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Instant Pot Weeknight Spiced Ribs

These instant pot weeknight spiced ribs are incredibly versatile, delicious, and easy! They make excellent leftovers and can be arranged into a multitude of dishes to make everyone in your household satisfied.

Closeup shot of the spiced ribs to show texture and color under the cooked skin
Sliced spiced rib with a closeup shot of the meat

For all you carnivorous folks, these Weeknight Spiced Ribs will hit home.  I love my traditional BBQ, and living in Georgia, I don’t have to look far for some great eats!  Today we’re going to circumvent the Memphis, Texas, St. Louis, and Carolina feud (No allegiances here, I love them all), for some mouthwateringly, delicious Spiced Ribs.

Fast cooking ribs… am I missing something?

These ribs come together with about 5-10 minutes of hands-on time. I don’t know about you, but when I hear ribs, I always think of either BBQ smoked ribs that take hours and hours of work and prep (time I just don’t usually have) or slow cooker ribs that are so soft, they have nothing for your teeth to grab onto. These ribs are the perfect combination. They cook for only 28 minutes in the instant pot, then are broiled in the oven for an additional 5 minutes and come out tasting heavenly. They have the perfect crust and great bite that you want from your meat, without all the hassle.

3 sets of 6 ribs to show user how the ribs look when they are cooked and how to cut them up
Spiced Ribs on Cutting Board

How do I serve these?

You are totally welcome to gobble these Instant Pot Weeknight Spiced ribs up the second they are finished without a single side, BUT that’s not for all people. My favorite aspect of these Spiced Pork Ribs, besides being quick, is the versatility of cuisines.  Yes, they’re great as part of a typical BBQ, but this recipe can be also paired with Carribean, Latin, and some Asian cuisines.  Plate these ribs with some rice, mango salsa, and black beans or corn bread, sweet potatoes and collards, either way it works.

Can I skip the wait time for these ribs?

The preferred method for this recipe is to let the ribs sit overnight or all day long to absorb the rub, but they’re if you’re in a pinch and can only let them set for 15-20 minutes, they’re still great! It’s easy to make the rub the night before or in the morning, and then refrigerate the ribs in a covered cookie sheet until you’re ready to cook. You can go about your day while the rub does all the work of making you look like a super star that night.

This shows the sweet potato mash and sautéed kale that can be made with the same instant pot as the weeknight spiced ribs
Add mashed sweet potatoes and sautéed lemon kale without extra dishes!

Make it a full meal without all the extra dishes!

After the ribs cook in the instant pot, reserve 1/2 cup of liquid in a separate measuring cup and discard the rest. Melt 2 Tbs salted butter in the instant pot (not washed), and then place 3-4 sweet potatoes, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces into the bottom. Add 1/2 tsp salt and mix everything up. Add the reserved liquid and set instant pot to 6 minutes. Release immediately and discard any loose liquid. Add 2 more Tbs butter. Use an immersion blender or old fashioned potato masher until it reaches desired consistency. If you would like smoother, feel free to add some milk or cream 1 Tbs at a time.

Remove the mash (and cover) and set instant pot to sauté, place 3 Tbs olive oil and wait until it becomes shiny. Add 3 cups of uncooked, pre-washed kale and let cook 7-8 minutes, tossing every 3 minutes. Once the kale is slightly charred, squeeze 1/2 sliced lemon and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

These make the absolute best leftovers

Sometimes leftover can get a little repetitive or tedious, but not so for these weeknight ribs. They are excellent on their own, but you can also turn them into nachos (add cheese, a drizzle of BBQ, hot pepper and done), salad (kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and cucumber with some greek dressing) or sandwich (chop of rib meat with ranch/bbq sauce mixture and add cheese).

Tips and Tricks

  • Peel off the silver skin! This is the thin membrane on the bottom side of your ribs. This membrane blocks the absorption of flavor and makes the rib tougher. (See the picture below)
  • Prefer a smokey flavor? Use Hickory or Alder Wood Smoked Salt in the rub. I find that much of the smokey flavor is lost in the Instapot, so make sure to coat the ribs with the leftover rub before finishing them in the grill or oven. You can purchase smoked salts from my preferred company, San Francisco Salt Co., here:
  • You can rub the ribs and freeze them until they’re ready for your use. Letting them thaw out naturally will give ample time for the rub to sink in.
  • The ribs with the rub can be left in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking.
  • If you don’t have an Instapot, but have lots of time, cover in tinfoil and bake in the oven at 275 F for 3 hours. Your ribs will be just as delicious and tender.
This shows the user how to remove the silver skin on baby back ribs in order to cook the weeknight spiced ribs most efficiently
Two racks of uncooked baby back ribs with silver skin being removed

Instant Pot Weeknight Spiced Ribs

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Recipe by Stevens Haen Course: DinnerCuisine: American
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Instant Pot Weeknight Spiced ribs are tender, rich and full of flavor. They come together with very little hands on time and make the perfect weeknight meal.


  • 5 Pounds Baby Back Ribs (2 Racks)

  • 2 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar

  • 3 Tbsp Sea Salt

  • 2 tsp Coriander

  • 3 tsp Allspice

  • 2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder

  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 tsp Canola Spray


  • Spiced Rub
  • Set out a medium sized mixing bowl
  • Pour in all dry ingredients (everything but the ribs and oil)
  • Mix to an even consistency
  • Set aside a quarter of the rub for finishing
  • Prep the Ribs
  • Rinse off the ribs and pat dry with paper towel
  • On a baking sheet, flip the ribs over and remove the silver skin (membrane)
  • Sprinkle the rub across the bottom side of the ribs and rub/pat it in
  • Flip the racks of ribs over
  • Generously apply rub and again rub in, make sure to get between the individual ribs and the sides.
  • Let the ribs sit, preferably 2-3 hours or more, but in a pinch do it for as long as you can.
  • Cooking the Ribs
  • In Instapot, pour in the chicken broth.
  • Insert the rack to keep the ribs above the liquid
  • Layer the ribs (I usually cut each slab in half)
  • Set the Instapot on High and set timer for 28 minutes
  • Cover and lock the Instapot and let it cook
  • Once the cooking time is complete, release the pressure, and carefully remove the lid.
  • Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  • Remove the ribs and lay them out on the baking sheet
  • Lightly spray the ribs with Canola Oil
  • Sprinkle the remaining rub we had previously set aside
  • Finish the ribs under the broiler or on the grill at high heat for approx 5 minutes.
  • Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes, then enjoy!

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