Tender Pot Roast (Crockpot Recipe)

Prep 15 mins
Add'l 8 hrs
Total 8 hrs 15 mins
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This easy Crockpot Pot Roast recipe has been passed down in my family for years. It has (formerly) secret ingredients that make a flavorful and extra tender pot roast right in the slow cooker!

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I am crazy excited to be sharing this epic pot roast recipe with all of you today. This recipe is one of my favorite family recipes that we make over and over and over again. I’m just going to come right out and say it: this is the best pot roast recipe!

This crockpot pot roast (that’s a tongue twister isn’t it?) is our family Sunday dinner at least a couple of times a month. My Mom always tells stories about granny making a big gorgeous pot roast every single Sunday, without fail. I love carrying on that tradition of the Sunday roast, especially since it’s so easy to do with my slow cooker. All you have to do is quickly sear the meat, add the ingredients to your crockpot, turn it on, and walk away. Your home will smell amazing too!

I’m excited to share this easy recipe for how I make an epic pot roast! I hope you love it as much as we do.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast shredded on a plate.

Why I Love this Recipe

Honestly, I wish I could give you a bite through the screen! This pot roast recipe is seriously to die for. Here are some of the reasons we love it:

  • Flavorful: This recipe includes the BEST pot roast gravy you will ever taste. Yes, I just made that claim. You will need red wine (I use a cabernet), coffee, soy sauce, garlic, cornstarch, black pepper and four packets of low sodium brown gravy mix.
  • Tender: The meat literally falls apart when you take it out of the slow cooker. So good!
  • Incredible as leftovers: You know how some recipes just get more flavorful and tender as they marinate in the fridge? That’s this recipe. Set some extras aside and make an epic sandwich with the leftovers the next day.
Ingredients for slow cooker pot roast recipe.

What You’ll Need

This slow cooker pot roast has evolved over the years and includes a few unique ingredients you wouldn’t expect in a pot roast recipe. We call them the “secret ingredients” because no one would ever guess what goes into our pot roast!

Don’t worry, there’s nothing fancy in this dish! You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen.

  • McCormick Brown Gravy Mix – Low sodium
  • Cornstarch
  • Brewed coffee – This adds an amazing depth of flavor to your pot roast!
  • Red wine – Cabernet
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Oil
  • Bottom round roast
  • Carrots – Baby carrots or full sized carrots, peeled and chopped.
  • Yellow Onion – I like to use yellow Vidalian onions for their sweetness.
  • Portobello mushrooms

What is a Bottom Round Roast?

A bottom round roast is a thick cut of beef taken from the rear leg muscle. Since the leg can weigh upwards of 30lbs, once that section of meat is removed it is cut into smaller pieces, called “roasts.” This is a lean cut of meat without much marbling, which makes it ideal for cooking in the crockpot. The low and slow cooking method tenderizes the meat while also preventing it from drying out.

Can I Use Different Veggies?

Of course! Vegetables enhance the flavor of the pot roast and the amazing beef gravy and you can definitely mix these up. There are a few vegetables that you can choose to add to your slow cooker with the pot roast:

  • Potatoes – You don’t need to peel them, just chop them into bit sized pieces before adding to the crock pot.
  • Mushrooms – This recipe already has portobello mushrooms, but you could also add dried porcini mushrooms. Just soften them in a bit of boiling water for about 5 minutes, then scoop them out and add them along with the other veggies.
  • Parsnips – Treat these similar to carrots. Peel and chop them, then add them to the crockpot.

How to Make Pot Roast in the Crockpot

  1. Make the gravy. Whisk together the gravy packets and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in coffee so there are no lumps. Then whisk in wine, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Sear the meat. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, add oil. Add meat and quickly sear on all sides.
  3. Add meat and veggies to your crockpot. Transfer the meat to crockpot. Top with carrots, onion and mushrooms.
  4. Add gravy. Pour gravy mix on top and place lid on slow cooker.
  5. Slow cook that pot roast. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until meat is tender.
  6. Shred and stir. Remove pot roast from slow cooker and shred into chunks with two forks. Stir gravy and vegetables to combine.
  7. Serve! We love to eat this crockpot pot roast with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.
Pot Roast on top of mashed potatoes with gravy on a white plate.

Tips for Success

There are a few simple go-to rules when making a slow cooker pot roast that I always abide by.

  • Low and slow will give you the most tender and flavorful roast. I have tried speeding up my pot roast and setting my crockpot on high, but my roast just never gets tender enough and your gravy can burn!
  • Sear the roast in a skillet over high heat. While some people believe searing meat holds in juiciness – that myth has been proven to not really be true. However, it does caramelize the surface of the meat, which enhances the flavor and adds additional complex layers of flavor to your pot roast that you wouldn’t normally get with your crockpot. 
Slow cooker pot roast crockpot recipe.

Serving Suggestions

I personally like to serve my pot roast over mashed potatoes, or mashed cauliflower. However, if you prefer a one-pot dish, you can add a few diced potatoes directly to the crockpot when you add the other vegetables.

Don’t forget to grab a big bag of soft rolls to soak up all that amazing brown gravy with! It’s my favorite part!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Fridge: Let your pot roast cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: You can also freeze extras in a freezer-safe container. Be sure to leave enough head room for your food to expand in the freezer.
  • To Reheat: When you’re ready to eat your leftovers, simply spoon the desired amount into a microwave-safe dish, cover with a plate, and heat for a few minutes. The cooking time will depend upon how much you are trying to heat up at once. I recommend doing single servings and then pausing halfway to give everything a good stir and make sure your pot roast is heated through.

I hope you will give my family’s favorite dinner a try, I promise you are going to be seriously amazed by the flavor! Please leave a comment/review below letting me know how it turns out for you! And if you like this recipe, make sure and also check out my family’s recipe for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork!

Yield: serves 8

Crockpot Pot Roast Recipe

Slow Cooker Pot Roast in crockpot on a plate with mashed potatoes.

This easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast is an old family recipe with secret ingredients that combine to make a super flavorful & extra tender pot roast in the crockpot!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (1 oz) packets McCormick Brown Gravy Mix (low sodium)
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 8 oz red wine (cabernet)
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 lb bottom round roast
  • 1 lb bag carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups sliced portobello mushrooms

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together gravy packets and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in coffee so there are no lumps. Then whisk in wine, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, garlic and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, add oil. Add meat and quickly sear on all sides. Transfer meat to crockpot.
  3. Top meat with carrots, onion and mushrooms. Pour gravy mix on top and place lid on slow cooker.
  4. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until meat is tender.
  5. Remove pot roast from slow cooker and shred into chunks with two forks. Stir gravy and vegetables to combine.
  6. Serve pot roast topped with gravy and vegetables over mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.

Notes

This recipe originally had instructions to also be made in the instant pot, however so many people were having burn issues that I removed those instructions. If you would still like to try it that way, try at your own risk! When I make it in the instant pot, I cook it on manual, High Pressure for 135 minutes and do a natural pressure release.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 855mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 48g

Categories

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast: a favorite secret family recipe for an extra flavorful tender beef pot roast! You won’t believe the ingredient list, but I promise it makes the BEST pot roast! #PotRoast #SlowCooker #Crockpot #SlowCookerPotRoast #CrockpotPotRoast #DinnerRecipes #CrockpotRecipes #SlowCookerRecipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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Comments

245 Responses
  1. KCDC

    Have to agree with previous post about ‘robust’ flavour. Too much wine for our taste. We were hoping for a similar taste to M&M Meats pot roast. Not sure where the spice came from as we didn’t add pepper flakes, just black pepper. Other than too much wine it was quite good. The meat was very tender and we were able to slice it like a roast vs shredding it. It’s a 3 1/2 Star.

  2. Shauna

    Made this last night- huge hit. Meat was tender and juicy, and the gravy had a deep rich flavor that adults and kids both enjoyed. Thanks for a great recipe!

  3. Shelby

    Wow! This recipe is amazing.
    I’ve made pot roast in the past and I can never get it to be not dry.
    This recipe is full of flavor and perfect for cold weather.
    I made mine with mashed cauliflower.
    I’d also recommend using good quality wine and fresh coffee for those who are reading the negative reviews on this- mine did not turn out bitter at all. Reminds me of beef bourguignon. I added extra mushrooms too
    Thank you for the recipe!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Glad you enjoyed it as much as we do Shelby! Also agree with your note about a good quality wine and fresh coffee! 🙂

  4. atg

    Saw the picture of this, looked so good I had to try it. Unfortunately it was a miss for me.. I get why some like it and some don’t, it has a VERY strong flavor (the coffee and wine together really make it robust), it is VERY salty, even with low salt stuff in it. The flavor profile was not my favorite and most people probably wouldn’t like it. It is a very harsh and smoky flavor that if you mellowed out would be a lot better. Glad I tried the recipe, but I would not make it again, and my advice for others who see the picture and think it looks good: if you don’t like very strong flavors, very brown gravy that taste very soy-saucy/winey/coffee-ey… then this one’s not for you.

    1. April

      If you are concerned with the sodium levels.
      Simply place a peeled potato in the crockpot.
      (It will soak up excess salt in the recipe)
      When the time is up, throw the potato away.

      1. Teresa

        I bet you could replace the soy sauce with water! Replace the wine or coffee with beef broth and keep the other. Perhaps you could add a dollop or two of sour cream or heavy cream at the end to help soften up the robust flavors as well.

  5. Katlynn Grieco

    I skip the coffee since I don’t personally drink coffee so why cook with it. I always use celery carrots and onions, mushrooms depending on if I have em. Husband isn’t a huge fan of . I switch between using egg noodles and mashed potatoes as a base. I always add a pinch of Italian seasoning too.

  6. cole

    Lol I don’t know what you all are doing but mine came out perfect. Recipes are for guidance. You know your own appliances. I cooked 3Ib in crockpot. After searing the meat I layed it ontop of veg and potatoes. ( I added diced potatoes and celery). I added a few drops of honey, little butter and 1 1/2 cup of water to calm the flavor a tad. Everything she said to add I added and it is perfect. I opened the crockpot here and there to give it a good stir and checked on it. Low on 8 hours. Will definately use again

  7. R.Walkey

    Oh noooo! I’m so sorry but this is terrible!
    I followed the recipe to the T but oooh sooo bitter, acidity, very salty & weirdly spicy! Honestly really bad. I cook a lot and use a lot of online recipes that more times then not turn out very well but sadly this isn’t one of them. I never post negative reviews but I had to warn others about this one. Thankfully I tasted it 2 hours into cooking and was able to rescue my expensive roast! I tried saving the gravy base to still use but this can’t be saved. Won’t be adding this recipe to my cooking roster. 🙁

  8. J. Scott

    Absolutely the best pot roast I have ever made!
    I love pot roast and have tried many methods to make it without drying it out.
    This is a no fail method and creates a very moist fall-apart roast and the gravy is nothing short of awesome. This is a keeper and will never cook my pot roast any other way again!
    Thank you sooooo much for this recipe!

    1. Di Lemberger.

      Hi! I omitted all liquids, soy, worcestershire, gravy and soup dry mixes, instead adding 1 can beefy mushroom soup, 1/2-1 can water. Only used 1/2 tsp. salt to roast, lots of sliced bella mushrooms! Original recipe has too much sodium. To each his own, no offense!

  9. Karen

    I enjoyed making this recipe and my family loved our pot roast dinner last night. I made mine in a crockpot on high for 7 hours and it shredded so lovely. I was hoping the time would have been cut by half by setting it to high but I made it early enough for a not-too-too-late dinner. Perhaps it took longer because it was a 5.5 lb. roast.

    I had to tweak the recipe a little since the store didn’t have what I needed and used some items I had in my pantry to save $$.

    I used 2 brown gravy and 2 mushroom gravy packets. I didn’t add coffee because we don’t drink it and by others comments it seems like it would have added some bitterness or acidity to it which I didn’t want to add to my roast. Used Port wine (red) which I am familiar with and love it for its hint of sweetness. The carrots and mushrooms I would have added perhaps 2 hours before the roast finished to keep its firmness. I ended up cooking more chunky mushrooms and adding it to the gravy because the others had thinned out during cooking process. I added a few sprigs of thyme just for a little herbal flavor. I did not add any additional liquids because I figured the meat would render its own and it did… by a lot! So don’t add anything other than what is on the recipe.

    I would definitely make this again, thanks for the inspiration Novice Chef! 🙂

    1. Pat

      We made the recipe just as written. The Worcestershire sauce was overpowering. We liked everything else about it. The gravy was thick and rich, and we really liked the mushrooms which we don’t usually put in a pot roast. Next time we will omit the Worcestershire altogether and maybe cut back a little on the soy as it was very salty.

  10. Susie R

    I’ve made this 3 times now. It’s fantastic! Put it together Sunday morning and you’ll be in heaven Sunday evening!

  11. Alysa Grant- Halliday

    wanna make this but is there a sub for all those gravy packets? will it make a big difference if i dont add as many?will be doing in a crockpot.

  12. Brynne

    Found this on Pinterest looking for a pot roast recipe. Cooked it in the instant pot because I didn’t have time to do it in the crockpot today. Left out the cornstarch till the end, and replaced the wine with beef broth (I’m pregnant and having red in the house when I can’t drink it is annoying). I also added an extra cup of beef broth to deglaze the bits off the bottom of the pot and add some extra liquid (as I have the 8qt model). 
    Even using low sodium gravy mix and soy sauce, this came out quite salty. Some of the veggies tasted quite burnt but that’s likely because I used the instant pot not the crockpot. 
    The beef itself was perfect, and the gravy was good (though I didn’t care for the flavour of the soy sauce overall) mixed with mashed potatoes but the veggies seemed to absorb the bulk of the salt. 
    I likely won’t try this recipe again. 

  13. Chris

    I f I wanted to double this recipe in the same crockpot would I just increase the ingredients. I think doubling it would be too much.

  14. Liz

    I NEVER leave comments / reviews on recipes even though I cook very frequently. But my goodness, the flavors in that gravy!! I was slightly skeptical, not going to lie, but I remember my favorite beef stew has a similar flavor profile with red wine So I gave it a go. This is a must make recipe, and I want to invite my parents/family over just to make it again and WOW them. 

  15. Dorothy

    This is a delicious recipe! My husband is a gravy guy, and he loved it. I didn’t tell him what was in it. I put it in the crockpot for 10 hrs on low. I looked over the roasts at WalMart, but then stopped by our local meat market on the way home and think high quality meat was my saving grace. I will definitely be making this one again. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  16. Tara

    This was so gross, completely inedible.  I followed the recipe to a T and the gravy is seriously not edible.  Ruined my entire roast.  Definitely not the best as described, this recipe should have stayed a secret.  

  17. Susie R

    I’ve made this twice now and am preparing to make it again tomorrow.  It is relatively easy and SO DELICIOUS!  

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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