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Classic Sunday Pot Roast is an easy to make comfort food that is hearty, filling, and can easily feed the whole family. This recipe will work for a classic oven braise as well as in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. 

Bird's eye view of a Pot Roast in a slow cooker.

When it comes to a Sunday dinner in America, there’s nothing quite as classic as pot roast. Of course, the day of the week doesn’t really matter, pot roast is a delicious dinner for any day of the week. A good pot roast can be made with any cut of beef roast. Popular choices include chuck roast, round roast, and briskets. The beef is seasoned and seared. The pan then needs to be deglazed with a braising liquid—commonly beef broth and red wine. We like to add in garlic and Worcestershire sauce for a more complex flavor. It really kicks things up a notch.

POT ROAST VEGETABLES: The classic mix of vegetables to add on top of your pot roast include potatoes, onions, and carrots. We recommend using a white or sweet onion, but yellow onions often fair well during the slow braising process as well. Carrots can either be cut into chunks, or you can use baby carrots for easy preparation. We don’t recommend slicing your carrots into thin discs because they tend to turn to mush. We recommend using either red potatoes or Yukon gold. If you choose to use russet potatoes, be sure to peel them first.

Best Roasts for Making Pot Roast

  • Chuck Roast – tender, falls apart when finished and easily shredded
  • Round Roast (bottom round, top round) – lean and easy to slice
  • Beef Brisket – fattier option that gets super tender, but can still be sliced for serving
Red wine being poured onto the pot roast.

How do I make pot roast in a slow cooker?

Season the roast with salt and pepper as directed in step 2 of the recipe. Searing in oil in a skillet is an optional step. Searing your beef roast helps the fat render and seal in the moisture so it’s worth the extra time and dishes. But we also recognize that one of the benefits of using a slow cooker is a short prep time so that you can throw everything in. Place the seared or un-seared meat directly into a slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on low 8 hours.

PRO TIP: It’s better to cook pot roast on the low setting rather than the high setting when it comes to pot roast. Your meat will be tender and delicious every time.

Bird's eye view of a pot roast in a pressure cooker.

How do I make pot roast in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker?

Follow this recipe as directed, but instead of searing and baking the roast in a large pot, you’ll do all of this in your pressure cooker. Sear the roast as directed in step 2 using the sear setting on your electric pressure cooker. Cook the garlic, and deglaze the pan with liquids, and add in vegetables. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then, switch the release valve to the venting position. Remove lid once steam has stopped coming out.

PRO TIP: the natural release portion of electric pressure cooking is an important step. We have found that if you release the pressure immediately after cooking, your beef may toughen up. Letting the pressure cooker sit for 15 minutes during the natural release stage produces a more tender result.

Bird's eye view of a Instant Pot Pot Roast

MORE GREAT RECIPES: If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy some of our other classic Sunday dinners like Braised Beef Short Ribs, Roast Chicken, and Easy Baked Pork Chops.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Bird's eye view of a Pot Roast in a ceramic pot.
Classic Sunday Pot Roast is an easy to make comfort food that is hearty, filling, and can easily feed the whole family. This recipe will work for a classic oven braise as well as in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 3 to 5 pound beef roast chuck, round, or brisket
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 to 2 cups red wine*
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large white onions cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 pound red potatoes cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Get a large oven safe dutch oven pot heating over high heat.
  • Season both sides of chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add vegetable oil to pot and sear roast until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes each side.
  • Remove roast from pan and set aside briefly on a plate or cutting board. Add garlic to pot and saute 60 seconds. Deglaze  pan with red wine and beef broth. Add roast back to the pot.
  • Pour Worcetershire sauce over roast and place the onion chunks, carrots, and potatoes on top of and around the meat. Place rosemary sprig on top.
  • Place a lid on the pan and transfer it to the preheated 350 degree oven. Cook 3 hours, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 202 degrees F and shreds easily with a fork. Season vegetables with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.
Notes
*You can replace the wine with either more beef broth OR grape juice. Use up to 2 cups for a larger roast. 
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Season the roast with salt and pepper as directed in step 2 of the recipe. Searing in oil in a skillet is an optional step. Place the seared or un-seared meat directly into a slow cooker. Add in all remaining ingredients and cook on low 8 hours.
INSTANT POT ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Follow this recipe as directed, but instead of searing and baking the roast in a large pot, you'll do all of this in your pressure cooker. Sear the roast as directed in step 2 using the sear setting on your electric pressure cooker. Cook the garlic, and deglaze the pan with liquids, and add in vegetables. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes, followed by a 15 minute natural release. Then, switch the release valve to the venting position. Remove lid once steam has stopped coming out.

Nutrition

Calories: 680kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1063mg | Potassium: 1662mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7865IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 7.7mg
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pot Roast

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Ray Broskey

Very good. I will make this again. I used a 3.6 pound eye round roast. It’s the only thing I could find because shelves have been stripped bare because of the corona virus. I roasted it in the oven. In a cast iron pot. I used one white onion and one Vidalia onion. I also used beef stock, not beef broth. I added sliced portabella mushrooms. And I used a red wine that I like to drink, not “cooking wine.” (I used Bola Valpolicella.) I roasted it with the lid on for the full 3 hours. I then turned the… Read more »

Taylor Krahl

Thank you for posting this! Using the same cut of meat also due to what’s going on in the world, and it’s in the oven. Happy to hear it worked out!

Brenda Sechrist

sounds exactly like my recipe.

Michelle

5 stars
This is the best pot roast recipe ever!! I slow cooked it in the crockpot for 8 hours. It’s so savoury, melt in your mouth roast beef. I also used the broth to make a gravy. It was a hit for everyone, both kids had seconds. This recipe is being added to the cookbook! Thank you!

Gayle

What kind of red wine did you use?

Kim

5 stars
@Gayle I’ve made this several times with different wines. Turned out awesome every time. The last time I used Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Malbec. Use a red wine you like to drink. Half in the roast, other half in your glass 🙂

Cathy

Making this recipe for thee second time. My family loved it. Healthy meal and love how everything is in one pot for quick clean up!

Thanks
Cathy G.

5 stars
We love pot roasts in this house, and stews and casseroles – especially now that the weather is starting to cool down. I love when the meat is so tender it simply falls apart – and this looks absolutely perfect, Thanks for sharing.

Mary Lanehart

The first pot roast I ever made that was melt in your mouth delicious!! The only thing I edited was the Rosemary. I can’t wait to make it again!!!

Jahaira

5 stars
Delicious, easy to follow recipe.

Kathleen Ann Sullivan

5 stars
I cooked yesterday and my family LOVED it. The only thing I did was doubled the garlic.

Gerard Catrambone

I made this dish tonight with a few changes. I added one Finely chopped Serrano pepper sautéing it with the garlic. I took the vegetables out of the pot with 45 minutes left for the meat to finish cooking, because I didn’t want them to get mushy. After the meat was done, I transferred it to a cutting board to rest. I then strained the left over braising liquid and brought it to a boil reducing it by half. I then added a corn starch slurry to it to thicken it to make a nice gravy. I combined all ingredients… Read more »

Carl Wilson

Enjoyed the simple process of cooking . Very basic . Thank you !!!

Laura

5 stars
I made this last night. It was SO GOOD! The only changes I added to the recipe was to add mushrooms, which we love, and left out potatoes because I like them mashed, afterward. but otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. Will definitely make this again!

Lynn Pappas

5 stars
This is my 2nd time for this recipe. Everyone loved it!!!

CIndy Salisbury

Excellent pot roast recipe. It was flavorful and tender. This is a good old fashion dinner my mother used to make. Thank you and it will be a keeper!

Rachel

Very good! I did about 4 hours on low in the InstaPot and about 1.5 hours on high. Afterwards I took out the beef and my husband carved off the fatty bits while I scooped out the veg and placed on a tray and put in the oven with my parsnips and Brussels sprouts to firm them up a bit…just about 10 min. I placed the beef back in the InstaPot while the veg were in the oven. Shredded easily, potatoes and carrots were firm but yet still soft. I used all beef broth and did not add wine. A… Read more »

5 stars
We just ate an incredible meal! We used a 3 lb Tri-tip for our meat in a slow cooker. I just wanted to say thank you. Spot on with your video and recipe. Six of us ate quite well. 🙂

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