Gluten Free Cocoa Rubbed Ribs

Gluten Free Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe

So here is some really great news – chocolate is actually good for you! Dark chocolate is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to improve heart health, lower cholesterol, and increase blood flow to the brain, which may prevent memory decline. Studies also show that consuming dark chocolate improves one’s mood, but we knew that already, didn’t we?

If you are looking for ways to incorporate more chocolate into your life (and seriously, you really should be!) look beyond just the sweet side of chocolate. There are many interesting ways to work some chocolate into savory dishes as well. And this Gluten Free Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe may be just the thing!

In addition to the fabulous rub on these ribs, I love this method of cooking my ribs – so, so simple! Basically the fridge and oven do most of the work, so you can spend your time doing something fun. Cooking ribs this way creates tender, fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth, juicy ribs every time. (To see photos on how to remove the membrane from ribs, click here.)

Recipe Notes: I used dark, unsweetened, organic cocoa powder and Wholesome! Organic Light Brown Sugar in this recipe. The chipotle chili powder adds more depth and smokiness in the quantity I used, rather than heat. If you want a little more kick to your rub, you can add more. But be careful not to add so much as to overpower the rest of the flavors. If you want even more smokiness, use smoked paprika instead of regular.

Gluten Free Cocoa Rubbed Ribs Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Cocoa Rubbed Ribs
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 960kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • ½ cup Wholesome! Organic Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 racks pork baby back ribs


  • Combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Flip the ribs bone side up and insert a dinner knife just under the white membrane that covers the meat and bones. Gently peel the membrane off.
  • Coat the ribs on both sides generously with the mixture, reserving about 1/3 of a cup. Wrap the ribs in foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
  • Place the ribs, still wrapped in foil, on a baking sheet and cook for 2½ - 3 hours or until the ribs are tender. Remove the ribs from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 450ºF.
  • Place a wire rack on the baking sheet, remove the ribs from the foil, and place on the wire rack curved side up. Sprinkle half of the reserved rub on the top of the ribs and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the ribs over, sprinkle the rest of the reserved rub on top, and cook for another 10 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 960 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54g83%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 335mg112%
Sodium 2625mg109%
Potassium 1662mg47%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 89g178%
Vitamin A 2300IU46%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 5.6mg31%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Chocolate Cocoa Dairy Free Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Ribs
Previous Post

Shirley Temple Popsicles

Next Post

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Berry Cake

  1. May 12, 2015

    Wow, Carol! These look fantastic! Using cocoa powder sounds interesting but I bet it’s delicious. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Pingback: Gluten Free Firecracker Macaroons | Recipes | Simply Gluten Free

  3. Pingback: Gluten Free Sweet & Spicy Honey Ribs | Recipes | Simply Gluten Free

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating