Tender and flavorful lamb ribs in the oven. Our easy-to-follow recipe will guide you through each step, from preparing the ribs to roasting them. Try our delicious oven-baked lamb ribs today!
Impress your family or guests with these succulent lamb ribs that will melt in their mouths. As they slow roast, the ribs develop a delicious sticky crust while remaining irresistibly juicy on the inside.
To begin, brush the ribs with a flavorful blend of herbs, spices, brown sugar, honey, and lemon juice. This step helps to infuse the meat with delicious flavors and enhances its tenderness.
Then roast them in the preheated oven, brushing them with the glaze every now and then to keep them moist and add extra layers of flavor.
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What are lamb ribs?
They are also called spare lamb ribs, lamb riblets, or lamb breast ribs. They are cut from the lower portion of the lamb's ribcage and are known for their meaty, flavorful qualities.
You can buy them in one long piece or have them separated. The butcher separates the ribs by making cuts between each rib bone, resulting in individual portions. This allows for easier handling and cooking, whether they are grilled, roasted, or slow-cooked.
How to cook tender lamb ribs?
Lamb ribs can be tougher than some other cuts due to the presence of connective tissue and a higher proportion of collagen.
However, when cooked properly, they become tender and flavorful. Slow cooking methods such as braising or roasting can help break down the collagen, resulting in tender and succulent meat.
Marinating or using moist cooking techniques can also help tenderize the ribs, enhancing their flavor.
- Lamb ribs (lamb spare ribs) divided into single ribs. You will need about 2 lbs/ 1 kg.
- You can double the number of ribs you roast as long as they fit on the baking sheet in a single layer and without overcrowding. Remember to increase the amount of glaze as well.
- Sweeteners: Honey and brown sugar add sweetness and help create a glossy, caramelized finish on the meat.
- Lemon Juice: The acidity of lemon juice provides a refreshing tang that balances the sweetness and adds brightness to the glaze.
- Garlic and oregano impart the glaze a savory note, complementing the other components.
- Mustard adds a tangy kick and acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the ingredients together.
- You can use Dijon or yellow mustard.
- Spices: Sweet and smoked paprika add warm and smoky flavors.
- Chili flakes or red pepper provide a touch of heat (used to taste).
- Fine sea salt or kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Olive oil: Serves as the base and helps distribute the flavors evenly.
How to cook lamb ribs in the oven?
Prepare the ribs for cooking
- Cut them now if they still need to be cut into individual portions. Use a sharp chef’s knife and cut between the bones.
- Dry the separated pieces thoroughly with a paper towel and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Make the glaze
- Mix honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, oregano, grated garlic cloves, red chili flakes, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Adjust the taste.
Roast the lamb ribs
- Place the glazed meat on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
- Brush with about half of the glaze on both sides (1).
- Bake the lamb ribs for 20-25 minutes.
- Flip them, brush them again with some remaining sauce, and bake them for another 10-15 minutes, basting them every 5 minutes or so.
- Increase the oven temperature during the last 5 minutes of roasting to allow the meat pieces to caramelize slightly on both sides. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t get too dark (2).
- Rest the meat for about 10 minutes, then serve immediately.
Adjust sweetness and heat to your preference. Taste and adjust the amounts of honey, brown sugar, and chili flakes accordingly to achieve the desired balance of flavors.
Baste for moisture and flavor: While cooking, baste with the glaze periodically to add moisture and enhance the flavor and caramelization.
Cook at a moderate heat and only increase the heat during the last minutes of the cooking time.
Rest for a few minutes before serving. The juices will redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in more flavorful and tender lamb pieces.
Cooking times and temperatures may vary depending on the size and thickness of the meat pieces, so it's essential to monitor them closely and adjust accordingly.
No. The lamb rack refers to a specific cut of lamb that includes the rib bones and the meat attached to them. The lamb rack is usually prepared and cooked as a whole piece.
Lamb ribs typically refer to the individual portions cut from the lamb's ribcage and can be prepared and cooked separately.
Butcher shops can prepare them for you often upon request.
Supermarkets: Many well-stocked grocery stores carry them in their meat section. Look for cuts labeled as spare lamb ribs or lamb breast ribs.
Farmers markets: If you have access to a local farmers market, you may find them there.
Online: Several online meat suppliers specialize in delivering high-quality lamb meat, including ribs.
Yes, you can use it for lamb chops, for instance. Adjust the cooking time and temperature for the specific cut you're using.
Yes, you can prepare the glaze and store it in the refrigerator. Keep it in an airtight container for up to a few days. Before using, let it come to room temperature and give it a good stir.
How to store and reheat?
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Freeze them in a container or a freezer bag for 2-3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.
- Reheat in the preheated oven at 325°F/160°C. Place them on a baking sheet or in a covered dish to prevent drying. Heat for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through.
- Reheat in the microwave on medium power in intervals of 1-2 minutes until warmed to your liking.
How to serve roasted lamb ribs?
- Pair the lamb ribs with delicious side dishes that complement their flavors.
- Serve them with roasted vegetables, such as pan-fried asparagus, oven-roasted carrots, French-style green beans, or caramelized Brussels sprouts.
- Creamy Parmesan mashed potatoes, roasted potato wedges, couscous salad, or a fresh green salad with yogurt dressing or vinaigrette are also great options to serve alongside the ribs.
Bread or rolls:
- Provide some bread or rolls on the side. We love them with simple dinner yeast rolls or herb garlic baguettes.
More lamb recipes
Lamb Ribs in the Oven
- Baking sheet
- 2 lbs lamb ribs 1 kg, separated into individual portions, Note 1
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice more to taste
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes to taste, Note 2
- 1 ½ teaspoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt or kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare the lamb ribs:
- Dry the separated ribs thoroughly with paper towels and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Make the glaze:
- Mix honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, oregano, grated garlic cloves, red chili flakes, mustard, and olive oil. 1 ½ tablespoon honey + 3 teaspoon brown sugar + 2 tablespoon lemon juice + 3 garlic cloves + 2 teaspoon oregano + ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika + ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika + ¼ teaspoon red chili flake (or to taste) + 1 ½ teaspoon mustard + 2 tablespoon olive oil + 1 ½ teaspoon salt + ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- Taste and adjust to your liking. I often add about ½ to 1 extra tablespoon of lemon juice.
Roast the lamb ribs:
- Glaze the ribs: Brush them with about ½ of the glaze on both sides. Arrange them on the tray in a single layer.
- Bake the lamb ribs for 20-25 minutes. Flip them, brush them again with some of the remaining glaze, and bake them for another 10-15 minutes, basting them every 5 minutes or so.
- Increase the oven temperature during the last 5 minutes of roasting to allow the lamb ribs to caramelize slightly on both sides. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t get too dark.
- Rest the meat for about 10 minutes, then serve immediately.
- Lamb ribs: If they are not already cut into individual portions, cut them yourself using a sharp chef’s knife and cutting between the ribs all the way down.
- Substitute red chili flakes with red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Always use these ingredients to taste.