Dr. Pepper Ribs

Sunday night was the perfect night to grill out here in Chicago! I had put a slab of ribs in the fridge to marinade Saturday afternoon, but this was not your typical marinade. Per a recipe in Cook This Not That, I used Dr. Pepper soda to marinate my ribs! I thought this was such a clever and unique idea that of course I had to try it!


Here’s what you do:

Dr. Pepper Ribs

gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, seed-free, shellfish-oil, fish-free, bean & legume-free


  • 1 slab baby back ribs
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle Dr Pepper (I used Diet)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 onion, minced (I used 3 purplette onions from the farmers market)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Place ribs in a deep baking dish and pour enough soda over them to cover (save at least 1/2 cup for barbeque sauce). Add 1/8 cup salt and soak overnight. Preheat oven to 350*F. Remove ribs, pat dry, and sprinkle with chili powder. Discard marinade and return ribs to empty baking dish, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 2 hours.

To make the barbeque sauce heat oil in a skillet, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, cayenne, and 1/2 cup soda. Simmer for 15 minutes until sauce thickens. If you do not want to make your own barbeque sauce you can just as easily use a store bought one instead to save time.

Heat grill. Brush ribs with barbeque sauce and grill for 10-15 minutes, rib side down. Flip over and cook other side until lightly charred and smoky. Remove from grill and brush with more sauce before serving. I used up all of my sauce before grilling so had to use some extra store bought barbeque sauce for the last step. Next time I might double the sauce recipe to ensure I have some left over!


I served the ribs with some grilled corn, chips and fresh salsa made earlier that afternoon, and some homemade baked beans (see recipe below). The beans were fantastic, I couldn’t get enough of them! This recipe of course was derived from a recipe in Cook This Not That! I’m telling you, this book has it all!


  • 4 strips turkey bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (you can also use 2 cans kidney beans instead)
  • 1 cup beer (a dark beer is preferred but if all you have on hand is light, that will work too!)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Stir in beans, beer, ketchup, chili powder, brown sugar, and cayenne. Simmer until sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).

I love summertime grilling! What’s you favorite meal to throw on the backyard grill?

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