Slow-Cooker Short Ribs

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 6-1/4 hours


6 servings

Updated: Jan. 17, 2024
These slow-cooker short ribs are an easy alternative to traditionally braised short ribs—you don't need to pay any attention to them once you get them in the slow cooker. (That makes it my favorite beef short ribs recipe!) —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas


  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine or beef broth
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. In batches, brown ribs on all sides; transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add carrots, broth, thyme and bay leaf to ribs.
  2. Add onions to the same skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 8-9 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and tomato paste; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in wine. Bring to a boil; cook 8-10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  3. Remove ribs and vegetables; keep warm. Transfer cooking juices to a small saucepan; skim off fat. Discard thyme and bay leaf. Bring juices to a boil. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into cooking juices. Return to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. If desired, sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Serve with ribs and vegetables.

Slow-Cooker Short Ribs Tips

How long does it take to braise short ribs?

To braise short ribs, allow 6-8 hours in a slow cooker set to low. This will ensure your short ribs are tender.

What goes well with short ribs?

These delicious, homey short ribs go especially well with mashed potatoes. Try our Sunday Dinner Mashed Potatoes or this flavorful Triple Mash with Horseradish Bread Crumbs. For a pop of color and flavor, serve these tender-crisp Chive Buttered Carrots with your short ribs.

How do you tenderize short ribs?

Acidic ingredients like wine or red wine vinegar work hand-in-hand with the slow-cooking process to tenderize these short ribs to perfection. Check out more slow-cooker tips.

Are beef ribs and short ribs the same?

While both beef ribs and short ribs are beef, they're not the same cut of meat. Short ribs are taken from the lower section of rib called the plate rib, just beneath the ribeye area. The high fat content in these ribs creates a very flavorful and tender dish when cooked low and slow.

Should you sear short ribs before slow-cooking?

Most short rib recipes call for you to sear or brown the short ribs in oil or butter for transferring them to the slow cooker. Not only does this help lock in moisture and flavor, but it will also give the ribs a lovely brown sheen you won’t achieve from slow-cooking alone.

How do you store leftover short ribs?

Store short ribs in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze cooked short ribs in a container or storage bag for up to 2 months.

Catherine Ward, Taste of Home Prep Kitchen Manager, and Mark Hagen, Taste of Home Executive Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 251 calories, 13g fat (5g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 402mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein.