Let’s get sauced! Sauce and relish recipes just in time for grilling season

grillingMemorial Day unofficially kicks off the beginning of grilling season, and the Distinctive Inns of New England want you to be ready with some fabulous grilling sauces and relishes.  While nothing beats the sauces and relishes straight from the kitchens of the nine DINE inns, we know everyone can’t always have that romantic getaway 365 days of the year.  So, allow us to bring you that DINE goodness in these ideas from the DINE recipe boxes for your next grilling marathon.  Here are some sauces you can apply before or after grilling, and some relishes that are fabulous atop your grilled items.  You may be surprised to find out that they can also be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes too!

Sweet Pepper Relish Recipe from Rabbit Hill Inn

This Sweet Pepper Relish is actually the perfect addition to any dish. At the Rabbit Hill Inn it’s frequently served alongside a breakfast quiche. Yet it also works really well alongside or atop pork, chicken, or fish too. Our absolute favorite, though, is to enjoy this relish with cheese and crackers, and best of all, it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan too.

Recipe yields: 2 quarts

1/2 cup olive oil

2 lbs. bell peppers, chopped (we use red & yellow bell peppers)

Red Pepper Relish from Rabbit Hill Inn1 cup golden raisin

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp Allspice

1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

2 2/3 cups finely chopped onion

1½ cup red wine vinegar

1½ cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic, finely chopped


Sauté onions & peppers in olive oil

Add all other ingredients

Cook until thick – Approx. 1 to 1.5 hours. Stirring frequently.

transfer to a large shallow baking dish for cooling.

Phyllis’s Pro Tip: Due to the sugar content, this delicious relish lasts a long time. There are several storage options:

  • You can store in a tight container and keep in fridge (for quite a long time)
  • You can freeze it
  • If you are a canner, this would be a perfect canned relish (ad it makes a great gift idea too).

Cranberry Sauce from Chesterfield Inn

Who says you have to wait for Thanksgiving to make cranberry sauce? This easy-to-make and delicious sauce makes a fantastic addition to turkey and chicken sandwiches all year long and many chicken or duck dishes too. This  cranberry relish is a recipe that Innkeeper Judy Hueber’s friend Betsy Bates taught her years ago. When you see how easy and delicious this is, you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again!


Cranberry sauce - Chesterfield Inn1 bag fresh cranberries

1 jar orange marmalade

1/2 cup orange juice, and more if needed


Put the cranberries in a saucepan, add the marmalade and orange juice.

Cook on low heat until the cranberries pop, and everything has melded together nicely.

Let cool. Refrigerate until needed.

Tip: This sauce keeps for a while in a covered refrigerated container.

Dave’s Tomato Butter Recipe from the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina

While Dave has retired from his role as innkeeper at the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina, we still love to share his recipes.  According to Dave, this Tomato Butter is similar to a “Sweet & Spicy” salsa/relish/chutney and adds a distinctive addition to egg strata’s, omelets, burgers, steaks, cheese platters and crostini’s.  Guests also use it as a spread on toasts and bagels. It would be great on burgers or hot dogs too.


 42 oz. of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes (1 large/28 oz & 1 small/14 oz can) or use the  equivalent amount of fresh-from-the garden tomatoes diced

Photo of Dave's amazing Tomato Butter recipe from Inn at Harbor Hill Marina1 large onion diced (~ 1+ Cup)

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

3/4 Cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and stir.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes then reduce heat to a low simmer ensuring the mixture is bubbling.

Simmer on low heat until the mixture thickens; normally about 2 ½ hours (yes, that long).

After mixture thickens, let cool completely and store in refrigerator.

The mixture should keep for up to 5 days.

Homemade Root Beer Barbecue Sauce Recipe from Rabbit Hill Inn

Root beer and BBQ sauce go together like mac goes with cheese. The Rabbit Hill Inn brings you your chance to WOW your friends with this delicious, and oh-so-easy root beer barbecue sauce recipe. It’s the right combination of spicy, sweet and tangy all in one.  According to the Rabbit Hill Inn’s innkeepers, this awesome homemade BBQ sauce recipe works on everything!

Recipe yields 4 cups.


Root beer¼ Cup minced onion

½ Tbls minced garlic

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp lemon zest

1 Tbls molasses

¼ Cup brown sugar

3 Tbls Worcestershire sauce

¼ Cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

1 cup ketchup

¼ Cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1 cup root beer (while any brand will do, the better the quality, the stronger the root beer flavor)

Method (It’s so simple)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and incorporate well.

Bring to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.

Season with salt as desired.

Note: Photo by Perry Merrity II on Unsplash.

This summer, if you can’t make it to your favorite DINE inn, you can still enjoy some of the tastes of our inns using these recipes.  For more recipes from your favorite New England inns, simply click on the RECIPE button above.

Plan your next delicious getaway at the nine Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking on links below that will take you directly to each of their websites.  Don’t forget to book directly with the inn for the best rates and availability.

In Maine:  Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In New Hampshire: Manor on Golden Pond  in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod