Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Is it decadent to eat pot roast in the middle of the week? Perhaps if you are a roast-on-Sunday purist, sort of like me, then roast in the middle of the week might seem a bit sacrilegious. If it’s cooked in a crock-pot does it become more acceptable to have it midweek?

I used to make a roast almost every Sunday for years. I would pop it into the oven before Church and then come home to the most wonderful smell. The odor would have filtered its way into the garage and as we would get out of the car we would all start getting so excited about what awaited us inside the house. While the roast finished cooking, I would make some No-Knead Dinner Rolls and a salad to complete our meal.

I miss those pot roast Sundays and sitting here writing this post I am not really sure why they stopped — maybe because my family grew up and sometimes it would just be John and me for Sunday dinner. I had been used to making a rather large meal; some of us liked a lot of meat and others of us loved lots of carrots, onions, and/or potatoes. For some mysterious reason, the carrots were an all around favorite. It was common for me to use 15-20 carrots for just the five of us and not have more than a few pieces for left overs the next day.

Roast and slow cookers were kind of made for each other. Slow cooking allows for a tougher cut of meat to become fall apart tender, it frees the oven for other uses, and it makes dinner while the cook’s away! Oooooo…making dinner while the cook’s away…how delectable.

There are a few key elements to having a tasty, successful slow cooker roast:

  1. Brown the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker. Browning enriches the flavor of the meat and infuses the resultant cooking liquid in the slow cooker.
  2. Put the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker with the meat on top. This serves as a sort of ‘rack’ and holds the meat up out of the greater portion of the cooking liquid. Additionally, the onions add lots of flavor to the juices which becomes the GRAVY! Laaaaaaaaa!!!!!!
  3. Add only a small amount of cooking liquid. The meat, onions, and vegetables will give up their own juices to add to the cooking liquid.
  4. I know that there are a lot of people who are extremely averse to canned cream soups. I contend that canned cream soups have their place in American family cooking. I feel sorry for these soups because they are being treated as if they belong in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”.  However, if you want a really tasty, very easy gravy, cook the roast with 2 cans of cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup and a packet of onion soup mix. This mixture thickens the juices and makes a delicious gravy. I use the low fat/low sodium versions of Campbell’s® brand soup. I am not promoting Campbell’s® brand, just merely stating that it is my soup of preference.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, outside fat trimmed
  • 3 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into approximately 3-inch pieces (or cut carrot into thirds)
  • 6 red potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • onion powder, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 cans Campbell's cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup ( I use the low fat/low sodium, "Healthy Request" soup. I am mentioning Campbell's by name only because I have found it to be the best tasting brand.)
  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  • about 1/2 soup can of water


  1. Sprinkle each side of the roast with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to the skillet. Place the roast in the hot oil and brown on both sides. Allow approximately 3 minutes per side.
  3. Put the cut onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. If you prefer to have the garlic flavor the meat only, then place it in the bottom of the slow cooker with the onions. However, if you like to have a garlic flavor in the vegetables and the meat, then scatter the garlic on top along with the potatoes and carrots. Your choice. One more thing--if you are a fan of garlic, you may want to use a few more cloves of smashed garlic--some for the bottom and some for the top. Ooooooo, you rebel.
  4. Place the roast on top of the onions.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the cream soups and the onion soup mix. Stir in water. Pour over top of roast.
  6. Put the carrots and red potatoes on top of the roast along with the garlic, if you have not already put the garlic on the bottom with the onions.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.
  8. Cover slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours. ( It takes a full 10 hours in my slow cooker for the vegetables to get tender, but still with a touch of firmness. The vegetables should not be mushy.)
  9. Serve with a simple tossed salad and rolls or some crusty bread. If you are looking for an easy homemade roll, try these No-Knead Dinner Rolls

You may also like:

German-Style Pot Roast
German-Style Pot Roast
Roasted Herbed Chicken and Vegetables
Roasted Herbed Chicken and Vegetables
Pork Loin Roast with Fruit, Honey, and Bacon Sauce
Pork Loin Roast with Fruit, Honey, and Bacon Sauce



  1. says

    Me too–I could also eat this any old day of the week! I wouldn’t have the heart to restrict this deliciousness to Sundays-only.

  2. Anonymous says

    you mention 2-3 smashed garlic cloves in the ingredients list but never mention them in the directions. sounds yummy!

    • says

      Hmmmm…you’re absolutely right. Thanks for the catch. You can do one of two things with the garlic: 1)Put it in the bottom of the slow cooker with the onions; 2)scatter it over the roast along with the vegetables. If the garlic is put on the bottom with the onions, then mostly the meat will get the garlicky flavor. If you like the vegetables and the meat to get the garlicky flavor, then put the garlic on top along with the vegetables. It’s a very flexible meal. I’ll update the post to include the garlic. 🙂

  3. Patia Russell says

    I was looking for a recipe similar to the one my grandmother cooked when I was growing up. She is older now and doesn’t cook anymore and can not remember how she used to cook things. But this is the closest recipe I have found. She used one can of campbells cream of mushroom and one can of campbell’s cream of chicken along with the onion soup mix and baked in the oven. I have to say that there is no comparison for flavor. I absolutely love this pot roast. I am just sad that I can not fit more then one roast in my crockpot at a time. I have a large family so we need two roasts. Do you have any suggestions of tempurature for slow cooking in the oven??? I am going to try 225 tonight I hope it works.

    • says

      Hi, Patia. Yes, I absolutely do have temperature suggestions for you. I just used this recipe to make pot roast in the oven for dinner yesterday! I’ve made pot roast in the oven this way literally hundreds of times. 🙂

      The best temp I have found is 275-degress F for about 4 hours. This works well for “family size” pot roasts. Everything gets done perfectly and the roast is “falling apart tender”. When I am making this pot roast recipe for larger amounts of people, I have often increased the amount of soup to make more gravy. Because the lid of my roasting pan does not provide a tight seal, I cover the roasting pan tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and then push the lid down on top of the foil. It works great for holding in the moisture. If you have any other questions, I am happy to answer them. Let me know how things work for you on this recipe. ~Terri

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