raspberry chipotle bbq chicken

$9.95 recipe / $1.24 serving

Sweet, tangy and spicy… What a powerful flavor combo. It’s strong sauces like this that allow you to take something that is otherwise boring or inexpensive and make it into an outstanding meal. So, promise me that even if you don’t want chicken, you’ll make this sauce to use on something else.

Putting the sauce together only takes a few minutes but it does need to simmer for a good 45 minutes but it stores well so you can make it ahead of time if necessary. The sauce stores well so you can keep extra in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for 3-4 months. This Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce is super easy, will add tons of flavor to anything you cook.

I used chicken thighs as the vehicle for this yummy sauce but you could really use anything. Chicken breasts, ribs, tofu, pork chops… anything. Run wild with it.

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce usually come in super small cans but even still, I usually only use one pepper at a time and have almost a whole can left over. I *always* freeze the rest. Divide the peppers and adobe sauce up into small aliquots and pop them in the freezer.

Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken

raspberry chipotle bbq chicken

5.0 from 3 reviews
raspberry chipotle bbq chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $9.95
Cost Per Serving: $1.24
Serves: 4-8
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.03
  • ½ med yellow onion $0.18
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.14
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce $0.56
  • 1 cup raspberry jam $2.23
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar $0.23
  • 1 pepper + sauce chipotle peppers in adobo $0.10
  • 4 lbs (8 pcs) chicken thighs $6.48
  1. Finely dice the onion and garlic. Cook both in a sauce pan with vegetable oil over medium heat until softened (3-5 minutes). Meanwhile, roughly chop one chipotle pepper and reserve 1 Tbsp of adobo sauce from the can.
  2. Add the tomato sauce, raspberry jam, cider vinegar, chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce to the cooked onions and garlic. Stir everything well and bring up to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow the sauce to cool after simmering (it will thicken upon cooling).
  3. Remove the skin from the chicken and trim any excess fat. The skin should pull away from the meat easily although you may need a small sharp knife to separate it in some places. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and non-stick spray. Place the chicken thighs on the tray and slather with BBQ sauce (pour a small amount of sauce into a bowl before brushing onto chicken so that the whole batch will not get contaminated with raw chicken).
  5. Place the BBQ chicken in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Fifteen and thirty minutes into the cooking time, take the chicken out and slather with more sauce.


Step By Step Photos

onion, garlic in oilChop the onion and garlic very fine so there will not be large chunks in the sauce. Cook in vegetable oil until softened.

whole chipotlechopped chipotleTake one chipotle pepper from the can of peppers in adobo and chop it up. Also take one tablespoon of sauce from the can to add to the BBQ sauce.

bbq sauce ingredientsTo the cooked onions and garlic add the tomato sauce, raspberry jam, cider vinegar, chopped chipotle pepper and 1 Tbsp of adobo sauce.

stirStir well until the raspberry jam has completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to come up to a simmer over medium heat. Keep it simmering (stirring occasionally) for about 45 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.

chicken thighsPlace your chicken thighs on a clean work surface. Remove the skin and any excess fat. (I only cooked four thighs today and froze the rest of my sauce to use later).

trimmed chicken thighsHere are the skinless breasts. Some people claim that removing the skin will let the meat dry out but the BBQ sauce does a very good job of sealing in the moisture. The resulting chicken thighs were some of the most moist pieces of chicken I’ve ever eaten.

BBQ saucePour some of the BBQ sauce into a bowl so that you can brush it onto the raw chicken without contaminating the entire batch of sauce.

sauced chickenPlace the chicken on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and non-stick spray. Generously brush the BBQ sauce on top. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven.

15 minutes45 minutesBake the chicken for 45 minutes, taking time to add more BBQ sauce at 15 minutes and 30 minutes into the baking time. (photos are from after 15 minutes and 45 minutes of cooking) The sauce on the foil will scorch but the sauce on the chicken will not… so don’t let that black stuff worry you!

raspberry chipotle BBQ chicken

Ooohhh it was so delicious and moist! Sweet, tangy and with a decent kick!


  1. Christina says:

    Can the sauce be made in advance and be put in the fridge until you use it? I want to make it for supper but i only get home at 5:30, so would the sauce still be good if i made it the night before?

  2. Erin says:

    Where does the bbc sauce come into play… It’s not listed in the ingredients. I’m confused. Thank you!

  3. Venessa says:

    I was wondering if you tried using this same recipe for the crock pot with chicken breast?

  4. Eliza says:

    Hi Beth! I’m making this using sugar free raspberry preserves bc it’s all I have on hand. Any suggestion on how much sugar I should add in? Thanks!

    • Hmm, that’s tricky because it just depends on the natural (or artificial) sweetness of the preserves. You might have to play that one by ear and taste test to add more if needed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This recipe looks SO GOOD. However, since I live in the UK, there is nowhere (and I mean nowhere) that will sell chipotle chillies in adobo. I found some dried chipotle chillies in a supermarket that are a reasonable price, but the cheapest I can find a can of chillies in adobo is online for £6.50, which is CRAZY expensive. Any recommendations for substitutions? I really want to make this! Thanks :)

  6. Shannon says:

    I have some mango jam that I need to use up, do you think this would go with the recipe? Thanks.

  7. Jenilee says:

    I made this last night for dinner – it came out fantastic! The combination of chipotle and raspberry was amazing, and the chicken came out really moist. My boyfriend took some for lunch today :)
    Thanks for one more amazing dish for my files!

  8. Heather says:

    Hi Beth!
    I’d love to make this meal for a friend who just had a baby. If I cook the chicken as written, and either pop it in the fridge or freezer, how would you suggest it be reheated? Same goes with your cheesy shells with broccoli. Thanks!

    P.S. I don’t normally comment, but I LOVE your blog. My husband is working on his PhD (has one year to go) and your recipes have been a lifesaver for us and our very small budget. Thanks for all that you do!

  9. Kelly says:

    This is fabulous! I was hesitant about the combination of flavors, but it works. It works so well that I felt like it was a recipe from a high-end restaurant.
    One of my top five favorites on your site. You knocked this one out of the park, Beth!

  10. Lori M says:

    Hello Beth,
    I was wondering how i could adjust this recipe because I just so happen to have Sweet Baby Ray’s Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce in my pantry. Can u suggest how I can make it work in your recipe? Thanks!!

    • I think you should just be able to use it in place of the homemade sauce that is in the recipe (just brush it on the chicken as it bakes). Super easy. :)

  11. Trisha says:

    I have the BBQ sauce simmering now and does it smell gooooood! Can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the recipe :)

  12. I’ve had this bookmarked since you posted it and just got around to trying it out. I was scared by the smell when the sauce was simmering, but WOW! This was delicious!!! Definitely a new staple for my family. :)

  13. Kallie – Mine were in a small little can too. When you open the can you’ll probably find whole peppers in the sauce. The peppers are pretty small. So, if the peppers in your can aren’t whole, I would say probably only about 2 tablespoons worth. They’re pretty strong! I hope that helped!

  14. Hey! So my sister is craving this chicken, I have never cooked thighs before, so here goes nothing, but the chipotle peppers I found are in a small can, about how many cups would you say of pepper you used? That makes no grammatical sense, but I do not know how else to put it!

  15. Anon – Tomato sauce is sold in a can like diced or crushed tomatoes. If you’re not in the US, you might not have it available in your area. Ketchup is different because it contains sugar and other ingredients that give it a very different flavor from plain tomato sauce.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hello! This sounds great! Just one question, when you say sauce tomato that means ketchup? Or what kind of sauce? And can I use another type of vinegar? Or just cider? Thank you!!

  17. Lauren – I would freeze the sauce by itself. In theory you *could* freeze the chicken after cooking, but it will cook further upon reheating and probably won’t be quite as tasty as just freezing the sauce and making fresh chicken with it.

  18. Lauren says:

    When you freeze this, do you freeze just the sauce for future uses or freeze the finished product completely? Can’t wait to try this!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Found you via Pinterest, and finally got around to making this for lunch today. Loved it! I’m looking forward to checking out your other recipes. Thanks for this!

  20. Any suggestions of a pasta to pair it with? or maybe doubling the sauce for use with the pasta??

  21. Anon – I think it would be great with other flavors of jam, too! Raspberry is definitely my favorite with chipotle, but peach or even apricot would be great too. I’m sure strawberry, as you suggested, would be great!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I made this recipe and it was AMAZING! However, a member of my family is allergic to raspberries so I was wondering if it would still be great with strawberry jam or something else. What do you think? Thanks for posting!

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