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Make an entire meal in one pot with these fall-off-the-bone slow cooker short ribs. Simmered low and slow in a savory beef broth, these seasoned and seared ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender, and with easy prep and hands-off cooking, it’s an easy way to feed your family during the week!

short ribs on mashed potatoes and carrots.

Crockpot Short Ribs

Preparing ribs has never been easier than with the slow cooker. Prep the veggies, sear the ribs, and pour in the mixture of tomato paste and beef broth and let it cook low and slow until the beef falls off the bone and dinner is served.

The carrots and celery act as a barrier and because the beef sits on them as they cook they catch and absorb so much of that delicious seasoned beefy flavor.

Complete the meal with mashed potatoes or rice and everyone will be licking their plates clean. This is done with minimal prep work and is hands-off after that.

This is why I love making slow cooker recipes so much. I’ve made everything from BBQ meatloaf and Mississippi chicken to baked ziti and slow cooker chicken fajitas, and now these ribs are a regular part of the rotation.

short ribs on a plate with mashed potatoes and carrots.

Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Texture  – As the ribs cook at a low temperature all day, the low and slow cooking method, along with the sauce will tenderize them, making them deliciously fall-off-the-bone tender.    

Make-Ahead  – Make the short ribs up to two days ahead of time and then reheat them in the slow cooker when you’re ready to serve them.

Easy to Make – All you do is chop the veggies, sear the ribs, and let them cook in the slow cooker. It’s so easy!

Budget-Friendly –  The most expensive part of this recipe is the beef short ribs. If you find some on sale, even better! All the other ingredients are easy on your wallet.  

fork taking a bite of short rib, potatoes, and carrot on a plate.

Equipment you’ll need

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Carrots Roughly chopped carrots are a popular vegetable side dish to ribs. Cooking them at the same time not only adds convenience, but incredible flavor and a pop of color too!
  • Celery Stalks –  A nice crispy texture and super absorbent to all of the surrounding flavors. 
  • Short RibsYou’ll need about three pounds of them. Look for English-style cut short ribs (not the flat flanken cut, which is quite thin).
  • Seasoning Garlic powder, onion powder, garlic cloves, and black pepper.
  • Beef BrothSince we’re not adding salt, feel free to use regular broth and not low sodium.  
  • Tomato Paste –  The rich tomato paste adds an acidic note to the savory beef broth, thickening it up into a saucy consistency and adding a rich color to it as well.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make crockpot short ribs.

How to make Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: Wash and chop the veggies and place them into the basin of the crockpot. I like them a bit rustic so I usually cut them into 3-4″ pieces. I also peel the carrots, but that is completely optional.
chopped carrots & celery in a black crockpot.
  1. Step Two: Lay the short ribs on a surface. Pat them dry and sprinkle with seasoning. Then, sear them in a large skillet over medium-high heat until they are browned.  
  1. Step Three: Add the ribs to the slow cooker, laying them on the veggies. Mix the beef broth, minced garlic, and tomato paste and pour it overtop everything.
sauce pouring into a crockpot with short ribs.
  1. Step Four: Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours. The mean should be falling off the bone when it’s ready!
overhead shot of beef short ribs, carrots, and celery in a black slow cooker.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Short Ribs

These fall-off-the-bone tender short ribs turn dinner time into something everyone looks forward to. However, it’s not complete without a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or white rice on the side to soak up those juices.

 The carrots and celery are the perfect sides, but if you want something else with them, I suggest making one hour dinner rolls. They taste amazing when you dip them into the gravy. Or add some oven roasted green beans as well.

Tips & Suggestions

  • To turn the thin drippings into a thicker gravy, remove the ribs from the crockpot, take 3 tablespoons of braising liquid, and add it to a bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry. Add it back into the crockpot and stir until it’s thickened. Return the ribs to the gravy.
  • Save time chopping and peeling by adding baby carrots to the slow cooker. Pearl onions are great too.
  • Instead of celery stalks, peel and chop up parsnips. 
  • To add some heat to the ribs, sprinkle red pepper flakes on top of the short ribs after you sear them.
  • For even more flavor, add red wine, Worcestershire sauce, some thyme, rosemary, or a bay leaf to the crock pot.
  • If you are short on time, Bob Evans mashed potatoes are great in a pinch. I like the “natural” ones (ingredients are just potatoes, milk, butter, and salt)!

How to reheat and store Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

How to store leftovers

Store the leftover ribs and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long will short ribs last in the fridge?

This crockpot short ribs recipe will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 4 days. 

Can I freeze them?

Yes, you can freeze the cooked ribs. Place them in a freezer bag and keep them frozen for up to m in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to reheat slow cooked short ribs

It’s best to use low heat when warming them back up. Reheat the short ribs and vegetables in your slow cooker over low heat or in the oven. Heat it just until it is warmed completely through. Avoid overdoing it, or they’ll dry out. Add a splash of liquid if needed.

tongs lifting short ribs from a crockpot.

FAQs

Can I cook these short ribs in the oven instead of a slow cooker?

Yes, you can cook short ribs in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F, place the short ribs and vegetables in a baking dish or Dutch oven, pour the sauce over them, and cover the dish with foil. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until they’re fall-apart tender.   

Can I cook these short ribs on high heat for a shorter time?

While the recipe recommends low heat for 4-6 hours for optimal tenderness, you can cook them on high for a shorter duration, but keep a close eye to prevent overcooking. Adjustments may be needed based on your specific slow cooker model. 

Need more easy slow cooker recipes? Try these:

Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Whole Chicken 

Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken 

Slow Cooker Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

brown gravy drizzling onto short ribs and carrots.

Did You Make This?

If you made this recipe, I’d love to know how it went in the comments section below.

You can also tag me on Instagram – @melissa_pplates or share a pic in the Persnickety Plates Community Facebook group. I love seeing what you’ve tried!

short ribs on mashed potatoes and carrots.
5 from 2 votes

Easy Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Make an entire meal in one pot with these fall-off-the-bone slow cooker short ribs. Simmered low and slow in a savory beef broth, these seasoned and seared ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender, and with easy prep and hands-off cooking, it's an easy way to feed your family during the week!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 medium celery stalks chopped into 1" pieces
  • 3-4 pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

Instructions

  • Wash, peel, and chop the carrots into large pieces (approximately 3-4"). Lay them into the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.
    4 medium carrots
  • Wash and chop the celery into approximately 1" pieces and add them to the slow cooker.
    4 medium celery stalks
  • Lay out the short ribs and season with garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
    3-4 pounds beef short ribs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat sear the ribs on both sides until browned.
  • Lay the seared ribs on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the beef broth, minced garlic, and tomato paste.
    2 cups beef broth, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Pour this mixture over the ribs.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Notes

  • Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles, or with rice.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • To thicken the drippings into a gravy, remove the the ribs from the slow cooker. Remove 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to a small bowl and whisk in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Pour back into the slow cooker and stir to thicken. Place the short ribs back into the slow cooker.
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 717mg | Potassium: 1265mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 10333IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!


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