Paleo Recipe: Spicy Slow Cooker Ribs

Paleo_ribs_recipe rotator

College hoops are about to hijack the next three weeks of your life, and we can’t think of a better time to befriend a slow cooker. Trust us—these “set it and forget it” kitchen appliances are for time-strapped guys just as much as they’re for stay-at-home moms. Plus, slow cookers can be a godsend for anyone following the Paleo diet, as an hours-long cooking process helps tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat. (Side note: We’re well aware that cavemen didn’t have slow cookers, but they were no strangers to slow cooking over an open fire—and that’s close enough for us.)

We recently got our hands on a copy of The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-Free Meals the Easy Way by Arsy Vartanian, and it’s where we found the spicy ribs recipe below. This appetizer gets its flavor from herbs and spices instead of a thick, sugary glaze, so you don’t need to feel guilty about whipping up this recipe more than once during March Madness.

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  • 3 lbs pork spare ribs
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp sweet basil, dried
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste after dish is cooked

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers, chopped and peeled
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 pinches of salt


  1. Cut ribs into single pieces.
  2. Rub pieces with the spices and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Put tomatoes in a bowl, smash them with a fork and mix in the rest of the sauce ingredients.
  4. Pour mixture over the ribs, cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours until ribs are tender.
  5. Add salt and pepper after cooking.

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