Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

Serve it over mashed sweet potatoes or toss it with pasta, either way this slow cooker short rib ragu is the perfect comfort food as the weather gets cooler.

It’s been less than a month and I’m already back with another slow cooker recipe.

First there were slow cooker bbq apple pulled pork sandwiches and now this slow cooker short rib ragu. I’m trying hard this season to embrace the thing, really, I am.

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

Not only is there my slow cooker recipe today either, but 5 other healthy slow cooker recipes as well.

I’m teaming up again with some of my healthy food blogging friends to give you all sorts of delicious fall inspired slow cooker recipes and a giveaway for a 6-quart programmable Hamilton Beach slow cooker (see widget at the bottom of the post to enter).

One of my favorite family comfort foods when the temps drop is my mom’s bolognese sauce.

It’s meaty, hearty, comforting and everything I want to eat on a crisp fall day. That was sort of my basis for this short rib ragu except, well, with short ribs.

Short ribs kick ground beef’s butt any day of the week as far as I’m concerned and they’re just perfect for the slow cooker (although, they’re also great grilled in the summer time like these grilled BBQ short ribs).

After 6-7 hours, the meat just falls off the bone and gets super tender. It reminds me a lot of this Instant Pot brisket recipe which is equally delicious.

Shred it up, toss it back in with the wine, broth and tomato mushroom base and you’ve got the perfect sauce to top a sweet potato mash (paleo) or some al dente pasta (not paleo but delicious).

This cauliflower pumpkin mash would be the perfect base too.

Slow cooker short rib sauce

Let’s take a look at everyone else’s slow cooker creations…

Healthy slow cooker recipes

Davida’s Slow Cooker Applesauce

All you need are two ingredients (apples and cinnamon) and your slow cooker to make this super easy and sugar-free slow cooker applesauce recipe! Perfect for Fall snacking or to use in baked goods!

Slow Cooker Applesauce

Taylor’s Shredded Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Pumpkin and Salsa

This tender, paleo slow cooker roast beef is mixed with pumpkin and salsa and then shredded! It’s perfect in tacos or on a salad for a healthy, weeknight meal, that is full of fall flavor!

Shredded Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Pumpkin and Salsa

Lexi’s Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

Dinner has never been so good! Packed with delicious flavors, this slow-cooked roasted whole chicken is so easy to throw together, and makes for the perfect meal! Pair it with veggies, salad, or anything you’d like and you are ready to go!

Slow-Cooker Roasted Chicken

Brittany’s Slow Cooker Fajita Soup

Craving Mexican? Simply toss all the ingredients for fajitas in your slow cooker and a few hours later you’ll have a comforting soup that’s packed with flavor and a hint of spice.

Slow Cooker Fajita Soup

Lee’s Honey Sriracha Chicken

All you need are 5 ingredients to make this delicious, clean-eating slow cooker honey sriracha chicken that’s made with REAL food.

Honey Sriracha Slow Cooker Chicken

And of course my slow cooker short rib ragu.

I know it requires a searing step before it gets going in the slow cooker and while I sorta hate that about slow cooker recipes, it’s really so worth it when it comes to meat like this.


Crock Pot Short Rib Ragu

If you’re looking for more cozy comfort meals like this short rib ragu, try this lentil bolognese (vegetarian) or this Moroccan lamb lentil stew.

And if you want to try another short rib recipe not made in the slow cooker, check out this spicy porter short rib chili!

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Serve it over mashed sweet potatoes or toss it with pasta, either way this slow cooker short rib ragu is the perfect comfort food as the weather gets cooler.


  • 3 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 5-7 sprigs thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Place the short ribs in a large bowl and toss with the tapioca flour.
  2. Place the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Once hot, place the short ribs in the pot and sear until browned on each side.
  4. Transfer the browned short-ribs to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  6. Remove the short ribs, shred the meat off the bones and return to the slow cooker. Continue cooking another 30-45 minutes.
  7. Serve over mashed sweet potato or pasta.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 830Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 567mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 62g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


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    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      No, sorry, I don’t calculate nutritional info for the recipes on here. Feel free to plug it into any of them online and figure it out though.

  1. Anna

    Is the tapioca flour step a must? I’ve seen just seasoning them with salt and pepper and browning. If it is, would regular flour be a fine substitute?

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Tapioca flour was just to keep things paleo. Regular flour would totally work. Skipping the flour is also ok, not crucial. Hope you love it, it’s a fave over here!

    2. Hannah Paster

      I recently bought an InstantPot because I lost actually the lid to my crockpot-slow cooker, haha. Having heard so much about the InstantPot, figured it was the opportunity to make the purchase as they also have slow cooker functionalities, as well as so many other things!
      Question is however — the InstantPot only slow cooks in 4-hour increments. This is not a problem as I’d simply restart the cooking times to accommodate the 6-7 hours this recipe calls for + the additional 30-45 minutes, but any idea actually if this recipe could be sped up via the process of pressure cooking? Or any steps adapting this recipe to fit an InstantPot’s functions?

      Very eager to hear back as I’m hosting a dinner party with THIS RECIPE as the main entree! Thanks!

      1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

        Hi Hannah- I recently got an IP too but haven’t tried this recipe out in it. I’m betting you probably could do it via pressure cooking though. My suggestion would be to use the saute function to sear the ribs like the directions say, then pressure cook them with the remaining ingredients for maybe 1 hour? You want them to really be “fall-off the bone”. The problem I’ve found with pressure cooking is that while amazing for getting the meat tender, it doesn’t have that “cook down” effect that you get from a dutch oven in the actual oven. So, I’d probably finish this off in the oven in a dutch oven for 30-45 minutes, uncovered at like 350-400. I know that’s an extra step at the end and another pot to dirty but I don’t think you’re going to get that meaty/hearty consistency of the sauce if you just pressure cook it. Hope it works out, let me know if you try this!

        1. Hannah Paster

          Of course! I’ve been researching other short rib recipes using an IP but none showed the meat shredding off the bone like this one does/what I am to do since serving to party guests (to note: over heirloom grits + ratatouille!). NomNomPaleo has a Korean Short Rib recipe that she prepares/does the day before serving in order to refrigerate and make the fat developed easer to skim off. I don’t mind a dirty dish just as long as I achieve the perfect finished product!! And in a timely manner, haha! Do you see a developed layer of fat when making this recipe I should prepare to skim off, possibly making a day ahead like NomNomPaleo?

          1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

            Heirloom grits sound amazing! You don’t see the fat layer unless the recipe has been chilled in the refrigerator. Like most meat recipes, it’ll develop after it’s stored and I usually just spoon some of it off when it’s hard before I reheat/eat. So yeah, you can do that if you prepare the day before. Honestly though, that fat brings flavor so I’d leave some of it, it’ll dissolve into the sauce when reheated.

  2. Hannah Paster

    I’m so excited for the party and preparing all the dishes needless to say! Also there’s something about walking into a home smothered in the smells of the dishes you’ll be eating so as much as I believe NomNomPaleo in saying most dishes tastes best day after, after flavors have developed, since I’m already gambling using the IP, I think I might make this day of! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
    (If anything, guests are also bringing dishes as it’s sort of a pot-luck deal, plus I’m making dessert too, so short rib or no short rib — no one’s leaving hungry that’s for certain!)

  3. lori

    I am thinking of making this for company (as it sounds absolutely amazon), but would need to double…do I double the time?? Thank yoU!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Hi Lori – you shouldn’t need to double the time since it cooks in a slow cooker. If you can fit 6 pounds of short ribs in your slow cooker, I’d do 8-10 hours on low. Enjoy!


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