Slow Cooker Pot Roast
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast – The best tender pot roast with vegetables and gravy. This easy pot roast recipe cooks all day in your crockpot. It’s perfect for Sunday dinner or a weeknight meal!
This slow cooker pot roast is one of the best meals I’ve made recently. Pot roast is one of those meals that brings 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!
If you have a pressure cooker, you might like my Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe because you can cook a chuck roast to tender perfection in 2 hours start to finish. When you want the convenience of prepping your dinner in the morning and letting it slow cook while you go about your day, then this Slow Cooker Pot Roast recipe is perfect. Like my Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes and Slow Cooker Beef Stew, this hearty meal will be hot and waiting for you when you’re ready to eat dinner.
As this crock pot roast cooks all day in your slow cooker, the flavors will develop and you will have a warm, wholesome meal to enjoy at dinner time. Pot roast could be considered a complete meal as is, with the meat, potatoes and carrots. I like to serve some crusty bread, biscuits or yeast rolls on the side for soaking up extra gravy. If you have time to make a quick green salad, it adds fresh flavor to the meal.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pot Roast
This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prep and then you can either cook it on low or high in your crock pot, depending on what time of day you want to prep your roast.
You will need a 5 quart or larger slow cooker to make this recipe. This is the slow cooker that I use and recommend. 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.
Here are the steps to prepare this pot roast:
Sear the meat. Browning the beef chuck roast in a pan on the stove will add so much flavor to your meal, so I urge you not to skip this step. Heat some olive oil in a skillet, Dutch oven or other large pan on the stove. 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, add a chopped onion. Cook the onion for about 2 minutes, until it begins to soften. Again, you are layering the flavors of your dish with these stove top steps. Next you’ll add some minced garlic and flour to the pan. Cook these for 30 seconds, stirring. The flour is going to help to thicken the gravy.
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 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 veggies around the sides of the roast. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook according to the directions below.
How Long to Cook Pot Roast in a Slow Cooker
Cook a 3 to 4 pound boneless chuck roast 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 is fall apart tender and the vegetables are tender.
How to Thicken Gravy for Pot Roast
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.
Tips for this Crock Pot Roast Recipe
- Try not to skip the step of searing the meat in a pan on the stove before adding it to the slow cooker. This step takes just a few minutes and adds so much flavor to the pot roast.
- You can add other vegetables to this recipe, as desired. I suggest trying other root vegetables because they will hold up well as the chuck roast cooks.
- 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. You can use other types of potatoes if you prefer. Cut Yukon gold or russet potatoes into large chunks.
- I prefer to use dried thyme instead of fresh because dried herbs hold up well during slow cooking. I also always have dried herbs on hand in my kitchen.
- 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.
More Slow Cooker Meals
- Slow Cooker Taco Pasta
- Crockpot Chicken and Mushrooms
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice
- Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
- Crockpot Lasagna
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.
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