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This easy Italian Pot Roast has flavorful and juicy, fork-tender beef smothered in a deep rich gravy.

Italian Pot Roast

Now that the holidays are over, all I really want when the weather outside is cold, dark and stormy is delicious comfort food!

This Italian Pot Roast sure fits the bill when I’m craving something warm and filling – and I also love how easy this meal is to make. About half an hour of prep – then your oven will do all of the work to transform an inexpensive cut of beef into a wonderful family feast!


In Italy, a pot roast is called “stracotto di manzo” – which translates to “overcooked beef.”  But all that really means is that the beef is cooked until it is fantastically, fall-apart tender.

Italian Pot Roast

How do you make Italian Pot Roast?

You want to buy a three-pound chuck roast – which is not an expensive cut of beef, but it does have a lot of flavor. You’ll want to roll and tie the roast (or ask your butcher to do it) so it cooks evenly. Pat it dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Next, sear the roast on all sides in a large dutch oven – or other large, heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan with a lid.

Once the roast is seared, remove the roast to a plate to rest – then sauté carrots, celery and onions that have been cut into one-inch pieces. After about five minutes, add tomato paste and garlic cloves to the pan, and sauté some more.

Next, deglaze the pan with a deep, dark red wine – such as merlot or burgundy – and simmer until the wine evaporates. Then add a can of crushed tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, beef broth, and herbs including bay leaves, fresh thyme sprigs, and dried oregano and basil.

Nestle the seared roast back into the pan among the vegetables – also pouring in any juices that may have seeped out of the roast as it rested.

Italian Pot Roast

Cover and place in the oven to roast for three hours – turning the beef over once in the sauce about half way through the cooking process. After three hours, your Italian Pot Roast will be super tender and ready to come out of the oven.

Gently and carefully move the cooked pot roast to a platter – and let it rest for about ten minutes, covered loosely with a piece of foil. After the ten minutes, cut the string from the roast and slice into thick slices. Lay the slices on a platter.

Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the sauce in the pan, then spoon over the slices of beef on the platter.


Italian Pot Roast

How do you serve Italian Pot Roast?

You have so many delicious options! Italian Pot Roast is wonderful served over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. Or – serve it with some of our Italian Fried Pasta on the side.

What cuts of beef do I use for Italian Pot Roast?

While a chuck roast is our preferred cut of beef for this recipe, you can also use short ribs or 7-bone roast.

Italian Pot Roast

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes – but you’ll get the best caramelized flavor, as well as the best roasted texture by making this Italian Pot Roast in the oven, rather than a slow cooker (which essentially steams the food).

If you do decide to make this Italian Pot Roast in a slow cooker, you’ll still want to do all of the initial searing and sautéing steps in a skillet first.

You might like these other beef recipes:

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Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: roasted
  • Cuisine: Italian


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 pound chuck roast, rolled and tied

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups carrots, cut into one-inch pieces

1 ½ cups celery cut into one-inch pieces

2 cups onions, cut into large dice

4 tablespoons tomato paste

4 whole garlic cloves

¼ cup dark red wine, such as merlot or burgundy

2 bay leaves

8-ounce jar sundried tomatoes in oil, oil drained

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 cups beef broth

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 tablespoon dry basil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat.

Pat roast dry and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering hot, sear the meat on both ends and all the way around the outside. Total time about 15 minutes to sear the whole roast.

Remove the roast to a plate and add the carrots, celery and onions and cook for five minutes, stirring often.

Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for two more minutes.

Add wine to deglaze. Cook until the wine evaporates.

Add the bay leaves, sundried tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, broth, thyme, oregano and basil and stir. Add the beef back in along with any liquid on the plate, cover and place in the oven for three hours, turning the beef over once about 1 ½ hours into the roasting time.

After the full three hours, remove the meat, let it rest under a sheet of loose foil for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs then slice the beef and serve with the sauce.

The string should be left on while slicing to hold the roast together. OK to cut off after sliced and plated.

Keywords: Italian Pot Roast, beef


Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast

Italian Pot Roast



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  • ann brp wrote:

    Every so often, I’ll try a recipe just to use up some ingredients that are leftovers. Somehow I stumbled into this website and this recipe. That was a month ago. It is a brilliant recipe and we loved it. I followed it as written. I stretched it out and made four meals of it, the first time.
    Hungry for more I made it a week later.
    Now I’m about to make it for the third time in a month.
    In my cooking rotation, this is all but unheard of, but we liked it so much, that it’s joined my version of Panang Chicken on our “hungry for” list.
    Next time I may use a venison roast that we’ve been gifted as this is less time consuming than Grillades.
    For me, this redefines Pot Roast in the best possible way.
    It wasn’t the pot roast of my childhood, seasoned with salt and pepper. So much the better.

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe Ann – thank you!

  • Cris wrote:

    Deemed amazing by my husband and son! The only changes I made (strictly out of necessity, due to what we had on hand) were to use white wine instead of red, petite diced instead of crushed tomatoes, and water with beef bouillon instead of broth. Will definitely be making this again for them, thank you for the great recipe!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Chris! Glad the recipe was a hit – and great improvising…what you subbed was totally fine…

  • A wrote:

    This is wonderful and a keeper! Family loves it. Made no changes except to use a only few forkfuls of sun dried tomatoes instead of the whole jar. Was concerned it would overwhelm the taste and my family are not fans but they don’t know they are there with using less. It does add to the richness of the gravy, so I wouldn’t skip unless you despise sun dried tomatoes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks A – glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Paula T Manion wrote:

    Can I cook this in a clay pot baker.? I don’t have a Dutch oven. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Paula – I have not admit, we don’t have a lot of experience with cooking in a clay pot baker. I suspect, however, that it would work great for this recipe. (Please let us know how it comes out!)

  • Peter wrote:

    I have made this twice. Amazing recipe! Make sure you salt the meat well before brownig it. The first time I used two bay leaves as the recipe calls for. The next time I used four and it turned out better. If I make it again I might consider leaving out the sundried tomatoes because they tend to be a bit cloying for my taste. I served this for a dinner with two other couples and the enjoyed it as well. Made both pasta and quinoa (wife cannot eat wheat) to serve the sauce over, either one was yummy.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestions Peter! Glad you enjoyed the pot roast!

  • Gio wrote:

    Please correct the Italian name is
    “STRACOTTO di manzo“
    The way you wrote it is almost a bad word in Italian…..
    Cotto means cooked , STRA means “a lot “ as used in conjunction with another word to form a new one, so here you have it : stracotto= cooked a lot.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh thank you Gio – it’s fixed! (I had another reader correct my earlier spelling, which I also appreciate, and I fixed the wrong letter and made it even worse!) I try…thanks again!

  • Larry Gaines wrote:

    Going to try making this in my Instant Pot. I am not fond of using a Dutch Ocen and I got rid of the crock pot/ slow cooker

    • Martha wrote:

      Please let us know how it comes out Larry!

  • Lelia Tucker wrote:

    The Italian spelling of overcooked is STRACOTTO not STRACATTO

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lelia! (I’ll fix!)

  • Dianne wrote:

    This looks like a great recipe! Will try it next weekend. Just love oven roasted meats.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dianne – Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Ursula goldsmith wrote:

    Can this be cooked in the crock pot after its browned?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ursula – We actually answered that exact question in our post! Here’s what we wrote:

      Can I make this in a slow cooker?

      Yes – but you’ll get the best caramelized flavor, as well as the best roasted texture by making this Italian Pot Roast in the oven, rather than a slow cooker (which essentially steams the food).

      If you do decide to make this Italian Pot Roast in a slow cooker, you’ll still want to do all of the initial searing and sautéing steps in a skillet first.

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