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Horizontal image of a black bowl filled with chunks of cooked meat in a tomato sauce next to mashed potatoes, all on top of a brown mat.

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 13 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


For a tender and flavorful entree that can cook while you’re at work with minimal prep required, try these slow cooker beef short ribs.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (homemade, or 8 ounces canned)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Season short ribs all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add seasoned beef. Sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and place in the slow cooker insert.
  3. Add all other ingredients and stir gently to combine. Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours until the short ribs are cooked through (200-205˚F internal temperature on a meat thermometer). Remove bones and bay leaf from the cooker and discard. 
  4. Serve beef and sauce over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.


If your slow cooker or Instant Pot has the option to sear, you can sear the short ribs in batches instead of using a separate skillet. If you do this, be sure to gently scrape or wipe out the bottom of the insert after cooking so no browned bits remain on the bottom where they may burn.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: slow cooker, beef, short ribs