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This easy Crock Pot pot roast recipe comes from our neighbors, who make it a regular post-church meal on Sunday afternoons. The unique combination of Coca Cola, onion soup seasoning mix, potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs results in tender, flavorful, and succulent shredded beef. Serve the meat and veggies with a skillet of cornbread, a pan of buttermilk biscuits, or a basket of old-fashioned cranberry muffins.

Overhead image of slow cooker pot roast on a table with serving utensils

Crock Pot Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots

It doesn’t get much easier than a meal that you can “set and forget!” This particular Crock Pot pot roast recipe comes from our neighbors, who hunt, grow, and bake a lot of their own food. Even better? They share a lot of their homegrown food with us!

That means that in the summer I regularly receive bags of garden fresh veggies over the fence, and in the winter we’re often treated to freshly baked rolls or bread. When they originally shared this recipe with us, it was for a venison roast. I took the inspiration and used the same ingredients with a boneless beef chuck roast and…voilà! Tender, juicy, flavorful, and delicious meat with potatoes and carrots.

What is a pot roast?

A “pot roast” is a braised beef dish that’s made by searing a big, tough cut of beef (usually an inexpensive roast) and then slowly cooking the beef in a covered dish (such as a Dutch oven or slow cooker). In America, this dish is often called a “Yankee Pot Roast,” and is served with carrots and potatoes or other vegetables. Slowly roasting a tough cut tenderizes the meat, resulting in succulent beef and rich liquid that’s perfect for gravy.

Square overhead shot of crock pot pot roast on a serving platter on a wooden table

The Best Meat for Pot Roast

Chuck roast is a very common cut for a juicy pot roast in the oven, but you can also use a brisket or a round roast. A boneless beef chuck roast is my first choice for a pot roast. It has great marbling, making the roast tender and juicy when braised. Chuck roast is cut from the shoulder just above the short rib, so it’s tougher (and therefore more affordable) than those cut from the front part of the animal, like the sirloin or short loin.

Do you have to brown a roast before putting it in the Crock-Pot?

No, you do not have to brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker. I recommend this step because searing the meat adds nice color on it before you begin the slow braising process. The caramelized surface of the beef will give the dish rich flavor and the browning process will help to lock in the juices. The browned bits from the bottom of the pot also add extra flavor to the gravy.

That said, you can certainly skip the browning step if you’re in a hurry, or if you just don’t want to wash an extra dish! Simply place the roast directly in the slow cooker and pour the Coke over top. It will still be delicious!

Placing seared chuck roast into a slow cooker

Is it better to cook roast on high or low in Crock-Pot?

If time allows, it’s best to cook the beef on the LOW heat setting, which will result in the most tender, juicy meat. This allows ample time for the tough cartilage to break down.

Process shot showing how to make crock pot pot roast with coke

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an easy crock pot pot roast. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Boneless beef chuck roast: the best cut of meat for a slow cooker pot roast! When cooked low and slow, it becomes flavorful, juicy, and fall-apart tender.
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Vegetable oil: to sear the meat in a hot Dutch oven.
  • Coca Cola: tenderizes and flavors the meat. You can substitute with Diet Coke, or with another similar soda, such as Pepsi, root beer, or Dr. Pepper.
  • Worcestershire sauce: adds savory, umami flavor that pairs really nicely with the beef.
  • Lipton onion soup mix: just the dry seasoning from a soup and dip mix packet adds delicious flavor to the meat and gravy.
  • Baby gold potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic: hearty vegetables that add flavor to the roast and hold up well over the long cooking process. You can use red potatoes if you like, or try larger yukon gold potatoes that you dice into chunks. If using the baby potatoes, there’s no need to peel or chop them.
  • Rosemary and thyme: earthy herbs that pair nicely with the beef. Fresh herbs are always my preference, but you can sub with a smaller amount of dried herbs in a pinch.
Adding onions and garlic to a slow cooker

How to Cook a Roast in a Crock Pot

You can’t beat the ease of a simple slow cooker pot roast recipe! It’s total comfort food, and it’s perfect for chilly evenings.

  1. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and then sear it in hot oil in a Dutch oven until it’s nicely browned on both sides. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
  2. Pour the Coke into the Dutch oven, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Deglazing the pan like this adds so much flavor to the finished dish.
  3. Pour the Coke (and any browned bits) over the roast.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with the onion soup mix.
  5. Arrange the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme on top of and around the roast.
  6. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  7. Discard the herbs stems.
  8. Shred the beef with two forks (it should practically fall apart when it’s done).
  9. Serve the beef with the pan juices, potatoes, and carrots on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Close overhead image of a slow cooker pot roast served on a blue and white platter

What to Serve with Slow Cooker Pot Roast

When the beef is done it will be fall-apart tender. You can pull it with a fork, but you don’t even really need to! It will melt in your mouth on its own. You can serve the beef, potatoes, and vegetables on their own, or pair them with any of these additional sides:

Side shot of crock pot pot roast on a dinner table

Storage

  • Prep Ahead and Reheat: If you prepare the roast a day ahead, cover and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, skim off any solidified fat and reheat it gently in a warm oven or slow cooker, or over low heat on the stovetop.
  • Store leftover pot roast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Wrapped tightly, you can freeze leftovers for up to 2 months. I don’t recommend freezing the cooked vegetables or potatoes; however. They tend to have a mushy and watery texture when thawed.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the Coca Cola Classic and use a similar soda instead. Good options include Pepsi, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or even Diet Coke. Beef broth will also work.
  • Omit the potatoes in your pot, and instead serve the finished dish over a plate of mashed potatoes or crispy roasted potatoes instead.
  • In a hurry? Skip the step of searing the beef in a Dutch oven, and instead just add it straight to the Crock Pot.
  • Make a gravy using the drippings from the pot. To do so, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. While continually whisking, gradually add 1 – 1 ½ cups of strained juices/drippings from the pot until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Continue whisking while the gravy bubbles and cooks for 1-2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Tips for the Best Crock Pot Pot Roast Recipe

  • Searing the meat before adding it to the liquid and other ingredients helps to brown the surface and enhance the flavor. A hot pan creates a golden, caramelized crust through a process called the Maillard reaction, and will also lock in the meat’s juices. Plus, the browned bits from the bottom of the pot add great flavor to the gravy.
  • Why is my pot roast tough? Undercooked pot roast will be tough and chewy. If you’re using tougher or bigger cuts of beef (other than a chuck roast), you may need to increase the cooking time to give the meat fibers plenty of time to break down and become tender and juicy.
  • Why is my pot roast dry? Cooking the meat for too long can result in a dry pot roast.
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family? This meat freezes really well! I like to package leftovers in individual containers, label them, and stash them in the freezer for later meals. The shredded beef is delicious served on sandwich rolls, but it also works well on salads, tacos, stuffed in baked potatoes, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways.
Overhead shot of crock pot pot roast on a wooden dinner table with salad and cornbread
Square overhead shot of crock pot pot roast on a serving platter on a wooden table

Crock Pot Pot Roast

5 from 6 votes
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 8 hours 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 552 kcal
This easy Crock Pot pot roast recipe boasts a unique and flavorful combination of Coca Cola, onion soup mix seasoning, potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (3 lb.) boneless beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) can Coca Cola
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup seasoning mix
  • 24 ounces baby gold potatoes
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Pat beef dry and season with a little bit of kosher salt and black pepper on all sides.
  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place beef in the pot and sear for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until browned all over. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
  • Pour the Coke into the Dutch oven; turn the heat down to medium. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. These bits add a lot of flavor to the pot roast!
  • Pour Coke over the roast. Add Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with dry onion soup mix. Arrange the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme on top of and around the roast.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Discard the herb stems. Shred the beef with two forks (it should practically fall apart when it’s done). Discard any big fatty pieces. Stir the shredded beef into the juices in the pot with the vegetables.
  • Serve, and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Swap out the Coca Cola Classic and use a similar soda instead. Good options include Pepsi, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or even Diet Coke. Beef broth will also work.
  • Omit the potatoes in your pot, and instead serve the finished dish over a plate of mashed potatoes or crispy roasted potatoes instead.
  • In a hurry? Skip the step of searing the beef in a Dutch oven, and instead just add it straight to the Crock Pot.
  • Make a gravy using the drippings from the pot. To do so, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. While continually whisking, gradually add 1 – 1 ½ cups of strained juices/drippings from the pot until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Continue whisking while the gravy bubbles and cooks for 1-2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Searing the meat before adding it to the liquid and other ingredients helps to brown the surface and enhance the flavor. A hot pan creates a golden, caramelized crust through a process called the Maillard reaction, and will also lock in the meat’s juices. Plus, the browned bits from the bottom of the pot add great flavor to the gravy.
  • Why is my pot roast tough? Undercooked pot roast will be tough and chewy. If you’re using tougher or bigger cuts of beef (other than a chuck roast), you may need to increase the cooking time to give the meat fibers plenty of time to break down and become tender and juicy.
  • Why is my pot roast dry? Cooking the meat for too long can result in a dry pot roast.
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family? This meat freezes really well! I like to package leftovers in individual containers, label them, and stash them in the freezer for later meals. The shredded beef is delicious served on sandwich rolls, but it also works well on salads, tacos, stuffed in baked potatoes, in quesadillas, or on pizza! Get creative and enjoy the leftovers in a variety of ways.
  • Nutrition information is automatically estimated based on all liquid and cooking juices. If you strain the fat or omit the cooking liquids, nutrition information will vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 552kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 47gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 277mgPotassium: 1453mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 8069IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 83mgIron: 6mg
Keyword: chuck roast recipe, crock pot pot roast, slow cooker pot roast
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Amish, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in February, 2018. It was updated in September, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Silly question but is the caffeine still present when this is made? What would be a good caffeine free substitute, root beer?

    1. Hey, Linda! Not a silly question — I honestly don’t know how the cooking process affects the caffeine content in the soda. If you want to err on the side of caution, root beer would be a great substitute!

  2. I always look at chuck roasts in the grocery store – but I’ve never actually tried cooking them. It looks like that needs to change ????

    1. Hi, Fallon! Yes, the leftover meat freezes really well! I’ve never tried freezing the veggies, but I imagine they would be fine, but the texture would probably change a bit.

      1. Yes you can freeze the left overs. I was raised on a check roast dinner almost exactly like this and the left overs are great. Let it defrost and slowly warm it up. Enjoy

  3. 5 stars
    This looks absolutely Scrumptious I can’t wait to try this one out on the Kids Another Family Favorite I think ????????????

  4. Would a Diet Coke work as well as a regular Coke? We don’t buy Regular Drinks since 2 of us are diabetics

    1. Hi, Angela! I honestly don’t know, since I’ve never tried it with Diet Coke, but I think that it would be totally fine — so long as you like the taste of the diet drink (since it will definitely be different than the regular soda). 🙂

        1. Hey, Steph! The onion soup mix is a combination of a lot of different seasonings, as well as beef flavoring, sugar and cornstarch (a thickening agent). I would just use other seasonings of your choice (garlic, parsley, celery seed, paprika…whatever) and a little bit of cornstarch if you’d like to thicken the broth a bit. It obviously won’t taste the same, but I guess that’s a good think since you don’t eat onions. 🙂 Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  5. Have everything except the roast and it’s shop day. I’m so used to my way seasoning the meat, this will be an awesome change

    1. Hey, Clark! Yes, you definitely can do that — it will just have a different taste, but it should still be good. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Years ago a friend dropped off a pot roast meal for me after a sudden illness. It was amazing, and she mentioned it had cola in it. I was searching for some pot roast ideas to change up what I typically prepare in the slow cooker. I live close to an Amish community in Pennsylvania so its unique to learn cola is actually used. I know birch and root beer made by the Amish is non carbonated so maybe try that as an option instead (root over birch for flavor). Going to make this recipe next week in my meal rotation.

  7. I hope this question isn’t too silly. I have a 5 lb. roast in the freezer, can I just multiply the other ingredients by 2.5? I’d use the oven method due to the size of the meat and vegetables.

    1. Hey, Mary Ellen! It’s not a silly question at all! Yes — you can definitely just multiply all of the other ingredients by 2.5 and it should work well! Since the roast is larger, you may need to plan for closer to 3 hours in the oven. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    I made this today in the crockpot and it was wonderful!! Followed the recipe exactly, except my roast was a little larger and used Coke zero. Absolutely delicious. Will be making again!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. I love pot roast with Coke, but I’ve never tried it with Coke Zero. Good to know that it works, too!

  9. I also noted the Cola/Amish contradiction. Also after the effort to season vegetables and then “pour over all” removing the seasoning some what? Great dish with or without cola; do not get a too lean roast without some liquid: cola, beef broth/red wine, etc. I use the slow cooker and if the meat is marbles with fat, has some fat on edges, I put it on top of the veggies; if its lean, I put it under veggies; quarter cup of liquid and soup mix sprinkled over all as assembling; veggies and meat will release a lot of liquid.

  10. 5 stars
    Sounds good. I am a pot roast fanatic so I cook it often. The thing I might miss in this recipe is balsamic vinegar. While I am searing my roast I usually media of balsamic vinegar over all sides. It add s so much flavor. Not sure how it would go with the coke. I suppose there is only one way to find out and that’s visit do it. I am an 80 year old widow but im.still willing to learn and taste new things.

  11. Can the roast be browned/seared the day before to save time and mess on the cooking day?
    Do you trim the fat from the meat or remove fat after it is cooked or just shred it all together? I hate to get a chunk of fat with pulled meat!
    Thanks so much for these delicious recipes!

    1. Hi, Donna! I don’t think I’d brown it the day before. Instead, you can just skip that step and put it straight into the Crock Pot to save time/cleanup on the cooking day.

      I don’t usually trim much fat before cooking the roast. If you see a really large hunk of fat, you can trim that off. Otherwise, I wait until it’s cooked, and discard any big fatty pieces as I’m shredding the meat. That way nobody bites into a chunk of fat while eating. 🙂

      Hope you enjoy!