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Tender, juicy, and full of flavor, this moist Italian Pot Roast with vegetables and gravy is an easy Crock Pot dinner that your family will love! Whether you serve the meat over pasta, in an Italian Beef sandwich, or on top of mashed potatoes, this tasty slow cooker Italian beef pot roast will soon become a comfort food favorite!

Serving bowl full of moist Crock Pot Italian Pot Roast with gravy and vegetables

Italian Pot Roast Recipe

While this slow cooker Italian pot roast is certainly fancy enough and worthy of serving to your favorite holiday guests this season, it’s so simple that it’s actually just as appropriate for any random hectic weeknight! It cooks low and slow all day long, resulting in flavorful, seasoned meat that’s fall-apart tender. Serve the versatile Italian roast beef on hoagie rolls with giardiniera, over your favorite mashed potatoes, piled on cheesy polenta, or spooned on top of pasta. It’s one of those great dishes that everyone at the table enjoys!

What’s the difference between Italian pot roast and Yankee pot roast?

“Pot roast” is a general term that refers to beef that’s braised in liquid. They can be prepared in the oven, in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker Crock Pot. A “Yankee Pot Roast” is cooked and served with root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips or turnips. An Italian pot roast gets its name because of the seasoning and ingredients included in the “pot.” The beef is seasoned with a blend of Italian herbs and spices, and cooks alongside red wine vinegar, roasted red peppers, and pepperoncini (pickled sweet chili peppers).

Italian Beef Sandwich

The shredded meat and juices from an Italian Pot Roast are often piled onto toasted hoagie rolls, and topped with melted provolone and giardiniera, to create classic “Chicago Italian beef sandwiches.”

Italian beef roast in the slow cooker with serving spoon

Ingredients

This is an overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for a Crock Pot Italian style pot roast. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Carrots and onions: flavor the meat and create tasty vegetable sides as the beef slowly braises in the Crock Pot.
  • Beef Chuck Roast: this affordable, tough cut of meat is ideal for an Italian pot roast. It has great marbling, so the beef becomes tender and juicy when it’s cooked slowly over low heat and the fibers break down.
  • Italian seasoning mix: I use this Italian Beef seasoning or a packet of this Italian dressing seasoning mix.
  • Red wine vinegar: a little acidic touch that brightens up the gravy in the pot and balances the richness of the meat.
  • Roasted red peppers and pepperoncini: additional Italian touches that add great flavor and color to the dish.
Ingredients for Italian pot roast in slow cooker

What cut of roast is best for pot roast?

The best cut to use for an Italian roast Crock Pot recipe is a boneless (or bone-in) chuck 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. If you prefer, sirloin, top round, or bottom round will all work here as well.

How to Make Italian Roast Beef in Crock Pot

I’m keeping things really simple, with almost no prep work! You don’t even need to brown the roast in a skillet before it goes into the pot. No extra steps…just dump-and-go! I’m telling you — this slow cooker pot roast is easy

  1. Place carrots and quartered onions in the bottom of the Crock Pot.
  2. Add the boneless chuck roast on top of the vegetables, and sprinkle with a packet of Italian seasoning mix.
  3. Toss in the red wine vinegar, roasted red peppers, and pepperoncini. These add great flavor and tang to the dish!
Carrots and onions in slow cooker
Pot roast and seasoning in slow cooker

Do you put water in a Crock Pot to cook a roast?

No! This recipe does not use any water. I just add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, and the rest of the liquid in the dish comes from the cooked vegetables and the condensation in the pot. The end result is a nice, thick gravy that’s full of rich beef flavor!

If you like a thinner sauce at the end, add 1 (14.5 ounce) can of beef broth to the pot at the beginning.

How long does it take to cook a 2.5 lb. roast in a Crock Pot?

This is one of those great slow cooker dinners that you can literally leave simmering on your counter all day! The chuck roast does really well on LOW heat for about 8-10 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can cook the roast on HIGH for about 4-5 hours.

Of course, if you’re using a larger cut of beef (more than 3 pounds), you may need to increase the cooking time. And remember — every slow cooker runs at a slightly different temperature, so keep an eye on your dish the first time that you prepare it. Cooking times can definitely vary!

In the end, you’ll know that your slow cooker pot roast is ready when the meat practically falls apart when you go to shred it with two forks.

Shredded Italian beef in slow cooker

What to Serve with Italian Pot Roast

If you’re serving the Italian roast beef on its own, pair it with mashed potatoes, noodles, rice, or crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. A side of green beans, roasted broccoli, or Caesar salad will complete the dinner.

When enjoying an Italian beef sandwich, try some potato chips, French fries or potato wedges and a simple green salad to round out the meal.

Close up view of shredded Italian Pot Roast with pepperoncini

Storage

Store leftover Italian beef in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wrapped tightly, you can freeze leftover beef for up to 2 months in the juices. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then gently reheat on the stovetop.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of a chuck roast, try sirloin, top round, or bottom round in this recipe.
  • In lieu of the convenient packet of Italian seasoning mix, add your own blend of Italian herbs and seasonings to the slow cooker.
  • Provolone cheese is a great finishing touch on an Italian beef sandwich, but you can omit the cheese, or substitute with mozzarella, cheddar, or any other good melting cheese.

Tips for the Best Italian Pot Roast Recipe

  • If you have extra time, sear the meat on both sides in vegetable oil in a Dutch oven before adding it to the slow cooker. The caramelized surface of the meat will give the dish rich flavor and the browning process will help to lock in the juices.
  • Prep Ahead and Reheat: If you prepare the roast beef 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 over low heat on the stovetop.
  • Why is my slow cooker Italian pot roast tough? Undercooked 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. When the chuck roast is fully cooked, it should be fall-apart tender so that it shreds very easily with two forks.
  • Italian Beef Sandwiches: toast hoagie rolls. Top with beef and juices from pot and provolone cheese. Heat in a 350°F oven just until the cheese melts. Garnish with giardiniera and serve!

Overhead image of serving bowl with shredded Italian slow cooker roast beef and tongs

More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes to Try

Crock Pot Italian Pot Roast

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 403.1 kcal
Tender, juicy, and full of flavor, this easy Crock Pot Italian Pot Roast with vegetables and gravy is a delicious dinner that the whole family will love!

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into large 1 ½-inch rounds
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 2-3 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 packet Italian dressing seasoning mix (such as Good Seasons brand)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 6 pepperoncini, drained from a jar
  • For serving: cooked pasta; mashed potatoes; or hoagie rolls

Instructions

  • Place carrots and onions in bottom of slow cooker. Lay beef on top and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Add vinegar, red peppers and pepperoncini.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours, or until beef shreds easily with a fork.

Notes

  • If you have extra time, sear the meat on both sides in vegetable oil in a Dutch oven before adding it to the slow cooker. The caramelized surface of the meat will give the dish rich flavor and the browning process will help to lock in the juices.
  • For a thinner sauce, add 1 (14.5 ounce) can of beef broth to the slow cooker.
  • Prep Ahead and Reheat: If you prepare the roast beef 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 over low heat on the stovetop.
  • Why is my slow cooker Italian pot roast tough? Undercooked 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. When the chuck roast is fully cooked, it should be fall-apart tender so that it shreds very easily with two forks.
  • Italian Beef Sandwiches: toast hoagie rolls. Top with beef and juices from pot and provolone cheese. Heat in a 350°F oven just until the cheese melts. Garnish with giardiniera and serve!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 403.1kcalCarbohydrates: 12.8gProtein: 26.6gFat: 26.8gSaturated Fat: 10.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 891mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 2.7gSugar: 5.1g
Keyword: Italian Beef, Italian pot roast, slow cooker pot roast, slow cooker roast beef
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in December, 2015. It was updated in September, 2021.

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!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Blair,

    I saw this on Google+ and had to run over and see more. So juicy and tender and packed full of flavors. A great meal!

  2. Pot roast = COMFORT FOOD! My grandpa was a cattle farmer so I grew up on meals like this. Your boys are lucky to have such a fabulous momma cook!