Italian Beef

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings

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Easy shredded Italian Beef made in the crockpot, just SIX ingredients and loaded with flavor! Includes Instant Pot method and step by step video.

crockpot italian beef in black slow cooker with two forks and peppers on top

If there’s anyone who has trouble straying from a traditional roast beef with gravy, they need to try this crockpot Italian Beef!

I will admit I myself was a little skeptical, because I’m a little wary of spicy food and don’t use pepperoncini much in my day-to-day cooking.

But the flavor of this beef and the sauce is so incredible, it’s worth a try!

As much as I love a classic Slow Cooker Pot Roast or a big bowl of Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew, this is a fun and flavorful twist on crockpot beef that everyone loves!

This crockpot Italian Beef is the perfect make ahead meal because it needs a long (think really long) cook time in order to break down and become tender, so get it started early in the morning and you won’t have to think about making dinner!

Although, you will have to smell it cooking all day long 😉

crockpot italian beef in glass dish with pepperoncini on top and wooden spoon

The leftovers make amazing sandwiches, quesadillas and more — see my list below of ways to store it for later or use it up!

Where did Italian Beef originate?

Believe it or not, Italian Beef is not an Italian recipe (spoiler: most Italians probably don’t use a whole lot of Italian dressing mix 😉 ).

Italian Beef is a Chicago specialty, and there are piles and piles of places to get an amazing authentic Italian Beef sandwich.

My recipe here is a shortcut, and I don’t generally load mine up with pickled vegetables like many are down in Chicago, but you definitely could!

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What is the best cut of meat for Italian Beef:

Because we are cooking this roast beef low and slow, there are many different cuts of beef that will work just as well.

Typically, most pot roast or shredded beef recipes call for “chuck roast”, which can be difficult to find labelled that in Canada.

The chuck roast is from the shoulder of the cow, is leaner, and has a lot of connective tissue. When cooked quickly, it’s not that appetizing, but in the slow cooker? It develops amazing flavor!

In Canada, look for “blade” or “cross rib” roasts, though I have used almost any roast in this recipe — the long cook time breaks down meat that would otherwise be tough.

If you don’t have a blade or cross rib roast, a round roast would be your next best bet!

crockpot italian beef sandwich on ciabatta bun with cheese and chips on the side

How to make this shredded Italian Beef in the Instant Pot:

You can easily make Instant Pot Italian Beef by combining all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot and cooking for 70-90 minutes depending on the size of your roast.

If you want to cook it more quickly, or you have a very large roast, you may want to break the roast down into 1-1.5 lb chunks just to ensure it is tender when you pop it out!

Serve with buns and cheese as desired.

What do I serve with Italian Beef?

This shredded Italian Beef makes one amazing sandwich, which is normally how it’s served, with crusty rolls and provolone cheese.

Not into sandwiches?

Try serving with some of my favorites:

It’s also wonderful over plain cooked egg noodles or rice!

How do I store leftover shredded Italian Beef?

You can store leftover Italian Beef in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Need some creative ideas to use up your leftovers? Try these:

  • Quesadillas
  • Tacos
  • Sliders
  • Pizza
  • Over pasta
  • Nachos
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Beef Pot Pie
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Italian Beef

5 from 51 votes
Easy shredded Italian Beef made in the crockpot, just SIX ingredients and loaded with flavor! Includes Instant Pot method and step by step video.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 12 servings
Calories 433.66cal


  • 3-4 lb beef roast (chuck, blade or round recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package Italian dressing mix or garlic herb seasoning
  • cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 jar pepperoncini peppers with juice*
  • 12 sub or hoagie rolls
  • 12 slices provolone, havarti or mozzarella cheese


  • Place roast in a 4-6 quart crockpot. Season all over with salt, pepper and Italian dressing mix.
  • Pour beef broth and ¾ cup brine from the jar of pepperoncinis into the bottom of the crockpot. Add ½ cup sliced pepperoncini peppers on top. (*For less spice, use only the brine and no peppers)
  • Cook on low for 10-11 hours until fall apart tender (if you want it to cook more quickly, cut into 3-4 smaller pieces and cook for 8 hours).
  • Shred beef in juices and serve on buns with cheese and additional pickled pepperoncinis as desired.


  • Spice level: With ½ cup pepperoncini juice and no peppers, this beef has good flavor but is not spicy. You can up the spice level by adding more juice or adding in the sliced peppers. 
  • For serving: Italian beef is commonly served with giardiniera, but we love it just with the pepperoncini and some cheese on a toasted ciabatta bun. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 433.66cal | Carbohydrates: 26.97g | Protein: 34.35g | Fat: 20.86g | Saturated Fat: 10.72g | Cholesterol: 97.56mg | Sodium: 896.13mg | Potassium: 495.12mg | Fiber: 0.62g | Sugar: 0.16g | Vitamin A: 261.14IU | Calcium: 230.96mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Keywords italian beef, shredded beef

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. John says

    Try pan frying up some Italian sausage and throwing those in for the whole cook time and you now have the COMBO.. 😁😁

  2. Nicole says

    How long would cook a 2.37 lb roast in the crockpot? I didn’t realize that my roast was on the smaller side than needed for this recipe. Thanks!

  3. Bennylou83 says

    Can’t wait to make this. I am from Illinois, not Chicago, but we still love the stuff in Central Illinois. We also like the whole sandwich to be dipped in gravy. Very common option at restaurants.

  4. Nellie Tracy says

    This is one of my all time favorite recipes and ways to make a beef roast. Such a delicious recipe loved by every member of my family!

  5. Natalie says

    Mmmm…this is one of our favorite recipes to make when hosting a party! It makes plenty & the meat is so juicy & tender!

  6. Kristyn says

    This is a hit with everyone! We love it on hoagie buns! Paired with the perfect side, it’s a delicious meal!

  7. Audrey says

    Ashley! You make me look so good! I used your pressure cooker instructions and it came out fantastic! If I’m cooking for my in-laws, I always come to you for an easy and delicious recipe. Thank you!!

    • Janie says

      I have a Ninja Foodi cooker- similar to instapot. I made a similar recipe of Italian beef using aprox 4.5 lb of roast- I pressure cooked on hi for one hour, let it slow release pressure for 15 min. then quik released the rest of pressure. Took tender pieces of meat out and shredded it. Then dumped juices on meat and served on buns- I didn’t have hoagie buns but they wud have been yummy! This turned out great! Fast, easy and delish!?I’m assuming you could do the same with this recipe and it would taste awesome too!!

  8. Erin says

    I was skeptical, but we loved this recipe! The flavor is amazing. My husband is a fan of Pepperoncini, so this recipe suited him!

  9. Susan M says

    So good! I made this for our Superbowl party and it was fantastic. Super tender, great flavor with just a little spice. Loved the pepperoncini’s! Lots of compliments…Will definitely make again!

  10. Dave T says

    Looks horrible. Chicago italian beef is NOT stewed in a pot or (God help us) shredded, it is roasted and sliced thin. It is not served with cheese. The ‘pickled vegetables’ you so vacuously refer to is giardinara, which is mostly spicy Serrano peppers and other vegetables steeped in oil, no vinegar, no pickling – and used as a topping, not cooked with the meat. Your recipe is the equivalent of making authentic Italian spaghetti with egg noodles and ketchup – blech. This recipe is an abomination of all that is good and holy about Chicago fast food.

5 from 51 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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