Herbs for Sauces and Glazes

Herbs for Sauces and Glazes: Elevating Your BBQ with Flavorful Finishes

The right herbs can transform BBQ sauces and glazes into flavorful masterpieces, adding depth and complexity to your dishes. From sweet and tangy glazes to rich and savory sauces, herbs play a vital role in enhancing the taste and aroma. Let’s explore some essential herbs commonly used in BBQ sauces and glazes, along with tips and recipes to get you started.

Key Herbs for Sauces and Glazes

  1. Basil:
    • Flavor Profile: Sweet, slightly peppery, with hints of mint and clove.
    • Uses: Perfect for tomato-based BBQ sauces and pesto glazes. Basil adds a fresh, aromatic quality to sauces.
  2. Cilantro:
    • Flavor Profile: Bright, citrusy, and slightly peppery.
    • Uses: Great for fresh salsas, chimichurri, and cilantro-lime glazes. Cilantro enhances the flavor of chicken, fish, and pork.
  3. Parsley:
    • Flavor Profile: Fresh, slightly peppery, and vibrant.
    • Uses: Ideal for chimichurri, gremolata, and parsley-lemon butter sauces. Parsley adds a bright, fresh flavor to any dish.
  4. Mint:
    • Flavor Profile: Cool, refreshing, and slightly sweet.
    • Uses: Perfect for mint-yogurt sauces, mint chimichurri, and mint glazes. Mint pairs well with lamb, chicken, and grilled fruits.
  5. Thyme:
    • Flavor Profile: Earthy with minty and lemony notes.
    • Uses: Versatile for all types of sauces and glazes, particularly those for beef and chicken. Thyme adds a subtle yet complex taste.

Sample Sauce and Glaze Recipes

Basil Pesto BBQ Glaze

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare the Pesto:
    • In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and minced garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add Oil and Lemon Juice:
    • With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Glaze Your BBQ:
    • Brush the pesto glaze onto grilled chicken, fish, or vegetables during the last few minutes of cooking for a fresh, herbaceous flavor.

Cilantro Lime BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro leaves, lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, honey, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. Use as a Sauce or Marinade:
    • This cilantro lime sauce can be used as a marinade for chicken or shrimp, or as a finishing sauce for grilled meats and vegetables.


Enhancing your BBQ sauces and glazes with herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, and thyme can take your grilling to the next level. Experiment with these herbs to create delicious and aromatic sauces that will impress your guests.