Roast beef dinner is one of those classic meals that are all at once comforting, filling, and nutritious. And there is nothing like coming home to a home-cooked meal all ready and waiting after a long day of work.

slower cooker roast beef dinner from frozen

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This slow cooker beef recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t contain complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients
  • can easily be adjusted to suit your individual taste

Slow Cooker Roast Beef Dinner Ingredients

  • Beef roast: the best cuts for the slow cooker include chuck roast, round roast, and beef brisket.
  • Baby carrots: unlike regular carrots, you don’t have to cut or peel baby carrots!
  • Potatoes: use firm potatoes like red, white, and Yukon gold potatoes.
  • Red onion: though milder than white onions, red onions still add their own special flavor to this dish.
  • Beef broth or water: surrounds the meat and veggies so they get thoroughly cooked.
  • Red wine, cooking wine, or sherry: along with adding moisture, these add delicious flavor and aroma.
  • Bay leaf: a single bay leaf adds a great amount of delicious flavor and scent.
  • Rosemary: think woodsy: fresh pine, evergreen, lavender, and citrus rolled into one. There is no pairing quite like rosemary and beef!
  • Sage: brings a strong aroma and delicious peppery, minty flavor that goes great with meat.
  • Savory: this herb smells AMAZING and tastes peppery and earthy.
  • Thyme: a more mild but versatile taste comes from thyme. It’s earthy, lemony, minty, woodsy, and more depending on what it’s paired with!
  • Salt: this basic seasoning brings out the flavor of the dish it’s added to.
  • Worcestershire or HP Sauce: both are sweet and spicy (kind of like a smokier BBQ sauce) but Worcestershire sauce has a strong umami flavor from anchovies (or soy sauce) that HP Sauce does not have.

Variations

First-off, you can use different beef cuts based on your personal preferences. Chuck roast, beef brisket, round roast and more! 

You can vary your seasonings and spices as well! You could try:

  • cayenne pepper
  • oregano
  • black pepper
  • onion powder
  • parsley
  • smoked paprika
  • celery seed
  • garlic powder

How to Make Slow-Cooker Roast Beef Dinner

  1. Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  2. Cut your potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces. I leave mine larger so they don’t get too mushy in the slow cooker!
  3. Cut red onions into chunks. You can leave them large so your kids can pick around them like I did when my kids were younger.
  4. Place your roast in the center of your slow cooker.
  5. Surround the roast with potatoes and then carrots.
  6. Top that with the onions.
  7. Pour beef broth (or water) and wine/sherry over everything.
  8. Submerge the bay leaf into the liquid.
  9. Sprinkle everything with herbs, spices, and Worcestershire/HP sauce.
  10. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours (just until the roast is cooked through).
slow cooker roast beef dinner on a plate

How to Make Roast Beef Dinner in a Dutch Oven

I know many of you are curious, “Can I make this recipe in the oven?” My answer: YES! In fact, the instructions for the oven are really similar to the ones for the slow cooker roast beef dinner! Check it out:

  1. In your Dutch oven on the stovetop, sear all sides of the roast (slightly thawed works), in a small amount of olive oil or butter. 
  2. Add chopped red onions and stir until softened and translucent. 
  3. Add a little red wine to the Dutch oven to deglaze the pan (get the little browned bits unstuck) and add some flavor.
  4. Cut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces.
  5. Adjust the roast so it’s in the center of the Dutch oven.
  6. Surround roast with potatoes and then carrots.
  7. Sprinkle everything with the herbs and seasonings (aside from the bay leaf).
  8. Pour beef broth or water over everything.
  9. Submerge bay leaf into liquid.
  10. Cover and cook on low on the stovetop or in the oven until roast is cooked through.

Serving Suggestions

This slow-cooker roast beef dinner can be served with horseradish, a side salad, dinner rolls, or homemade gravy made from drippings or broth. Some other side dish ideas are:

What vegetables should I serve with roast beef?

Perhaps my favorite way to vary this recipe is try different vegetables! Try using:

  • green beans
  • cauliflower
  • bell peppers
  • parsnips
  • sweet potatoes
  • peas
  • corn

Tips

  • Cook the seasonings with the rest of the ingredients to boost the flavor of this dinner!
  • Use harder potatoes like red, white, and Yukon gold potatoes so they don’t turn to mush in the slow cooker.
  • Use baby carrots instead of regular carrots so you don’t have to cut or peel them.
  • If you can, cook the roast on low for longer; it will be more tender!
slower cooker roast beef dinner from frozen

Slow Cooker Roast Beef FAQs

What’s the difference between pot roast and roast beef?

There are three main differences! First, pot roasts are almost always made from chuck beef cut whereas roast beef can be made of many cuts including chuck, brisket, round, and more. Second, pot roasts are always cooked in liquid but roast beef can be cooked with or without liquid. Finally, pot roasts are cooked to be fall-apart-on-your-fork tender but you should be able to slice roast beef without it falling apart (so you can make some delicious roast beef sandwiches).

Can I put a frozen roast in the slow cooker or Crockpot®?

The answer is YES! Simply add a cup of room temperature liquid (broth or water) to the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the frozen roast in the Crockpot® and THEN turn it on. If a roast is frozen, cook on high for an extra 2 hours or on low for an extra 4-6 hours.

What temperature does roast beef have to cook until?

That depends on how well-done you want it! Check out these guidelines for the roast beef temperature:

  • Medium-rare – 135° F (it will still be mostly pink)
  • Medium – 145° F  (it will be pink in the middle)
  • Medium-well – 150° F (this is my personal favorite)
  • Well done – 160° F (the beef will be fall apart tender)

Is it better to cook a roast on high or low in a slow cooker?

If you have the time, cooking a roast on low for longer results in a better roast than when you cook it on high for shorter. The roast will turn out more tender and flavorful if you cook it on low for longer!

Do I have to brown a roast before putting it in the slow cooker?

Not at all! This slow cooker roast beef tastes amazing either way. Browning the roast will add more flavor but if you don’t have the time or energy, your roast will still turn out great without browning.

Should meat or vegetables go in the slow cooker first?

The meat should go in before the vegetables because it takes longer to cook so it should be closer to the heat.

Can I prep the ingredients ahead?

Absolutely! You can cut your potatoes and carrots as much as a day ahead of time. 

What are the best cuts of beef for slow cooking?

The best beef roast cuts for slow cooking are chuck roast, beef brisket, and round roast. Each cut is flavorful and tender when cooked in the slow cooker.

Do I need to add water to a slow cooker with beef?

In this recipe, I give the option for you to use water or beef broth. Some liquid is definitely necessary so the beef cooks through. Some slow cooker roast beef recipes use more than I do and some use less. Just follow the recipe you choose and it’ll turn out fine!

What’s the best gravy for roast beef?

I like to use this homemade, gluten-free gravy recipe. You can modify this recipe to go with chicken or beef plus it also goes great with vegetables!

Can I use baby carrots?

Yes, yes, yes! I love to use baby carrots because it means less chopping and peeling. Make sure you buy a bag of thicker baby carrots so they don’t overcook in the slow cooker.

Can I cook it in the oven?

Yes, you can! There are instructions earlier in this post on how to cook your roast beef dinner in the oven.

Why is my slow cooker pot roast tough?

It’s likely your roast is tough because it’s undercooked. Make sure your roast has reached a good internal temperature and you can easily break a chunk off of it with your fork. Another reason it could be tough is the cut of beef you used; remember, chuck roast and beef brisket are the best for roast!

slow cooker roast beef dinner on a plate

Storing, Freezing, & Reheating Tips

Storing

You can store this dinner in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Freezing

Store your slow cooker roast beef dinner in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Reheating

Microwave the leftovers for a couple minutes. You can also reheat the roast in a skillet with some oil.

Dietary Considerations

You can celebrate, this recipe is gluten and dairy-free! Sadly, there isn’t really a way to make this recipe vegetarian/vegan until some great minds can come up with meatless roast. 

slow cooker roast beef dinner on a plate

Slow Cooker Roast Beef Dinner

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

A one pot no fuss roast beef dinner!

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs beef roast
  • 16 oz bag baby carrots
  • 8 large potatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 cups of beef broth OR 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cooking wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. each rosemary, sage, savory, thyme and salt
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces.
  3. Cut onions into chunks.
  4. Place roast in the center of the slow cooker.
  5. Surround the roast with potatoes and then carrots.
  6. Top with onions.
  7. Pour beef broth or water and wine/sherry over everything.
  8. Submerge bay leaf into liquid.
  9. Sprinkle with herbs, spices, and Worcestershire/HP sauce.
  10. Cover and cook until roast is cooked through approximately on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1003Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 272mgSodium: 732mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 9gSugar: 7gProtein: 78g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

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