How to Make Plum Sauce

by Melissa Hamilton

Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Plum sauce is very versatile. A sweet or savory plum sauce pairs well with meats like chicken, pork and lamb. Asian-inspired dishes, particularly ones mixed with apple or ginger flavors, are enhanced with a plum sauce. Desserts like cobblers, crisps or ice cream are easily complemented with the sweet or tart combination from plum sauce. It is easy and quick to mix up your own plum sauce.


  • Essential to any delicious plum sauce is using fresh plums. While plum preserves or plum jam can work in a pinch, fresh plums will provide the best taste.


Sweet Plum Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped plums
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Savory Plum Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups diced plums
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons mustard


  • The plums don't have to be peeled before being chopped and added to either sauce, but you can peel them if you prefer.



Dissolve the Sugar

Cook the butter, brown sugar and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat until the brown sugar is fully dissolved.

Cook the Plums

Mix in the plums, cooking for 5 minutes with the juice mixture to break the plums down and create a thick sauce consistency.

Add Spices & Simmer the Sauce

Add the ginger and allspice to the plum sauce and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring regularly.


Saute the Onions

Saute the chopped onions with the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir consistently until the onions are tender.

Mix the Sauce

Stir the plums, brown sugar, tomato sauce, Sriracha, soy sauce, lemon juice and mustard into the sauteed onions.

Cook the Sauce

Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to blend the ingredients fully together.


  • Plum sauces can be served directly on most dishes, or on the side. While some dishes will taste better with hot plum sauce and others with a cold version, the sauce itself tastes delicious hot or chilled.


There are a number of variations to plum sauce, so get creative in the kitchen and experiment.

  • Try using curry in a plum sauce or add fresh ginger and garlic. 
  • For a sweeter option, blend in applesauce or orange marmalade.
  • You can try blending a plum sauce with a balsamic vinegar as well for a rich and vibrant flavor. 
  • A strong Dijon mustard and pepper jelly presence can also add a bold kick. 
  • Pairing a sweet plum sauce with a homemade whipped cream or creme fraiche creates a sweet and creamy topping for desserts.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

About the Author

Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.