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Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
with green salad / watermelon

Active: 40 min Total: 3 hr 40 min
These tender ribs get flavor from both a dry rub and BBQ sauce (use your favorite). These were last featured in 2019 but with different side dishes.
Smarts #1: Depending on the thickness of the ribs, the cook time may vary. You can check them for doneness starting 30 minutes to an hour before the lowest cook time listed, but try not to check them too often. Each time you remove the lid of the slow cooker or the foil (in the oven) you will release some of the moisture and heat trapped inside.
Smarts #2: You can pre-cook the ribs up to 2 days ahead and just finish them in the oven when you’re ready to serve.
Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs:
  • 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 (only if cooking in the slow cooker)
  • Foil - for cooking
  • BBQ sauce - 1/4 cup, plus more for serving (use your favorite)
Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers:
  • Cilantro leaves - 1 Tbsp, chopped
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mayonnaise - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cucumbers - 6 oz, chopped
  • Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup, halved
  • Butter lettuce - 5 oz, leaves torn or chopped
Watermelon:
  • Watermelon - ~3 lbs, wedges

Nutrition Facts

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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Make dry rub - Combine paprika, garlic powder (portion for ribs), coriander, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make salad dressing - Chop cilantro. Whisk together cilantro, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic powder (portion for salad). Whisk in olive oil. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. 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)
  4. 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. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  5. Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Lettuce / Watermelon - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil and brush with some cooking oil.
  3. Spread pre-cooked ribs out, meat side up, on sheet pan. Brush the top of the ribs with BBQ sauce.
  4. Bake ribs for 15 minutes, uncovered, to let the sauce flavor the meat.
  5. Just before serving, give dressing a stir and season with some salt and pepper. Toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. Add dressing until salad is dressed to your liking.
  6. Serve ribs with watermelon and salad on the side. Enjoy!

Prep

  1. Make dry rub - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Combine paprika, garlic powder (portion for ribs), coriander, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make salad dressing - Chop cilantro. Whisk together cilantro, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, and garlic powder (portion for salad). Whisk in olive oil. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. 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. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  4. Pre-cook ribs - Spread ribs out on a sheet pan that has been lined with foil and then brushed with some oil. Add ribs, meat side facing up. Cover the top tightly with more foil. Bake ribs, covered, at 275F / 135C degrees until tender, 3 to 4 hours. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
  5. Cucumbers / Tomatoes / Lettuce / Watermelon - Prep as directed.

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees (if oven is already on for pre-cooking ribs, just increase the heat).
  2. If ribs aren't still on the sheet pan used for pre-cooking, line a new sheet pan with foil and brush with some cooking oil. Add ribs to prepared pan.
  3. Brush the top of the ribs with BBQ sauce.
  4. Bake ribs for 15 minutes, uncovered, to let the sauce flavor the meat.
  5. Just before serving, give dressing a stir and season with some salt and pepper. Toss together cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. Add dressing until salad is dressed to your liking.
  6. Serve ribs with watermelon and salad on the side. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (28)
Gluten-free (2)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (10)

Most Helpful

Really good! I thought the cole slaw was going to be too bland, but as part of the sandwich it was a great counterpoint to the spicy lentils. Will make again.

By: Margaret
Posted: Sep 04, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
1 Helpful

27 reviews

The ribs were good... but my favorite was the salad! The dressing was delicious!

By: Maegan
Posted: Jul 18, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

That rub was incredible!! The ribs just fell off the bone. I skipped the baking step and just served the ribs straight from the show cooker along with some microwave-heated BBQ sauce mixed with a tiny dash of liquid smoke.

By: Doug
Posted: Jun 21, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Overall, this was a good meal. The slaw was bland - it worked ok for a bit of crunch on the sandwich, but didn’t taste like much more than cabbage. But I loved the salad dressing and the fruit side.

By: Melissa
Posted: Mar 20, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

I ended up baking these in the oven, but the rub was excellent!

By: Joy
Posted: Jan 26, 2021
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

Yum!! Perfect!

By: Jennifer
Posted: Jan 23, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Didn't end up making the salad because I didn't have a lot of the ingredients by the time I got to this meal. But the ribs were easy and delicious. I'd never made them before, and now it seems very approachable!

By: Jenna
Posted: Oct 15, 2020
Diet: Original
0 Helpful