Slow Cooker Pot Roast with the BEST gravy!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings

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This Slow Cooker Pot Roast has incredible flavor and the best gravy! Creamy potatoes, tender carrots, fall apart roast beef — it’s pure comfort food!

cooked slow cooker pot roast in white crockpot with potatoes and carrots
Table of Contents
  1. How to make Slow Cooker Pot Roast:
  2. What’s the best cut of meat for pot roast?
  3. How to make this Slow Cooker Pot Roast in the Instant Pot:
  4. Variations on this Slow Cooker Pot Roast:
  5. Do you have to brown your roast before adding it to the slow cooker?
  6. Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

There are days when you just need a simmering slow cooker full of comfort food, and this Slow Cooker Pot Roast is just the ticket.

The roast beef is fall apart tender, and a couple special ingredients give this roast beef so much incredible flavor!

The gravy on this pot roast, you guys… it’s the best.

It’s not just thickened beef broth or drippings or onion soup mix. You might not think the tomato paste and balsamic vinegar would do that much, but they really pack in a lot of flavor!

The potatoes and carrots come out perfectly tender and coated in that delicious sauce. You really need to try it to believe it!

overhead image of slow cooker pot roast on white platter with a blue towel

With school starting again and the days turning cloudier, there’s nothing I’d rather curl up with after a busy day than a big bowl of this pot roast! (But if I had to choose a second and third, this Crockpot Mac and Cheese and this Crockpot Potato Soup would be right up there!)

How to make Slow Cooker Pot Roast:

  1. Combine your seasoning and sprinkle it all over the roast. Press it in so it sticks well!
  2. Brown your roast in a skillet over high heat, just so you have a nice golden crust. (Can you skip this part? Yes, sort of. See my tips below)
  3. Add onion, and then the other gravy ingredients to the same pan — they will cook down and suck up all of that browned beef flavor at the same time!
  4. Throw everything into the slow cooker and let it all hang out until fall apart tender and full of flavor.
  5. Finish your sauce with a bit of ketchup. Yes, I said KETCHUP. You can skip it if you want, but it does help to bring a little brightness back to the sauce after spending so long simmering.

What’s the best cut of meat for pot roast?

  • You don’t have to spend big money on a great cut of meat to make a pot roast — the slow cooker can tenderize almost any cut of beef as it cooks through the day.
  • That being said, a chuck roast (as it will be called in the United States) or blade roast (as it is called in Canada) — often labelled “pot roast” is the most common choice for pot roast.
  • It is not an expensive cut, but it has great marbling which leads to very tender meat.
  • You can use other varieties, but one that is labelled “pot roast” in Canada will be your best bet!

How to make this Slow Cooker Pot Roast in the Instant Pot:

Would you believe I already have an Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe here? And would you believe that I based this recipe off of that one because it was so.dang.good.

Believe it.

If you want to make this in your pressure cooker, click here for my Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe.

a platter of crockpot pot roast against a blue towel

Variations on this Slow Cooker Pot Roast:

  • This crock pot roast recipe is already naturally gluten and dairy free, just be sure to wash your vegetables and check your labels before serving to anyone with food allergies or sensitivities.
  • To brighten the flavors even more after such a long cook time, throw in some fresh chopped parsley or an extra tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • You can swap the potatoes for cauliflower for a lower carb version, just remember that cauliflower cooks more quickly than potatoes so you may want to add them halfway through the cook time.

Do you have to brown your roast before adding it to the slow cooker?

The short answer? No.

The long answer? Yes and no.

Yes, if you want to seal in the juices and add extra flavor to your pot roast. Browned food equals flavor, so any time you are browning meat, you’re adding more flavor to the recipe. It also keeps the juices inside the meat and doesn’t dilute your gravy.

close up image of gravy being drizzled on slow cooker pot roast

No, if you just plain don’t have time or you are making the recipe with a one year old on your hip like I sometimes do.

Your gravy will be more diluted with the juices from the meat, but it will be fine and good. Taste test at the end, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar or extra seasoning at the end if need be. It will be fine.

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast

4.96 from 125 votes
This Slow Cooker Pot Roast has such incredible flavor and the best gravy! Creamy potatoes, tender carrots, fall apart roast beef — it’s pure comfort food!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 536cal


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I use Lawry’s)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.2 kg beef roast about 2.5lbs (chuck or blade is best)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 lbs baby potatoes halved if large
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup optional


  • In a small bowl, combine seasoning salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper. Rub over roast completely.
  • Heat a frying pan over high heat and add oil. Sear roast on all sides, just until browned. Place roast in 4-6 quart slow cooker.
  • Add onion to the same pan and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add broth, tomato pasta, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and honey to the pan with the onions. Whisk together corn starch and water and add to the pan.
  • Cook and stir over low heat, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan, for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Place potatoes and carrots around roast in slow cooker and pour the sauce over top. Cook on low for 8 hours (low is better, but you can also do high for 4 hours), until roast shreds easily and potatoes are tender. 
  • Remove roast to slice or shred. Stir in ketchup if desired (it just brightens the flavor after a long cook time) and serve juices with roast and vegetables.


*Be sure not to cut your potatoes or carrots too large or too small — you don’t want them to turn to mush during the long cook time but you also don’t want them rock hard. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 536cal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 935mg | Potassium: 1310mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3490IU | Vitamin C: 25.4mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 5.6mg
Keywords crock pot, crockpot pot roast

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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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  2. Ashly Grantham says

    Such a delicious meal! And so great to have it all done at once in one pot! Thank you so much for this recipe. I did need an extra cornstarch slurry at the end to thicken the gravy while I let the roast rest, tented, and the vegetables cool slightly. Next time I won’t leave the vegetables in for the full 8 hours. They were probably done in 5-6. Didn’t need the ketchup at the end and I added hot pepper flakes and garlic for our tastes. The chuck roast was phenomenal, fell right apart and was so flavorful. We usually do a spoon roast (sirloin roast) and this is so much more economical and actually probably better.

  3. Debbie says

    This is so delicious it turned out perfectly. I have a large crockpot, so I put two Chuck roasts in,a tad over 5 pounds,and then quadrupled the sauce directions.

    My husband and son made them into French dips and then ate the vegetables on the side
    I also think this would be wonderful for shredded beef enchiladas with all the gravy I have left.
    I put the crockpot on high for 4 1/2 hours.

  4. Kristen says

    Loved this recipe. I only have a 3.5quart crockpot. I add the same amount of ingredients but have to stir it around some to cook all the potatoes throughly. This is my second time making it. I loved the taste and the gravy. The roast was tender and delicious. I would like a bit more gravy to drizzle so I’m trying one of recommendations from another review and adding more broth. Hoping it goes well. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. The Recipe Rebel says

    Sorry to hear this wasn’t to your taste, Jamie. The amounts have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished they would of been a hit for you too.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Art! The gravy comes from the remaining liquid in the slow cooker after you cook the roast. With the liquids that you add and the liquid that comes off of the roast as it cooks, there should of ben plenty of liquid left in the slow cooker.

  6. Nancy says

    Have tried this recipe twice now with unfavourable results. Followed the recipe to a T. My roast turns out tough and lacking in flavour 🙁
    The gravy on its own is delightful though!
    Unfortunately, I have yet to find a good slow cooker roast recipe. Will just keep the old fashioned tried and true method of cooking in oven…

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Sorry to hear you had trouble with the recipe, Nancy. The timing and seasonings have work well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too.

  7. says

    This is by far the very best pot roast we’ve ever had. MY whole family loves it. It’s my go to meal for cooler weather and my bring a meal choice that recieves raves.

  8. Sarah says

    Didn’t have as much time so i did 5 hours on high. Followed the recipe exactly. My boyfriend said it tasted better than his moms pot roast. *saving recipe*

  9. Candace says

    Hi! Really want to make this tonight but not sure what the measurements would be if I have an 8-quart crock pot.. would you be able to advise? Thank you so much in advance, looks delish!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Candace, you would use the same amount of ingredients, it might just need to be cooked in less time or you could just double the ingredients. I haven’t tried either one of these methods so you would be experimenting. If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

  10. AB says

    Hi Ashley, tried the instant pot version and loved it and now I want to try the crockpot version. Do you think I could prep it the night before (sear, saute onions, mix juices), put everything in the crockpot liner and place it in the fridge, and then turn it on the next morning? Trying to minimize the prep in the morning. Thanks!

  11. Pam says

    I’ve cooked this roast twice and both times the family loved it! I added 1 1/2 cups of broth because I needed more gravy. Count on Prep being 30-45 minutes if you don’t have everything prepared to put in the slow cooker. Didn’t use the ketchup.

  12. Bee says

    Made it last night. Can’t wait to get home and try it. I did put everything in the fridge before I left for work and has a little taste. It was great. I need to add more seasoning for my liking but hopefully my kids & hubby will enjoy.

  13. Robin says

    It was tender, juicy, and delicious! My friends and family loved it. The recipe was very easy to make. I will definitely make this recipe again.

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