Being on your way to Paleo eating is great but you can’t get there without delicious new recipes to boost the yum factor. As we head into the cooler weather, we’re craving warm and filling foods. That means it’s about time to pull out the trusty slow cooker, your BFF for the next couple of seasons, and let it do some of the work. You’re going to love Paleo Faux Pho. We just know it.


Go Paleo with Savoury Slow Cooker Faux Pho and RibsThis recipe begins with the simplicity of Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs cooked in the slow cooker—a ridiculously delicious meal on their own—and is transformed into a nourishing bowl of broth spiked with plenty of ginger, oh-so-green bok choy, and morsels of spiced-just-right pork. YUM.

The ribs capture true Asian flair without sugar or soy; coconut aminos and Chinese spices infuse them with deep, satisfying flavor.

By replacing traditional noodles with zucchini noodles, you amp up the vitamin content and lower the carb load so you can twirl, splash, and slurp to your heart’s content.


Prep 2 min. | Cook 6-12 hours in slow cooker | Whole30 compliant


  • 3-4 pounds baby back or St. Louis pork ribs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, cut into rings
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste


Cut the ribs into pieces that will fit standing up in the slow cooker. Lay the ribs on a cutting board and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the Chinese five- spice and garlic powder together, then massage onto the meat to coat the ribs.

Toss the jalapeño rings into the bottom of the slow cooker, and add the rice vinegar, coconut aminos, and tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is combined with the other liquids. Add the ribs, standing up so they’re not lying in the liquid – or use a roasting rack inside the cooker so the ribs are not lying on the bottom – cover, and cook 6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

When the ribs are fall-apart tender, remove them from the cooker. Pour the liquid into a heat-proof container and refrigerate until the fat separates from the juices. Remove the fat and bring the remaining liquid to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. Use as a dipping/drizzle sauce for the meat.


Serves 2 to 4 |  Prep 10 minutes (not including ribs) | 15 minutes | Whole30 compliant


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4-6 cups beef broth
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound Chinese Five-Spice Pork Ribs, off the bone
  • 1 head fresh bok choy, coarsely chopped
  • 4 zucchini, julienned with a julienne peeler or spiralizer (about 4 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons ghee or duck fat
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  • garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeños, fresh lime juice


Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add coconut oil. When it’s melted, add the ginger and garlic, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.

To the pot, add the pork and bok choy. Stir and simmer until the bok choy is tender and the meat is hot, about 5 minutes.

To serve, place some raw zucchini noodles in the bottom of a deep bowl. Add pork, greens, and broth. Drop 1 teaspoon of ghee into the bowl, place 2 hard-boiled egg halves into the broth, and sprinkle with the scallions. Garnish with cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice, if that’s how you slurp.

In a rush?

If you don’t have the patience to wait for the Five-Spice Pork Ribs to cook overnight in the slow cooker, you can use just about any cooked protein you’ve got on hand to make this soup quickly—roasted or grilled chicken, pork or beef—or go the seafood route with shrimp. Dinner’s on in about 20 minutes!

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Joulwan, author of the cookbooks Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat, Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat and coming in November, Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less.

Photo credit: David Humphreys

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