You won’t believe how good Italian pot roast is! This slow cooker beef roast is sure to become a family favorite (and it’s easy to make).
Why you’ll love it: This pot roast has incredible flavor. The gravy is amazing on mashed potatoes or polenta.
How long it takes: 15 minutes to prep, 5 to 10 hours to slow cook
Equipment you’ll need: large skillet, slow cooker
The best pot roast! Fall apart tender and full-flavored, Italian pot roast may be our favorite way to prepare beef roast. Slow cooked until it reaches succulent perfection, this pot roast has everyone who tries it exclaiming, This is the best roast ever! My mother-in-law says it’s “out of this world!” Even my mom, who usually turns her nose up at any beef, likes it. I may have even seen her vying for the leftovers.
So flavorful! If you’re of Italian descent, you may know this slow-cooked beef with tomato sauce as “stracotto de manzo.” There are lots of different recipes for Italian pot roast but most include tomato, and often red wine. I add a jar of roasted red peppers which cook down completely into the sauce, providing a wonderful layer of flavor.
Perfect for family dinners! You’re going to love Italian pot roast. I’m so excited to share it with you! It’s just perfect for a family dinner and once it goes into the crockpot, simmering for hours, it’s all hands off. The reward is mouth-watering, tender pot roast that everyone will just love.
How to Make Italian Pot Roast
Perfect for inexpensive chuck roasts, the slow cooking method breaks down the tough connective tissue, the collagen, and turns it into gelatin which gives the roast such a rich flavor and silky texture (a little science lesson for you).
Brown the beef. The beef is dredged in flour, salt, and pepper, and seared on all sides in a hot skillet. After it’s browned, put it into your slow cooker.
Add everything to the crockpot. Italian pot roast includes the trio of chopped carrots, celery, and onion, known as “soffritto.” I mix the soffritto with tomato sauce, roasted red peppers, garlic, and lots of herbs, and pour it over the roast. That’s it! Your crockpot will do the rest of the work.
Let it slow cook. Plan on cooking the roast for at least five hours on High, or 10 hours on Low. The meat should be fall-apart tender.
You’ll find the printable recipe card with measurements, complete instructions and nutrition information at the end of the post.
What you’ll need
- Boneless chuck beef roast and flour, salt and pepper for dredging, oil for searing the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker.
- Vegetables: You’ll need onion, carrots, celery, roasted red peppers, and tomato sauce. The vegetables and tomato sauce create the most perfect sauce for the tender beef.
- Seasoning: Lots of fresh garlic, fresh parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaf give this recipe so much flavor!
This step is optional but we recommending doing it for two reasons.
1) Browning caramelizes the surface of the beef which adds to the flavor of the finished product. 2) The flour used for dredging helps thicken the sauce.
A cut of beef with a lot of fat marbling yields the most tender meat. We recommend a boneless chuck roast. It’s ideal for slow cooking.
If you pot roast is still tough, put the cover back on the slow cooker and cook it another 1 to 2 hours. It takes a long time, and (to an extent), the longer you cook it, the more tender it will become.
Make It Your Own
Truly, this roast is so good, I’d hate to change anything!
- Use stewed tomatoes instead of roasted red peppers, if you prefer.
- Looking for a pot roast recipe with potatoes and carrots? Try my Instant Pot pot roast recipe or stovetop simmered pot roast.
- If you prefer more of a chicken stew, try this delicious chicken cacciatore! It’s easy and so delicious!
- Braised lamb shanks are another favorite. They are slow roasted in the oven and turn out meltingly tender.
Storage & Reheating TIps
Refrigerate: Italian pot roast is almost better the next day! Refrigerate overnight and reheat over medium-low heat on the stove.
Freeze: You can successfully freeze the pot roast, too, since it doesn’t have potatoes which tend to get mushy when frozen. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this slow cooker recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #4 and Meal Plan #41. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless chuck beef roast (large pieces of fat trimmed off)
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced into half moons
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (15 oz.) no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (see note)
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Cut beef roast into 4 large pieces, coat in flour mixture, and sear until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place in slow cooker.
- In large bowl, lightly stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over the beef in crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours, or on low for 10 hours, until meat is tender. Turn crockpot off and allow the pot roast to cool in the juices for 15 minutes.
- Lightly shred the meat, or cut it into chunks and serve with the vegetables and sauce over mashed potatoes, polenta, or pasta.
- If desired, substitute a 14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes for the roasted red peppers.
- Italian pot roast is almost better the next day. Refrigerate leftovers overnight in an airtight container and reheat on the stove over medium-low heat.
- Leftovers can also be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Nutrition information is calculated for 3 lbs. of beef (8 servings). It does not include potatoes, polenta, or pasta.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.