Start Cookout Season Right with Valerie Bertinelli’s Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Barbecue Ribs

Kick off the grilling season on the right foot with Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli’s oh-so-tender barbecue ribs recipe.

The cooking show host‘s simple dish can be prepared in the oven, resulting in succulent, flavorful baby back ribs.

Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli wears a short-sleeve black top and raises a glass
Valerie Bertinelli | Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Valerie Bertinelli’s chipotle ribs are an aromatic delight

For the ribs in the former One Day at a Time star‘s recipe, you’ll need two racks of baby back ribs, paprika, and garlic powder. Bertinelli prefers pork ribs because “they’re just so much more tender, a lot more flavor, in my opinion,” she says in a Food Network video.

The recipe’s flavorful sauce calls for chopped onion and garlic, no-sugar-added ketchup, fresh orange juice, Worcestershire sauce, water, and chopped chipotles in adobo sauce.

Bertinelli emphasizes the importance of tenderizing the ribs because “you want that meat to fall off the bone.”

Her homemade barbecue sauce elevates this dish

“The first thing we’re going to do is cook them in the oven for about two hours,” Bertinelli says in the video. “And that’s really going to tenderize the meat and cook it all the way through. Then we put the barbecue sauce on it and throw it on the grill to get it nice and charred.”

If you don’t want to use a grill for this recipe, Bertinelli has a solution for that. “Put it under the broiler, and you’re going to get that beautiful char, too,” she says.

She starts by rubbing the spices all over the pork ribs (“This is just step one in the flavoring of the ribs.”) Then the meat goes into the oven, “low and slow,” for two hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the ribs are in the oven, Bertinelli makes the “silky” barbecue sauce. She caramelizes the onions and then cooks them with the rest of the ingredients. Eventually, she blends it all with her immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender. But Bertinelli warns: “Just be very careful when you’re blending liquid; make sure there’s plenty of venting for the steam to escape.”

You could use bottled barbecue sauce in this recipe. But as the actor points out, “I love making my own barbecue sauce. It’s just like salad dressings; you don’t have to buy them anymore because they’re so easy to make and you know exactly what’s going in them.”

The ribs are removed from the oven and slathered with the sauce. (“Leave some for dipping sauce.”) Then, Bertinelli returns them to the oven, this time set to broil, for about five minutes. Once they’re done, they’re ready to serve.

A simple and tasty side dish to serve with Valerie Bertinelli’s baby back ribs

Reviewers praised Bertinelli’s flavorful chipotle ribs

With that dry rub and delicious barbecue sauce, it’s no wonder home cooks loved Bertinelli’s spin on the classic cookout meal.

“These ribs are amazing, the sauce is delicious…I’ve already made these 3 times since watching the episode, total winner!  Thanks, Valerie,” one reviewer wrote on the recipe on Food Network.

Another home cook added, “Not spicy at all — more smokey flavor. I did mine in the oven/broiler. Would make again for sure!”

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