Home » Slow Cooker » Italian Beef

Italian Beef


See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.


This Italian Beef is fall-apart tender, juicy and so flavorful! It slow cooks in the crock pot and is perfect for serving on toasted rolls to make the best Italian beef sandwiches.

Italian beef served on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone cheese.

This Italian beef recipe is what I make when I want a hearty, easy, flavor-packed dinner. Served on toasted rolls with melty provolone cheese, these Italian beef sandwiches are one of our all-time favorite dinners

Italian beef originated in Chicago, and stories vary on the exact origins of these delicious sandwiches. The meat is typically served with some of its juices (au jus) on toasted sub rolls, or you can use tongs or a slotted spoon to drain off the juices if you prefer. 

Since the beef slow cooks in the crock pot all day, this meal is perfect for busy nights. Slow cooker recipes are my favorite when I need a make ahead option for dinner. The meat becomes fall-apart tender and flavorful as it simmers for hours in its juices. Pepperoncini give the beef a spicy kick, and plenty of seasonings make this savory Italian beef especially tasty.

Italian beef in a slow cooker.

Italian Beef Recipe Ingredients

Instead of packaged Italian dressing, this easy recipe uses dried herbs, fresh onion and Worcestershire sauce to flavor the meat.

Ingredients for italian beef recipe.

  • Onion: You’ll slice up a yellow onion and put it in the bottom of the slow cooker, for extra flavor.
  • Olive Oil: Used when browning the beef.
  • Boneless Beef Chuck Roast: Becomes ultra tender after slow cooking.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder and onion powder are sprinkled over the beef to flavor it as it cooks.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Enhances the flavor of the beef and adds umami flavor. 
  • Beef Broth: Helps the meat to become tender and juicy. I recommend using low sodium beef broth.
  • Pepperoncini: I used medium pepperoncini and the Italian beef turned out a little spicy, but not overly so. You can make it more or less spicy by using hot, medium or mild pepperoncini.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds color and a sneaky veggie.
  • Hoagie Rolls & Sliced Provolone Cheese: For serving.

How to Make Italian Beef

Let’s make Italian beef sandwiches! Find the full printable recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Put the sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Then, brown the beef in olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Put the browned beef in the slow cooker, on top of the onion. Browning beef chuck roast in skillet.
  3. Pour the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Pouring beef broth over meat in crock pot.
  4. Sprinkle the seasonings over the beef.
  5. Add the chopped pepperoncini and bell pepper to the slow cooker. Seasoned beef, pepperoncini and red bell pepper in crock pot.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
  7. Shred the beef and then slow cook the shredded beef in the juices on high for 20 more minutes. Shredding cooked beef in the slow cooker.
  8. Split the hoagie rolls open and put them under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until they are golden brown and toasted.
  9. Serve the shredded beef on the toasted rolls, along with some of the juices from the slow cooker, if desired. Top sandwiches with a slice of provolone cheese and enjoy!

Four Italian beef sandwiches on a baking sheet.

Can you make Italian Beef in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook Italian beef in the Instant Pot. Just like my Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe, the meat will become very tender after pressure cooking. Cut the beef chuck roast into 2-3 large chunks and brown it using the Instant Pot sauté function. Turn off the Instant Pot, take the beef out of the pot, pour in the broth, and scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Then put everything in the Instant Pot as directed in the recipe card below and pressure cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. After the cook time, let the Instant Pot release naturally for about 15 minutes to help the meat become extra tender.

What to Serve with Italian Beef Sandwiches

When I make these Italian beef sandwiches, I like to serve one or two side dishes to go with the meal, or I’ll add in a few more options if I’m feeding a crowd. Try them with:

Instead of making a sandwich with your Italian beef, you can also serve it with Mashed Potatoes, over a Baked Potato or with a salad.

Close up of italian beef sandwich.

Storage & Reheating Tips

The leftovers of this Italian beef reheat well for sandwiches or serving with simple side dishes. To store and reheat:

  • Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Once completely cool, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Reheat: Reheat the beef with its juices in a pot on the stove over medium low heat, or reheat in the microwave.

More Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

Italian beef served on toasted hoagie rolls with cheese.

Italian Beef

Italian beef sandwiches with melty cheese.
Print Pin
4 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword italian beef, italian beef sandwich
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time9 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 20 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 595kcal
This Italian Beef is so easy to make in the slow cooker! The beef turns out incredibly tender and flavorful, perfect for making Italian beef sandwiches. You'll love having this recipe in your back pocket for busy days!

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 16 ounces jar pepperoncini (drained, stems removed and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 8 hoagie rolls
  • 8 slices provolone cheese (or mozzarella, cut in half as needed to fit on sandwiches)

Instructions 

  • Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season all sides of the beef with the salt and pepper and then add the meat to the hot pan. Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to the slow cooker, on top of the sliced onion.
  • Pour the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce over the beef in the slow cooker.
  • Combine the Italian seasoning, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the beef.
  • Add the chopped pepperoncini and bell pepper to the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
  • Shred the beef. Then continue cooking on high for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, split the rolls open and place them on a baking sheet, with the inside of the rolls facing up. Broil in the oven for about 2 minutes, until bread is toasted and golden brown, watching the rolls closely so that they don't burn.
  • Serve shredded Italian beef on top of toasted rolls, topped with a slice of provolone.

Notes

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 884mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 868IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 15mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen or tag #kristineskitchenblog!
Save Recipe

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!