Food & Drink

Baked Baby Back Ribs & Potatoes

Sheet Pan Ribs

From the author:
I live in a small apartment in a bustling city, so for me, backyards and barbecue grills are the stuff of pipe dreams. Still, perfectly tender baby back ribs are well within reach. A slow and steady stint in the oven followed by a quick broil does the trick! A mixture of dry rub, barbecue sauce, some Dijon mustard, and liquid smoke ensures knock-out flavor, and a side of creamy-centered potatoes seals the deal. Who needs a grill, anyway?

Baked Baby Back Ribs & Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard (such as Colman’s)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 pounds baby back ribs, trimmed of silverskin
  • 1 pound medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s or Stubb’s), plus extra for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F with one rack about 4 inches from the broiler and another rack in the center position.
  2. Place the Dijon mustard in a small bowl, add the liquid smoke, if using, and stir together to combine. Whisk together the brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, paprika, ground mustard, cumin, and cayenne in a medium-size bowl.
  3. Brush both sides of the ribs with the Dijon mustard and sprinkle with the spice mix to coat. Pat the spice mix into the meat so it sticks. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and place them in the center of a sheet pan.
  4. Combine the potatoes, olive oil, and Old Bay in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the potatoes on the pan around the package of ribs.
  5. Bake for 1½ hours, gently flipping the package and stirring up the potatoes halfway through cooking.
  6. Carefully transfer the package of ribs to a platter or another sheet pan and remove the foil. Return the ribs (without the foil) to the center of the pan in a single layer, meaty side up. Brush them all over with the barbecue sauce.
  7. Bake until a knife slides easily into the thickest part of the meat, an additional 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the potatoes during this part of the baking—if they’re getting too dark, remove them to a serving bowl, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm, and set them aside.
  8. When the ribs are knife-tender, remove the pan from the oven. Scoop the potatoes into a serving bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  9. Turn the oven to broil and broil the ribs on the top rack until they are slightly charred in spots, about 3 minutes.
  10. Allow the ribs to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing them between the bones. Serve the ribs with the potatoes and extra barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Sauce: DIY or Buy?
It’s pretty simple to whip up your own homemade barbecue sauce, and there are roughly a million different ways to do it. Most standard-issue red barbecue sauces involve some mixture of ketchup or tomato sauce, mustard, vinegar, sugar, onion or garlic, molasses, and spices—every region of the country seems to have its preferred way of doing it. I’m all for homemade, but I won’t lie: More often than not, I’ll grab a bottle of the stuff at the market. There are quite a few good-quality store-bought options out there, depending on your personal tastes. I grew up on Sweet Baby Ray’s (which I love), and recently discovered Stubbs (I particularly like the smoky mesquite flavor), which is richly flavored and doesn’t rely on high fructose corn syrup, unlike most other store-bought options.

Sheet Pan SuppersSheet Pan Suppers
by Molly Gilbert

It’s the one-pot meal reinvented, and what is sure to become every busy cook’s new favorite way of getting dinner on the table. It’s Sheet Pan Suppers—a breakthrough full-color cookbook with more than 120 recipes for complete meals, snacks, and even desserts, that require nothing more than a sheet pan, your oven, and Molly Gilbert’s inspired approach.

Maximum ease, minimal cleanup, and mouthwatering recipes. In other words, a revelation that will change the way we cook.

GET THE BOOK: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Workman Publishing | iBooks | | Google Play | Kobo