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. Maggie says

    Can you cook two roasts at a time? Trying to do this for a pretty large party but trying not to need 6 crockpots. Looking to feed probably 50-60 people.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Maggie! I haven’t tried it myself. I think it is going to depend on the size of your crockpot and if the meat fits. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  2. Kari says

    I am trying this for the first time today. Question- it does seem that with the 2 cups of both & the pepperoncini brine that there is a lot of liquid – is that normal?

  3. Arlene says

    Hi Ashley! I’ve made this several times and it’s delicious! I wonder if I could make this a day ahead of time and take it to work the next day in the slow cooker to warm for an afternoon party. How long will it take to warm but not dry out? It’ll be 8 hours at work before we eat.
    Thanks for your time

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Arlene! You can definitely make it ahead of time but I have never done what you are asking so I really couldn’t say. I’d probably place it in the refrigerator and allow it to warm for 1-2 hours (not 8).

  4. Katie Kretschmar says

    My husband and I LOVED this recipe, so easy and delicious!! We will definitely be trying this one again, the pepperoncinis added great flavor and texture to the sandwich. Great recipe, Ashley, thank you!

  5. Raegan Dyck says

    Not a bite left. I used this recipe without the pepperchinis (just didn’t have any) and cooked my round roast on high for 5 hours then shred it and cooked in the juices for another hour and added all the peppers I had in the fridge. I got my idea too late but I’ll definitely try the real recipe. Turned it into philly cheese steak type supper. Lots of M. Jack cheese melted on the buns with meat in the middle and they ate everything. Winning! and I didn’t heat up the house on a super hot day.

  6. rosa says

    i want to try this in the oven. After i sear it, can i just cook it in the oven low and slow? what temp?

    thank you

    • Robert Cusick Jr says

      Hi Rosa, I have a Masterbuilt smoker and I do everything at 225°. So, even in my oven I use that temp, although most guys do 275°. Anywhere in that range will work. Most important is cook to the temp of the meat instead of cooking to a certain time. It’s done when it’s done.

  7. Sara VanLeeuwen says

    Made this for Christmas and it got rave reviews from the family. Thanks for such a tasty and easy recipe! This will be a standard in our house from now on!

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