Italian Pot Roast


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This crowd-pleasing Italian pot roast takes the idea of low-and-slow cooking to a whole new level. The fork-tender meat is braised in a rich sauce of red wine and fragrant Italian seasoning for an easy cozy meal that can be made in advance.

pot roast over polenta in a grey bowl

The perfect comfort food does exist and it’s called Italian Pot Roast. This recipe features melt-in-your-mouth chuck roast that is simmered in a slow cooker with a red wine and herb-infused vegetable sauce that is absolutely dreamy on those chilly days when hearty meals are a must.

You will love how quickly this soothing dish comes together. Simply brown the meat, sauté the veggies, deglaze the pan, and then place everything in the slow cooker to tenderize the pot roast. Everyone needs a few good comfort food recipes for when they’re craving something cozy, and this slow cooker pot roast has got you covered.

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What is Italian Pot Roast?

Slow roasted meats are a tradition in just about every country, and Italians call their “Italian Pot Roast” Stracotta. The difference between Italian Pot Roast and other roasts is the addition of red wine and native Italian herbs like basil, oregano, and rosemary. In this recipe, an Italian herb blend is used to capture the essence of Italy’s enchanting countryside cuisine.

How to Make It

  1. Brown the beef. Season the meat and sear on both sides until a golden brown crust forms. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
  2. Sauté the veggies. In the skillet over medium heat, add the butter and cook the aromatics until tender.
  3. Deglaze. Add the Italian seasoning and flour, followed by the red wine. Whisk in the stock, tomato paste, capers, and vinegar. Simmer to reduce then add the liquids to the slow cooker. 
  4. Slow cook. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. 
  5. Serve and savor! Shred or slice the fork tender meat and serve with the savory juice drizzled over top.
searing a roast in a cast iron skillet


  • Boneless Beef Chuck Roast –  Chuck roast is one of the best meats for braising because it is nicely marbled and all of that flavor-rich fat creates a warming broth that tenderizes the meat as it breaks down. 
  • Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder – Essential pantry seasonings to bring out the flavors in the chuck roast.
  • Cooking oil – Use a neutral oil like grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado oil when making a roast.
  • Unsalted Butter – Always go with unsalted butter so this dish doesn’t get too salty.
  • Yellow Onion, Carrots, Garlic – Sautéing mild yellow onion with carrots and minced garlic creates a savory aromatic base. 
  • Italian seasoning – Herbs like oregano, basil, and rosemary are the foundation of Italian seasoning. Use store bought or homemade to season the chuck roast.
  • All-Purpose Flour – Nothing fancy in this Italian pot roast recipe, just old fashioned all-purpose flour. You can also swap for gluten-free flour.
  • Red Wine – Rich red wines like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel are the best red wines to slow cook beef. Select a bottle you really like so that you can enjoy a glass with dinner.  
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock – To create just the right consistency for the pot roast to braise in.
  • Tomato Paste – To thicken the sauce and help coat the roasting meat.
  • Capers – Capers are tangy and briny, and add their boldness to the sauce in this slow cooker pot roast.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Red wine vinegar tenderizes meat and adds a touch of tanginess to the beef roast. A basic red wine vinegar from your local store will work.

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overhead image of Italian Herb Seasoning in a small white ramekin

Make Ahead

Italian pot roast can be made the day before you want to ‘wow’ your friends and family with this super satisfying meal. Allow the meat and sauce to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container, and then reheat in the oven at 350 degrees when you’re ready to serve.

How to Store

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

If you want to freeze this meal, follow the recipe as written, but let all ingredients cool completely (out of the skillet) and combine them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 4 months. Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

slow cooker italian pot roast freezer label

Printable Freezer Label

Print and attach the label below so cooking instructions are ready when you are!

Print Freezer Label

Recipe Tips

  • Chuck roast is filled with flavorful fat. To ensure the sauce has just the right consistency, skim the fat from the surface as the roast cooks.
  • Don’t skip the searing. Getting a good sear on the chuck roast develops a nice crust around the meat, which builds layers of savory flavor.


  • Add pancetta – Add chopped pancetta to the pan when you sauté the vegetables for a luxuriously rich sauce that’s brimming with extra flavor.
  • Use a different meat – Try brisket or rump roast if beef chuck roast isn’t available.
overhead image of a spoon holding roast in a slow cooker


What to serve with Italian Pot Roast?

There are tons of ways to serve Italian pot roast. Serve over mashed potatoes, cheesy polenta, or with some in-season roasted sheet pan veggies and homemade rolls.

What Is the best meat for pot roast?

The best meat for pot roast is a richly marbled cut of chuck roast. The reason boneless chuck roast works best in this recipe is because this tough meat has ribbons of connective tissue that tenderize as the slow cooker does it work. The resulting meat is so juicy that it just falls off the fork.

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4 from 29 votes

Italian Pot Roast

Classic pot roast gets Italian love from red wine, tomato paste, garlic, and dried herbs. Made in the slow cooker, this is a super cozy meal that cooks hands-off all day long and results in fall-apart-tender meat with a rich gravy. Serve it over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 10 hours
Total: 10 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Skillet
  • 6-quart Slow Cooker


  • 2-3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (use a neutral oil like grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado oil)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (can use a gluten free all-purpose flour if needed)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  • Season the beef on both sides with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Heat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the beef and sear on both sides until deep golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the beef to the bowl of a slow cooker, leaving the skillet on the stove.
  • Reduce the heat in the skillet to medium and add the butter. When the butter melts, stir in the onion, carrots, and garlic. Continue cooking until the aromatics are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add Italian seasoning and flour and stir until no dry spots remain.
  • Slowly pour the red wine into the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the stock, tomato paste, capers, and vinegar. When the liquids begins to simmer, move the pan off the heat. Pour the liquids around the sides of the beef.
  • Cover and slow cook on low until roast can be easily shredded with a fork, 8 to 10 hours. (Note: Skim off any visible fat on the surface of the liquids that remain in the bowl.)
  • Transfer the meat to a cutting board and shred or slice.
  • Serve with cooking liquid drizzled over top.


This recipe is adapted from my Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast
Chuck Roast – This cut of beef should be marbled with fat, but it can vary widely in the amount of fat the piece you use contains. If the meat releases a lot of fat during cooking, be sure to skim off any excess before you use the cooking liquids as a sauce. 
Kosher Salt – I test my recipes with Morton’s Kosher Salt. If using table salt, reduce by about half. If using Diamond Kosher Salt, increase by about 25%. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the amount of salt they like, so be sure to taste and adjust as you go.


Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 860mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3919IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $11.00
Calories: 394
Keyword: beef recipe, freezer friendly, slow cooker recipe, weeknight-friendly
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. 4 stars
    This recipe was good and easy to follow! My only negative comment was that there was so much grease in the sauce. I used chuck and I know there is fat in that cut but there should probably be instructions to spoon off the grease throughout the cooking as we were unable to utilize the sauce at all. Will definitely make it again though so thank you!

    1. The amount of fat in chuck can definitely vary, so I can totally see how this might be an issue. I must usually use a leaner cut because I’ve never had any noticeable fat to skim off, but I’m going to add a note to the recipe so that others know to look for that. Thanks so much for the feedback Lara!