Ancho BBQ Sauce

A little sweet, a little smoky…

Ancho BBQ sauce provides just a little simmering heat, but really that’s not what makes the sauce. Ancho pepperswhile not the spiciest chili around, pack a lot of flavor – a little sweet, a little smoky, and most definitely earthy. Combined with ingredients that accentuate all three things, and you have a real winner here. With grilled pork or chicken it’s especially good. Or use it as a BBQ sauce side perfect for fry dipping.

Ancho BBQ Sauce

Ancho BBQ Sauce

4 from 4 votes
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 39 kcal


  • 2 ancho peppers seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup red wine dry red wine is best
  • 1 cup ketchup or ketchup-like chili sauce for a little extra flavor
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more to taste


Rehydrate the Ancho Pepper

  • Heat 2 cups of water until boiling.
  • Place the ancho peppers in a medium mixing bowl, then pour the boiling water over the anchos until the chilies are fully covered. 
  • Let the chilies sit for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the ancho peppers soften. Drain the liquid and keep it to the side. 

Make The Ancho BBQ Sauce

  • In a saucepan over medium, sauté the onion in the vegetable oil until translucent (4- to 5 minutes). 
  • Add the tomato paste and garlic and continue to cook, stirring often, for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  • Add the ancho peppers, red wine, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved ancho pepper liquid, then lower the heat to low and allow the mix to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the ketchup (or chili sauce), apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue simmering and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Remove the mix from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Then transfer the mix into a blender (or use a food processor). Process the sauce until you reach a smooth consistency. Add ancho water as needed to thin the sauce.
  • Use immediately, or for best flavor place the ancho BBQ sauce in a covered airtight container and chill overnight to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce will also keep for 1 to 2 weeks if prepping in advance.


Calories: 39kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 172mgPotassium: 140mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 847IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Ancho Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 17, 2021 to include new content.
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