Feast your eyes on this Classic Pot Roast. This recipe includes all the crave-worthy elements that make pot roast a family favorite, including melt-in-your-mouth meat, potatoes, carrots, and a rich, warming broth.

Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions included.

Mississippi pot roast with potatoes and carrots

As New Englanders, the best way we gear up for a long, cold winter is with a Classic Pot Roast. Using these step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn how to transform a typically tough chuck roast into a fall-apart-tender pot roast surrounded by soft potatoes, succulent carrots, and a soul-warming, nourishing broth.

The best part about preparing a crowd-pleasing classic Sunday pot roast is that it’s very easy and hands off. The proper technique, however, takes patience. The longer it cooks, the more flavorful and tender the beef becomes.

I’ll walk you through how to make traditional pot roast in a dutch oven, pressure cooker, and slow cooker. As a result, you’ll make the perfect pot roast every time!

What type of meat is best for pot roast?

Pot roast is traditionally made with tougher cuts of well-marbled beef. As it cooks, the marbled fat breaks down and tenderizes the meat. There are a few options to choose from:

  • Chuck – You can’t go wrong with a shoulder chuck roast. It’s affordable and ideal for braising. When finished, the meat is super juicy and easy to shred.  
  • Brisket – Braised brisket becomes deliciously tender and still sliceable.
  • Round – Round has the potential to be juicy and flavorful, but it’s very lean compared to chuck and brisket. Therefore, it’s important to cook it precisely and be careful not to dry it out. 
Beef chuck roast on a cutting board with carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes. Some fresh thyme and bay leaves too.

Ingredients and substitutions

The ingredients in this pot roast recipe are fairly common and should be easy to find:

  • Beef – Shoulder cut chuck roast is my pick for pot roast. It has outstanding marbling and is perfect for braising at a low temperature over several hours.
  • Onion and garlic – Two important aromatic elements that not only make your pot roast taste amazing, but also fill your home with a wonderful aroma.
  • Flour – All purpose flour will thicken the red wine and beef broth sauce. If you’re gluten free, use a 1:1 gluten free flour blend, almond flour, tapioca flour, or cassava flour instead.
  • Red wine – To deglaze the dutch oven and wake up the deep, rendered flavors. A dry red wine is best, like Merlot, Cabernet, or Pinot Noir. If you’d prefer to make it without alcohol, replace the wine with more beef broth or unsweetened pure grape juice.
  • Beef broth – This is your primary source of liquid for braising. Use a good, quality beef broth or make bone broth from scratch
  • Herbs – I like to keep it simple with bay leaves and sprigs of thyme. To improve the presentation, garnish each serving with parsley or cilantro.
  • Yellow potatoes and carrots – These are classic pot roast vegetables. If you use a different potato, make sure it’s waxy with thin, delicate skin. Avoid starchy Russet potatoes as they do not hold their shape as well. 
Slicing a beef chuck to make pot roast.

How to make classic pot roast

I recommend making this old-fashioned pot roast in a cast iron dutch oven. The heavy, thick bottom distributes and retains heat better, resulting in evenly cooked meat. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the seasoned beef and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. 

Step 2: Add the onion and garlic to the same pot and saute until soft and translucent. Next, stir in the tomato paste and flour. 

Step 3: Deglaze the pot with red wine before pouring in the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. 

Step 4: Return the seared beef to the pot and surround it with carrots and potatoes. Cover with a lid and place in a hot oven. 

Step 5: Let the pot roast cook for several hours or until the beef is very tender. Scoop into bowls, garnish with parsley or cilantro, and enjoy!

Slow cooker instructions

Heat olive oil in a pot on the stove, then add the seasoned beef and sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate. 

In the same pot, saute the onion and garlic, then stir in the tomato paste and flour. Deglaze the pot with wine, then add the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. 

Place the beef, broth mixture, carrots, and potatoes in a slow cooker. Cover with a lid and cook on High for 5 to 6 hours or on Low for 8 to 10+ hours. 

Instant Pot instructions

Use Saute mode to heat the olive oil. Add the seasoned beef and sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate. 

Saute the onion and garlic in the pot, then stir in the tomato paste and flour. Deglaze the pot with wine, then add the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Return the seared beef to the pot and top with carrots and potatoes.

Seal the lid and cook on High Pressure for 60 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.

Chuck roast in heavy dutch oven pot with potatoes and carrots.

Variations

  • Vegetables in pot roast – much like the classic Mississippi Pot Roast, potatoes and carrots are the classic vegetables you’ll find in pot roast but don’t feel like you need to limit yourself. Try adding chopped onion, pearl onions, parsnips, turnips, or rutabaga as well.
  • Make pot roast gravy instead of red wine sauce – To do so, strain the broth mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour the strained liquid back into the pot. Make a slurry by whisking the flour and water together, then add the slurry to the pot. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened.
  • Gluten free pot roast gravy – Make a slurry with a gluten free thickening agent, like tapioca, potato, or arrowroot starch.

Serving suggestions

Pot roast with potatoes and carrots is a complete meal on its own, but adding another side or two is never a bad idea. 

Serve this classic pot roast with starchy sides like crusty sliced bread or dinner rolls, garlic bread, fluffy rice or mashed yuca (low-glycemic option for mashed potatoes)

For a lighter side, go with roasted vegetables, or a green salad.

Frequently asked questions

At what temperature do you bake pot roast?

A low temperature and slow cooking time are best here. Set your oven to 350ºF and let the roast do its thing for a full 2 hours or longer, depending on the size. Patience is key!

What is the best pot roast seasoning?

To make a very flavorful isn’t so much about the seasoning for the beef chuck roast, and more about creating a flavorful base for the sauce. Don’t worry about covering up the chuck roast with a mix of dry rub but rather season generously with salt and pepper (pre-browning) and working on the base for the roast.

How long does pot roast take to cook?

The time it takes to braise pot roast in a dutch oven will depend on the size of the meat. A smaller 3 to 4-pound roast should be checked for doneness between 2 and 2½ hours. Larger roasts should be cooked for at least 3 hours.

How do you know when beef chuck roast is done?

The meat will be fall-apart tender when the pot roast is cooked and ready to eat. This happens when the internal temperature is between 190ºF to 200°F. A high internal temperature like this causes the marbled fat to melt throughout the meat, making it extra soft and tender.

Storing and freezing

Store: Let any leftover pot roast cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. 

Freeze: Leftovers can also be kept in a freezer-safe container for 2 to 3 months. Allow the roast to thaw in the fridge before reheating. If it appears dry, pour beef broth over the top and reheat in a 350ºF oven until the meat is hot and juicy.

Hungry for more hearty beef dinners?

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For this recipe I am using a Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt., color Rosemary (color has been discontinued, other colors available). For an alternative dutch oven that is high quality and inexpensive I recommend the Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid.

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classic pot roast
4.85 from 63 votes

Classic Pot Roast

by Silvia Dunnirvine
This Classic Pot Roast includes all the crave-worthy elements that make pot roast a family favorite, including melt-in-your-mouth meat, potatoes, carrots, and a rich, warming broth. Cook it in the oven, Instant Pot, or slow cooker!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven or Heavy Pot

Ingredients 

  • 3 lb chuck roast, shoulder cut
  • table salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, GF flour, cassava flour* (see note of GF and Whole30)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 lb small yellow potatoes
  • 1 lb carrots, chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • fresh parsley or cilantro
  • fresh thyme

Instructions 

  • Start by seasoning the beef well, on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil. Brown roast on all sides to lock in moisture and flavor (about 15-min). Transfer to a plate.
  • To the grease left in the pot, add in onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Then stir in the tomato paste, then flour. At this point the flour will absorb all the oil/ moisture. Add the wine, stir and allow the wine to reduce (1-2 minutes). Add beef broth, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and bay leaves.
  • Transfer the beef back to the pot. Add carrots and potatoes around the beef in the pot. Cover and cook in the oven at 350F degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • When done, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro and serve.

Notes

  • Vegetables in pot roast – Potatoes and carrots are the classic vegetables you’ll find in pot roast but don’t feel like you need to limit yourself. Try adding chopped onion, pearl onions, parsnips, turnips, or rutabaga as well.
  • Make pot roast gravy instead of red wine sauce – To do so, strain the broth mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour the strained liquid back into the pot. Make a slurry by whisking the flour and water together, then add the slurry to the pot. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened.
  • Gluten free pot roast gravy – Make a slurry with a gluten free thickening agent, like tapioca, potato, or arrowroot starch.

Nutrition

Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 1763mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 12706IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 7mg

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

Keyword: Beef Chuck Roast, Chuck Roast in Oven, Mississippi Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, Pot Roast, Pot Roast Seasoning
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!
chuck roast in oven

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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219 Comments

  1. My normal recipe for pot roast takes many many hours. I only had a few hours to try and get dinner done, found this recipe and now it’s “my recipe”. Don’t need any others, this recipe is perfect as written! Thank you!

    1. That’s so awesome to hear and thank you so much for trying my recipe Joanne!! hope to see you back for more 🙂

  2. Looks great! I want to make this with the gravy. When do I make the gravy and how much flour do I need for the slurry?

    1. Hi Justine, that’s great I think you’ll love it! make the recipe as is and there should be plenty of tasty gravy left. Sometimes I save that broth and add to soups, it’s super rich and tasty

  3. The most delicious & flavorful pot roast I have ever tasted! Hubby is not a pot roast fan, but he was blown away by your receipe. I made it exactly as written. Thank you so much for an excellent receipe!

      1. thank you so much for your response Silvia, I can’t wait to try your recipe!! does the cooking time stay the same for bone in roasts?

      2. Yes, from my experience the cooking time is the same but it’s good to keep an eye on it 🙂 Enjoy Maria!

  4. WOW! This is my third time making pot roast and my third recipe. It was okay the previous two attempts, but nothing to write home about or make for guests. This recipe was the BOMB! I followed the recipe except that I only had about 1/4 lb of baby carrots (I now wish I had more). I used an 8.99 bottle of red blend wine I had on hand, so nothing outrageous. I did not have fresh thyme or bay leaves, so I generously sprinkled with dried thyme. This was by far the best pot roast I’ve ever had in my life. Rich flavors, perfect texture, vegetables soft but not mushy. The broth was thick enough without any intervention and made a great dipping sauce/gravy/au jus. The flavor was amazing and it was cooked perfectly. We loved it so much we are planning to make a bigger roast in a couple of days so we have leftovers. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  5. I am confused…my experience is when the veggies are put in the Dutch oven with the meat and cooked with the meat for the required length of time, the veggies come out mushy. But, none of the commenters said anything about this. I put the veggies in the pot with about 1.5 hours of remaining cook time. When following the recipe, are the veggies mushy? Could I be missing something?

    1. Dear Confused,
      there’s some information missing to help understand what exactly you are doing… how small are you chopping your vegetables? I used whole baby carrots, fingerling potatoes whole, and I did a thick chop on the onions as they cook down in the pot. You might also want to calibrate your oven to make sure that the temp you put it on is the temp it’s putting out. The only vegetable that you’re supposed to pre-cook is the onion. I hope this helps some

  6. Due to time constraints, I am planning to make this dish a day ahead. What is the best way to reheat it?

    1. Definitely on stove top, covered in low heat. If needed add a little bit more water/broth. Hope this helps

  7. I could not find a recipe for smoked pot roast, so I used yours. I put a rub on it and using hickory smoked to internal temperaturture of 160 degrees. then I pulled it out using your recipe as written i finished it in the oven. In about a little more than an hour I reached internal temp of 203, and veggies cook for an hour and was perfect. I have to give you credit for what I created. the sauce was great with a smokey flavored meat.
    thanks Silvia.
    David H.

    1. From your description it sounds like it came out amazing, love the smoked flavors you used! Thanks for trying my recipe and for your feedback David!

    1. A serving size is subject to how many people are sharing a meal. In this case we have a 3lb roast serving 6, so about 1/2 lb of beef each along with the vegetables. Hope this helps

      1. Hi! I’m currently attempting this recipe, I want to make the beef gravy instead of red wine sauce, do you make the gravy before or after you cook in the oven? Thank you!

      2. Hi Amy, most times I use the broth as a gravy but you can stir in some flour to thicken the broth at the end and serve as a gravy. Hope this helps!