Slow Cooker Italian Beef

Slow cooker Italian beef is one of those dishes that, once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to make it again and again. Italian beef sandwiches served on toasted rolls or a hoagie bun are hearty, filling and truly delicious. The slow cooked beef becomes incredibly tender and flavourful. This great recipe is a keeper!

Hoagie buns filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetables.

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Boneless chuck roast is flavoured with herbs and spices in this delicious Slow Cooker Italian Beef. It slow cooks in the crock pot until fall-apart tender and makes the best Italian beef sandwiches, perfect for busy nights.

Overhead view of 2 hoagie buns filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef, melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetable giardiniera. Juice from the meat is in a small bowl for dipping.

Why You’ll Love Slow Cooker Italian Beef

  • Easy:  This Italian beef recipe is made in the slow cooker, so you can simply add the ingredients and forget about it for hours
  • Hearty:  Crock pot Italian beef sandwiches are satisfying enough to enjoy for dinner, either as they are or paired with chips or another simple side.
  • Flavourful:  Slow cooking really coaxes out the incredible beef taste, and the tender pulled beef and peppers in tangy zippy broth paired with provolone cheese in hoagie rolls ensures a fantastic flavour experience.
Overhead view of 3 hoagie buns filled with homemade crockpot Italian beef, melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetable giardiniera.

Ingredients for Italian Beef Sandwiches

This Italian-American Chicago food recipe is made with boneless chuck roast, although a similar cut would work in its place. It is sometimes referred to as Chicago Italian Beef. You will also need beef broth, pepperoncini juice, pickled Italian vegetables known as giardiniera or spicy giardiniera, Italian seasoning, and various herbs and spices. To serve, hoagie buns, pepperoncini peppers, and provolone cheese are the traditional choice. You can try my homemade giardiniera recipe and my beef bone broth recipe!

Ingredients on a table to make slow cooker Italian beef.

How to Make Tasty Italian Beef Sandwiches

For more detailed instructions, with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the meat:  Salt the beef and bring it to room temperature.
Sear the beef:  Sear it all over until golden brown.
Cook the chuck roast:  Slow cook Italian beef with the broth and other ingredients for 9 hours.
Shred the beef:  Once the roast beef is shredded, give it another hour in the crockpot or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
Fix the sandwiches:  Toast hoagie rolls with provolone and serve topped with the beef and pepperoncini.

Close up view of a hoagie bun filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef, melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetable giardiniera.

Substitutions and Variations

Also known as “drop beef” this Italian beef recipe can be personalised. Feel free to sub top round roast, eye round roast or rump roast for the chuck roast. In fact, any kind of stewing beef would be good.

Close up of a hoagie bun filled with homemade crockpot Italian beef.
Italian beef sandwiches on a table. They have melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and giardiniera.

Throw in some minced garlic if you like, or swap some of the pepperoncini with pickled jalapeños for an extra kick. You might want to add sliced bell peppers as well.

Overhead view of an Italian beef sandwich.

Mozzarella cheese would work in place of the provolone if that’s something you prefer. Swiss cheese would work too, although that isn’t Italian of course!

Overhead view of 2 hoagie buns filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef, melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetable giardiniera. Juice from the meat is in a small bowl for dipping.

If you love easy Italian recipes as much as I do, you might also like this stromboli recipe or traditional Italian tomato soup.

Close up of an Italian beef sandwich with a bite out of it.

What to Serve with this Italian Beef Recipe

The classic way to serve it is to make an Italian beef sandwich recipe with hoagie rolls or similar and provolone cheese. Also simply known as “Italian beef”, this is the Chicago style of serving.

Several hoagie buns filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef.

However, since the shredded beef is prepared au jus, you might not want to waste all that extra juice on crusty rolls. Mashed potatoes or rice would be good with the tender beef and soak up all those tasty juices. For a low-carb option, mashed cauliflower or spaghetti squash would be good with this boneless beef chuck roast.

A baking sheet lined in aluminum foil holding many Italian beef sandwiches with melted cheese and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetable giardiniera.

Storage Instructions

  • Store:  Cool the Italian beef to room temperature and then keep the beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze:  Cool completely then freeze in a Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Reheat:  Warm leftover Italian beef back up gently in a pan on the stove or microwave it until hot.
A close up view of 2 homemade crockpot Italian beef sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches FAQs

Can you make Italian beef sandwiches recipe in an Instant Pot?

Yes you can make this popular hot sandwich recipe in an Instant Pot. First cut the beef into smaller pieces and sear it with the “sauté” function, then add everything else and cook it for 45 minutes on “manual” before letting it release naturally and shredding it. So if you want dinner in an hour (rather than 9!) invest in an Instant Pot – they’re so handy in the kitchen.

What can I do with leftover Italian beef?

If you don’t want to make hearty sandwiches or have the leftover beef over mashed potatoes, there are other ways to use it. Try tossing the leftover beef roast with cooked rice and canned tomatoes. This would make be a delicious bell pepper filling.

Can you make gluten free Italian beef sandwiches?

Yes, the beef recipe is gluten free. Just make sure you choose gluten free buns.

A close of up a homemade Italian beef sandwich on a hoagie bun.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Recipe

Hoagie buns filled with homemade slow cooker Italian beef and topped with pepperoncini and pickled vegetables.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

5 from 54 votes
Course: Main Course, Meals
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: beef, slow cooker
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 10 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 724kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
Slow cooker Italian beef is one of those dishes that, once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to make it again. Italian beef sandwiches served on toasted rolls or a hoagie bun are hearty, filling and truly delicious. The slow cooked beef becomes incredibly tender and flavourful.
Print Save

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds chuck roast
  • 1 Teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper coarse
  • ½ Teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon thyme dried
  • 2 Cups beef broth divided
  • ½ Cup pepperoncini juice
  • 8 Ounces giardiniera

For serving

  • 18 Slices Provolone cheese
  • 9 buns hoagie
  • 1 Cup pepperoncini

Instructions

  • Salt the chuck roast on all sides generously and allow to come to room temp and the salt to dissolved.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Brush with grapeseed oil and sear the meat on both sides for 5 minutes.
  • Remove and add to the slow cooker. Pour ½ of the broth into the Dutch oven and deglaze. Pour into the slow cooker.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and cover. Cook on low for 9 hours.
  • Shred the beef and cook 1 more hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Add provolone slices to hoagie buns and toast until cheese is melted. Top with Italian beef and pepperoncinis.

Equipment

Nutrition

Calories: 724kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 1689mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 337mg | Iron: 15mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

An easy dinner recipe and true crowd-pleaser, slow cooker Italian beef is perfect for tailgating season or game day. With just a handful of ingredients including whole pepperoncinis, Italian dressing mix and beef that’s slow cooked until fall-apart tender, you can make this delicious Chicago style beef sandwich recipe with ease.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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Recipe Rating




  1. Tracy wrote:

    5 stars
    This looks delish! Can’t wait to try it in my crockpot.

    Posted 2.5.23 Reply
  2. Lisa Douglas wrote:

    5 stars
    NEW FAVORITE DINNER RECIPE! WHOAMG, this was SENSATIONAL last night for dinner! Bookmarked and will be making it again and again and again!

    Posted 2.6.23 Reply
  3. Greta wrote:

    5 stars
    WOW! It was so delicious! The beef was so tender and flavourful. Highly Recommend!

    Posted 2.6.23 Reply
  4. Liz wrote:

    5 stars
    I loved finding a new way to use my slow cooker!! This Italian beef was so good- my husband asked to have it again!

    Posted 2.6.23 Reply
  5. Kris wrote:

    5 stars
    The seasonings here were to die for! We especially loved that touch of pepperoncini juice! Already can’t wait to make again! 🙂

    Posted 2.6.23 Reply
  6. Sara Elliot wrote:

    5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for new crockpot recipes and I’m also a lover of all Italian food, so I just knew I was going to love this one. The beef came out so juicy and tender – my boyfriend had two servings he liked it so much!

    Posted 10.19.23 Reply
  7. DAVINA wrote:

    5 stars
    made this with swiss cheese because that’s all i had and the hoagies were really good

    Posted 10.24.23 Reply
  8. Natalie S. wrote:

    5 stars
    Made this dish for dinner and it was a hit! The family’s already requesting

    Posted 2.8.24 Reply