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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches FAQs
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.
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.
Yes, the beef recipe is gluten free. Just make sure you choose gluten free buns.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Recipe
Slow Cooker Italian Beef
- 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
- 18 Slices Provolone cheese
- 9 buns hoagie
- 1 Cup pepperoncini
- 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.
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 is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, 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.