Melt in your mouth tender, full of rich beefy flavor, and all cooked in just one pot, the ultimate comfort food.
Every home cook needs to have a classic pot roast recipe served with carrots, potatoes, and rich brown gravy!
This easy recipe is great for beginners and delivers incredible results every time! Chuck roasts are inexpensive cuts of beef that cook in the oven at a low temperature for a few hours. Add in a handful of veggies and some savory herbs for the perfect meal.
What is Pot Roast?
This is a classic recipe and for good reason! A pot roast is a beef roast that generally starts with a tougher cut of beef. Cooking at a low temperature for a long time breaks down the tough connective tissues resulting in deliciously tender beef with a flavorful gravy. The meat is seared, surrounded by carrots, onions, and a savory combination of herbs and spices and baked or oven-roasted until melt in your mouth tender.
This is one of the best pot roast recipes because it isn’t overly salty with additions like packets of onion soup or canned soups.
The Best Roasts for Tender Pot Roast
The best pot roast is made with the right cut of beef. For pot roast choose meat with nice marbling throughout and cook it low and slow. Tougher cuts will become fork tender.
- boneless beef chuck roast (my favorite choice)
- round roast
- rump roast
How to Cook a Pot Roast
Similar to Mississippi roast this can be made in a slow cooker (this recipe is made in the oven), but pot roast can also be made in an instant pot (or pressure cooker) too! While this oven version is our favorite an instant pot pot roast is great when you’re short on time!
Here’s how to make pot roast:
- SEAR BEEF Add oil to the pan and sear chuck roast in oil (bacon grease is better if you have it!) until browned on all sides.
- ADD BROTH Place the onions around the roast and add wine, broth, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and then bake two hours in the oven.
- ADD VEGGIES Add potatoes and carrots and bake until the potatoes are tender, about two more hours. Remove the bay leaf.
- SERVE Cut the roast into smaller pieces or shred with two forks and serve.
Pot roast is an instant favorite! Not only is it easy to put together, but it makes for great pot roast sandwiches as leftovers with gravy or in a crusty bun dipped in the leftover juices (like a French dip). Serve this hearty and heartwarming recipe over creamy mashed potatoes and with a side of homemade garlic bread.
How Long to Cook a Pot Roast
This recipe is based on a typical chuck roast, about 4lbs (give or take). Pot roast is best cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time to break down any tough tissue.
- Cook a 3lb roast for 3-3.5 hrs
- Cook a 4lb roast for 3.5-4 hrs
- Cook a 5lb roast for 4.5-5 hrs
Cook times can vary based on the type of roast. Check the roast with a fork, if it is tough, the roast probably needs MORE time to cook. Cover it back up and let it keep on cooking.
How to Make Pot Roast Gravy
Turn the sauce into a great pot roast gravy in only 3 steps!
- Whisk two tablespoons of corn starch in cold water until smooth (this is called a slurry).
- Remove beef and veggies the broth and bring to a simmer. You should have about two cups, add more beef broth if needed.
- Whisk the slurry into the simmering broth until thickened.
Tips for the Perfect Roast
- Select a roast that has lots of marbling in it -which carries flavor and helps make the gravy absolutely mouth-watering!
- Baby potatoes are a great choice. They don’t require peeling and hold their shape well (russet potatoes tend to fall apart, although they still taste great)
- Cut the carrots and celery a bit bigger so they don’t overcook
- After searing, add a little of the broth to the pan and scrape up any browned bits, they add lots of flavor.
- Fresh herbs are best but dried ones can be used, just use them sparingly since dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh.
- Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste to the broth if desired.
Favorite Cozy Beef Meals
Did you make this Pot Roast? Be sure to leave a comment and a rating below!
Perfect Pot Roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3-4 pounds chuck roast or rump roast
- 1 large onion chopped, or two small onions
- 4 carrots cut into 2" pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut into 1 ½" pieces
- 1 pound baby potatoes
- 2 cups beef broth or as needed
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Season roast with salt and pepper.
- In a large dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the roast on each side until browned, about 4 minutes per side adding more oil if needed.
- Arrange onions around the roast. Combine broth, wine, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Pour over the roast. Add bay leaf.
- Bring just to a simmer on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Once the broth is simmering, cover and place in the oven and bake 2 hours.
- Add potatoes, carrots, and celery, and bake an additional 2 hours (for a 4lb roast) or until the roast and potatoes are fork-tender.
- Discard bay leaf. Gently pull beef into large pieces with a fork or slice into thick pieces. Serve with juices (or make gravy below if desired).
- Combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth.
- Remove beef and vegetables from the pot and set on a plate to rest.
- Bring broth to a boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture a little bit at a time until thickened. Add extra broth if needed.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!
My mother used to make pot roast on Sundays in her pressure cooker. I never was able to make one to taste as good as hers. This recipe is a definite winner and will go in my favorites book for sure.
Had to cook the roast five hours instead of the recommended three hours for a four pound roast. In addition, we found it to be tasteless.
Oh no! I am sorry to hear you didn’t love this recipe as much as we do Guy. The recipe does say to cook it for 4 hours, but depending on the cut it could have taken a little longer. Thank you for trying it.
Great recipe. I love pot roast in the oven. The oven produces better results for me that either the slow cooker or the instant pot options.
The oven seems to produce the most tender results for me. Your recipe is well-plotted and easy to follow. Definitely would make again.
I decided to prepare the potatoes separately, so I did not add them to the pot at the two-hour mark. That also means I added on piece each of celery and carrot to the pot before placing it into the oven. I think it contributed to the overall goodness of the recipe.
The gravy we made from the cooking liquid was delicious also.
Thanks again for another winner.
I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe James!
It really is a perfect pot roast! Simple, flavorful, and no frills, with very few dishes. It’s a work-from-home day favorite in our house because it’s hearty and just takes a bit of time in the afternoon to prepare.
This recipe never disappoints! Truly the PERFECT pot roast! I’ve made it at least 10 times since I found it and it’s a BIG family favorite. Thank you for sharing this one!
Hi. I’ve made this previously And the roast was perfect!! I have a frozen roast and wondering if I can make this from a frozen state and what I should do differently??
I have not tried this recipe from frozen, I have always thawed my roasts before cooking, so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. It will likely take quite a bit longer to cook.
I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe Maggie!
I’ve made this a couple of times with the modifications for the crockpot. It always comes out great and super tender. I have my own modifications, but this recipe as it stands is great. I also don’t drink so don’t use wine. I use extra beef broth instead and it still has a great flavor.
This time I’m doing it in the oven, but I think I started it too early. I don’t want to overcook it, any recommendations on how to keep it warm without ruining it for dinner?
If it’s done before you are ready for it I would keep it covered or tented with aluminum foil and that will keep it warm. I am so glad you enjoy this recipe Jenny!