13 Best Substitutes For Short Rib

If you love cooking on weekends or are a foodie and like trying different dishes, you must have come across short ribs at least once. Scarce rib meat is the less commonly used part of the cow’s rib primal cut. 

But that doesn’t mean it is less delicious or tender. Short ribs are just as good as any other meat dish and give a lot of flavor to your meals. 

Let us look at some of the best substitutes for short ribs if you want to try something new for dinner tonight!

Best Substitutes For Short Rib

13 Best Substitutes For Short Rib

Finding that perfect substitute for a short rib is no easy task. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. Follow these “13 best substitutes for short rib,” and you’ll have a potential dinner winner every time.

1. Boneless Chuck Roast

If you’re on a budget and want to make a filling, hearty meal—but can’t afford to buy short ribs—a boneless chuck roast is your best bet. It’s the closest thing to short ribs in flavor and texture and is also very affordable.

The only downside is that you’ll need to cook it longer than you would if using actual short ribs because it weighs more than other cuts of beef. But if you have time and patience (and don’t mind spending less than $10), this low-cost cut is well worth trying out!

2. Beef Chuck Roast

You can use a beef chuck roast for several dishes in your kitchen. These include braising, slow cooking, and stewing. The cut is relatively lean but also very tough and flavorful. This makes it great for long-cooking recipes like stews or braised meats. It’s also a versatile cut that you can use to make both red meat and white meat dishes, such as pot roast or pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw on top!

3. Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. It is one of the nine beef primal cuts, though the precise definition of brisket varies slightly between countries. The entire cut overlays the sternum, connecting costal cartilages, the first seven ribs, both muscle and fat (subcutaneous fat), and some underlying fascia.

Beef brisket is one of the most popular barbecue foods. There are two cuts: flat cut and point cut. Flat-cut briskets are more accessible to grill because they’re thinner than point-cut ones, which means they take less time to cook thoroughly through—and even if you want them extra rare like raw sushi, they won’t be tough like raw chicken thigh would be).

4. Beef Plate Short Ribs

Beef plate short ribs, also known as beef short ribs, are cut from the plate section of the cow. They’re essentially the same as short ribs but cut differently. The rib bones are removed, and the meat is trimmed off (if you want to go for maximum decadence). You can get them in a slab or cut them into individual portions.

The advantage here is that you’ll have more surface area to work with, which means more flavor when it’s done cooking—and probably more leftovers for your next batch of pho or ramen noodles!

5. Beef Back Ribs

Beef back ribs are the same as short ribs. They’re both cut from the plate section of a cow, which is located in its rib cage. Beef back ribs are also called beef rib tips or beef backbones, a common substitution for short ribs.

6. Beef Flanken Ribs

Rediscover the joys of short ribs with a taste of flanken. This beef is so delicious that you may never want to cook short ribs again. Flanken is an extended, flat cut of meat from the chuck primal and is often compared to stewing steak. It’s also known as “flank” or “butt strip.”

Flanken has similar tenderness and flavor characteristics as short ribs but with a different texture—it’s more tender and juicy compared to tough-textured short rib cuts. For best results, cook your flanken by braising it slowly in liquid over low heat until soft enough to fall off the bone (pulling). This will allow you to enjoy the rich umami flavors present in this beefy favorite without having to chew through any cartilage first!

7. Beef Shank

Beef shank is another forequarter cut that’s tough but flavorful. It’s a very inexpensive cut of meat and makes an excellent substitute for short ribs in any recipe that calls for them. 

Beef shank is typically braised or roasted because its shape lends itself well to sliced portions and has a lot of connective tissue that will soften when simmered. If you want to make your short rib dish healthier and lower in fat, this is a great option!

8. Beef Shoulder

Beef shoulder is another flavorful cut of meat that works well as a substitute for short ribs. It’s relatively inexpensive, and its rich flavor makes it perfect for slow cooking.

9. Rump Roast

A rump roast is a cut of beef from the rump. It is a lean roast that is best cooked by roasting or braising. A rump roast is a good substitute for short ribs because it has a similar texture and flavor to short ribs, but it’s cheaper. Rump roasts are also easy to prepare and cook, making them an ideal substitute for short ribs when looking for something simple and delicious!

10. Bottom Round

If you want to try roasting, braising, or stir-frying a cut of beef that’s as tender as short rib but not as expensive, then consider buying a beef round. This cut is also known as a rump roast, rump steak, and London broil (a name used for another type of steak).

Ribeye steaks are some of the most popular cuts in American cuisine. They’re not only tender but also have an intense flavor due to their fat marbling. Ribeyes can be grilled or pan-seared with salt and pepper for an incredibly satisfying dinner experience. They’re even better when paired with an array of sauces like chimichurri or au Poivre sauce!

11. Tri-tip Roast

A tri-tip roast is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It’s a triangular-shaped roast from an area on the cow that gets minimal exercise, making it tender and flavorful. This makes it an excellent choice for roasting because it has a robust but not overpowering flavor profile when appropriately cooked—perfect for celebrating any occasion!

As a bonus, tri-tip is also boneless and low in fat (about 3% to 5%). That means you can enjoy this tasty meat without worrying about your waistline! Using lean red meat like tri-tip can help reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels while increasing good HDL cholesterol levels.

12. Flank Steak

Flank steak is an extended, flat cut of beef from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s also known as London broil and must be marinated before cooking, as it’s pretty tough. Once you’ve marinated it for at least 24 hours (ideally up to three days), cook your flank steak over medium heat until slightly charred on both sides and done in the middle. 

If you don’t have time to wait that long, you can add some liquid like beer or soy sauce when cooking your flank steak instead of marinating beforehand!

13. Top Sirloin

Top sirloin is the next best thing if you can’t get your hands on short ribs. It’s a lean cut of beef that comes from the tenderloin and is naturally tender and juicy. It’s also high in protein, iron, and vitamin B12.

14. Pot Roast

Pot roast is a cut of beef cooked in a pot with plenty of liquid. It’s a cheaper alternative to short ribs and has the same satisfying taste. Pot roast will be popular at your next dinner party because people can slice themselves off their portion, or you can serve it family-style, so everyone gets to dig in.

Pot roast doesn’t need much work done to it before cooking. You’ll just need some salt and pepper if even that! Just put the meat into your pot with some water or broth, cover it up and let everything simmer until tender. When you’re ready to eat, serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or both!

15. Skirt

Skirt steak is a long and flat cut of beef, which means it’s perfect for making fajitas or tacos. Because skirt steak is so long, it’s also great for stir-frying because you can cook the meat all at once without worrying about cutting it into strips or pieces. A big bonus: This cut of meat is low in fat and high in protein.

16. Rib Roast

A rib roast is a bone-in roast with ribs on the bone. It can be cooked in a slow cooker or oven, but if you want to get fancy, try searing it with olive oil and butter. Rib roasts are great for holiday meals or family dinners. The thick hunk of meat is also perfect for special occasions or dinner parties!

17. Lamb Legs and Shank

Lamb is another excellent substitute for short ribs, and it’s a great source of protein, iron, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B12. Lamb shanks are tasty when braised in liquid and slow-cooked for hours.

18. Veal

Veal is an excellent option if you’re looking for a good substitute for short ribs. Veal is a lump of meat much like beef but has quite different dietary properties—for one thing, it’s lower in fat and cholesterol than beef. It’s also lower in calories. If you made the substitution above with veal instead of short ribs, you’d save yourself about 50 calories per serving!

Veal is often used to make short rib recipes because of its tenderness and flavor—it’s also an excellent choice if you want to keep your meal healthy while still enjoying its delicious taste.

19. Tempeh

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, so it’s a good source of protein (19 grams per 3 ounces). The fermentation process also makes the tempeh easier to digest and, therefore, more nutritious than it would be if you simply cooked it. Tempeh is also an excellent source of fiber, iron, and magnesium—an essential mineral that many people don’t get enough of in their diets.

20. Seitan

Seitan is a wheat-based meat substitute that has been popular in vegetarian and vegan cuisine for decades. It’s made from vital wheat gluten, the protein in whole wheat flour.

You can prepare seitan by boiling it in water or simmering it over low heat until cooked (this will take about an hour). To add flavor to seitan, you can marinate it or use spices like garlic, thyme, or oregano as seasonings. Seitan freezes well, so you can make extra for later use!

To reheat seitan after freezing: Put the frozen block of seitan into a pan of warm water and let thaw completely before cooking again on medium-low heat with more seasoning if desired

21. Firm Tofu

Tofu is made by curdling fresh soy milk, which involves adding a coagulant to the milk and heating it to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are then pressed into blocks of soft white cheese-like patties.

You can find tofu in most grocery stores or Asian markets. If you’re shopping at an Asian market, you’ll likely be able to find pre-packaged tofu in vacuum-sealed bags or bulk bins. However, if there isn’t any displayed outside of refrigerated cases and freezers (typical), ask an employee where they keep their stock so they can help you out!

Best Substitutes For Short Rib – FAQs

Why Is Short Rib So Unique?

Short ribs are a cut of beef from the lower chest of a steer. They’re known for their rich, meaty flavor and tenderness. Short ribs are famous in many cuisines, including Korean barbecue, Japanese tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet), Italian misteaching (slices of steak topped with sautéed mushrooms), and Hungarian goulash.

Are Beef Ribs and Short Ribs the Same?

Beef ribs and short ribs are two different parts of the animal. Beef ribs come from the front of the rib cage, while short ribs are cut from the rear. Beef ribs are more extended and leaner than short ribs, which tend to be faster and fatter. Because they’re taken from a smaller area of the meat, you’ll also find that beef ribs cost more per pound than their bovine cousins.

Are Country Style Ribs the Same as Short Ribs?

The main difference between country-style and short ribs is that the latter have more meat and less fat, while country-style ribs are fattier and have more connective tissue.

Short ribs come from the plate section (the chest/abdominal area) of the beef carcass, while country-style ribs come from closer to your shoulder—in other words, they’re cut out of the chuck. This makes them more challenging than short rib because there’s less muscle in this area of the cow; however, it also means that you’ll get more meaty pieces per pound than if you were buying short rib.

How Do I Choose My Substitute for Short Ribs?

Short ribs are cut from the breastbone of the cow and contain a lot of connective tissue, making them more tender than other cuts of meat. This means you can cook them to tender perfection without being overcooked. Short ribs are also highly versatile because they can be used in sauces or stews or even slow-cooked on their own with vegetables and spices.

Are Spare Beef Ribs and Short Ribs the Same Thing?

Spare ribs are a type of pork rib cut from the belly. They’re meatier, fattier, and less tender than beef short ribs; they also tend to be less expensive. You can buy spare ribs in different sizes, including baby backs (which come from more miniature pigs), St. Louis-style (longer but narrower), and Kansas City-style (thick).


The versatility of short ribs is what makes them so unique. They can be braised, slow-cooked, or pot-roasted on their own until tender and flavorful. They’ll also do well when grilled over an open flame if you’re looking to make a meal with your favorite barbecue sauce. You must use the proper cut of meat for each situation to get the best results possible from your cooking method.

Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts because they have a rich flavor and soft texture when cooked properly. However, if you don’t have access to them or want an alternative that is less expensive than beef short ribs (but still has just as much deliciousness), plenty of other options are available! I’ve listed 21 different substitutes below that will work well for recipes calling for this particular cut:

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