Grilled Blueberry BBQ Chicken

Today, I’m pulling from the archives, folks, and sharing my oldie but goodie recipes for Grilled Blueberry BBQ Chicken and Broccoli Salad. In my opinion, a quintessential summertime meal! It occurred to me recently that I’ve been posting mostly vegetarian recipes. The reality is, that’s what I’ve been cooking at home mostly lately. While I’m not vegetarian, I do lean more veggie-centric in my daily life, and with my current desire to cook less and stay outside more, as I shared in my last post about 5 Tips to Avoiding Your Kitchen This Summer, I’m enjoying a lot of veggies, grain salads and leftovers when home.

A paper plate holding 2 barbecue lacquered drumsticks atop a pile of classic broccoli salad.

Side Bar Confession Time: Three of the past four times I’ve gone out to eat, I’ve ordered a cheese burger. Hahaha! That’s how I avoid cooking for myself, I guess!

Since I certainly enjoy a good grilled meat dinner every now and again, I thought this dinner would be worth sharing. Originally, I shared these two recipes on my Guest Chef website but the combo is something I make sure I enjoy every summer. I hope you will, too!

A saucepan of blueberries, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, honey and garlic powder ready to cook into a batch of blueberry bbq sauce.

The really exciting part of this meal is making your own barbecue sauce. How fun is that? And adding fresh blueberries feels exactly like summer. Make the sauce in advance, though. Like, a week in advance! Because, why not? Enjoy it all summer long, not just for one meal.

A mason jar of blueberry bbq sauce with a pastry brush for basting.

You can also make the broccoli salad in advance. Earlier in the day, or a day or two ahead if you are that good at planning! My summertime tip is to keep the broccoli raw. A) It tastes good raw. B) It has great texture when it’s raw. And C) Why waste time watching a pot of water come to a boil?!?

Since you need to cook the bacon and toast the almonds, that seems like enough cooking for me. That’s my compromise. Then, I just mix it all up together and package it up in the fridge until it’s time to eat!

A big mixing bowl with bacon, dried cranberries, green onion, almonds, broccoli and seasoned mayo ready to be combined all together.

Grilling the chicken can be done on an indoor grill pan or on an actual grill. I wrote the recipe for either approach, to be most accommodating. And the results are equally delicious!

Going down memory lane with this dinner combo definitely has me craving chicken. Now, we can eat our veggies and have our chicken, too!

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A paper plate holding 2 barbecue lacquered drumsticks atop a pile of classic broccoli salad.

Grilled Blueberry BBQ Chicken

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade blueberry bbq sauce lacquered over grilled drumsticks and served with a sweet and savory broccoli salad is as good as summer eatin’ can get!



For the Blueberry BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 pints (approximately 2 cups) of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/161/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your taste for spice)
  • 48 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

For the Broccoli Salad:

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. To make the blueberry bbq sauce in advance, combine the blueberries, apple cider vinegar, water, ketchup, mustard, honey, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir as it heats. Once boiling, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Stir the BBQ sauce often. Once it’s done simmering, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Be careful as the sauce will be quite hot! Once smooth, place the sauce in a storage container and refrigerate.
  3. To make the broccoli salad in advance, measure the almonds into a large or medium saute pan and set over medium heat. Toast until golden, about 5-8 minutes, shaking pan often to prevent burning.
  4. Slice the bacon into small pieces. Once the almonds are done cooking, transfer them to a clean plate or bowl and set the pan back over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it is brown and nearly crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
  5. To finish, combine the mayonnaise, honey, Dijon, red wine vinegar and cayenne in a large bowl. Stir to mix well, then add the broccoli, green onion, dried cranberries or cherries and the toasted almonds.  Once bacon is done, add this to the bowl as well and finish by seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Store in fridge until ready to serve.
  6. Finally, to cook the chicken, heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. If using a grill pan indoors, add olive oil. Once oil is nearly smoking, set the seasoned drumsticks on the pan. I like to set them fattiest side face down first. Sear the meat until nice char marks form, them rotate a quarter turn. Lower heat at this point to medium and continue to cook and rotate until all sides of the drumsticks are marked. If cooking indoors, about halfway through, tent the chicken with aluminum foil to help bake the chicken all the way through. You can achieve this on an outdoor grill simply by putting the lid on. Chicken should take anywhere from 25-35 minutes to cook depending on the size of your drumsticks and level of heat from your grill pan or stove.
  7. Measure about 1/4 cup of blueberry BBQ sauce into a small dish. Once chicken is just about done, start basting the chicken with the sauce. The sugars in the sauce can burn easily so I like to baste and turn and baste and turn to help the sauce set on the chicken but not sit too long and char.
  8. Scoop broccoli salad onto each plate, along with 1 or 2 drumsticks. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: chicken dinner, grilled chicken, homemade bbq sauce, blueberry recipes

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