Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast {Clean Recipe – No Packets, No MSG}


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Mississippi Roast is a slow cooker pot roast that found its way to Pinterest fame in recent years. This is a clean version of the classic recipe that uses no packets, no processed ingredients, no MSG. It takes just 20 minutes to assemble and then cooks all day for a savory, delicious meal that will quickly become a family favorite. 

Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast over mashed potatoes on a grey plate

Somehow I missed the early boat on this amazing recipe that has been quietly and slowly gaining momentum on Pinterest. It took a tip from my friend Susie (hi Susie!) and a quick google search to make me curious enough to put a batch in the slow cooker that same night. What sounded strange at first just started to make sense – pot roast seasoned with savory flavors from gravy mix, herb flavors from Ranch seasoning, and plenty of vinegar kick to balance the richness of the dish from (surprisingly!) pepperoncini peppers.

Charmingly, the original recipe for Mississippi Roast was created by woman named Robin Chapman from (of course) Mississippi and found its way to the internet by way of a church recipe book. (Read the whole story here.)

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overhead image of Mississippi Roast in a slow cooker

The Pinterest folks are right – this really is the most delicious slow cooker pot roast that I’ve ever had. But the original version is made using packets of processed ingredients. Read on to see how I recreated this dish using cleaner, unprocessed ingredients – it’s just as delicious as the original.

Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast in a slow cooker with tongs

How To Make a Cleaner, Healthier Version of Mississippi Roast 

Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast is such a hit at our house that we could probably serve it every week with few complaints. The only problem? The original recipe uses a packet of au jus gravy mix and a packet of ranch seasoning mix. And what comes with those store-bought packets? A bunch of preservatives and MSG. 

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overhead image of a roast browning in a skillet

Now don’t get me wrong – I have no issue with those packets. (And no issue with MSG for that matter. I lived in Thailand for years and probably ate my weight in tasty, salty MSG.) But I knew I could get the same delicious result from a Mississippi Roast without all that. Here’s what I did:

  1. Seared the roast and chopped onions in a pan to give it the rich, savory flavor that comes from au jus mix.
  2. Added flour to the onions / pan drippings to make fresh gravy (instead of the thickeners in the au jus mix).
  3. Added a blend of dried herbs to give the dish the herb flavor that comes from Ranch Seasoning.
stirring onions in a cast iron skillet

In addition to the blend of dried herbs used in the recipe below, I also tested the recipe with my Homemade Ranch Seasoning (a good approximation of store-bought Ranch Seasoning). I found the result to be very similar. Dried buttermilk (from the homemade Ranch Seasoning) offers a bit of tangy flavor, but Mississippi Roast gets so much tart and tangy flavor from the jarred pepperoncini that the buttermilk is barely detectable in the finished dish.

adding flour to onions in a cast iron skillet
stirring onions in a skillet with a wooden spoon
overhead image of mississippi roast ingredients in the slow cooker

Ingredients for a Clean Version of Mississippi Roast

  • Beef Chuck Roast (boneless) – Look for a 3 to 4 pound roast for this recipe. See below for a few other substitutes.
  • Unsalted Butter – It’s a good idea to use unsalted butter to avoid over-salting the dish. You can always add some more salt at the end of cooking (but you can’t remove salt if you overdo it). 
  • Onion – Finely chop an onion and saute it in the pan drippings from searing the meat. The onions will practically melt into the dish as it cooks and will give the meat a rich, savory flavor. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – After cooking the beef and onions, adding a little bit of flour to the pan will create a paste that thickens the liquid from the meat as it cooks, creating a rich, natural gravy. You can absolutely skip this step if you want to make this a gluten-free, keto, or paleo-friendly recipe. See below for more details. 
  • Pepperoncini and pickling liquid – I thought this was the most surprising ingredient in Mississippi Roast, but the tart vinegar flavors really do complement the savory flavors of the meat. The liquid from the jar will be used to deglaze the pan where you sear the meat and a few chopped pepperoncini will be added to the mix. Look for mild or spicy pepperoncini depending on your spice preference, and feel free to add even more pepperoncini if you know you like that tangy, pepper flavor. 
  • Ranch Herb Blend – Mississippi Roast gets a nice herb flavor from Ranch Seasoning. To keep this version clean, skip the store-bought packet and make this Homemade Ranch Seasoning or get a very close approximation by combining 1 ½ tsp each of Dried Parsley, Garlic Powder, Dried Chives, and Dried Dill Weed. (You can use the fresh version of any of those herbs too – just be sure to finely chop them first.
overhead image of uncooked roast, onions, spices and peppers on a white table

Substitute for Beef Chuck Roast

Boneless beef chuck roast should be fairly easy to find at grocery stores but chuck shoulder, bottom round roast, rump roast, top round, or anything just labeled as “pot roast” could also be used.

seasoning a raw chuck roast in a glass baking dish

Freeze This Meal

To Freeze: 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 6 months.

To Reheat:  Defrost in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. Transfer all ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, until the roast can be easily shredded with a fork. Shred meat on a cutting board. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with cooking liquid. 

Be sure to print the recipe below for a label you can attach to the top of the meal. That way the instructions are right at your fingertips!

slow cooker mississippi roast

Printable Freezer Label

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

Print Freezer Label
Mississippi Roast in a slow cooker with tongs

Low Carb, Gluten-free, Keto, Paleo-Friendly Mississippi Roast

Because this recipe uses unprocessed ingredients, it can easily be adapted to be low carb, gluten-free, keto-friendly, or paleo-friendly. The only issue is the all-purpose flour used to thicken the cooking liquid and make a gravy. The flour is used in such a small quantity that you can absolutely skip the flour completely. You will still get a nice, flavorful cooking liquid, but it won’t be quite as thick as with the flour. You can also substitute a compliant flour like a gluten-free blend or almond flour.

overhead image of Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast over mashed potatoes on a grey plate with a fork

More Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

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Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast over mashed potatoes
4.48 from 36 votes

Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast

This is a clean version of the classic Slow Cooker Mississippi Roast recipe with no packets, no processed ingredients, no MSG. It takes just 20 minutes to assemble in the slow cooker and then cooks all day for a savory, delicious meal that will quickly become a family favorite. Serve it over mashed potatoes with green beans or a green salad on the side.
This recipe should be made in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 hours
Total: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 4-quart or 6-quart Slow Cooker
  • Cast Iron Skillet


  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil (I prefer to use avocado oil or grape seed oil for high-heat cooking and searing)
  • 3-4 pounds Boneless Beef Chuck Roast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Liquid from a Jar of Pepperoncini
  • 4 Pepperoncini, sliced

Ranch Herb Blend

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Chives
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Dill Weed


  • Heat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat.
  • While skillet is heating, season meat on both sides with salt and black pepper.
  • Add beef to heated skillet and sear on both sides until deep golden brown and lightly crusted, about 5 minutes per side.
  • Transfer meat to the bowl of a slow cooker (leave the skillet over heat).
  • Reduce heat in the skillet to medium and add butter. Stir until butter is melted.
  • Add onions to butter and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are soft and golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  • Add flour and stir until no dry spots of flour remain, about 1 minute.
  • Add 3 Tbsp of liquid from a jar of pepperoncini to the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan (these will add extra flavor to the roast).
  • Scrape onions into the bowl of the slow cooker.
  • Add sliced pepperoncini and the ingredients for the Ranch Herb Blend.
  • Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, until roast can be easily shredded with a fork.
  • Transfer to a cutting board and shred.
  • Place shredded meat in a serving bowl and drizzle cooking liquids from the slow cooker over top.


The recipe for Ranch Seasoning provided above is a simplified version of this Homemade Ranch Seasoning. Because this Mississippi Roast includes the vinegar flavor from pepperoncini and the savory flavor from sautéed onions, a simplified version of Ranch Seasoning is perfectly fine here. If you’d like, you can make a large batch of the Homemade Ranch Seasoning and use 3 Tablespoons of it in this recipe.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 515mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1135IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 4mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $14.50
Calories: 413
Keyword: beef, beef recipe, easy dinner, family friendly, freezer friendly, slow cooker recipe, slow-cooker
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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. 5 stars
    I have always been curious about Mississippi pot roast. But when I looked at how it was made I figured it was just one of those things that I would never know! About a year ago I found this recipe, and I have made it at least monthly ever since. And it has worked its way to number four in my daughters top five favorites! This recipe is so simple and absolutely amazing! Thank you so much

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my!!! This is so good. And very easy to make with great instructions! I’m only 14 and I can make it. It’s so very delicious. My family was getting tired of boring normal pot roast, so we tried this and it did not disappoint. And there’s nothing bad in it! We love how you know all the ingredients in it!! I love adding banana peppers on top of my bowl. We make this at least once a month. We live to share with others,and every time we make it there’s never ANY left overs.:):):):)

    1. Bailey – thanks so much for this note! I love that you’re cooking for your family at 14 – that’s awesome!! And so glad to hear that your family loves this as much as we do. I’m with you on the banana peppers – I love tart flavors with this savory dish!

  3. 5 stars

    My son and I made this for our family Christmas dinner this year. We served it with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies.
    It is our new favorite holiday meal. Meat and gravy in one pot. Easy, no stress, and really tasty.

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! Cannot even thank you enough for providing this recipe with no store bought packets!
    The addition of frying the onions added such a delicious depth of flavor….the tiny bit of flour made a pot roast in an amazing gravy….Thanks for this cleaner alternative!

    The Hubby loves a crockpot roast about once per month In December, I tried the famous “Mississippi roast” recipe I found on Pinterest.

    OhMyGoodness! Hubby had a total reaction to the packets! He couldn’t swallow for less than a minute but it was frightening. This is the first time it has ever happened….so happy I googled “Mississippi roast with no packet” and found your wonderful recipe”

    Our family enjoyed this for dinner with ZERO reaction!

    1. Oh that’s wonderful!!! So glad it worked for you and that you were all able to enjoy it! It’s a favorite of mine for sure!