Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

We’re in full-on summer mode over here. The food. The drinks. And definitely the laziness. I mostly just want to sit on my front porch and sip on margaritas all day while watching my kid dig in the dirt. Part of that is because it’s too darn hot to even move, but also because, c’mon, nothing quite makes you lose any sort of work-related momentum quite like a porch swing, a summer breeze, and a cold cocktail, am I right?

But, alas, being an adult means I don’t really get to just goof off when the calendar flips to a new season. You know, mortgage and all that nonsense. So I’m trying my best to squeeze in summertime awesomeness where I can—and that means taking some shortcuts. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a shortcut every now and again. In an ideal world, would we all have a bajillion extra hours per week to hand churn our own butter? Yup. But, I don’t live in that world. And I doubt most of you do, either.

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

One of the shortcuts I happily use all the time: barbecue sauce. From a bottle. Gosh, it’s so flippin’ easy! And tastes amazing (I’ve tried making my own barbecue sauce at home, and it’s just never quite right). I’m not really super brand loyal, I just try to make sure to grab something with “cleaner” ingredients—lots of them are phasing out high fructose corn syrup—and something that you think tastes awesome.

I love taking bottled barbecue sauce and using it as a base sauce for experimenting. If you’re in a rush, just slapping some bottled barbecue sauce on some chicken on the grill is always delicious, but if you have a few more minutes, barbecue sauce is great for having some fun in the kitchen.

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

Berry season is in full swing around here, and I’ve been loving using all of our strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in all kinds of ways in the kitchen. I mean, we all know that blueberries are awesome in muffins and cakes and on yogurt and all that, but they are also great in savory dishes.

This buttermilk barbecue chicken is one of my new favorite summer dinners. It comes together quickly (less than an episode of Fixer Uppers—which is what I’ve been bingeing on lately), tastes awesome, and, my favorite part—doesn’t dirty the kitchen because you’re using the glorious dishes-saving grill.

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

The blueberries don’t make this chicken taste like “OMGBERRIES!” but they do just add a nice sweet, fruity flavor to the sauce that is bonkers good. And if you think a buttermilk marinade sounds weird, you have to try it.

You don’t really taste the buttermilk—other than just a touch of tang—but it does make for an awesomely tender piece of chicken. Honestly, anytime you have chicken and buttermilk in the fridge, you better be doing a buttermilk marinade. Trust me. Enjoy!

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Sweet, tangy, and savory, this Blueberry Buttermilk Barbecue Chicken is a great way to celebrate grilling season.


  • 4 chicken leg quarters or 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 cup bottle barbecue sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a large zip top bag, pour buttermilk over top, and close the bag. Lay flat and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 2 hours.
  2. To prepare the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and onions, and cook until just tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, blueberries, and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the blueberries pop and the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until mostly smooth. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grease the grill grates. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade—allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the chicken pieces, skin side down, on the preheated grill. Brush the top side liberally with the prepared sauce.
  7. Cook for 5-7 minutes, flip the chicken pieces, and then brush the other side liberally with prepared sauce. Repeat this process 3-4 times until the chicken is well-coated, and cooked through—an instant read thermometer should read 165°F. Brush on additional sauce before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1147Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 561mgSodium: 2116mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 3gSugar: 55gProtein: 110g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.


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  1. We own about 48 acres of blueberries that we farm commercially, which means I always have blueberries and need more ways to use them. I love this idea.

    Funny thing – even though my hubby grows blueberries he doesn’t like eating them, at least not by themselves. I think he would enjoy them in this manner.

    1. That’s so funny! Isn’t it interesting how the things that are fun to grow aren’t always the same things we love to eat? I feel that way about radishes. Love farming them, don’t love eating them. 🙂