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Spicy Ribs and Beans in the
Slow Cooker

Posted by Denise on April 7, 2015

spicy ribs and beans in blue bowl

My favorite kind of recipe, it cooks while we're at work and it is sooo tasty. The ribs and beans are tender and spicy, complimenting each other perfectly.

One of the really great solutions to the typical busy family schedule is the slow cooker. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I really, really like my slow cooker. It makes our lives easier, especially on really hectic weeknight evenings, and keeps us from resorting to fast food when time is tight. We also love ribs. We’ve already posted a couple other slow cooker rib recipes, but they are all a little different and each is really good. This recipe has the added benefit of cooking beans along with the ribs, so in one pot, dinner is already mostly figured out! The beans pick up the great flavors of the ribs and everything gets nice and tender together. The ribs are flavored with one of my favorite ingredients, hot pepper jelly. (I use hot pepper jelly on things that most people wouldn’t dream of using it on, not because they wouldn’t try it, but because it’s just weird enough that everyone assures me that no one else would think of it. I’ll tell more about that along with one of my delicious concoctions in a future post.)

Although any style of ribs would work in this recipe, we prefer to use a St. Louis-style pork rib since they’re meatier than baby back ribs and they hold up really well to a looong cooking time. I leave the membrane on to help them hold together, but remove it if that’s your preference. If you want to remove the membrane, use a small knife and carefully insert the tip under and lift a section of the membrane. Then, using a paper towel to help get a grip on the membrane, grab the lifted section and gently pull the rest off of the meat. Discard the membrane once its removed.

We found this recipe in a recent Southern Living Slow Cooker Suppers magazine cookbook. I prepped the ingredients the night before, including browning the ribs. I covered everything and put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, it only took me about 15 minutes to finish all the preparations and load up the slow cooker. In the evening when everyone arrived home from work, the contents of the slow cooker were tender, sweet and spicy and perfectly cooked.

I’ve altered the instructions slightly to make the recipe even better. When pouring the barbecue mixture over the ribs, if you use all of it when first putting the ribs into the slow cooker, the sauce gets diluted and washes off the ribs by the time it finishes cooking. I reserve a portion of the sauce and baste the ribs with it about 30 minutes before we plan to eat to make sure it has a nice coating of sauce when serving the ribs.



Spicy Ribs and Beans in the


Slow Cooker



spicy ribs and beans in slow cooker ingredients

Spicy Ribs and Beans in the Slow Cooker ingredients.



Makes 6-8 servings




16-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed


15.5-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed


medium onion, chopped


pounds St. Louis pork ribs, each rack cut in half


tablespoons olive oil


tablespoon chopped fresh garlic


teaspoon salt


teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


10.5-ounce jar of red pepper jelly


18-ounce bottle of hickory-flavored barbeque sauce


teaspoons of hot sauce ( I use Tabasco Sauce)


1.  Preheat the broiler with the oven rack about 2 inches from the heat. Place the beans and onion in a 5-quart or greater slow cooker.


onions and beans  beans and onions in slow cooker

2.  Rub the ribs with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the ribs in a broiler pan and broil 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. Flip them half way through to brown both sides. Place ribs in the slow cooker on top of the beans.

browned pork ribs 

3.  Combine the pepper jelly, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce in a medium pan. Cook over low heat until the pepper jelly melts. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the ribs in the slow cooker and mix in gently. Put the cover on the slow cooker and start it, cooking on LOW for 9 to 10 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, apply the remaining 1/3 of the barbecue sauce to the ribs and re-cover. Serve hot when finished cooking. The slow cooker can keep the meal hot until you are ready to eat.


spicy sauce making 1 making sauce

pouring sauce over ribs in slow cooker

  ribs and beans in blue bowl2


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