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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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posted: 10/07/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Slow Cooker Pot Roast is an easy and delicious crockpot meal. Made with easy-to-find ingredients, this is the most comforting meal to come home to.

As you know, one of my favorite times of day is dinnertime. In our house, it is the time of day where everyone pauses their busy lives for even just a half hour and we reconnect as a family. I love watching my kids listen to each others’ days and even offer each other loving advice.

The downside to dinnertime is when your life is so full, it can be hard to put a warm dinner on the table in time. Slow cooker meals have always been a great solution to that. This Crock Pot Pot Roast is exactly that type of dinner – it comes together quickly in the morning, is waiting for you in the evening, and is delicious comfort food as everyone pauses during their busy days. You will love this warm dinner as we head into cooler months.

Overhead photo of a crock pot of Slow Cooker Pot Roast

How to Make a Pot Roast in the Crockpot

Here is a brief overview of how this easy slow cooker pot roast comes together. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Sear the roast. Season the roast with salt and pepper on all sides and place it in the preheated skillet. Brown the roast on the top and bottom until lightly browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • Deglaze the pan with red wine. Scrape up the browned bits in the skillet, then pour the wine and bits into the slow cooker.
  • Combine everything in the slow cooker. Whisk in the tomato sauce, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Then add in the garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, and finally the browned roast. 
  • Cook the roast. Cook on low until the roast is fork-tender, then remove it from the slow cooker. Skim any excess fat off the top of the liquid.
  • Make the gravy. In a small bowl, whisk together some of the hot liquid from the slow cooker and cornstarch. Then whisk that mixture into the slow cooker to make a gravy. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Shred the pot roast. Serve with the vegetables topped with the gravy.
TOP PICK

My favorite slow cooker

This is my very favorite slow cooker and the one you see pictured here. It is perfect for making a pot roast in the crock pot and so many other recipes.
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What Kind of Meat to Buy

For this pot roast recipe, you will want to get a chuck pot roast. Because this cut of meat is heavily marbled, it is best cooked slowly at a low temperature with liquid. These factors allow the fat to break down, which keeps the meat tender and creates a rich flavor.

Photo of a cast iron skillet with a roast for Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe.

Why We Sear the Roast First

While it has been said that searing the meat first helps to seal in moisture and keep it tender, that is actually not the reason we do this. It is for the priceless flavor it adds. Searing the meat and deglazing the pan to keep all of the caramelized brown bits adds such great flavor to the whole dish, making it an important step in the best slow cooker pot roast recipe.

Making the Gravy

The gravy for this pot roast recipe also comes together in the slow cooker. Using a bulk of the liquid that comes from cooking the roast, it is thickened with cornstarch. Red wine, herbs, and tomato sauce combine with the flavor of the roast to create a savory gravy with a great flavor that is absolutely delicious with this roast and its vegetables.

Photo of Slow Cooker Pot Roast in a crockpot

Cooking with Wine

When choosing a red wine for this recipe, I would recommend using one that you enjoy the flavor of when drinking it. You will not want to use a wine labeled “cooking wine.” I recommend using a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Malbec.

While you do want to choose a wine you enjoy the flavor of, you don’t have to break the bank on something expensive. An inexpensive red wine will work just fine but do not use a red blend.

I get asked often when cooking with wine if the alcohol will cook off. The general rule is that it has to cook for at least three hours to completely cook out of a dish, which does happen in this slow cooker pot roast recipe. That being said, if you prefer to make this recipe without wine, I would recommend replacing it with beef broth to deglaze the pan.

Overhead photo of a crock pot of Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe.

How Long to Cook Pot Roast

As I mentioned above, a key to cooking this cut of beef is to do so at a low temperature and for an extended period of time. Even though beef is considered fully cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, this roast will cook past that. What will happen at this point is every piece of fat and connective tissue will have broken down resulting in a juicy and tender roast that is absolutely delicious.

While some recipes can be cooked in the crock pot on high or low, I recommend only using the low setting when making a pot roast in the crock pot. You could cook it on high, but the roast will be tougher and you won’t enjoy it as much. You can expect a three-pound roast to take 8 to 10 hours. Please note that slow cookers vary a great deal in terms of temperature, therefore I’m offering you a range.

Storing Leftover Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Store any leftover pot roast and vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Be sure to also save the gravy. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or in the oven. Always use your best discretion with leftovers.

Photo of a platter of Slow Cooker Pot Roast and potatoes with wine and bread beside

What to Serve with Pot Roast

This pot roast recipe is truly a meal on its own with its potatoes, carrots, and gravy. If you want to round out the meal further, here are some good options:

If you make this slow cooker pot roast recipe or any of my other recipes, please let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Overhead photo of a platter of Slow Cooker Pot Roast with potatoes. Wine and toast beside.
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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Serves: 6 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Pot Roast is an easy and delicious crockpot meal. Made with easy to find ingredients, this is the most comforting meal to come home to.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine (see note in the post about replacing wine)
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into two inch pieces
  • 1 pound baby Yukon potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Season the roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Place the roast in the preheated skillet. Brown the roast on the top and bottom until lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 3 pounds chuck roast, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Add the wine to the skillet, scraping up the browned bits.
    1/2 cup red wine
  • Pour the wine and the browned bits into a 6 quart slow cooker. Whisk in the tomato sauce, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Then add in the garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes, and finally the browned roast. Cook on low for 8 hours.
    8 ounces tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 large yellow onion, 4 garlic cloves
  • You can expect a 3 pound roast to take 8 to 10 hours. (Please note that slow cookers vary a great deal in terms of temperature, therefore I'm offering you a range.)
    3 carrots, 1 pound baby Yukon potatoes
  • When the roast is fork-tender, remove it from the slow cooker. Skim any excess off the top of the liquid.
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • In a small bowl, combine some of the hot liquid from the slow cooker and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk them together and whisk into the slow cooker to make a gravy. Taste the gravy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Shred the pot roast and serve with the vegetables and topped with the gravy.
Calories: 569kcal (28%) Carbohydrates: 24g (8%) Protein: 46g (92%) Fat: 31g (48%) Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 156mg (52%) Sodium: 2135mg (93%) Potassium: 1355mg (39%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 5331IU (107%) Vitamin C: 22mg (27%) Calcium: 92mg (9%) Iron: 7mg (39%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Overhead photo of a platter of Slow Cooker Pot Roast with potatoes. Wine and toast beside.

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Ron Alphin says

    This looks very good. I’ve never shredded the meat before. I used to make a similar version, just like your recipe. I used beef broth instead of the wine. I also used a package of Lipton Onion Soup mix instead of a raw onion. And cut the meat into large chunks.

  2. Paul says

    Your site is the first one I turn to every time I decide to cook something!
    Love your slow cooker lazagna recipe
    Mac and Cheese rocks
    Going to try this slow cooker pot roast this week as weather is turning cold and wet

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you like what you’ve tried! Thank you for your kind words!

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