Keto BBQ ribs with creamy squash salad

Keto BBQ ribs with creamy squash salad

Smokey. Tangy. Meaty. Plus, the flavor-enhancing fat is built right in! These cookout-worthy ribs, paired with our satisfying squash salad, will have everyone at your table—kids—neighbors—in-laws—singing your praises while licking their fingers.

Keto BBQ ribs with creamy squash salad

Smokey. Tangy. Meaty. Plus, the flavor-enhancing fat is built right in! These cookout-worthy ribs, paired with our satisfying squash salad, will have everyone at your table—kids—neighbors—in-laws—singing your praises while licking their fingers.
6 servingservings


  • 3 lbs 1.4 kg thin spare ribs
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
BBQ sauce
  • 3 tbsp 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ (2 oz.) ½ (55 g) yellow onion, finely choppedyellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (1 lb) 475 ml (475 g) canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 lbs 900 g zucchini or squash
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 3 oz. (¾ cup) 85 g (200 ml) celery stalk, thinly slicedcelery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz. (9 tbsp) 55 g (130 ml) scallion, finely choppedscallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup 240 ml mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
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Instructions are for 6 servings. Please modify as needed.


  1. Salt the ribs on both sides and place them in a slow cooker. Mix all of the ingredients to the BBQ sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Add half of the BBQ sauce to the slow cooker and cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.
  2. Take out the ribs and let them cool. (You can complete this step a day in advance if you wish.)
  3. Finish off the ribs on the grill or under the broiler. Crisp up the surface of the meat; this takes about 15 minutes total. Flip the racks over at the half-way point.
  4. BBQ sauce

  5. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and stir in the tomato paste. Add the onion and fry over medium heat until soft and glossy.
  6. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the spices, tomatoes, and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for 15-20 more minutes. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender until it reaches a smooth consistency. Let cool. (If you want a thicker sauce, let it simmer longer until it reaches the desired consistency.)
  9. Salad

  10. Peel and cut the squash into cubes that are about 1/2" (1.5 cm) square. (If necessary remove the seeds first.) Salt them and place them in a colander. After 5-10 minutes, carefully press out the excess water.
  11. Sauté the squash in butter for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Do not overcook. The squash should be firm and the cubes should have a nice golden color around the edges. Set aside and let cool.
  12. Mix the other salad ingredients in a big bowl; fold in the squash.
  13. Serve the ribs with the squash salad and the rest of the BBQ sauce.


You don't need a slow cooker to make delicious ribs! Try boiling them in a couple of litres of salted water. Remove the foam on the surface using a slotted spoon. Let boil slowly for 1.5-2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove ribs and marinate in the BBQ sauce for a couple of hours or over night. Then, continue according to the step 3, above.

You can prepare the salad 1-2 days beforehand. It becomes even tastier if you let the flavors mingle in the fridge.

Recommended special equipment

  • Slow cooker
  • Immersion blender

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  1. Mark
    Yay!!! A BBQ sauce for ribs. Been waiting for this. Will try tomorrow!!
  2. Tracy
    It would be immensely helpful to have the carbs broken down into sides and entrees. Sometimes I want one but not the other. Especially the sides...always looking for sides and can't tell how many carbs without a lot of research on google.
    Reply: #3
  3. Rachael
    Tracy, most of the carbs are from the side dish. There's a small amount from the tomato paste and tomatoes in the BBQ sauce but the majority that you're getting is from the squash.
    Also, if you use MyFitnessPal you can add a recipe and just put all the ingredients in and it will tell you how many carbs you have in each dish. But remember it doesn't give you net carbs so you'll have to deduct the fiber yourself and get your net carbs. Much easier than trying to use google.
  4. Sandra
    This BBQ sauce recipe produces a fabulous sauce! It's just not BBQ sauce. I ended up making a dry rub for my ribs and saved the sauce. I've since used it for vege dip and a side for roasted meat or scrambled eggs. My husband loves it, but agrees it's not BBQ sauce. Our opinion originates from having tasted BBQ in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama and Chicago, IL. Granted, our opinions were formed from limited areas and were all prior to LCHF.
  5. Dave
    Why garlic powder in this recipe? I never use onion powder or garlic powder. Fresh, real foods are best.
  6. Sue christman
    What are macros on just the ribs and sauce not the squash.
  7. Claude Robinson
    what is the meat used? Pork?
  8. Fabienne
    D’après les infos que j’ai ,je devrais prendre environ 98 gr. De lipides par jour , cette recette en contient déjà 92
    Est-ce à dire que je ne mange pas de lipides au repas suivant ?
  9. Julia Roberts
    This turned out phenomenal!! Thank you so much for the recipe. I was shocked at how much the squash salad made me feel like I was really eating potato salad (granted, it's been a while since I've had potatoes!) and the bbq sauce was amazingly flavorful. I added a bit of liquid stevia for a slightly sweeter version. I also made garlic bread using the 90 second almond flour bread recipe. Everything was delicious. My non keto boyfriend even loved it!
  10. babypiggypower
    what temp the bbq
    Reply: #11
  11. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    what temp the bbq

    Step 1 of the instructions indicates to use the low heat setting in a slow cooker.

  12. Dale
    In the recipe, you cook 1/2 the bbq sauce with the ribs in a slow cooker, what do you do with the other 1/2 of the sauce?
    Reply: #13
  13. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    In the recipe, you cook 1/2 the bbq sauce with the ribs in a slow cooker, what do you do with the other 1/2 of the sauce?

    Step 4 addresses the rest of the sauce - it's added at the end, or on your plate.

  14. labevan
    Agree with some reviewers that these aren’t your traditional type of BBQ ribs. But, if you want something that isn’t sticky and gets your fingers and face covered in sauce then these might be for you. I cooked mine in the slow cooker first, as suggested, and the meat just fell off the bone. I actually started with a knife and fork and resorted to picking up the ribs only at the end. The ribs were delicious. Having tasted the sauce after cooking it in the pan I was convinced that it would be too hot for me but weirdly it wasn’t after coming out the slow cooker. How does that work?!
    I did put 2tsp Erythritol in my mix and next time I won’t put half the sauce aside for later. I’d rather it was all in the slow cooker as I didn’t need it later but thought that more sauce in the cooker would have been better. Plus it tasted much nicer out of the slow cooker than it had from the saucepan.
    I also made the side dish, using courgettes (zucchini) and I love, love, loved it. Goodbye potato salad. I thought I loved you but I’ve moved on.
  15. Craig
    I put the sauce over heart of palm pasta and this dish was very good. I used instant pot and broiler

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