Southern Rib Tacos with Zesty Slaw (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)


Are we in agreement that tacos are pretty amazing? I mean, we could eat tacos in some variation pretty much every night at our house and everybody would be happy! I think you’ll really find that you’ll be craving this fun twist on a taco as soon as you finish reading. So get your grocery list ready so you can create these southern rib tacos with zesty slaw (gluten-free and dairy-free, of course!)

Southern rib tacos with zesty slaw naturally gluten free and dairy free

Thanks to Curly’s partnership, I decided to use Curly’s Baby Back Pork Ribs as the meat in my tacos. Curly’s makes it easy to use their BBQ Ribs in recipes because they are precooked and smoked, so it really is easy to incorporate rich rib flavor into any recipe without it taking a ton of time. I would typically make the ribs to be eaten as ribs right off the bone, but decided to change things up and pull the meat off the bone and chop it up. This is a great and tasty meal to serve this fall season or while watching games at home with friends and family.

Cooking the ribs

Since the Curly’s BBQ Ribs, found in the refrigerated meat case in grocery store are already cooked, they just need to be heated up. Following the directions on the back of the package, I heated the ribs in the oven on a foil-lined cooking sheet. You can also heat them in the microwave or on the grill. 

curly's Ribs on pan

About 20 minutes later, the ribs are cooked and ready to be cut apart. At this time, you could serve the ribs just like this and let your family and friends devour them. 

Cut up ribs ready to eat

However, I opted to remove the meat from the bones and chop it up to easily put it onto my tacos. This is also a great reminder that you can use left-over rib meat to make a second meal of southern rib tacos and zesty slaw. 

If you are taking the meat straight from the oven to make tacos, I recommend you allow it to cool so you don’t burn your fingers while removing the meat and chopping it. 

Chopped rib meat

Making the zesty coleslaw (with no mayo)

With the delicious flavor of the meat and sauce, I wanted to add some acid and crunch to my tacos (salt, acid and heat are the key meal components, right?). And, not being a fan of mayonnaise, I thought it would be nice to make a slaw without any mayo.

I chopped up some green and red/purple cabbage, added some grated carrots and cilantro to a bowl. Of course the cilantro is optional!

The zesty dressing is apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and dijon mustard. 

zesty Slaw ingredients no mayonnaise

Mix all of your sauce or dressing ingredients together and whisk to make sure the are well incorporated. 

Dressing on slaw

I like to let it sit a bit while the ribs are cooking so the cabbage softens just a bit and the flavors are well incorporated. 

Slaw all mixed up

What if you don’t want to cut your own cabbage?

Want to make things easier? Grab a bag of precut cabbage and / or coleslaw and save some time. You can then add some chopped cilantro, or not. 

Putting the tacos together

I’m a huge fan of corn tortillas. They are naturally gluten and dairy free, and I think they taste amazing especially if you heat them slightly in a skillet. 

Into those tortillas, place a generous portion of your rib meat and top with your zesty coleslaw. It’s so simple and easy to make!

Eating tacos

Tortilla choices

Corn tortillas are my favorite. However, if you are good with gluten, my girls enjoyed their southern rib tacos with zesty slaw with a traditional flour tortilla. You could also use an egg white wrap, a lettuce leaf or pretty much any other wrapping device you’d like. 

I also enjoyed this on a bed of lettuce the next day as more of a taco bowl! It was also very tasty. 

No matter how you decide to enjoy them, you are sure to enjoy these southern rib tacos with zesty slaw…even if you don’t eat gluten-free and dairy-free.

Rib tacos with slaw and meat f

Want to make an Asian fusion taco? Consider adding this asian style coleslaw to some rib or chicken tacos!

Yield: 6 servings

Southern Rib Tacos with Zesty Slaw (Naturally Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

Southern Rib Tacos with Zesty Slaw (Naturally Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

A tasty and fun spin on tacos with leftover BBQ ribs and a zesty slaw (without mayonnaise). This recipe is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • Curly's BBQ ribs
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 c cilantro
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Prepare ribs as directed by package.
  2. While ribs are cooking, shred the cabbage and carrots, or open a bag of pre-shedded slaw.
  3. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, dijon mustard, pepper and salt.
  4. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and stir to combine.
  5. Add in cilantro leaves if desired.
  6. Once the rib meat is cooked, remove from bones and chop. Or head leftover rib meat and chop.
  7. Warm tortillas in a skillet or on a griddle.
  8. Place chopped rib meat in a tortilla and top with the zesty coleslaw.


Cilantro is optional.

Use any tortilla you'd like, or place on a bed of lettuce for a taco salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 259Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 588mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

These nutrition facts are auto calculated. Use at your own discretion.

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