Effortless Oven Baked Spareribs

Servings: 6 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 55 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hours 45 minutes

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These oven baked spareribs are an effortless treat. They take all of five minutes to put together and then bake in the oven for about 2 hours. All you need to do is baste them a few times.

oven baked spareribsThis is a recipe from my childhood, one of those memorable meals that my mom would make from time to time.

It’s a good recipe for spring, on those days when you want that barbecue feeling without actually setting up the barbecue.

oven baked spareribs

These oven baked spareribs are an effortless treat. They take all of five minutes to put together and then bake in the oven for about 2 hours. All you need to do is baste them a few times.

My kids devoured these in an instant. No wonder — they’re tender and the sauce is irresistible. My favourite part though is lemon. Sliced thinly and laid on top of the ribs before baking they caramelize so can be eaten. Please, eat the lemons!

oven baked spareribs
The nutritional count assumes that your will lick up every drop of the sauce. As delicious as it may sound we find that there is always at least 1/2 a cup of sauce left in the pot.

Barbecue version: You can finish these ribs on the barbecue. Lift them out of the pot after about 1 1/2 hours, shake off the sauce and grill over medium for 3-4 minutes per side, basting with remaining sauce.

Spicy version:  Substitute Asian chili sauce for the tomato-based chili sauce called for in the recipe.

Oven Baked Spareribs Recipe

Serves 6


  • 3 lbs. ribs (membrane removed)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce (choose gluten-free if necessary)*
  • 2 Tbsp. dry mustard (powder)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

*Try spicy Asian chili sauce for ribs with a bit of heat


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Place ribs in a covered roasting pan or Dutch oven.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and dress with lemon slices and sprinkle over the onions.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the chili sauce, mustard powder, brown sugar, molasses, orange juice and lemon juice.
  5. Pour half of the mixture over the ribs, cover and bake for 60 minutes, basting once with another spoonful of the sauce.
  6. Remove lid and continue to bake for another 45-60 minutes, basting a few time with remaining sauce and pan sauces.
  7. Cut into individual ribs and serve.

Nutritional info: Per serving:

  • Calories: 429
  • Fat: 17.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 73 mg
  • Sodium: 489 mg
  • Carbs: 47 g
  • Sugar: 38 g
  • Protein: 19.3 g
  • Potassium 786 mg

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24 thoughts on “Effortless Oven Baked Spareribs

  1. sally albert says:

    I love molasses

  2. Julie Fuller says:

    Use Crosby’s alot always looking for new ideas.

  3. ELENA BAKKER says:


    1. Hi Elena, I make them with pork ribs but I think my mom used to use beef. The original recipe didn’t specify.

    2. LEE MAGUIRE says:

      I don’t think it would matter….but pork would probably be better.

  4. gloria ryan says:

    those ribs look so good and i am going to try them thankyou

  5. Linda Langton-Kroetsch says:

    Did you side ribs or back ribs?

    1. Hi Linda, I use back ribs. I find they work really well in this recipe, although the original recipe (from the 1970s) didn’t specify what kind of ribs.

  6. Jan says:

    Tried these tonight. Followed the recipe to a T. The only flavour they had was Lemon and they were very tough. I used pork ribs. Would not try this one again.

    1. Hi Jan, I’m trying to figure out why your ribs turned out tough. Did your pan have a good snug cover? Because the onions and lemons sit on top of the ribs that should help hold moisture, especially with the lid on and the basting. The original recipe called for them to be cooked uncovered the whole time but my mom always covered them for the first half.

      1. Diane Strauss says:

        could you do these in slow cooker?

        1. Hi Diane, Yes, a slow cooker version would work. Try them on medium and see how they look after a couple of hours. I have been meaning to try them in a slow cooker myself.

    2. Lee Murray says:

      I simmer my ribs on stovetop for a couple of hours to tenderize and partially cook.
      then follow recipe and bake, the ribs are so tender.

      1. Lynn Purdy says:

        Lee, thanks for adding a tip. Always good to know what other people are doing and trying.

      2. Elaina says:

        What do you simmer them in?

  7. Una Ireland says:

    Looks so good I am going to try this recipe

  8. Karen Ford says:

    I love pork ribs – definitely going to try this recipe – thanks for the email :-)

  9. Naomi says:

    Spare ribs in the oven! Wow. Copying this recipe for family dinner this weekend!

    1. Hi Naomi, You’ll love how easy it is!

  10. Judy Mahon says:

    Made these for dinner tonight. They were delicious. I loved the lemon.

  11. Fredra Crumb says:

    Do you have other recipe books besides the “”Molasses and More” which I LOVE.

  12. Cathy says:

    Are you baking bone side up or down?

    1. Hi Cathy, I braise the ribs meaty side down then bake meaty side up. Once I get to the slather I cook both sides. Enjoy!

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