This Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pasta is best for cold winter nights. Slow-cooked short ribs or chicken braised in a rich, garlicky, red wine/tomato/bacon sauce. The beef is then shredded and tossed with your favorite cut of pasta. If there’s one cozy winter meal you need to be making, it’s this simple short rib pasta. It’s the simplest dinner to put together, but feels fancy, festive, and most importantly? It’s truly delicious. Serve this Sunday style pasta topped with plenty of parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread. You’ll have the perfect dinner for a cold night-in with family. You can make this pasta easily in the slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stove-top. Do what works best for you!
You guys, I truly love the month of December, but especially this year. It’s so refreshing to feel all the excitement in the air. I’ve never put a ton of pressure on myself to make everything perfect for the holidays, though I try! Instead I just attempt to have a lot of fun creating and sharing the things I love most.
And for me, that also means really good family meals. With my family all very slowly beginning to arrive for Christmas over the next couple of weeks, I’m excited to spend some time with them. I want to take a minute to soak everything in and be thankful for all this year has had to offer. It’s been a crazy year, a scary year, and also an exciting year, all at the same time. But this year more than ever I’m so thankful to be doing what I love each and every day.
It has been go, go, go for months now, so I haven’t really had the chance to chill, and probably won’t anytime soon. But the point in all of this rambling? With my family arriving soon, and things as hectic as they are, I’m currently on the lookout for the easiest recipes. Recipes that I can throw together in the morning and simply serve up that night.
And even more importantly? These are simple recipes that I know everyone will really love and enjoy. Enter this slow cooker pasta.
If any of you own the Half Baked Harvest Super Simple cookbook, you may recall a recipe for Caroline’s Family’s pasta. Caroline is my cousin’s longtime girlfriend and soon to be wife. This recipe has been in their family for quite some time. It’s a very simple chicken and tomato-based pasta, but it’s a recipe that everyone loves.
I was thinking about their family recipe the other week. I then had the idea to create the sauce in the slow cooker. And instead of using chicken, to use heartier short ribs. Since the sauce already has red wine, the short ribs sounded like they could be a delicious pairing.
I don’t make short ribs all too often, but whenever I do it seems to be around the holidays. Something about short ribs over pasta just feels extra special, even fancy, but yet they are so simple! I slow-cooked these all day and a few hours into cooking, I knew this was going to be good.
The smells coming from the slow cooker were those perfect cozy smells you want on cold December days.
This Slow Cooker Pasta is Simple
This recipe starts with a little bacon, which I think is key to Caroline’s family’s sauce. The bacon adds a rich layer of flavor that really hooks everyone in right away.
Once the bacon has been crisped, sear the short ribs or you can use chicken too! Trust me, I know how much of a turn off this is in any slow cooker recipe. But searing the ribs or chicken will give you an even more tender, flavorful short rib every time. I know you might not want to dirty the pan or deal with grease splatter, but if you want your short ribs to be great, give them a nice sear before slowly braising them all day.
Once the bacon has been crisped and the short ribs seared, you pretty much just throw all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker and cook all day long. Low and slow is key with short ribs, so I recommend cooking the full six hours on low. Of course, if you’re short on time, you can also cook this using the instant pot. And if you don’t have a slow cooker or an instant pot? The stovetop is a great option too!
The major flavor for this pasta come from dry red wine, tomato paste, garlic, and allspice.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to slow braise short ribs or chicken in red wine. Normally I make this recipe with cranberries, but I LOVE this more Italian-style short rib.chicken pasta too. The tomato paste paired with the warming allspice is really key and infuses the sauce with flavor. It feels very fancy when tossed with pasta. It’s really one of the best, coziest meals I serve up during the winter.
As the sauce slowly cooks, the kitchen is filled with warming hearty scents leaving you very excited for dinner. Every bowl of pasta is just oh so slightly spicy, creamy, and has just the right amount of garlic and cheese.
It’s that so very good…stick to your bones, enjoy a second helping, kind of delicious.
To sum it up
Our temperatures have been dropping so low at night, so this was perfect. If you need something warm and hearty to serve on these days leading up to Christmas, I highly recommend these short ribs.
Or? Make this pasta a part of your Christmas Eve or Christmas night dinner menu. It’s fancy enough for both, but yet so easy!
You can even prepare the sauce way ahead of time, then just add the pasta before you’re ready to serve. Try serving alongside my Pull-Apart Garlic Butter Bread Wreath or Salted Butter Parker House Rolls. Add a simple Winter Pomegranate Salad into the mix and you’ll have the perfect holiday meal. It’s one of those pasta dishes that’s easily loved by all.
Looking for other good wintery dinners? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pasta be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pasta
Calories Per Serving: 788 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 4-5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, chicken breast, or thighs
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 parmesan rind, plus parmesan, for serving
- 1 pound dry pasta any cut
- fresh basil or parsley, for serving
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- 1. In the bowl of your slow cooker, combine the wine, 2 cups water, the tomato paste, onion, garlic, allspice, and bay leaves. Season heavily with salt and pepper. 2. Season the short ribs or chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the skillet, drain excess grease. Add the bacon to the slow cooker. Going back to the same skillet, sear the ribs on both sides over medium-high heat. Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker. Gently toss everything to combine. Add the parmesan rind. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. 3. Just before serving, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain4. Remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Shred the meat, discard the bones, and toss the meat with the sauce. If needed, thin the sauce with pasta cooking water. Serve the sauce over pasta. Top with lots of parmesan and fresh basil. Enjoy!
- 1. In the bowl of your Instant Pot, combine the wine, 2 cups water, the tomato paste, onion, garlic, allspice, and bay leaves. Season heavily with salt and pepper. 2. Season the short ribs or chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the skillet, drain excess grease. Add the bacon to the Instant Pot. Going back to the same skillet, sear the ribs on both sides over medium-high heat. Transfer the ribs to the Instant Pot. Gently toss everything to combine. Add the parmesan rind. Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.3. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function. Finish as directed above from step 3 on.
- 1. Season the short ribs or chicken with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Push the bacon to the side, add the ribs sear on both sides over medium-high heat. Drain off excess grease. 2. Add the in the wine, 2 cups water, the tomato paste, onion, garlic, allspice, and bay leaves. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Gently toss everything to combine. Add the parmesan rind. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring every hour until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. If needed, add water throughout cooking to keep the ribs mostly covered. 3. Finish as directed above from step 3 on.