It’s no secret to those who know me that I love pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, bagels, beer, cookies, pancakes…. You get the gyst of my addiction. But I wanted to come up with something that would complement grilled meats in the fall and realized I should try to incorporate pumpkin. Well this sauce did not disappoint! It was perfect. (Sorry the photo is a bit blurry, but the lighting was dim and all I could grab was my phone before we devoured dinner.)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper (or more if you really like the heat)
  • 1/2 cup Sofrito Criollo (I used La Flor brand)
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mixture)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Take the dried pepper and chop it up into fine pieces; discard the seeds if you don’t want the heat of the pepper (I wore rubber gloves to make sure I didn’t do something stupid like rub my eyes after dicing it). Mix all ingredients into a small sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat. Whisk until combined and heated through, coming to a light boil, then cover for a little while to really let the flavors mix. If you don’t use it right away, let the sauce cool a bit, pour it into a container with an air-tight lid and refrigerate. It should be used within a few months (if it lasts that long; I can’t imagine not using it up within a few days).

Pumpkin Chipotle BBQ sauce in a jarWe used about a third of the mixture and served it with some ribeyes and burgers. It was a last-minute plan to make the sauce and actually the smokiness tasted really good with the beef. I can only imagine what pork chops or ribs would be like with this sauce. It’s thick in texture, has a rich color and you don’t taste pumpkin but it has a subtle sweetness. The rest of the mixture was placed into mason jars—I just might have to make a double batch in a few weeks to give as gifts.

Leftover pumpkin

After making the sauce, you’ll be left with about half a can of the pumpkin. My suggestion: homemade dog treats! It’s not difficult or very time-consuming. If you don’t feel like rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters, simply take a tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, then smush it flat with the bottom of a glass.

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits: I’ll admit, my dog isn’t real picky. But he loves these treats (click the title for a link to the recipe). The ingredients are basic and it’s a healthy indulgence. And instead of wheat flour, you can incorporate brown rice flour which is easier on some dogs’ stomachs. If you don’t have a dog, these are really simple to make and could be a gift idea for a friend/neighbor/teacher that does have one.