Whole30 BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs

Here’s a nerdy fact about me: sometimes I watch Bon Appetite youtube cooking videos in my free time. Like, on a lazy Saturday morning in my bathrobe. Claire is my favorite. (Molly, too!) I’m truly obsessed with her attempts to make gourmet versions of classic candies and junk foods, like Snickers bars and Pringles.

So I was down the Bon Appetite rabbit hole one night a couple weeks ago, and all of a sudden I was watching Claire make St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs. Until that moment, I had no recollection of ever craving ribs. Like, I can honestly count the number of times I’ve eaten ribs on one hand. But watching her grill those things, I had a hard.core.hankering. 

The thing about whole30 is it’s not uncommon to crave foods that you usually don’t care about. I regularly had dreams about tuna melts this month. But after a full week of thinking of nothing else other than juicy BBQ ribs, I decided I had to attempt a whole30 version.

You guys. They did NOT disappoint. I made them TWICE this month (effectively doubling my lifetime count) and would happily do so again and again and again. Plus, how perfect are these for your SUPER BOWL PARTY TOMORROW?!



Everyone has an opinion on what style BBQ is the best. The whole30 BBQ sauce I made is vinegar-y, in the true and beloved style of the Carolinas. The ribs are bigger and fattier than baby back ribs, because of where they come from the pig. The smokey char is, like, divine. I can’t really verbalize how it feels to have meat just melt off the bone into your mouth, but I feel like the sensation should be bottled.


Whole30 BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs


3/4 cups balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water

6 oz tomato paste

2 tbsp yellow mustard

3 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tbsp + 1 tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp salt

rack of st. louis style ribs

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp cayenne

chopped parsley, for garnish


preheat the oven to 350 F.

combine 3 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. take ribs and with your hands rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the ribs until they are completely coated. (if you need more rub, make more. it depends on how big your ribs are.)

get a big piece of aluminum foil and wrap the ribs in it so that they’re completely covered and none of their juices will be able to drip out. you can see claire’s method here.

cook the ribs in the oven for 2.5 hours.

meanwhile, make the bbq sauce! add the balsamic vinegar, water, tomato paste, mustard, coconut aminos, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp salt to a saucepan over medium heat. stir to combine and simmer everything together for 5 minutes so that all the flavors can marry. transfer the sauce to a mason jar for storage.

after 2.5 hours, remove the ribs from the oven. heat a large grill pan over very high heat.

coat one side of the ribs with some of the bbq sauce, then place that side down on the grill pan and cook so that the bbq sauce caramelizes. meanwhile, coat the other side of the ribs (should now be facing up) with more sauce and flip. repeat this process 3 or 4 times.

finally, remove ribs from grill/grill pan. cut the ribs for individual serving. top with parsley and serve with additional bbq sauce for dipping.



I’m forever changed. These ribs changed my life. Where I was indifferent before, I am now a very firm advocate. Ribs for dinner, regularly.

As for the super bowl tomorrow…I still don’t know where I stand. I’m beyond over the Patriots, but rooting for the Rams is also counterintuitive to me. I’ll probably just watch it for the commercials and Maroon 5. 😉

2 responses to “Whole30 BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs”

  1. I want you to make these over 4th of July, they look so good! And, very interesting to put balsamic vinegar in the sauce. I’m liking the sound of that!


  2. Um hey, hi… you can regularly find me late night in bed on the Bon Appetite youtube… does that make me a nerd too? These look so good!!


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