Tangy Spareribs Recipe
Tangy Spareribs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Tangy Spareribs Recipe

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I still remember coming home from church to the smell of these ribs baking in the oven alongside baked potatoes. They have an old-fashioned homemade barbecue sauce that clings to every morsel. —Judy Clark, Elkhart, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:6 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 6 servings


  • 4 to 5 pounds pork spareribs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Nutritional Facts

1 serving equals 318 calories, 17 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 94 mg cholesterol, 478 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 27 g protein.


  1. Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; place in a shallow roasting pan, bone side down. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally; remove from the heat.
  3. Drain fat from roasting pan. Pour sauce over ribs. Bake 45-60 minutes longer or until ribs are tender. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Tangy Spareribs in Taste of Home June/July 1995, p35

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Reviewed Oct. 20, 2014

"I had the same fear of the ribs not getting tender enough... and I was right! I used St. Louis cut ribs, so that may have been the problem. I did actually like the sauce a lot... it has a nice bright flavor .... so I think I'll try the crockpot version that brat85 suggested."

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2013

"I made these last night using baby back ribs I had in the freezer instead of spareribs. Also, after adding the sauce, I cooked them covered for a while because I like my ribs really, really tender and didn't think the cook time in the directions would be long enough. I cooked them for a total of 2 1/4 hours and they did get tender. I wish they were a bit saucier and will make double the sauce next time."

Reviewed Jun. 11, 2013

"after I made this recipe and let it simmer, all I could taste was ketchup. I added 1/12 teaspoon of granulated garlic, which enhanced the flavor. My daughter liked it a lot and took the rest of the ribs home for her daughter."

Reviewed Jun. 7, 2013

"I am trying to print this recipe so I can have it on hand whenever we want ribs."

Reviewed Sep. 24, 2012

"I saw this recipe in the Oct. 2012 Taste of Home Mag. It sounded good But it is anything like (Tangy). I`m sorry but I`m going to say good but NO TASTE! I`ll go back to BABY RAY`s Sorry!"

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