Baby Back Ribs glazed with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce.

Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

This recipe for Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce is a must for your next barbecue. It’s sticky, spicy, and a whole lot of savory!

Baby Back Ribs glazed with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce.
Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

This recipe for Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce is a must for your next barbecue. It’s sticky, spicy, and a whole lot of savory!

Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce | | Ribs glazed with this spicy barbecue sauce will wow everyone at your next barbecue.

If there is one thing my daughter can eat with blissful abandon every single day of the week, it would be ribs. Ribs for breakfast, ribs for lunch, ribs for dinner. Viva la ribs!

With our landscaping project finally complete, and the grill now in its proper place in our new home, I asked her what we should grill to celebrate as I was tucking her into bed the other night. Her answer should not have surprised me.

So I waved my magic wand – ok, whisk – and made it happen. Specifically, Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce happened.

A white dish filled with fresh blueberries.

A glass bowl filled with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce.

Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

May we pause on this sauce for a moment? The minute she said ribs I knew exactly what I wanted to glaze over the meat, just as it begged to fall off the bones. I had some gorgeous blueberries that I knew would be perfect, transformed into a sauce so spicy and sweet, and irresistibly sticky.

My whisk coaxed it into a sauce perfumed with inky balsamic vinegar, sweetened with a touch of honey, and mellowed with molasses. Red chili flakes and cayenne pepper were not spared, and I am willing to actually say that this is the best barbecue sauce I have ever made.

Glazed Baby Back Ribs on a serving board.

Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce | | This spicy barbecue sauce made with blueberries is a must make.

It didn’t take long to call the kids down to dinner that evening. The smokey scent from the grill drew them down before I had a chance to call them. It was one night where we ate just ribs. No sides. Nothing else. Just all the ribs. And my daughter was in heaven.

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Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

This recipe for Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce is a must for your next barbecue! It's sticky, spicy, and a whole lot of savory!
Baby Back Ribs glazed with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce.
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5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 909kcal


For the Ribs:

  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen works
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup diced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  • Flip one rack of baby back ribs over and insert the tip of a butter knife under the membrane that covers the back of the rack. Wiggle the knife to loosen the membrane. Use a paper towel to hold one the and pull it off. Repeat with remaining rack.
  • Combine the seasonings in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon or small whisk. Sprinkle the rub generously on both sides of the baby back ribs. Place the ribs bone side down on the baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours, or until the ribs are slack when you lift them and the meat is almost ready to fall off the bone.
  • While the ribs are in the oven, make the barbecue sauce. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the blueberries, honey and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, and cook until the blueberries have burst and released their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper (add in increments if you are sensitive to spice), shallots and garlic and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes more. If you have an immersion blender, blend the sauce together to puree the sauce into a smoother consistency. You may also use a blender or a masher.
  • Stir in the molasses, salt and pepper, and continue simmering the sauce until it has thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat and let it cool; it will thicken as it sits. The sauce may be used right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator after cooling completely.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • When the ribs are tender, remove from the oven. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce on both sides. Reserve the remaining sauce for serving. Place the ribs on the grill, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ribs are caramelized, turning periodcally. Transfer the ribs onto a cutting board and brush with more sauce. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, then cut the ribs. Serve immediately along with the reserved sauce.


Calories: 909kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 3215mg | Potassium: 1145mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 1992IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating

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  1. T Henderson

    5 stars
    The sweetness of the blueberries coupled with the balsamic vinaigrette and spice of the cayenne pepper create a melody of lusciousness. These ribs are fantastic (tender and delicious). The barbecue sauce is so good that I plan on canning a batch to keep in the pantry. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

    • Liren Baker

      I am so happy that you loved the ribs! The blueberry barbecue is my favorite and I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as we do! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  2. Rick

    How many racks of ribs will this cover? I’m grillin 5 racks and need to know how much to adjust this recipe.. thank you

  3. Gail Landgraf

    Liren Baker: I loved the recipe you posted on 5/12/15 for Baby Back Ribs with Blueberry Balsamic Barbecue Sauce! I would like to share a link to this blog page on my Father’s Day blog (I’m presently writing a series of articles to publish on Father’s Day THIS WEEK.) Of course you would get all the credit and I would simply mention that I loved your recipe and share your link. It might increase your blog stats a bit; but I would not be able to pay you for it. I haven’t monitized my blog site yet and not going to make anything off of the posting. Just trying to provide good content for those interested and I think referring my readers to your article would be an awesome opportunity to provide such. I’m hoping that you would agree for me to share the link. If so; please send the link my way. Thank you so much for your consideration.

  4. Rob Nguyen-Nusum

    I have been “perfecting” ribs for quite some time, and, in fact, in our family, I am known as Mr. Ribs. I initially used a recipe for dry rub known as “Angel Dust”, a wicked combination of over 15 different ingredients, which made for an expensive combo. However, in the past five years, we have adopted Mrs. Dash’s Chipotle Seasoning, which, for a mere $2.49-2.99, contains all the ingredients of our old Angel Dust and then some! What I got from this recipe, though, was the tart, spicy sauce, which I have made with my ol’ dependable standard of Sweet Baby Rays, and what a beautiful symphony the two have made!!! What a treat to cook for your sweet!

    • Liren Baker

      Awesome to hear, Rob! Good to know about the chipotle seasoning – I’ll have to check it out and try it with our ribs next time!

  5. Marshall Young

    This is a must try if you like trying new things. Prepare to be amazed!

  6. Kim

    I just made these for dinner tonight and my boyfriend is STILL going crazy about them! Thank you so much for this wonderful and creative recipe! Saving to make later.

  7. Jen

    Wow! This recipe is excellent! I used this last night to make ribs for my husband and I and they were absolutely delicious. The recipe takes a bit of time but we thought it was worth it. I used the spices as specified and the ribs came out spicy but not in a hot way more like a smoky spicy. The sauce had the right balance of spice and sweetness and the molasses gave it a deep, almost old-timey flavor. Really terrific. Thanks for posting.

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Jen! I’m thrilled that you loved the ribs! These are absolutely one of my favorite sauces – and always a hit when I make it for my family. Stay tuned, I have another fun bbq sauce for you to try coming soon!

  8. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Liren, these ribs are first up in my queue of recipes for summer barbecuing. I can’t wait to make them. You have my mouth watering!

    • Liren Baker

      I can’t wait for you to make them, Mary! Please let me know when you do – it was definitely a hit over here :)

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