This Ultimate Pot Roast Recipe gives you tender meat, flavorful vegetables, and a scrumptious gravy! Easy tried-and-true instructions for the slow cooker, instant pot, or oven methods resulting in melt in your mouth roast each and every time. It's the perfect dinner recipe the whole family will love!
Why you’ll love this tender pot roast recipe!
- Easy, Delicious Recipe: This recipe is a tried and true family recipe that produces a tender flavorful roast each and every time.
- Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, or Oven: 3 methods 1 recipe - No matter which way you choose to cook it you have an easy melt in your mouth roast!
Pot roast is a classic meal that stands the test of time. So many Sunday dinners growing up were a roast. We would come home from church and the house would smell amazing! There is nothing like that aroma when you walk through the door.
Well, Sunday suppers can happen all week long because this meal is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!
It's also the perfect meal to send to a family in need or at a busy time in their life when not having to prepare a meal is a godsend!
It doesn't matter the occasion this is the ultimate pot roast and the ultimate comfort food meal.
This tender pot roast is calling your name!
How to make the Ultimate Easy Pot Roast:
✱ Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and instructions!
There are three main steps to making a delicious pot roast dinner!
STEP 1 | SEAR
This step is optional but really does add a ton of flavor to the roast. The fat is rendered while doing this along with sealing in the juiciness. Make sure to transfer all the juices along with the roast to your slow cooker, unless you are able to do this right in your cooker (many have this feature now).
STEP 2 | ADD IN VEGGIES
This traditionally is potatoes and carrots, but mushrooms and onions are also great options. Put in whatever you like.
STEP 3 | SLOW COOK
You can use whichever method you prefer. This can be done in the slow cooker or crockpot, Instant Pot or pressure cooker, or even in the oven.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast Method:
- Season roast with a good amount of salt and pepper and sear on all sides until browned (about 4-5 minutes each side).
- Transfer roast to the bowl of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients, and cook on low 8 hours. The meat will be fall-apart tender, and the vegetables soft.
- This makes the best slow cooker roast beef and gravy! If you want it a little thicker, then add in the cornstarch slurry.
- Cooking the pot roast on the low setting rather than the high setting will produce a more tender roast. If at all possible cook on low for 8-10 hours. Your meat will be tender and delicious every time!
Instant Pot Pot Roast Method:
- Heat oil in the Instant Pot and set to ‘Saute’. When oil is hot, sear on all sides until browned (about 4-5 minutes on each side).
- Add in all beef broth and deglaze or scrap all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in veggies and meat and then sprinkle the onion mix over the meat and the pour the cream of mushroom soup on top. Then cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then use the pressure valvue to quick release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove lid and transfer roast and veggies to a warm plate.
- If you want your veggies a little firmer and not on the softer side. You can put them in after removing the roast (cover it with foil and let it rest during this time). Then cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. You can also stop 10 minutes before cook time is over add veggies and then finish cooking time and then natural release.
- The "Natural Release" portion of electric pressure cooking is very important in getting a tender result. We have found that if you release the pressure immediately after cooking, your beef may toughen up. Make sure to let the pressure cooker sit for 15 minutes during the natural release. Don't be tempted to skip this.
- If you want to cook the roast from a frozen state cook for 30 minutes per pound.
Oven Pot Roast Method:
- Use a dutch or heavy oven-proof pot to sear your well-seasoned seasoned roast.
- Add the rest of your ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover with lid (or foil) and transfer to your preheated oven.
- Roast for 3-4 hours, or until meat is starting to falling apart.
- Transfer the roast, carrots, and potatoes to a serving plate. Cut the roast into thick slices or shred and serve with the vegetables.
- Thicken juices with cornstarch slurry if desired.
Variations and Substitutions:
Frequently Asked Questions:
A pot roast is a larger, usually less expensive tougher cut of beef. It is perfect for low and slow cooking as it will tenderize the beef as it cooks. Most often it is cooked with herbs, braising liquid, and vegetables that together create a flavorful broth and results in fall-apart roast beef.
You really can use a variety of beef roasts: chuck roast, round roast, rump roast, and briskets work well.
I usually use a 3 to 4 pound roast. Just be sure to get one large enough to feed your crowd. Usually, plan on ½ pound per person as a rule of thumb. You can go a little higher if your crowd has big appetites. Remember the beef breaks down as it cooks. And it is really good leftover as well!
In a measuring cup mix 3 Tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water. Whisk together until smooth and all the lumps of cornstarch are gone. Pour into the remaining juices in the slow cooker or instant pot and stir until combined. Let the gravy thicken a few minutes and enjoy.
If you want to prep this recipe the day before, you certainly can. It will save you from rushing to get it done in the morning! Season and sear the meat (if desired) and chop all the vegetables (if adding veggies). Layer everything in the crockpot as directed, cover, and refrigerate. In the morning, take the crock out of the refrigerator while you are getting ready, so you aren't putting the crock from really cold to hot - it could break depending on the crock. Then just place the pot right into the unit and set it to cook all day.
If using the instant pot you can just place it in IP base and start the manual cook process and proceed as directed.
Same with the dutch oven. Make as directed up to the oven step. Place in oven when ready to cook and make as directed.
Storage and Reheating
Cover with foil or plastic wrap or place in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Freeze leftovers by placing them in a freezer-safe container or zip bag. You can also wrap with freezer-safe plastic wrap and then wrap with foil. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When ready to serve, remove and let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat individual servings, place desired amount on a microwave-safe dish and reheat. Start with 1 minute and stir. Then add 30-second intervals until heated to your liking.
You can also reheat this in the slow cooker if you have a large amount you want to reheat.
More Main Dish Recipes to Enjoy:
Ultimate Easy Pot Roast Recipe
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, (or to taste) divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 pounds potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 packet beefy onion soup mix, dry
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
Cornstarch Slurry (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup cold water
- Season the chuck roast with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. (If you are sensitive to sodium you can omit the salt)
- If searing - Heat a skillet or slow cooker (if it has that feature) to medium-high heat. Add in canola or vegetable oil and once hot sear roast (deeply brown in color) for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
- In your slow cooker add carrots and potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining kosher salt and garlic.
- Lay the chuck roast on top. In a mixing bowl combine beef broth, wine, onion mix, and cream of mushroom soups. Pour over roast (You can also dump these items in and stir after cooking to make it super simple).
- Cover and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.
- In the last half hour whisk together cornstarch and water and add it to the slow cooker to thicken the sauce (if desired). Often the cream of mushroom soup is thick enough, you can also add 3 cans of soup instead of 2 for an extra-creamy gravy.
- Season roast with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Heat oil in the Instant Pot and set to 'Saute'. When oil is hot, sear on all sides until browned (about 4-5 minutes each side).
- Pour in beef broth and wine and deglaze or scrape any bits off of the bottom. Making sure to get underneath the roast.
- Add the potatoes and carrots. Season with remaining salt and garlic. Pour over the onion soup packet and then the cream of mushrooms soups.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and close to lock, making sure steam valve is closed. Set to "Manual High Pressure" for 20 minutes per pound (60 minutes for a 3-pound roast).
- When cooking time is done, let the pressure "natural release" for 15 minutes, the turn steam valve to "quick release" the remaining pressure.
- Remove veggies and roast to a serving platter. Add cornstarch slurry if desired.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a dutch oven or heavy oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Season roast all over with a good amount of salt and pepper. Sear until brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes on each side).
- Add the rest veggies and sprinkle with remaining salt and garlic. Then whisk together wine, beef broth, and cream of mushroom soups. Pour over all of your ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover with lid (or foil) and transfer to your preheated oven. Roast for 3-4 hours, or until meat is tender and starting to fall apart.
- Transfer the roast, carrots, and potatoes to a serving platter. Cut the roast into thick slices or shred and serve with the vegetables.
- Thicken juices in the dutch oven with cornstarch slurry if desired.
Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.