: helps thin out the sauce to the desired consistency

Here’s what’s in the Grilled Chicken Thighs and Spice Rub:

  • Paprika: adds a smoky, sweet flavor to the chicken
  • Ground cumin: adds a warm, earthy flavor to the chicken
  • Kosher salt: enhances the flavor of the chicken
  • Allspice: adds a sweet and spicy flavor to the chicken
  • Black pepper: adds a subtle heat to the chicken
  • Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs: the main event, the chicken thighs will be coated in the spice rub and grilled to perfection

How to make grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

Start with the Peach BBQ Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the peaches, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, kosher salt, and ground chipotle (starting with less if you’re sensitive to spice), along with 1/4 cup of water. Simmer until the peaches are tender, then transfer the mixture to a blender and carefully puree until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for basting the chicken, and transfer the rest to a dish for serving at the table.

Now prep the chicken

  1. Prepare the chicken: In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, kosher salt, allspice, and black pepper. Rub the mixture all over the chicken thighs, making sure to get it under the skin as well. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Grill the chicken: Preheat the grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. Grill the chicken skin-side down over direct heat for about 8 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Watch for flare-ups, and move the chicken to the unlit side of the grill as needed. Flip the chicken and continue cooking over indirect heat for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce: Brush both sides of the chicken with the reserved BBQ sauce and continue cooking until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF or until the juices

Make Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Sauce in Advance: The Peach BBQ Sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. That means less prep work on the day of your cookout!
  • Spice Overnight: For even more flavor, marinate the chicken in the spice rub overnight. It’ll be even juicier and more flavorful when you grill it up.
  • Freeze for Later: Cook up a big batch of this peach barbecue sauce recipe and freeze the leftovers in sealed glass jars for later. It’ll taste just as delicious when you reheat it, and you’ll have an easy meal on hand for busy nights.

All the peaches! All the barbecue!

Peach BBQ Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 chicken thighs
Keyword peach bbq sauce


For Peach BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 lb peaches 2 medium-large, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1  to 1 ½ tsp ground chipotle
  • ¼ cup water

For Chicken and Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 3 lbs bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)


For Peach BBQ Sauce:

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, lowering the heat if it starts to brown.  Add garlic and ginger; cook a minute more.
  • Stir in peaches and remaining ingredients, starting with the lesser amount of chipotle if you’re concerned about heat – you can always add more. Simmer until peaches are tender, then transfer to a blender and carefully puree until smooth (work in two batches if your blender doesn’t have steam vents in the lid).
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce in a separate bowl for basting the chicken, and transfer the rest to a dish for serving at the table.

For Chicken & Rub:

  • Stir together paprika, cumin, salt, allspice and black pepper.  Rub it into the entire surface of the chicken thighs, gently working it under the skin.   Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature before grilling.
  • To prepare grill, light one burner (or half of the grill) over medium heat and close the lid; preheat for 10 minutes.  Grill chicken skin-side down over direct heat (over the lit burner) to crisp the skin, about 8 minutes.  Watch closely for flare-ups, moving the chicken to the unlit side as needed until they subside.  Move chicken over to indirect heat (unlit side) and cook with lid closed as much as possible for 15 minutes, flipping once.
  • Brush both sides of chicken with 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce and continue cooking until meat reaches 165ºF on a thermometer, or until juices run clear when meat is pierced – 15-20 minutes more. Serve with more BBQ sauce on the side.
  • Any remaining sauce will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.


Calories: 276kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 29gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1249mgPotassium: 635mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1275IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Keyword peach bbq sauce

Last Updated on April 20, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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