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!
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 seasoning like sea salt, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Plus some beef broth that 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.
How To Make Italian Beef
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 Is Italian Beef Good For?
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 Italian Beef. 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 to the refrigerator.
This 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 it or serve it, I promise, you’ll definitely enjoy this wonderful recipe!
Slow Cooker Italian Beef
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Slow Cooker Italian Beef
- 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
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 package Italian-style salad dressing mix, dry
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.