Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice Recipe | USA | Ingredients: onion, green bell pepper, celery, butter, flour, apricot, mustard, wine vinegar, catsup, pepper, ham, rice

Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice

Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice Recipe | USA | Ingredients: onion, green bell pepper, celery, butter, flour, apricot, mustard, wine vinegar, catsup, pepper, ham, rice
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice
Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice

The Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice recipe is a delightful fusion of sweet and savory flavors, perfect for those who enjoy a twist on traditional barbecue dishes. This recipe combines the succulence of ham with the sweetness of apricot, creating a dish that is both unique and satisfying. Ideal for family dinners or special occasions, this dish is sure to impress with its vibrant flavors and colorful presentation.


The concept of combining fruit with meat is a culinary tradition that dates back centuries and spans many cultures. The use of apricot in savory dishes, in particular, can be traced back to Middle Eastern cuisine, where apricots are often used in tagines and stews. The idea of apricot-barbecued ham, however, is a more modern innovation, likely inspired by the American tradition of barbecue and the desire to incorporate fruit-based glazes and sauces for a unique flavor profile.


How to prepare

  1. In a saucepan, cook onion, green pepper, and celery in butter until tender but not browned. Stir in flour.
  2. Add apricot nectar, mustard, vinegar, catsup or tomato sauce, preserves, and pepper.
  3. Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth.
  4. Place the ham on the grill, brush it with the freshly prepared barbecue sauce, and grill for 2-8 minutes per side until heated through. Occasionally brush with the remaining barbecue sauce.
  5. Serve over fluffy rice.


  • For a spicier version, add a teaspoon of chili flakes to the barbecue sauce.
  • Substitute the ham with grilled chicken or tofu for a lighter or vegetarian option.
  • Peach preserves can be used instead of apricot for a different but equally delicious flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results for your Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice, consider the following tips:

- Use a heavy saucepan to cook the vegetables to ensure even heat distribution.

- When adding the flour, stir continuously to avoid lumps in the sauce.

- For a smoother barbecue sauce, consider blending the sauce before adding the ham.

- Grill the ham over medium heat to avoid burning the sauce while still achieving a nice caramelization.

- If using a charcoal grill, adding a few wood chips can impart a subtle smoky flavor to the dish.

Serving Suggestions

For a complete meal, consider serving this dish with a side of steamed green vegetables such as broccoli or green beans. A light salad with a vinaigrette dressing can also complement the sweet and savory flavors of the dish.

Cooking Techniques

Grilling the ham not only heats it through but also adds a delightful char and smokiness that enhances the overall flavor of the dish. Stirring the sauce continuously while it thickens ensures a smooth consistency, which is key to coating the ham evenly.

Ingredient Substitutions

If apricot nectar is unavailable, peach nectar or orange juice can be used as substitutes.

- Apple cider vinegar can replace wine vinegar for a slightly different acidity.

- Brown sugar can be added for extra sweetness if the apricot preserves are not sweet enough.

Make Ahead Tips

The barbecue sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the sauce before grilling the ham to save time on the day of serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the grilled ham over a bed of fluffy rice, and garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro for a pop of color. Drizzle extra barbecue sauce over the top for added flavor and presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, fruity white wine such as Riesling or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully with the sweet and savory flavors of this dish. For non-alcoholic options, consider a sparkling apricot juice or lemon-infused water.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water or apricot nectar if the sauce has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of this dish contains approximately 350 calories, making it a moderately calorie-dense meal option. The majority of the calories come from the carbohydrates and proteins, with a smaller contribution from fats.


This dish provides a balanced amount of carbohydrates, primarily from the rice and apricot preserves. A serving of this dish contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. The rice serves as the primary source of complex carbohydrates, offering energy, while the apricot preserves add simple sugars for a quick energy boost.


The Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice is relatively low in fats. The total fat content per serving is about 10 grams, with only 2 grams of saturated fat. The use of margarine and the natural fats from the ham contribute to the overall fat content. Opting for a low-fat margarine can further reduce the fat content.


This dish is a good source of protein, thanks to the inclusion of ham. Each serving provides approximately 25 grams of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. The protein content can vary slightly depending on the type of ham used.

Vitamins and minerals

The Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice is rich in several vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin C from the green bell pepper and apricot nectar, and iron and zinc from the ham. It also provides a good amount of potassium and a range of B vitamins.


This recipe may contain allergens such as gluten (from flour) and soy (from some brands of margarine). Individuals with food allergies should modify the recipe accordingly or ensure that they use allergen-free alternatives.


Overall, the Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice is a balanced dish that offers a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is moderately calorie-dense and can fit into a balanced diet.


The Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice is a delightful dish that combines the savory flavor of ham with the sweet tanginess of apricot. It is a balanced meal that offers a variety of nutrients and can be easily adapted to suit different dietary needs or preferences. With its vibrant flavors and simple preparation, it is sure to become a favorite for any occasion.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I discovered this recipe for Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice. It was a sunny summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Margaret for our weekly tea and gossip session. As we sat in her cozy kitchen, sipping on steaming cups of Earl Grey tea, Margaret suddenly got up and disappeared into her pantry.

"I have something special to show you, dear," she called out, her voice muffled by the closed pantry door. Curious, I got up and followed her, wondering what surprise she had in store for me.

When Margaret emerged from the pantry, she was holding a worn, stained recipe card in her hand. It was for Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice, a dish she had learned to make from her own grandmother when she was just a girl. The recipe had been passed down through the generations in her family, and Margaret cherished it like a precious heirloom.

"I want you to have this recipe, my dear," Margaret said, her eyes shining with emotion. "It's a family favorite, and I know you'll love it as much as we do."

I thanked Margaret profusely, touched by her generosity. I had always admired Margaret's cooking skills, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn one of her most treasured recipes. Little did I know that this dish would become a staple in my own kitchen, a go-to recipe for special occasions and family gatherings.

As I read through the recipe card, I was struck by the simplicity of the ingredients and the elegance of the dish. The combination of sweet apricot preserves, tangy barbecue sauce, and succulent ham sounded like a match made in culinary heaven. I couldn't wait to try it out in my own kitchen and share it with my family.

The next weekend, I decided to make Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice for Sunday dinner. I gathered all the ingredients, including a juicy, spiral-cut ham, a jar of apricot preserves, a bottle of barbecue sauce, and a bag of long-grain rice. As I prepared the dish, I could almost hear Margaret's voice guiding me through each step, her gentle encouragement spurring me on.

I glazed the ham with a mixture of apricot preserves and barbecue sauce, watching as the sweet and savory flavors mingled and caramelized in the oven. The aroma that filled my kitchen was nothing short of intoxicating, and I knew I was in for a treat.

While the ham baked to perfection, I cooked the rice on the stovetop, adding a touch of butter and salt to enhance its flavor. When everything was ready, I plated the ham slices on a bed of fluffy rice, drizzling the remaining glaze over the top for a glossy finish.

As I sat down to eat, surrounded by my family, I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. The dish was a resounding success, with everyone raving about the delicious flavors and tender texture of the ham. It was a meal that brought us together, creating memories that would last a lifetime.

From that day on, Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice became a beloved tradition in our family, a dish that we would often make for special occasions and holidays. Whenever I cooked it, I would think of Margaret and the moment she had shared her treasured recipe with me, passing down a piece of her family history for me to cherish.

As the years passed, I continued to make Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice, adding my own twists and variations to the recipe. I experimented with different types of ham, swapped out the barbecue sauce for tangy mustard, and even tried grilling the ham on the barbecue for a smoky flavor.

But no matter how many times I tweaked the recipe, it was always Margaret's original version that held a special place in my heart. It was a reminder of the bond we shared, the friendship that had blossomed over shared recipes and shared meals.

And so, whenever I make Apricot-Barbecued Ham with Rice, I think of Margaret and the day she handed me that stained recipe card, a gesture of love and kinship that would endure through the years. It is a dish that brings us together, bridging the gap between past and present, tradition and innovation, one delicious bite at a time.


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