Italian short ribs

These Slow Cooker Italian Short Ribs are juicy, tender and full of flavor. The shorts ribs cook low and slow, creating fall apart tender beef that pairs nicely with the Italian flavors and a creamy risotto. You will love this easy, comforting meal! 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Total Servings: 4-6


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of short ribs {no-bone}, fat trimmed {you can use bone-in short ribs but you will want to get about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds} 
  • Salt & pepper 
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil  
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced  
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced  
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes  
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of tomato sauce  
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste  
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano  
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil  
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 2 bay leaves
Additional Ingredients to Serve:

  • Risotto 
  • Fresh parsley 
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese 


  1. Remove the short ribs from the fridge about 15 minutes before you are ready to cook them and set them on the counter to come to room temperature. 
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of the short ribs. 
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the short ribs to the skillet {you will probably need to do two batches}. Sear the short ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side to brown them. 
  4. Add the short ribs to the slow cooker in an even layer if possible. 
  5. In a medium mixing bowl add the garlic, onion, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme and give it a good stir. 
  6. Pour the sauce over the short ribs and spread over to cover the short ribs. Add the bay leaves. 
  7. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or 5 to 6 hours on high. 
  8. Once the ribs are done, skim the fat off the surface (I just use a small spoon to do this). 
  9. Remove the short ribs and serve over risotto with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Note: You can shred your short rib meat and put it back in the sauce and serve the sauce and meat together over pasta or the risotto. Or you can serve the meat and drizzle the sauce over the meat.