Slow Cooker Pot Roast is made with only 5 key ingredients and minimal prep work, yet is one of the most flavorful, comforting recipes for pot roast you will ever enjoy!
Want to speed up the process? Check out my recipe for Instant Pot Pot Roast.
Crockpot Pot Roast is one of those meals that brings me back to my childhood. I have memories of sitting around my grandparent's table enjoying one of my Papa's signature dishes, like his Chicken Pot Pie, Pork Roast, Old Fashioned Baked Beans, and his amazing Pot Roast.
He was famous for his pot roast and with good reason. Made in the crockpot, with only a few ingredients, this pot roast could not be easier to make, as the slow cooker does the work for you. But what makes this recipe stand out above the rest is the flavor.
My Papa's secret ingredient to making the best pot roast was adding prepared horseradish. The horseradish adds a subtle flavor to the roast, but it also helps to tenderize the meat. This addition results in the most tender, juicy, and flavorful pot roast. It is everything you want in comfort food.
Notes on Ingredients
- Chuck Roast: The best cut of meat for a pot roast is a chuck roast, as it is marbled with fat. That fat will break down as the pot roast cooks, rendering out the flavor, and becoming so tender it is able to fall apart with a fork.
- Beef Broth: This recipe calls for a lot of broth, which helps prevent the roast from drying out. Just be sure to use low-sodium beef broth or beef stock to control the level of sodium.
- Potatoes: Use baby potatoes or larger potatoes, like russet, Yukon Gold, or red potatoes, that have been cut into 3-inch chunks.
- Carrots: Use peeled carrots quartered, cut into 2-3 inch chunks, or whole baby carrots.
- Prepared Horseradish: Use prepared horseradish, which is found in the refrigerated deli section at the grocery store. You do not want to use horseradish sauce.
How to Make Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Add oil to a heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat
- Season the roast on all sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Once the oil is heated, place the roast in the pan and sear the roast for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until each side is browned. You will know the meat is ready to flip when it comes away easily from the skillet. If the meat starts to tear, it needs another minute or two.
- While the meat is searing, add the carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.
- Place the seared chuck roast on top of the vegetables.
- Spread the prepared horseradish over the top of the roast.
- Pour beef stock around the meat, adding more stock if needed to ensure the beef stock reaches ¾ of the way up the pot roast.
- Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or on high for 5-6 hours. If you need to speed the process up, use my Instant Pot Pot Roast Recipe.
- Once the cooking process is complete, remove the roast from the crock pot and place it onto a cutting board. Tent with foil and let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it up and serving with a side of potatoes and carrots.
Gravy for Pot Roast
The beauty of this recipe for pot roast is that it is so tender and juicy it does not need gravy. However, if you love serving gravy with your pot roast, you can use the cooking liquid to make a rich gravy quickly.
- After the pot roast and vegetables have cooked, remove them from the slow cooker to a platter and tent them with foil to keep them warm.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain off the cooking liquid to remove any solids and set aside to use for the gravy.
- In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.
- Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour, and cook for 1 minute, to remove the raw flour taste.
- Slowly whisk in 1 to 2 cups of strained liquid, whisking well.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened.
Pot Roast FAQs
You can skip searing your pot roast, but I highly recommend taking the extra few minutes to sear your meat. This step seals in the juices of the roast and will help deepen the flavor of the overall dish.
No. The horseradish is not overpowering, nor is it considered spicy to sensitive palates.
The horseradish is the secret to success and flavor for this pot roast recipe, so don't SKIP on that. I know most people prefer dry onion soup mix, but I am telling you that horseradish will blow you away.
No! I love preparing the potatoes and carrots along with the roast because it makes this an easy one-pot meal and the carrots and potatoes soak up the rendering from the meat but feel free to omit one or both and serve the pot roast with homemade mashed potatoes.
More Slow Cooker Family-Favorite Recipes
- Slow Cooker BBQ Drumsticks
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Chili
- Slow Cooker Carnitas
- Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
And don't forget, if you enjoyed this recipe for my Papa's Crockpot Pot Roast, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below!
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- ½ tablespoon oil for searing meat
- 2 to 4 teaspoons salt divided
- 2 teaspoons pepper divided
- 2-4 pound chuck roast
- 3 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes scrubbed and quartered
- 2 pounds carrots peeled and quartered
- 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic optional
- ½ cup prepared horseradish (not horseradish sauce!!)
- 4 to 5 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups cooking liquid
Crock Pot Pot Roast
- Heat a heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Season meat liberally with 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ to 1 teaspoon pepper, just enough to coat the meat.
- Once skillet is hot, add in oil into skillet. Sear roast on each side until browned--about 2-3 minutes per side, or once the meat easily pulls away from the pan.
- Layer potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker. Top with garlic and onion powder (or sliced onion), if using. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Lay the roast in the middle of the vegetables, nestling into the vegetables. Spread the horseradish evenly over the roast. Pour 4 cups beef broth around the meat (not over it, as that would wash away the horseradish). Add in additional stock if needed to be sure the chuck roast is submerged ¾th of the way with the broth.
- Cook on low 10-12 hours or high 5-6 hours.
Pot Roast Gravy (optional)
- After the pot roast has cooked, remove from slow cooker and let rest on cutting board, tented with foil to keep warm. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and cover with foil to keep warm as well. Strain the cooking liquid to use for gravy.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in small saucepan. Whisk in 2 tablespoon flour, and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 1 to 2 cups of strained liquid, whisking well. Season with salt and pepper and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
This post was originally published in 2014 but was updated in 2021 with new photos and tips.