What to Do With Leftover Ribs: Tasty Recipes & Ideas

Hey there, fellow foodies!

Are you left with a heap of heavenly, hickory-smoked ribs after your last backyard cookout? Fear not, for I have scoured the culinary realm to bring you a plethora of tantalizing recipes and ideas to transform those leftovers into mouthwatering delights!

From rib-stuffed potatoes to BBQ rib pizza, prepare to embark on a flavor-packed journey that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

So grab your apron and let’s dive into the delectable world of what to do with leftover ribs!

Key Takeaways

  • There are many creative ways to repurpose leftover ribs, such as making sandwiches, wraps, paninis, tacos, and pizza.
  • Leftover ribs can also be used in dishes like fried rice, pasta bake, stuffed potatoes, and as fillings for mushrooms, bell peppers, and jalapeno poppers.
  • Grilling and baking are two popular methods for cooking ribs, each resulting in different textures and flavors.
  • There are various toppings and seasonings that can enhance the flavor of ribs, such as spicy honey glaze, tangy barbecue sauce, and herb butter.

Creative Rib Sandwiches

There’s nothing like a good rib sandwich for a delicious and convenient way to use up leftover ribs. When I find myself with some leftover ribs from a previous meal, I get excited because it means I can create a mouthwatering sandwich that will satisfy my cravings.

One of my favorite creative rib sandwiches is the ‘Spicy BBQ Rib Melt.’ To make this delectable sandwich, I start by heating up a skillet on medium heat. I take the leftover ribs and shred the meat, discarding any bones and excess fat. Then, I add a generous amount of spicy barbeque sauce to the skillet and toss in the shredded rib meat. I let it cook for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the meat to soak up the delicious sauce.

While the meat is cooking, I prepare the bread for the sandwich. I choose a hearty ciabatta roll and slice it open, toasting it slightly in the oven. Once the bread is ready, I spread a layer of creamy coleslaw on one side and pile the spicy BBQ rib meat on the other. I top it off with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and place the sandwich under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

The result is a sandwich that is bursting with flavor. The tender rib meat, coated in the spicy BBQ sauce, perfectly complements the cool and crunchy coleslaw. The melted cheddar adds a creamy richness that ties everything together. Each bite is a delightful combination of textures and tastes that will leave you craving more.

Rib Fried Rice

I’ll show you how to make a delicious Rib Fried Rice using the leftover ribs. Trust me, this recipe is a game-changer! Not only does it give your leftover ribs new life, but it also creates a flavorful and satisfying dish that will leave you wanting more.

To start, gather your ingredients:

  1. Leftover ribs: The star of the show! Make sure to remove any excess sauce or bones before chopping them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Rice: Use cooked and cooled rice, preferably jasmine or basmati. The cold rice works best for fried rice as it doesn’t clump together.
  3. Veggies: Get creative with your choice of vegetables. I love adding diced bell peppers, carrots, and peas to my fried rice. They add a pop of color and a delightful crunch.

Now, let’s get cooking!

  1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add a splash of oil. Once hot, add the chopped ribs and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are heated through and slightly caramelized.
  2. Push the ribs to one side of the skillet and add the vegetables to the other side. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp.
  3. Add the cold rice to the skillet and toss everything together. Drizzle soy sauce over the rice and continue stir-frying until the rice is heated through and evenly coated with sauce.

Voila! Your Rib Fried Rice is ready to be enjoyed. The tender rib meat, combined with the flavorful rice and veggies, creates a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a lazy Sunday brunch.

BBQ Rib Pizza

When it comes to leftover ribs, I always like to get creative in the kitchen. There’s nothing like finding a new way to enjoy the delicious flavors of BBQ.

In this discussion, we’ll be exploring an alternative rib recipe that takes those leftover ribs to the next level – BBQ Rib Pizza.

Creative Rib Leftovers

Get creative with your rib leftovers by making delicious sandwiches, savory tacos, or mouthwatering quesadillas.

Leftover ribs are a culinary treasure, full of smoky and tender flavors just waiting to be transformed into new and exciting dishes. Here are three delectable ideas to inspire your rib leftovers journey:

  1. Rib Sandwich: Take your favorite bread and layer it with succulent rib meat, tangy barbecue sauce, and crisp lettuce. Add some pickles for a refreshing crunch and enjoy the perfect balance of textures and flavors.
  2. Rib Tacos: Warm up some corn tortillas and fill them with shredded rib meat, diced onions, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. The combination of the rich meat, aromatic herbs, and zesty citrus will transport your taste buds to taco heaven.
  3. Rib Quesadillas: Take two flour tortillas and sandwich them with melty cheese, leftover rib meat, and caramelized onions. Cook until golden and crispy, then slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of sour cream. The melty cheese and smoky rib meat will make every bite a delight.

With these creative ideas, your rib leftovers will never go to waste. Enjoy the deliciousness and savor every bite of these mouthwatering dishes.

Alternative Rib Recipe?

Looking to switch things up with your leftover ribs? Try experimenting with a unique and flavorful alternative recipe.

One of my personal favorites is to transform those tender, succulent ribs into a mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich. Simply shred the leftover meat, mix it with your favorite barbecue sauce, and pile it high on a soft, toasted bun.

Add some tangy coleslaw for a refreshing crunch and a hint of acidity. The combination of the smoky, savory ribs with the sweet and tangy sauce creates an explosion of flavors in every bite.

It’s a delightful twist on the classic pulled pork sandwich that will leave your taste buds begging for more. So don’t let those leftover ribs go to waste, give them a second life with this irresistible alternative recipe.

Rib Tacos With a Twist

I’ll show you how to make rib tacos with a fun twist. Trust me, this is a recipe you won’t want to miss. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Here are three things that make these rib tacos truly special:

  1. The Marinade: To infuse these tacos with an explosion of flavor, I marinate the leftover ribs in a tangy blend of lime juice, garlic, and a touch of cumin. This not only tenderizes the meat but also adds a zesty kick that will leave your taste buds dancing.
  2. The Slaw: Tacos are all about the toppings, and in this case, a crunchy slaw takes center stage. I toss together shredded cabbage, carrots, and radishes, then dress it with a creamy chipotle mayo. The slaw adds a refreshing element that perfectly complements the rich, smoky flavors of the ribs.
  3. The Tortillas: Now, here comes the twist. Instead of using traditional corn tortillas, I like to swap them out for soft, pillowy flour tortillas. The subtle sweetness of the flour tortillas provides a delightful contrast to the savory ribs. Plus, they hold up better to the juicy filling, ensuring each bite is a satisfying explosion of taste and texture.

Once you assemble your tacos with the marinated ribs, slaw, and any additional toppings you desire, get ready to experience pure taco bliss. These rib tacos with a twist will surely become a favorite in your household, and you’ll find yourself making them again and again. Enjoy!

Rib Pasta Bake

Once you’ve marinated the ribs, you can repurpose them to create a delicious rib pasta bake. This is one of my all-time favorite dishes to make with leftover ribs. It’s a comforting and indulgent meal that combines the rich flavors of tender ribs with the creaminess of pasta and cheese.

To start, you’ll need to cook some pasta until it’s al dente. I prefer using penne or rigatoni for this recipe, as their shape holds up well to the hearty ingredients. While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the rib meat. Simply shred the leftover ribs, removing any excess fat or bones.

Next, it’s time to make the sauce. In a large skillet, melt some butter and sauté diced onions and minced garlic until they’re soft and fragrant. Then, add a can of crushed tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

Once the sauce is ready, stir in the shredded rib meat and cooked pasta. Make sure everything is well coated with the sauce. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top it with a generous amount of shredded cheese. I like to use a combination of mozzarella and cheddar for extra melty goodness.

Pop the dish into a preheated oven and bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly. The aroma that fills your kitchen while the pasta bake is cooking is simply irresistible. Once it’s done, let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

This rib pasta bake is the perfect way to transform leftover ribs into a completely new and mouthwatering meal. The tender rib meat, combined with the flavorful sauce and cheesy pasta, creates a dish that is both comforting and satisfying. It’s a great option for a cozy dinner at home or even for entertaining guests.

Rib-Stuffed Potatoes

When it comes to rib-stuffed potatoes, the possibilities for creative fillings are endless. From smoky pulled pork to tangy barbecue chicken, you can let your imagination run wild with flavorful combinations.

Whether you prefer them baked to crispy perfection or grilled for that smoky char, the choice between the two cooking methods can make a world of difference in the taste and texture of your rib-stuffed potatoes.

And don’t forget to top them off with an array of delectable toppings and seasonings, like melted cheese, crispy bacon, and a dollop of sour cream, to take your dish to the next level of deliciousness.

Creative Rib Fillings

You can try stuffing your leftover ribs with a variety of creative fillings to create delicious new dishes. Here are three tasty ideas to get your culinary creativity flowing:

  1. Cheesy Spinach and Rib Stuffed Mushrooms: Hollow out large mushrooms and fill them with a mixture of sautéed spinach, shredded rib meat, and melty cheese. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the cheese is golden and bubbly.
  2. BBQ Rib-Stuffed Bell Peppers: Cut bell peppers in half and remove the seeds. Fill each half with a mixture of diced rib meat, cooked rice, black beans, corn, and your favorite barbecue sauce. Bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.
  3. Rib-Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers: Slice jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Stuff each half with a mixture of cream cheese, diced rib meat, and chopped cilantro. Wrap with bacon and bake until the bacon is crispy and the filling is hot and gooey.

These creative rib fillings will take your leftover ribs to the next level and leave your taste buds begging for more. Enjoy!

Baked Vs. Grilled

The decision whether to bake or grill your ribs ultimately depends on your personal preference and desired flavor profile. Both methods can yield delicious results, but they offer distinct differences in taste and texture.

If you prefer tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a smoky flavor, grilling is the way to go. The direct heat from the grill sears the meat, creating a beautiful caramelized crust while infusing it with that signature smokiness.

On the other hand, baking your ribs can result in a more tender and juicy outcome. The slow and low cooking method allows the meat to become incredibly tender, while the oven’s dry heat helps to concentrate the flavors.

Whether you choose to bake or grill your ribs, the key is to take your time and let the flavors develop, ensuring a mouthwatering and satisfying meal.

Toppings and Seasonings

For a flavorful twist, try experimenting with different toppings and seasonings to enhance the taste of your ribs. Here are three delicious ideas to take your leftover ribs to the next level:

  1. Spicy Honey Glaze: Mix together honey, sriracha, and a squeeze of lime juice. Brush the glaze over your ribs and broil for a few minutes until caramelized. The sweet and spicy combination will add a delightful kick to your ribs.
  2. Tangy Barbecue Sauce: Whip up a tangy barbecue sauce by combining ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of mustard. Simmer the sauce until thickened, then generously brush it onto your ribs before grilling. The tangy flavors will perfectly complement the smoky goodness of the meat.
  3. Herb Butter: Create a flavorful herb butter by mixing softened butter with minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme, and a pinch of salt. Spread the herb butter over your ribs before baking or grilling. The aromatic herbs will infuse the meat with a fragrant, savory taste.

Rib Soup and Stew Recipes

If you’ve got some leftover ribs, why not try making a delicious rib soup or stew? It’s a great way to transform those leftover ribs into a hearty and flavorful meal. The tender meat from the ribs adds a rich and savory flavor to the broth, making each spoonful a delight. Plus, you can easily customize the soup or stew with your favorite vegetables and seasonings to create a dish that suits your taste.

To help you get started, here are two mouthwatering recipes that will make your taste buds dance:

Recipe Ingredients
1. Rib Soup – Leftover ribs
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Chicken or beef broth
  • Bay leaf
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste |
    | 2. Rib Stew | – Leftover ribs
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Beef broth
  • Bay leaf
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste |

For the rib soup, start by sautéing the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until they’re tender. Then, add the leftover ribs, broth, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper. Let it simmer for about an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve it hot with some crusty bread on the side.

To make the rib stew, follow the same steps as the rib soup, but also add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and rosemary. Let it simmer for a longer time to ensure the meat becomes tender and the flavors develop fully. This stew pairs well with some fluffy mashed potatoes or crusty bread.

Both recipes are versatile, so feel free to experiment with different vegetables and seasonings to create your own unique twist. So, don’t let those leftover ribs go to waste. Instead, turn them into a comforting and delicious soup or stew that will warm your soul.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can I Store Leftover Ribs in the Refrigerator Before They Go Bad?

Leftover ribs can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days before they start to go bad. It’s important to wrap them tightly in foil or place them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

Can I Freeze Leftover Ribs for Future Use?

Yes, you can freeze leftover ribs for future use. Freezing them will help preserve their flavor and texture. Simply wrap them tightly in foil or place them in an airtight container before freezing.

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Leftover Ribs Without Drying Them Out?

I find that reheating leftover ribs without drying them out is best achieved by using a gentle method, such as wrapping them in foil and placing them in a low-temperature oven.

Can I Use Leftover Rib Bones to Make Homemade Broth or Stock?

Sure, I can use leftover rib bones to make a flavorful homemade broth or stock. It adds depth to soups and stews, giving them that extra oomph. Plus, it’s a great way to make use of every part of the rib!

Are There Any Vegetarian or Vegan Alternatives to Using Leftover Ribs in These Recipes?

There are plenty of delicious vegetarian and vegan alternatives to using leftover ribs in these recipes. From jackfruit BBQ sandwiches to tempeh ribs, you can still enjoy tasty dishes without meat.


In conclusion, there are countless possibilities when it comes to using leftover ribs.

From mouthwatering rib sandwiches to a delectable rib pasta bake, you can transform those leftovers into a whole new culinary experience.

Don’t let those succulent ribs go to waste! Get creative in the kitchen and let your taste buds dance with joy.

Remember, the world is your oyster when it comes to reinventing leftovers, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

After all, variety is the spice of life!

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Dylan Price
Dylan Price

Exploring the fusion of music and technology, I'm Dylan—a music tech enthusiast. From MIDI controllers to digital audio workstations, I demystify the tools that shape modern music production. Join me in harmonizing the worlds of sound and technology, as we create music in the digital age.

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