This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is an easy dinner recipe inspired by the Chicago staple that has so much flavor it will literally melt in your mouth!
You will love this Italian Beef Recipe!
If you hate spending a lot of time in the kitchen, you’re going to want to keep this Slow Cooker Italian Beef Recipe handy! This isn’t your average Roast Beef Recipe, it’s PACKED with flavor!
Now, this isn’t exactly a meal you can make in a pinch; it takes several hours to cook. However, the majority of this meal is made in the crockpot, meaning lots of hands-off time for you!
It only takes a few minutes to prep this Italian Beef, and your slow cooker will do the rest. And as it roasts during the day, your house will smell like some good home cooking!
What Is Italian Beef?
Italian beef is traditionally a sandwich. It originated in Chicago and is made with thin slices of seasoned roast beef that’s been simmered and served au jus on a long Italian-style roll.
In this recipe, the roast was slow-cooked and shredded, but you’ll still find a similar flavor profile that everyone has come to love!
While it looks like there are lots of ingredients in this recipe, don’t be intimidated. Most are seasonings, like sea salt, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Plus, some beef broth makes it extra mouthwatering.
There’s also a secret ingredient that may surprise you: brown sugar! That’s right, the sweetness balances out the savory flavors for a truly delicious dish.
And let me tell you, all that (minimal) work is totally worth it. The result is tender, juicy shredded beef full of melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Ingredients
- chuck roast
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- beef broth
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- dried parsley
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- bay leaf
- light brown sugar
- Italian-style salad dressing mix
- red pepper flakes
- pepperoncini juice
- pepperoncini peppers
What cut of meat is used for Italian beef?
This recipe uses chuck roast which is the most common meat for Italian Beef.
How To Make Italian Beef (Crock Pot)
This is a really easy recipe to make – a little sear time and a slow cook result in a deliciously tender roast that melts in your mouth!
Step 1: Begin by rubbing the chuck roast with about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and sear on all sides. Transfer the roast to a slow cooker.
Step 2: Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then pour them over the roast and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
Step 3: With an hour left in the cooking process, remove the bay leaf and shred the meat, let cook for the remaining hour.
Step 4: Enjoy as a Chicago-style sandwich on a hoagie roll with pepperoncini, provolone, and au jus or over rice or mashed potatoes. You could also add marinated bell peppers for an additional pop of flavor!
This meat is the perfect filling for a hearty Italian Beef Sandwich. Put it on a sub roll, add pepperoncini peppers and provolone cheese, and serve it au jus for a scrumptious lunch.
Or, you can turn this crock pot recipe into a simple dinner. Serve some spiced shredded beef over rice with a side of veggies or mashed potatoes.
Again, pour those flavorful juices on top, and you won’t regret it!
How long to cook Italian Beef in Crock Pot
This roast will need about 8 to 10 hours on low to reach fall-apart status, but only 4 to 5 hours on high.
How to make Au Jus for Italian Beef
The Au Jus is just the sauce that the roast cooks in. This is made with beef broth, seasonings, a little brown sugar, and the natural juices that come off the roast.
The Au Jus can be used for dipping in or to moisten the meat back up when reheating.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Recipe Storage
How long is Italian Beef good for in fridge?
Once cooked, most roasts will last for 3 to 4 days stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Italian Beef?
You certainly can freeze it. Simply package it up in freezer bags, making sure to squeeze as much air as possible out of them, and freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, simply transfer it to the refrigerator.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef FAQs
Roast beef is usually made with leaner roasts like top loin or round roast whereas Italian Beef is always made with chuck roast.
The flavors also different in that roast beef is very traditional in terms of flavor and is made with garlic, salt, pepper, and sometimes wine. Italian Beef is bursting with Italian seasoning and bright pepperoncini juice.
The most likely reason is that is needs to cook longer, try an additional hour on high or an additional two hours on low and see if that helps.
No. Italian Beef is the signature beef sandwich of Chicago and a cheesesteak is a Philadelphia classic. Italian beef is a slow cooked roast and a cheesecake is usually made with shaved steak on a flat top or in a skillet.
This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is a great recipe for serving at intimate gatherings and game days alike! Plus, all that hands-off time means more mingling and less time in the kitchen!
But let’s face it, there’s no wrong time to have tasty, tender beef. No matter how you eat or serve it, I promise, you’ll definitely enjoy this wonderful recipe!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below and leave a review. I love hearing from you!
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Crock Pot Italian Beef (Italian Beef in Slow Cooker)
- 5 pound chuck roast
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 package Italian-style salad dressing mix dry
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup pepperoncini juice from jar
- pepperoncinis optional for topping
- sub rolls, optional for serving
- provolone, optional for serving
- Rub the roast with about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and sear on all sides. Transfer the roast to a slow cooker.5 pound chuck roast, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then pour over the roast and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.2 teaspoons sea salt, 3 cups beef broth, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 bay leaf, ¼ cup light brown sugar, 1 package Italian-style salad dressing mix, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ cup pepperoncini juice, 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- With an hour left in the cooking process, remove the bay leaf and shred the meat, let cook for the remaining hour.
- Enjoy as a sandwich with pepperoncini, provolone, and au jus or over rice or mashed potatoes.pepperoncinis, sub rolls,, provolone,
- The Italian Seasoning package has about 1 tablespoon of spices in it. If you are using another brand or a homemade version, I would recommend using that amount.