Tender Juicy Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Crock Pot {Paleo Recipe}

Kid FriendlyGluten FreePaleo

Balsamic Short Ribs #paleo #cleaneating #shortribs #beef #balsamic #braised #maindish

A hearty, slow cooked, and flavor packed Paleo recipe, made with Beef Short Ribs and Balasmic Vinegar. This dish totally delivers on taste!

Alright folks, you are in for more Paleo Recipe Madness or should I say goodness. 🙂

In this case, it is definitely goodness, because let me tell you. These Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs rock!

Have you ever tried one of those healthy frozen meals before? You know the weight watchers or lean cuisine type? Most of the time they are pretty good, but you can always tell that there is just some flavoring missing from the dish that just leaves you wanting more. Or saying, “it was ok”.

These Short Ribs are no where close to that. They are packed with flavor, starting from the spice rub that gets seared into the meat in the beginning. And ending in the sweet tomato balsamic sauce in the end. The best part is, no sugar. This dish is sweetened with whole dried dates. It is also super easy to make because after searing the short ribs you throw them into the crock pot and let the slow cooker do its magic.

Again.. WIN!

Did I mention its Paleo? Yeah, definitely going to be making this one again. I ended up serving this along with the Honey Roasted Carrot recipe I posted the other day. It worked perfectly together! You don’t need rice or potatoes to fill the “space”, this dish is satisfying in and of itself!

To get started, in a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoon of course sea salt, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 1 tablespoon of sage, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Balsamic Short Ribs 1

Pat dry 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.  Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.

Balsamic Short Ribs 4

Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, 4 whole dried dates, and 6 cloves of garlic smashed.

Balsamic Short Ribs 5

Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender. Serve with Honey Roasted Carrots.

Balsamic Short Ribs Balsamic Short Ribs #paleo #cleaneating #shortribs #beef #balsamic #braised #maindish


Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x



  • 23 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed

Spice Blend:

  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
  6. Serve with Honey Roasted Carrots


Recipe from Practical Paleo


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Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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128 Responses
    1. Thanks Marcie, they definitely just fall apart with a fork and the sauce is amazing! Hope you get a chance to make it and wow your family. Thanks for stopping girl, hope you have a great weekend!

    1. haha… I feel like lately I have always been hungry. But I guess thats what happens when your a food blogger and look at food all day, sheesh!

      Thank you so much for the foodie props Melanie! Hope you have a great weekend my dear!

    1. Oh Amanda, you have no idea! They are absolutely delicious and the sauce with this is to die for. But I am also a balsamic vinegar freak. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by girl!

    1. haha.. my stomach is growling too. But its because I need BREAD! 🙂

      The slow cooker is totally my favorite part about this dish, oh and the amazing balsamic sauce! YUM. 🙂 Thanks so much for popping in and the fun comments Zainab. Made my day! 🙂

  1. Hi Krista, I found you through SITS and I’ve spent the last 35 minutes copying and drooling over the recipes on your blog! Oh my word, what a blessing it is to have found you; I’m just starting out in the Paleo journey and have been looking for some yummy, yet normal recipes that I can make for my family! Finding this blog is like hitting the jackpot!
    And by the way, you have gorgeous hair! 😉

    1. Awesome Patty! So excited that my site can be a blessing to you! The Paleo journey is a hard one in the beginning. Getting your pantry “Paleo stocked” and then for me no wheat or sugar has been hard. I like my bread and cookies. 🙂 But so worth it!

      Thank you so much for stopping in on my SITS day and for the sweet comments! Hope you have a great rest of the weekend my dear!

    1. Oh girl, you have no idea! 🙂 HOLY YUM is all I have to say.

      Enjoy those peanut noodles Lisa, eat some pasta and think of me. {I know I will be thinking of you hehe :)} Have a great weekend!

  2. These ribs look amazing Krista! I love how flavorful they sound and making them in the slow-cooker is an awesome idea!! They look so juicy and perfect, my hubby would love this for sure! Happy Friday and hope you have a wonderful weekend:)

    1. If you’re husbands like my and a “meat lover” than he will for sure drool over these. The slow cooker is totally my favorite part about this dish! So easy and full of flavor. Thanks stopping by Kelly, hope you have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Erin, there were just as amazing to eat too. hehe… totally gonna have to make them again, next time my husband wants them shredded and in a taco though haha. 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend, thanks for linking up girl!

    1. haha… too funny! Well, don’t drool on your keyboard, thats just gross. 🙂 Thanks for the pin and the laugh Linda. Hope you have a great rest of your weekend!

    1. I was a dabbler too, but girl, I’m starting to really think about doing it! 🙂 Most of the food is still so good! Thanks for pin Ashlyn, have a great weekend!

  3. Yes! I have to agree, this beef rocks! Krista, you always make meals like this so tasty. I love how you used balsamic… they must take amazing! I’m definitely putting this on my list the next time the fam wants some short ribs! (=

    1. Aww… make me blush. Thanks girl, and yes the balsamic was amazing, gave it a sweet taste and compliment the tomato sauce perfectly! 🙂 I am totally turned on to short ribs after this dish. Thanks for stopping by sweet friend!

    1. Thanks so much Martha! Yes, meat is definitely hard, its hard to make it look as juicy and delicious as it really is. 🙂

      P.S. I don’t think you could take a bad picture! You pics are always amazing!

  4. Mary

    Seasoned, browned and in the pot! Smells amazing. Will be accompanied by braised kale, honey carrots and a little dab of horseradish mashed po’s all floating above that delicious sauce. Yum.

    1. ok… mouth watering! I need the recipe for those horseradish potatoes, we love horseradish and I bet it was awesome with those short ribs. Wish I could come over for dinner! Yum Mary. 🙂

    1. Oh… Rob I made them a while ago and to be honest I don’t remember. But, usually when I buy my meat I look for the thickest ones. I bought a package that was about 3 lbs. So I would recommend looking at the poundage on the outside of the meat wrapper and make sure it is at least 3lbs, so it gives you the most meat. Hope that helps. If you have more questions totally let me know, always here to help!

    1. Hey Alex, it will not change the cooking time but it will change the sauce consistency. The sauce will be a little thinly because the bones in the meat actually help thicken the sauce. The flavors will all still be there though. 🙂 Hope that helps Alex!

  5. Trent

    I just bought 1.5 lbs of grass fed boneless short ribs. I figured that was enough for 2 people to experiment for my first time with short ribs. Will boneless work with this recipe? And such a small amount?

    Thank you!!!

    1. Hey Trent! 1.5lbs of short ribs should still be fine. I would make it the same. The only thing that might be different is the consistency of the sauce, which will be a little thinly. The bones in the short ribs actually help thicken up the sauce, but I’ve made it with boneless before and the flavor is still spot on good! 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hey Trent, I’m not completely sure because I’ve never used a pressure cooker before. I looked it up online and from what I can see, cook it on high for 20 minutes. But again, I’m not completely confident in this because I’ve never used one before. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out! 🙂

      1. Trent

        Krista, thanks for the info. I tried it last night and it was amazing. It was my first time using a pressure cooker and it turned out great. It took 25 minutes with the first 5 minutes getting it to the right “pressure” temp. I lowered it to med:high when it locked in the pressure. I wound up using bone-in short ribs. The sauce was so good that I scooped out the rest and poured all over the dish. The bones were completely off by the time I opened the top of the cooker.

        I also made the carrots in the oven while it cooked.

        I can’t believe how tender it was with only 20-25 minutes. Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to trying more of your paleo stuff!

        1. Absolutely! Sooooo glad to hear that it went well for you. Sounds like I need to get a pressure cooker and cut down on the cooking time… 6 hours or 25 minutes? um… 25 minutes ding ding ding!!! 🙂

          Glad you ended up using the bone-in short ribs, the sauce truly is to die for and combined with the carrots its a winner.

          Thanks for popping in and letting me know how it turned out! Always love hearing that!

          1. Trent

            I’m trying it with the slow cooker tonight. Lots of pressure on the slow cooker to perform after the results from the pressure cooker 😉

          2. Trent

            Ok, so I have now tried the pressure cooker twice and the slow cooler once. The pressure cooker won both times. Was very shocked but both my wife and I thought it was more tender and tastier with the pressure cooker. Both ways were good but pressure cooker gets slight edge for taste and huge edge for time saver.

            Thanks again for the recipe. We’ll be trying some other paleo recipes you have.

    1. Hey Chassidy, you could try dried figs or apricots. The dates or just to sweeten the dish a little bit. So you could even use honey if you’d like. Hope that helps! 🙂

  6. Lana

    Hi I have made this 3 x and my family love it! My husband loves it and my 3 kids! It’s so easy to chuck in the slow cooker in the morning then serve in the evening! I serve it with mashed sweet potato and cabage with bacon!! Thank you so much!!! Much appreciation from Australia!! X

    1. I know! I love that all I have to do is throw it in the crockpot and then a couple hours later deliciousness is waiting. 🙂 The mashed potatoes with cabbage and bacon sounds outstanding!!! So excited that your family loved it and that is a repeat recipe in your home, makes my heart happy! Thanks for leaving a note Lana, always love hearing from my readers!

  7. Susan

    I have to watch salt and night-shade vegetables.
    Can you suggest substitutes for salt or (how low can I go in terms of amount??) and for tomato sauce??
    I would love to try it in a pressure cooker.

    1. Hey Susan,
      Sorry about the slow response. I was out of commission all weekend. 🙂

      As far as the salt part you can definitely half the amount used or omit it completely amp up the herbs a little bit and use the juice of 1 lemon instead. Alot of times I will use a little bit of salt and use lemon to enhance that salt flavor, it works great. 😉

      In regards to the tomato sauce I’m not completely sure to be honest. Thats a hard one to mimic. I did some research and found that you could use tamarind concentrate as a substitute for tomato paste or sauce {if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, use 1/4 cup of tamarind concentrate, basically half the amount} or you could also try to use a can of butternut squash or sweet potato puree. {without the spices of course}

      Hope this helps Susan. Let me know if you have any more questions!


    2. LP

      This recipe comes from practical paleo. In the book her substitute for tomato sauce is her beef broth which is another recipe in her book.. Also very easy in the slow cooler.

  8. These are in the crock pot as.we.speak and I can’t wait to try them 🙂

    I just found you and saw that you live in Texas! Where are you located? I’m in the Dallas area and love finding other bloggers in this great state 😉 I’m looking forward to perusing your site to find more yummy recipes!

    1. Yeah! Hope you like them Jess!

      I live in the Houston area, I know a couple in the austin and dallas area but none in Houston. 🙁 So glad you stopped by to say hi Jess.. enjoy those short ribs!

  9. Beth

    These were so good fell right off the bone and great flavor. Next time I am adding more dates. They were so good cooked when cooked.

  10. Christina

    We are doing a whole30 and I made these the other day! OMG! I couldn’t believe how delicious these were. I made them with spareibs, since it was what I had in the freezer. I added the rub that was leftover into the sauce before I poured it in the crockpot. The best part of this recipe is the leftover sauce. I used it the next day for zoodles with mushrooms and onions! So incredibly delicious!

    1. Oh i know, that sauce is killer! And love the idea of using it for the zoodles and mushrooms, genius girl! Pretty sure I could bathe in this sauce, so scrumptious! So glad you liked it girl and good luck on your whole30!

  11. Kari

    I am going to give this recipe a try, but instead of short ribs I am going to use fresh pork hock, and instead of dates I will use honey.

    1. Oh yeah, I use this sauce and dry rub as a base for multiple things. All you do is just sub out the Protein, in your case it would be subbing out the short ribs for baby back ribs and your good to go. 🙂

  12. Just made these last night – OH EM GEE! They were AMAZING! I linked your recipe and talked about how amazing they were on my blog as well! Thanks for sharing!!!

    PS – My boyfriend basically cried about how amazing these were … he LOVES beef and I’m a chicken girl myself 😉

      1. Erincohen

        Hello! Wondering if I need to change anything if I am going to be cooking it longer. I was thinking 8 hours (so I don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to turn off the slow cooker!)

        Also, wondering if I can put it in the oven in a le creuset with the same results? Any idea what temp if so??

        1. You probably could cook it for 8 hours, it might be a little more tender and shred pretty fast but it will still be good.

          As far as the oven, yes you could put it in the oven. I would set it for 350 and cover it, but not sure how long.

  13. Joel S

    Excellent – full of flavor. Ridiculously easy. This will absolutely be made again. Good enough for a dinner party or entertaining.

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