Slow Cooker Italian Beef

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is the perfect recipe when you want dinner ready after a long workday or if you need to feed a crowd on game-day. It’s juicy, super flavorful, and everyone loves it!

Italian beef on a sandwich bun on a plate.

This post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate for Amazon Associates and other brands and earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. You’re by no means obligated to use my links but, if you do, thank you for supporting Organize Yourself Skinny.

When I know I have a busy day ahead, I always plan a healthy slow cooker recipe that can cook all day while I do other things. Beef crockpot recipes are a favorite because I know they can hold up to longer cooking times and still turn out juicy and flavorful. 

My favorites include Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, Slow Cooker Mexican Beef, Classic Beef Chili, and this Slow Cooker Italian Beef.

Reasons you’ll love this recipe

  • Simple pantry ingredients. If you keep a stocked healthy pantry, then it’s likely you have all of the ingredients on hand for this Italian beef recipe and all you’ll need to do is purchase the beef.
  • Dump and go. There’s no extra prep with this recipe; add everything to the crockpot and turn it on.
  • Juicy and flavorful. This fall apart shredded beef melts in your mouth and is delicious with a tangy zip.
  • Freezer-friendly. Most likely, there won’t be leftovers, but if there is, then freeze for lunch or dinner later on.

Ingredients

the ingredients to makes slow cooker italian beef.
  • Chuck roast. If you want a cut of beef that can cook all day in the slow cooker and results in a juicy, moist, flavorful shredded beef recipe, I recommend using a chuck roast or bottom roast—lean cuts like sirloin or flank steak are more likely to dry out from long cooking times. 
  • Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. When I first started to make this Italian beef, I would grab a packet of Italian salad dressing mix from the store. I now use a homemade blend of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Jar of sliced Pepperoncini peppers. Also called banana peppers, they have a vinegary, slightly pickled flavor to them. Depending on your taste, you can purchase these peppers in mild, medium, or hot. Find them next to the olives and relish in your grocery store.
  • Beef broth (not pictures). Broth helps to braise the chuck roast in the slow cooker and creates a tasty au jus to keep the beef juicy. If you don’t have beef broth, chicken broth will work.

FAQS

What cut of meat is Italian beef made from?

Italian beef is either braised in the oven or slow-cooked to create fall apart moist shredded meat. So using a cut of meat like bottom round, chuck roast, or shoulder roast will be your best option. These cuts of beef have more fat and connective tissue that melts away as it cooks to create tender, juicy, flavorful meat.

Why is my Italian beef tough?

If you’re using chuck roast or another cheap cut of beef, then it’s likely the meat is tough because it hasn’t cooked long enough. Depending on the cooking method, it will take hours for the fat and connective tissues to break down, which is needed for a tender fall apart beef. Put the lid back on and cook until the beef is tender and moist.

What is the difference between Italian beef and French Dip?

French Dip, originated in Los Angeles, is prepared using roasted prime rib, rib eyes, rump roast, or other cuts of marbled meat. It’s cooked down until pull-apart and juicy. It’s served on a sandwich bun with a side of au jus to dip it in

Italian beef, originated in Chicago,  is made with chuck roast or another marbled roast seasoned with Italian seasonings and pickled peppers. It can also be flavored with pickled Italian vegetable mixture, also called Giardiniera. 

Juicy shredded Italian beef on a crusty buttery bun with melted provolone cheese.

Cooking Tips

  • Use a leaner cut of beef. The best option to get that most tender shredded beef is to use a cut of beef with a lot of marbling, like chuck roast. However, if you want to lower the saturated fat, use a sirloin roast or sirloin steak. These cuts won’t be able to cook as long, and you won’t get the same texture as you would with a fattier cut.
  • Don’t pour the banana pepper juice in ahead of time. Often, I assemble slow cooker ingredients the night before, but I learned the hard way that the pickled banana pepper juice causes the beef to get tough if it sits in it overnight. So, I’ll still put the roast and seasonings in the slow cooker and add the peppers and juice in the morning.
  • For extra flavor, sear the beef first. I prefer to keep this recipe simple by adding the roast into the slow cooker raw – I think it’s just as delicious. However, if you have time and like those caramelized brown bits, sear the roast before placing it into the slow cooker. You can do this the night before to save time.
  • Save or get extra pepperoncini for sandwiches. We often piled shredded Italian beef on hoagies with melted provolone cheese and extra Pepperoncini or peppers. The cold pickled peppers are delicious with hot tender shredded Italian beef.
  • Switch up the cheese and veggies. This italian beef is delicious with fresh mozzarella cheese, asiago, or parmesan cheese too. We love it also with roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, or sautéed mushrooms.
  • Salt at the end. I add this tip to all of the slow cooker recipes I share because it’s the best way to bring flavors back to ingredients that have been cooking for a long time in the crock pot.

Serving suggestions

As I said, we most often make hoagies or sandwiches with this slow cooker Italian beef. 

You can also serve it with:

  • Mashed potatoes or rice
  • You can also keep it low carb with this loaded cauliflower mash or by using a lettuce wrap in place of the hoagie.
  • To reduce carbs but still enjoy the roll, then try enjoying it open-faced.

How to Make Slow Cooker Italian Beef

steeply step collage showing how to make slow cooker Italian beef.
  • Place the chuck roast into the bottom of the slow cooker insert.
  • Sprinkle the beef with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
  • Pour the reserved banana pepper juice, peppers, and beef broth over the chuck roast. Remember to save about half of the peppers to use after the beef cooks.
  • Tightly place the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. When the beef can easily shred using a fork, then you know it’s done cooking.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the chuck roast from the slow cooker and place it into a large bowl. Using two forks, shred the beef. Pour in the rest of the pepperoncini pepper slices. 
  • Spoon in some of the reserved juice from the slow cooker. This helps keep the shredded beef moist and adds flavor. You can also add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker with the juices. At this time, taste for salt and black pepper. Add more if needed.
  • If you’re going to make hoagies, then first toast the hoagie rolls; this helps keep the bread from getting soggy from the juice. If you want, add a little butter and garlic powder to the roll before toasting it.
  • Then place ⅓ cup of shredded beef on the bottom part of the roll with one slice of provolone cheese. Place the sandwich under the broiler for a minute or until the cheese melts. If you want, add more peppers and other condiments. 
  • Place the top part of the roll back on the hoagie and enjoy!

Storage Tips

For the week

After Italian beef is cooled, place it into airtight containers and store up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

To freeze

I recommend freezing into 1-2 cup portions, so it’s easier to use in recipes or when you want to make quick hoagies. After it cools, freeze the Italian beef in airtight containers, freezer bags, or use silicone freezer trays like these Souper Cubes.

If you can, thaw over night in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. It will take more time, but you can also reheat from frozen on the stovetop or in the microwave.

A closeup picture of the italian shredded beef on a roll with cheese. There's another sandwich behind it with the slow cooker next to it.

Other Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker italian Beef

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is the perfect recipe when you want dinner ready after a long workday or if you need to feed a crowd on game-day. It’s juicy, super flavorful, and everyone loves it!

#wprm-recipe-rating-1 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #ffffff; }#wprm-recipe-rating-1 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-rating-1-33); }#wprm-recipe-rating-1 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-rating-1-50); }#wprm-recipe-rating-1 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-rating-1-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-rating-1-33 stop { stop-color: #ffffff; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-rating-1-50 stop { stop-color: #ffffff; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-rating-1-66 stop { stop-color: #ffffff; }

5 from 1 vote

Print Pin Rate

Course: dinner, dinner recipe

Cuisine: American, Italian

Keyword: crockpot italian beef, slow cooker italian beef, slow cooker italian beef recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 339kcal

Author: Tammy Overhoff

Equipment

  • 5 1/2 quart slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 2.5lb chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt extra to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper extra to taste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 16-ounce jar of sliced sliced Pepperoncini peppers (banana peppers) (I used medium heat), reserve half the peppers
  • hoagie or sandwich buns if using
  • provolone cheese slices if using

Instructions

  • Place the chuck roast into the bottom of the slow cooker insert. Sprinkle the beef with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

  • Pour the reserved banana pepper juice, peppers, and beef broth over the chuck roast. Remember to save about half of the peppers to use after the beef cooks.

  • Tightly place the lid on and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. When the beef can easily shred using a fork, then you know it’s done cooking.

  • Using a slotted spoon, remove the chuck roast from the slow cooker and place it into a large bowl. Using two forks, shred the beef.

  • Pour in the rest of the pepperoncini pepper slices. Spoon in some of the reserved juice from the slow cooker. This helps keep the shredded beef moist and adds flavor. You can also add the shredded meat back into the slow cooker with the juices.

  • At this time, taste for salt and black pepper. Add more if needed.

  • If you’re going to make hoagies, then first toast the hoagie rolls; this helps keep the bread from getting soggy from the juice. If you want, add a little butter and garlic powder to the roll before toasting it.

  • Then place ⅓ cup of shredded beef on the bottom part of the roll with one slice of provolone cheese.

  • Place the sandwich under the broiler for a minute or until the cheese melts. If you want, add more peppers and other condiments. Place the top part of the roll back on the hoagie and enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition does not include the roll or cheese if you’re making a hoagie.
Storage Tips
For the week
After Italian beef is cooled, place it into airtight containers and store up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
To freeze
I recommend freezing into 1-2 cup portions, so it’s easier to use in recipes or when you want to make quick hoagies. After it cools, freeze the Italian beef in airtight containers, freezer bags, or use silicone freezer trays like these Souper Cubes.
If you can, thaw over night in the refrigerator, then reheat in the microwave or on the stove top. It will take more time, but you can also reheat from frozen on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1257mg | Fiber: 1g

Did You Make This Recipe?

Have you tried this Slow Cooker Italian Beef? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here