Slow Cooker Ribs

Serves 4 to 6

Baby back ribs prepared in the slow cooker make for easy summer dinner. The ribs are rubbed with a tasty spice blend the night before cooking to ensure that every bite is packed with flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 racks baby back ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • SAUCE*
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar*
  • *Using this homemade barbecue sauce is optional. If you prefer to use bottled, you'll need 3 cups of the sauce.


Prepare the dry rub: In a small bowl, combine paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, salt and black pepper.

Rub mixture evenly over both sides of each rib rack. Place ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Cover with foil. Refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the sauce: Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook an additional minute. Reduce heat to low. Add ketchup, water, molasses and vinegar. Cook until thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Make the ribs: Place the ribs in the insert of a slow cooker. Reserve 1 cup of the homemade barbecue sauce. Cover ribs with remaining sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place ribs, meat side up, on the rimmed baking sheet. Brush with reserved barbecue sauce. Broil until brown, about 3 minutes.


Nutrition Analysis: 720 cal, 37 g fat, 145 mg chol, 2160 mg sodium, 61 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 50 g sugar, 41 g protein