Slow Cooker Pot Roast
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Slow Cooker Pot Roast is tender and flavorful, with potatoes, carrots and gravy. It’s everything you love about a classic pot roast, made easy in the crock pot.
There’s nothing like pot roast to bring up memories of cozy Sunday dinners at home and Mom’s home cooking. It’s the perfect hearty comfort food as we head into fall and winter!
When you want the convenience of prepping your dinner in the morning and letting it slow cook while you go about your day, this slow cooker pot roast is just the recipe you need. Like my Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes and Slow Cooker Beef Stew, this crock pot roast is a family favorite. Serve it with Homemade Biscuits or Yeast Rolls for soaking up extra gravy.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast Ingredients
- Beef Chuck Roast: This is the best type of meat for pot roast.
- Onion and Garlic: For flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: To thicken the gravy.
- Beef Broth: For the gravy.
- Tomato Paste and Worcestershire Sauce: Add depth of flavor to the gravy.
- Dried Thyme: I prefer to use dried thyme instead of fresh because dried herbs hold up well during slow cooking and they are easy to keep on hand in your kitchen.
- Carrots: Chop them into 1-inch pieces.
- Potatoes: I like to use baby potatoes in this recipe because you can add them whole to your slow cooker, and they are often pre-washed so you save time. If you need a substitute, I recommend Yukon gold potatoes. Cut them into large chunks.
- Cornstarch: For thickening the gravy.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the recipe card below.
How to Make Crock Pot Roast
You will need a 5 quart or larger slow cooker to make this recipe. You can fit a 3 to 4 pound roast in a 5 quart slow cooker. If you want to cook a larger beef chuck roast, you’ll need a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.
Brown the meat. Browning the beef chuck roast in a pan on the stove will add so much flavor to your meal, so I highly recommend you do this step. Heat some olive oil in a skillet or Dutch oven. While the pan heats up, season the roast with salt and pepper on all sides. Sear the meat for 4-5 minutes per side, until browned. Then transfer the roast to a clean plate.
Sauté onion and garlic. In the same hot pan, sauté the chopped onion until softened. You are adding layers of flavor to the finished dish with these stove top steps. Next you’ll add some minced garlic and flour to the pan. Cook these for 30 seconds, stirring.
Deglaze the pan. Pour in the beef broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. You want all of those bits in your gravy because they add more flavor! Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and dried thyme. You’ve now added all of the ingredients that will make up your gravy.
Add vegetables, meat and gravy to slow cooker. Add a single layer of carrots and potatoes to your slow cooker and pour the broth mixture from the skillet over the vegetables. Then place the browned roast on top. Fit the rest of the potatoes and carrots around the sides of the roast.
Slow cook for 8-10 hours on your slow cooker’s low setting or 4-5 hours on the high setting. The pot roast is done when the meat and vegetables are tender. The meat should fall apart easily when shredded with a fork.
How to Thicken Gravy
After your pot roast is done cooking, you may want to thicken the gravy. The easiest way to do this is to stir in a cornstarch slurry during the last hour of slow cooking time. You’ll combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of water in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Stir this mixture into the slow cooker when there is one hour of cook time left. I find that the gravy thickens best on high, so if you have your slow cooker set to low you may want to increase the heat to high at this point.
You can also thicken the gravy on the stove. This is faster, but takes a little more effort. You will need to remove the meat, potatoes and carrots from the crock pot and then transfer the juices in the pot to a pan on the stove. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened.
Crock Pot Pot Roast Recipe Tips
- You can add other vegetables to this recipe, as desired. I suggest trying other root vegetables, such as parsnips or turnips, because they will hold up well as the chuck roast cooks.
- After cooking, you may need to add more salt to taste. I usually start with less salt in my recipes because it is easy to add more. Taste the gravy and if it needs more flavor, some extra salt and pepper will do the trick.
- It’s best not to lift the lid of the slow cooker during the cook time, since doing so lets out a lot of the trapped heat and can increase the cook time. See my Slow Cooker Guide for more slow cooker tips.
- If you have an Instant Pot, you might also enjoy my Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe because you can cook a chuck roast to tender perfection in 2 hours start to finish.
Storage and Reheating
- To Refrigerate: Store leftover pot roast in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: The best way to reheat pot roast is in the oven. Place the meat, vegetables and gravy in an oven-safe dish. Add a splash of beef broth if there’s not much gravy. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350° F for 25-35 minutes, until heated through.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- 3 pound beef chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 6 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 ½ pounds whole baby potatoes, halved if large
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, optional, for thicker gravy
- chopped fresh parsley, if desired for serving
- Rub the roast on all sides with the salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan on the stove over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the roast and sear on all sides until browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer roast to a clean plate.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Pour in the beef broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Turn off the heat and stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and dried thyme.
- Add a single layer of the carrots and potatoes to a 5 quart or larger slow cooker (the remaining veggies will fit around the roast), followed by the broth mixture from the skillet. Place the beef on top of the vegetables. Fit the remaining vegetables around the sides of the roast.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours, until the meat shreds easily with a fork and the vegetables are tender. If you want a thicker gravy, stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water when there is one hour left of cooking time. Gravy will thicken best when cooked on high, so if you have been cooking the roast on low you can switch to high during the last hour.
- Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the gravy and discard. Shred the beef with two forks, discarding extra fat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve pot roast with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.