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Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu

Easy slow cooker ragu! It's tender and packed with so much flavor. Serve with pasta and your favorite cheese. You will love this easy slow cooker dinner!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: short rib ragu, slow cooker short rib ragu
Servings: 6 people
Author: Tania


  • 3 to 4 pounds bone-in short ribs, excess fat trimmed
  • 2 oz prosciutto, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, small diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine (optional)
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For serving

  • 1 pound Pappardelle pasta or your favorite pasta
  • Fresh burrata or your favorite cheese
  • Fresh basil or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, cook the prosciutto over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a large slow cooker.
  • Season short ribs with salt and pepper generously. On the same Dutch oven or pan, heat some olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) over medium-high heat and sear all sides of the short ribs until beautifully browned. If needed, do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan (overcrowding will result in steaming rather than browning). Transfer the browned short ribs to a large slow cooker.
  • Do not wipe the Dutch oven or skillet clean. Heat about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in same Dutch oven or skillet. Add onions and carrots, and cook for 6-8 minutes over medium-high heat until softened. Once the onions start to release moisture, scrape the brown bits (left behind from browning the short ribs) with a wooden spoon. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine.
  • If using, add wine and deglaze the Dutch oven or pan. Cook until reduced.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Transfer the tomato sauce to the slow cooker along with the browned short ribs and the cooked prosciutto.
  • Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 8 hours. When the meat is ready, shred with a fork and discard bones. Return the shredded meat to slow cooker. Keep the slow cooker on the warm setting.
  • Cook the pappardelle or your favorite pasta according to package directions. Serve with the short rib ragu, fresh burrata, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!


  • Special equipment: large Dutch oven, large slow cooker, wooden spoon.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Short ribs: Preferably, use bone-in short ribs to keep them juicy and moist while they cook.
  • Wine: wine is completely optional, but it will add complex flavor that you'll love! I prefer using red wine for color and intensity.