Autumn is here! There are few things better than a warm, home-cooked meal on a cold day. However, it can be very difficult to find the time to cook meals for yourself as a college student, especially with midterm season rearing its head. Enter oven-baked ribs and roasted seasonal vegetables—perfect for when you want a good meal but do not have time to spend hours in the kitchen. You can also add a quick dessert, such as this Two-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse, to up your fall-time feast game even more. While this recipe requires some planning in advance, most of the cooking time is waiting for your meal to bake. You can study and make your dinner at the same time. Ace your midterms and have gourmet-style food in your kitchen? Yes please!

Fall-Time Fall-Off-The-Bone Oven-Baked Ribs and Seasonal Vegetable Dinner

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:4 hrs
  • Total Time:4 hrs 20 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 1 rack ribs
  • 15 brussels sprouts
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • aluminum foil
Jasmine Luong
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 175℉. While the oven is preheating, start the first step to preparing the ribs: removing the membrane. The membrane is a film that covers the bones and meat on the underside of the ribs. It holds everything together, so we remove it to ensure that these ribs fall off the bone! However, this step is optional—some people prefer to keep the membrane on.

    To do this, stick a knife under the membrane and gently pull up enough to be able to grab it and remove it completely. You may want to use a paper towel for grip.

    #SpoonTip: Looking up how-to videos for extra visuals can be very helpful with this process.

    Jasmine Luong
  • Step 2

    It's spice time! Once you have removed the membrane, flip the ribs to the "meaty" side and season them. This is a "follow your heart" situation when it comes to the types and amounts of spices you choose to use—please do not view the list of ingredients as law. Some important things to keep in mind are:

    (a) You will need more salt than you may think
    (b) Make sure the meat is heavily seasoned in order to be flavorful after hours of baking.

    Jasmine Luong
  • Step 3

    Once your heart feels content that you have achieved the perfect combination of seasonings, bundle up the rack of ribs in aluminum foil. Make sure that the whole rack is covered.

    This step is important—wrapping the ribs in foil locks in moisture and makes sure that they are extra tender. If you skip this step, you may find yourself with jerky rather than a succulent fall-time dinner!

  • Step 4

    Now comes the easiest part! Set the foil-covered ribs on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the ribs. Relax, study, chat with friends, and enjoy knowing that you are able to continue with your life as your dinner bakes on its own.

    #SpoonTip: Stick a fork in the ribs to check on them. When the fork slides through like butter, the ribs are done!

  • Step 5

    Prepare the vegetables while the ribs are baking. To create those lovely scalloped edge slices of squash, cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and then across. Cut the brussels sprouts in half to have bite-sized pieces. Then, place all the vegetables in a bowl and lightly coat them in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Finally, mix to ensure an even coat of oil and seasoning on the vegetables before you roast them.

    Jasmine Luong
  • Step 6

    Once the oven-baked ribs are done, remove them from the baking tray and preheat the oven to 350℉. Place the vegetables onto the tray and roast them, flipping them halfway or until they are golden brown. This takes about 30 minutes in total.

    #SpoonTip: Using the same tray for the ribs and vegetables adds extra flavor from melted fat and you'll have less dishes to clean. Don't worry about the ribs getting cold—they can be reheated by the broiler at a later step.

  • Step 7

    Plate and serve once both the veggies and ribs are cooked!

    Add your favorite barbeque sauce on top. You can even broil the sauce-covered ribs to get a lovely caramelization. The broiler is often at the top or near the bottom of the oven. Make sure you turn the setting to broil, pre-heat for a few minutes, and then set the ribs under the broiler for no more than a few minutes. Fair warning—all your hard work towards getting the ribs nice and tender can easily go down the drain if you broil them for too long and they burn.

    BBQ sauce or not, enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal of seasonal vegetables and ribs. Now you have your very own oven-baked fall-time feast!

    Jasmine Luong