Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
with sweet potato wedges / tangy cabbage and carrot slaw
Want to make tender fall-off-the-bone ribs at home? The secret is to cook them low and slow, making the slow-cooker a perfect tool. Brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce and finish them in the oven for ribs that will rival any restaurant version.
Smarts: The ribs could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group
- Paprika - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Baby back pork ribs - 2 lbs (2 lbs ~ 1 rack / slab of ribs)
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Foil - for cooking
- BBQ sauce, paleo-friendly - 1/4 cup (plus more for serving)
- Sweet potatoes - 1 lb, sliced into wedges
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Carrots - 6 oz, shredded with a box grater
- Cabbage, green - 10 oz, very thinly sliced (sub coleslaw mix)
- Cilantro - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 1/4 tsp
- Make dry rub - Combine paprika, garlic powder, coriander, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Sweet potatoes / Shallots / Carrots / Cabbage - Prep as directed. Store sweet potatoes in one container. Combine shallots, carrots, and cabbage in another container. (Note: If you’d like to shred the carrots and cabbage in a food processor, check out this video for carrots and this video for cabbage.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Prepare ribs - Set ribs on a cutting board. Remove and discard membrane. (Check out this link for step-by-step photos.) Rub ribs on all sides with dry rub. If needed, slice ribs into portions that will fit (stacked) in your slow cooker. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Slow cook ribs - Pour stock into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add ribs and cook until tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (If you prefer to use the oven, place the ribs in a single layer on a sheet pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake at 275F / 135C until tender, 3 to 4 hours.) (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Make slaw - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating and sweet potato wedges roasting while slaw is in the fridge.) Chop cilantro. Whisk together vinegar, oil (portion for slaw), and honey. Add shallots, carrots, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
- Spread sweet potatoes out on a sheet pan. Toss with oil (portion for sweet potato wedges), paprika, and some salt.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to the oven and bake, shaking the pan a few times while they cook, until tender, ~30 minutes.
- When sweet potatoes are nearly finished, spread slow-cooked ribs out, meat side up, on a foil-lined sheet pan. Brush ribs with BBQ sauce.
- Bake ribs for 8 to 10 minutes to let the sauce flavor the meat.
- Season slaw with some salt and pepper and toss it to combine.
- Serve ribs over slaw. Enjoy sweet potato wedges with some extra BBQ sauce for dipping if you’d like!
These sandwiches were so quick and tasty - I'm definitely adding this one to my favorites to make again! The slaw was a little on the bland side, but worked just fine to add a bit of crunch and brightness to the sandwiches.0 Helpful
These were amazing! The flavor was on point. My husband said it was the best meal we have had all year. I did the ribs in the instant pot versus slow cook. Used the trivet with 1 cup of stock In the bottom. Then I stacked the ribs like a teepee (I cut the rack in thirds) and did high for 35 minutes. We finished them on the grill instead of the oven to caramelize the sauce. Falling apart and perfect!!!0 Helpful
The lentil sandwiches were delicious and easy. The slaw was good, but nothing special.0 Helpful
Yum yum yum. Served it for guests and it was a hit! Who (carnivores) doesn't love ribs?0 Helpful
Tasty, quick, and simple. We tweaked the sugar and vinegar in the slaw to taste and added salt. As others have said, the slaw is nothing special on its own (might try adding celery seed next time), but works well combined with the lentils on the burgers. Husband is obsessed with everything BBQ and loved these!0 Helpful
5 star on ribs I would use a different slaw dressing next time.0 Helpful