Baked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Berry Sauce

The Recipe: I know, I know, the best ribs are cooked "low and slow" – no argument. But what if you don't have a smoker? Or what if you don't have all day to tend a fire? Or what if it's just too blazing hot to stand over a grill? Or what if, what if, you just have a hankering for ribs that won't quit?

And what if I were to tell you that even bona-fide rib connoisseurs think my oven-baked ribs are surprisingly good? Not as good or as tender as slow-smoked, mind you, but pretty da** good and tender, if I say so myself. It's hard to believe they're done in little more than an hour.

Baked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Berry Sauce, oven-baked in 90 minutes with a spicy raspberry or blackberry glaze. Recipe, tips, nutrition, Weight Watchers points @

The backyard grill is out of commission (again) and the replacement won’t be delivered for another while.

But that doesn’t mean a hankering for ribs doesn’t hit hard. Ribs from the grill are always first choice but these BAKED BABY BACK RIBS are more than a little comestible.

Plus, most recipes for baby back ribs call for an afternoon or more of marinating, then slow cooking. This recipe better fits a clamoring culinary clock, as in, “How about ribs, you know, now?”

From craving to table, no more than two hours need pass, including plenty of time for a stop at the butcher counter.

ALANNA's TIPS Be prepared, your kitchen is going to smell really good while the ribs are cooking! Helps to work up an appetite for ribs! The last time I made this, I did five pounds of ribs with 2x the garlic and meat spices and 1.5x the Spicy Berry Sauce. Since frozen fruit often comes in 16-ounce bags, consider doubling the sauce, freezing half for another time. Doubled or not, the sauce can be made in advance if that’s more convenient. Be aware that the sauce tastes "really" spicy when you run a finger through it but once it's on the ribs, the sauce isn't spicy at all. You know how jars of minced garlic simplify food prep? Now there are similar products for ginger. Check your local grocery for a tube version that’s pricey or visit an international market when you have the chance to stock up on jars on the cheap. For a silky glaze, press the purée through a strainer into a saucepan. I don't mind the rustic texture of the fruity sauce however. Leftover ribs reheat well. Just wrap in foil, either whatever’s left or in individual servings, and heat for about 15 minutes at 350F/175C.


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Makes about 16 ribs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds baby back ribs
  • 8 ounces frozen raspberries or blackberries (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger (see TIPS)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional

RIBS Set oven at 400F/200C. Cover rimmed baking sheet with foil. Stir together garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt in small dish, rub it on meaty side of the slabs. Arrange slabs on baking sheet, meaty side up. Bake for 50 minutes or until the ribs are fully cooked (if the ribs are big, they'll take longer to cook, no pink should be visible).

SPICY BERRY SAUCE Purée sauce ingredients in a blender. (See TIPS.) Transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium high for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until reduced by about half.

TO FINISH Brush ribs with sauce and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce browns and forms a thick glaze.

TO SERVE Cut slabs between bones into individual ribs. Serve with warm remaining sauce.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Rib: 124 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 9g Carb; 2g Fiber; 219mg Sodium; 24mg Cholesterol; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 3 & WW PointsPlus 3

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

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Love your blog and the pics. I just recently published an entry on my blog where I slow grilled some baby back ribs. Would love for you to check it out and give me your opinion.


One more reason to bake ribs: the husband is under the weather, unable to man the smoker all day. Your recipe saved our 4th of July party, thank you, thank you. Excellent ribs! The sauce is amazing. PS Alanna, we love so many of your recipes, you seem to know exactly what we want to eat right now.
Anonymous ~ Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m so glad the ribs were a hit.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna