Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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There’s nothing like a classic pot roast recipe with meltingly tender chuck roast and chunky vegetables infused in a savory, aromatic broth. Oh, and did I mention that you just toss everything into a slow cooker? Yep, it’s that easy to make!

Slow cooker pot roast with a large serving spoon

Simple Pot Roast – Made Easy In A Slow Cooker!

When it comes to classic comfort food, it’s hard to beat this slow cooker pot roast. It serves up juicy meat that’s fall-apart tender, along with chunky, good-for-you vegetables that fill you up in the best way possible — similar to this beef stew! If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you know I’m all about using my slow cooker as a secret tool for the easiest dinners possible.

Pot roast is often a star addition to a holiday table between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this version is such a set-it-and-forget-it type of meal (after you sear the big hunk of meat), which also makes it perfect for any weeknight dinner. So grab your Crock Pot and let’s make the perfect pot roast!

Ingredients for slow cooker pot roast on a table

Pot Roast Ingredients

A classic pot roast doesn’t need much – just the right cut of meat, some veggies, and a meaty broth. But it’s the fresh sprigs of herbs plus searing the meat that gives this recipe a deep flavor boost. Here’s my take on it.

  • Chuck Roast: I recommend sticking with beef chuck roast for a few reasons – keep reading to see why!
  • Carrots & Celery: Just peel and slice into large chunks for a hearty vegetable mix.
  • Potatoes: Typically, pot roast is made with baby potatoes, from white potatoes to Yukon golds. But small red potatoes are a great alternative.
  • Onion: You can toss the large onion chunks into the slow cooker raw, or give it a quick saute in the skillet for a caramelized, toasty flavor.
  • Garlic: Four cloves may seem like a lot, but trust me, there’s room for more if you love garlic as much as I do.
  • Beef Broth: Make sure to grab low-sodium beef broth, as there’s plenty of salt on the beef.
  • Red Wine: Cabernets or Pinot Noirs are great options, just make sure it’s a full-bodied wine on the drier side. And if you’re alcohol-free, swap the wine out for extra beef broth.
  • Fresh Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves work beautifully together when seasoning beef – especially when they’re fresh, not dried.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

What’s The Best Cut Of Beef For Pot Roast?

Brisket or rounds are reasonable options for a good pot roast. But I think chuck roast is the way to go for a great pot roast. Not only is it economical, it’s marbling will add enormous flavor. Meaning, there’s plenty of fat that keeps the entire piece extra-juicy and tender as it cooks low and slow. Bonus – the fatty juices seeping through the meat will help create one mouthwatering broth.

How To Make Pot Roast In A Slow Cooker

Yes, you can make this in a Dutch oven, but a slow cooker or Crock Pot works just as well and cuts out a few steps to make the process a bit easier. Who doesn’t love that?

Cooking beef in a skillet for pot roast

Season and sear. Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet, season the chuck roast with salt and pepper, then sear it on both sides before adding into the slow cooker. Trust me, taking this extra step will develop that nicely browned crust we all love on big chunks of meat.

Adding all pot roast ingredients into a slow cooker

Add everything into the slow cooker. Some people like to add the veggies below the meat, but I find that they get way too soft that way. So just add them on top of the meat, then pour the beef broth and red wine over everything. Let everything cook on low for 8 to 9 hours (I prefer cooking on low). But if you’re on a time crunch, bump it up to high for 5 to 6 hours.

Slow cooker pot roast with a serving fork

It’s ready to serve! Remove the chuck roast from the slow cooker, then slice or shred it, depending on how you want to enjoy it.

How to Make a Thicker Gravy

If you find that the broth is too thin, you can create a slurry with either cornstarch or arrowroot powder and stir it back in. This will help create a slightly thicker consistency! But if you’d like it much thicker, remove some of the broth to a saute pan and add the slurry to that on medium heat. It will thicken as it heats up.

Ways To Serve Pot Roast

Although this is an all-in-one meal, you can get creative with pot roast leftovers! Give these delicious dinner ideas a try.

Slow cooker pot roast on a white serving plate

Storage tips

Like every one-pot recipe, leftovers are more than welcome! Plus, they store extremely well for long periods of time. It’s like finding a pot of gold in the back of your freezer come winter.

  • To store: Add leftovers into an airtight container and store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
  • To freeze: Batch cooked meals always makes for the best freezer meals. Just store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. You can reheat this in the microwave for a few minutes for an individual serving, or on the stovetop in a pot for a big batch.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

If you haven’t hopped on the slow cooker bandwagon – I think it’s time. It’s the easiest way to cook all sorts of meats!

This slow cooker pot roast is just what you need to gather friends and family around the table. If you make it, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Pot roast in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

5 from 39 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 hours 10 minutes
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

The best pot roast dinner made easy in a slow cooker with meltingly tender chuck roast and vegetables infused in an aromatic broth. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!

Video

Ingredients 
 

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, *see note
  • 3 ½ pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes (white or yukon gold), quartered
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine, *see note
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Optional to Thicken Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions 

  • Sear the beef. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the beef roast with salt and pepper, and sear for 4 to 5 minutes on each side to give it a dark brown crust. Transfer the roast to a 6 to 7-quart slow cooker.
    Cooking beef in a skillet for slow cooker pot roast
  • Add to slow cooker. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Pour the beef broth and red wine on top. Add the lid and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
    Adding potatoes into a slow cooker for pot roast
  • Remove and shred. Remove the sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and the bay leaves. Then remove the roast and shred or slice it up.
    A slow cooker with pot roast and herbs
  • Thicken broth. If you'd like to thicken the broth to more of a gravy consistency, stir together the cornstarch or arrowroot powder and water in a small bowl. Pour it into the slow cooker and stir everything together until it starts to thicken.
    Pouring arrowroot mixture into slow cooker pot roast
  • Serve. Serve the meat and vegetables on a platter with some of the gravy (you can serve extra gravy on the side)
    A slow cooker with pot roast and herbs

Lisa’s Tips

  • Avocado oil: Anytime I’m searing or using very high heat I prefer to use avocado oil as it has a higher smoke point. But if you don’t have avocado oil, you can use extra-virgin olive oil. 
  • Red wine: I’m using a pinot noir in this recipe, but a good cabernet sauvignon or merlot works great too. If you prefer to keep it alcohol-free, just add more beef broth.
  • Arrowroot: This should always be added at the very end of cooking, as it doesn’t stay thick as long as cornstarch or regular flour. And always add it as a slurry, to prevent clumping or a gloppy texture. 

Nutrition

Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Sodium: 1190mg | Potassium: 1791mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6942IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crockpot Recipe, Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Slow Cooker Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted October 2021, but updated to include new photos and information for your benefit!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




121 Comments

  1. Can’t remember where I first heard about this technique but when making pot roast or anything with gravy I use instant potato flakes as a thickener. Works great and adds a ton of flavor.

  2. I’ve made this recipe twice now, and it was fantastic both times. I add a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce to my serving, as I do with any stew or pot roast dish. The results are amazing!5 stars

  3. Amazing. This recipe is fabulous. I made a huge triple batch so we would have one for dinner the next night and two for the freezer. I love having ready made home cooked meals in the freezer as it makes my life so much easier. This recipe is delicious, nutritious and easy to make. I also added some frozen corn for the last 10 minutes as it gives it a delicious flavour and adds some fun colour to the pot roast/stew.5 stars

  4. If you find your onion too strong, just slice it and then cover it with vinegar for about an hour. It will be just like a sweet onion..

  5. Hi Lisa,
    This might be a strange question but wondering if I could sear the beef the night before, refrigerate and then put in the slow cooker in the morning (I just don’t have time for much in the morning before work).
    Thanks!

  6. I have made this once before and it was absolutely fantastic! So glad its on my first whole30 journey. Thank you for all of your help.5 stars

  7. Firstly, I love your recipes. My teenage sons request your carnitas often! To the point: I already have gluten-free flour…may I use this gf flour to thicken the broth instead of cornstarch or arrowroot powder? Much love and appreciation for you and all you do!5 stars

  8. Love all of your recipes! Made the beef tenderloin for Christmas (my first time hosting) and got so many compliments!

    I love a good pot roast – but every time I make it, the leftovers always have hardened pieces of fat throughout the sauce, even though I remove all of the fat before storing in the container. It really deters us from wanting the leftovers. Am I just not leaving it out to cool long enough before putting in the fridge? Maybe I am describing this terribly – but it happens every time and almost feels like a waste to make it when I know leftovers should be amazing! Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Hi Tracey – happy to hear you loved the beef tenderloin for Christmas, yay! As for the pot roast, those little hardened pieces of fat after it cools are totally normal. And as soon as you reheat the leftovers, they’ll meld back into the sauce and you’ll never know they’re there. Additionally, they provide extra flavor. :) Enjoy!