Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches
Slow cooker Italian beef is a one pot meal that’s so easy to make, you’ll put the ingredients into your slow cooker and forget about it … until the incredible aroma calls you back to the kitchen! Perfect for a family dinner or get-together, your guests will be coming back for seconds with these Italian beef sandwiches.
Slow cooker Italian beef is quick, easy and oh so savory. We love a great meal that just comes together with minimal effort and maximum flavor.
Slow Cooker Italian Beef 101
What cut of beef works best? Our go-to is a budget-friendly beef chuck roast. It’s a cut of meat that has ample cartilage in it, so it tastes best when it’s cooked low and slow to melt the fat, infusing so much flavor. In other words, it’s the perfect cut to make in a slow cooker!
Can I freeze Italian beef? If you’re going to have leftovers or just wanting to meal prep with freezer meals, you can definitely do that with your slow cooker Italian beef. First and foremost, allow your beef to fully cool. Portion out your beef into airtight containers or freezer bags WITH some of the juices from the cooker. Cooked meats freeze much better with juices or gravy to help maintain their moisture and keep from drying out.
How to make Italian Beef Sandwiches
Making recipe is truly the easiest thing ever! Just put your roast into a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Cover with beef stock, a few spices and a half of a jar of pepperoncinis or banana peppers.
After you’ve set the slow cooker to go for about 8 hours on low heat, you can go about your day.
It really is that easy. Shred and serve to a happy family. SOOOOO Yummi!
Check out our slow cooker BBQ sticky rice.
How to Shred Beef like a Pro
Take 2 forks and pull apart the meat, then you can pile it onto a plate or directly onto buns. Serve up the juices in the cooker to use as an Au Jus dipping sauce. Yum!
Another FANTASTIC trick is using a hand mixer by simply sticking your hand mixer into the beef to shred it QUICK.
If you’re preparing ahead of time for a party, you can shred and combine the juices back in an airtight container overnight in the refrigerator. Leave the mix in the fridge overnight and you’ll get a hard layer of fat on top, which you can pull right off to save quite a few excess calories.
From there you have a few options to reheat. Our favorite is to take your Italian Beef and juices and put it back into the slow cooker for a reheat and serve situation. Perfect for parties!
If you want to reheat just a portion, you can separate out the meat and drizzle a little of the juice back on before reheating.
What to serve with Slow Cooker Italian Beef
Another convenient part of this meal is its versatility. Pile onto buttered and toasted buns, layer over buttered mashed potatoes or gently place on a bed of fresh rice. You can’t go wrong.
Beef goes well with a lot of side dishes, but since this can be a party food, we like to pair with party friendly culinary companions.
Broccoli tater tots are a great way to add a healthy party friendly food to the mix. Taste amazing, totally count as eating your veggies!
Also party worthy (or just a family favorite to serve with), chips are always good with sandwiches. Try some caramelized french onion dip to go with! Coincidentally, this dip is also quite decadent ON your sandwich as well.
Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with some Homemade Cheddar Bisquick Biscuits. A cheesy infusion to compliment the savory Italian flavors perfectly!
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Slow Cooker Italian Beef
- 3-4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 16 ounces (2 liquid cups) organic low sodium beef stock
- ¾ cup jarred pepperoncinis plus their juice (I used sliced, but whole pepperoncini will work, too)
- 2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place roast into the bottom of a slow cooker. Cover with beef stock, pepperoncini, and spices. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low power for 7-8 hours, or until beef is tender and falling apart. Use two forks to shred the beef, making sure not to leave any large chunks. Serve on toasted buns immediately, or transfer meat and juices to the refrigerator. Allow to chill for several hours, or overnight. Skim hardened fat from the top of the roast, then use a strainer to separate the juices from the meat.
- Reserve the juice and reheat when ready to serve as an au jus dipping sauce. Reheat meat to an internal temperature of at least 165 before serving.
I haven’t made Italian beef in years! Your gorgeous photos have reminded me how much I love the stuff! Well done 🙂
Be careful, Lizzy. I made this Italian beef last week and Brian’s already asking me to make another batch. Can you say ADDICTIVE? 🙂
Italian Beef looks GREAT! And don’t throw away that hardened fat! Save it and use it in place of shortening in biscuits, and more! I keep mine in a mason jar in the refrigerator.
Thanks, Mary! You know, it’s funny that you mentioned keeping the beef fat. I don’t know why I don’t.. I always keep my bacon grease. Time for a head examination, I suppose! 😉
Yes, indeed you should start saving it! Beef Tallow and Pork Leaf Lard are awesome to bake with and contrary to what some may think, there is no “off taste” and it’s pure as pure can get!
I was literally just talking to my husband yesterday about how I need to start making some more crockpot meals during the week! This will probably make it into our rotation either this week or next!!
I’d love to know what you think of the Italian beef when you make it, Angie. It’s one of Brian’s favorite dinners.. and it’s SO easy!
I don’t think I’ve ever had this, but I love making stuff with my slow cooker in the fall (+ winter). 😀 Perfect weather for it!
Italian beef in the slow cooker is one of our favorite fall meals, Farrah. I hope you love the recipe!
Oooo this looks delicious! One pot meals are always the best and now I want to have this for lunch!
I hope you love the recipe, Connie! Italian beef is probably the easiest slow cooker meal ever!
I just love this! That meat looks so tender and who doesn’t love a one pot meal? Looking forward to making this!
It’s SO good, Caroline! I hope you love it as much as we do.
Wouldn’t you know it, but I’ve been craving a French Dip sandwich for days. I almost stopped and picked one up on the way home from work…but there’s no need for that when you are posting awesome recipes like this! Delicious!!
No need to crave that bad boy Italian beef any longer, Dave… head on over and let’s pig out!
Making thi stonight, not even kidding. Love the recipe, and that sandwich just looks so delicious!
I’d love to hear what you think of the recipe if you try it, Catalina! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Love Italian-style meat so much! This beef looks delicious- love the fact it’s also super easy to make! Bonus!
Try adding a packet of dried Italian dressing mix……then I Sautee some onion, green pepper and mushrooms and cover it in provolone and stick in the oven a minute until bubbly one of my favorite meals!
That sounds delicious, Carol!
How much of the pepperoncini juice do you use?
Slow cooker recipes are so great! Just dump in all the ingredients and come back to a delicious meal. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I’m looking forward to what you share this week. 🙂
I completely agree, CJ! While I do love being in the kitchen on most days, there are those certain, “get me out of here!” moments. When those happen, the slow cooker becomes my kitchen zen 🙂
I like a crock pot meal that’s easy to prepare and tasty too. There are some days when me and Hubby work different shifts and this is something that he can come home and eat without too much preparation on his part. This and a salad and it’s a meal.
This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.
Hey Simon! Great to “see” you again. Thanks so much for stopping by to look at my slow cooker Italian beef recipe. It’s an easy, hearty meal and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Cheers! Becca
Can I make this with brisket
James, you can definitely cook beef brisket in a slow cooker, and you could use this recipe to do so. The thing is, no matter how long you cook it, brisket doesn’t really shred and fall apart like this beef roast does. You’d be better off slicing it to serve on buns.
Thanks for the advice. I made it yesterday and everyone loved it . The brisket shredded beautifully. Thanks again will definitely make it again
I’m so glad to hear it, James! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂