Maple-Garlic Ribs


I love ribs.  Who doesn’t?  I’m always so aware of the ridiculous amounts of sugar in the BBQ sauce though.  Even when you make it at home, most recipes call for ketchup plus added sugar.  I love this recipe from Foodland Ontario, that uses tomato sauce and maple syrup, and cooks the ribs with shredded cabbage.

These were delicious, and easy to make.  I’ve been intimidated by rib recipes before, because sometimes they come out a bit rubbery, but these turned out perfectly.  We served the ribs with the cabbage, Fresh & Easy’s Potato Salad, and the Dante Club’s House Italian salad.

Sometimes people don’t realize that most store-bought tomato sauces have added sugar, so check the ingredients.  There are a few I’ve found that don’t have sugar at my supermarket, so I’m sure you can find some too.  I’ve never noticed a change in flavour with the ones without sugar, and they aren’t marketed as healthier in any way.  Its not even brand-specific.  For example, the brand Classico adds sugar to every flavour tomato sauce I’ve seen except one.  WHY?  It seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to add sugar to, doesn’t it?  I didn’t even know for a long time, because I just assumed there wouldn’t be sugar added.  I feel like I’ve been tricked.  


Maple-Garlic Ribs


  • 4 lbs (2kg) baby back ribs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 14oz can tomato sauce (check the ingredients and go for one without added sugar)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp tabasco
  • 1 small cabbage, coarsely shredded
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350F / 180C.
  2. Cut back ribs in half (or to fit pan) and arrange in a single layer in a large roasting pan.
  3. Add water, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, in small skillet, cook garlic in oil for 7-10 minutes stirring often.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce, maple syrup, Worcestershire and tabasco, then remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Remove ribs from pan & drain of all the fat.
  7. Add cabbage, onions and salt, tossing to combine and firmly pressing down into pan.
  8. Brush both sides of ribs with sauce, nestle into cabbage, and spoon half of the remaining sauce over ribs.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, add rest of sauce and bake 15-20 minutes, stirring cabbage occasionally, until cabbage is hot and wilted.
  11. Remove ribs, stir cabbage, and place over serving platter. 
  12. Arrange ribs over cabbage and serve.
DinnerKaleigh Briggs