Italian Beef

Maybe it’s because I’m fairly close to Chicago, maybe it’s because I can totally see myself as a little old Italian woman in another life. I’m not sure, but I am going to tell you right now. I love Italian Beef, a whole lot! This recipe isn’t so much about lightening it up. It’s meat with flavor. You season it right, you portion it out, and you’re golden. I make this meal at least twice a month and I’ve been eating a version of this since I was younger! My mom was the same, there was always a pot of Italian beef on our menu at least once a month if not more and we always looked forward to it! The secret to making a really good pot of Italian beef is slowly cooking it for a very long period of time. I use the slow cooker because in my world, that is the easiest way to slow cook something without worrying about it on the stove. I put this in the slow cooker before I go to bed the evening before having it for dinner the next day. Doing this ensures the most tender and flavorful beef on this side of the Mississippi… I promise. It’s always funny to me that Italian Beef is not a thing everywhere. Some people have never tasted a good ol Italian Beef sandwich and to me that’s blasphemy! I shared a photo of a pot full not too long ago on an Instagram post and some friends were calling it Mississippi Pot Roast. Friends, this is not Mississippi Pot Roast! I’ve actually never tried that recipe, but I know it calls for a stick of butter and ranch dressing mix. It sounds pretty dang delicious, but I know there’s no way it tastes like a delicious pot of Italian Beef, but you know what, maybe it’s the Italian Beef of the South! I can jump on board with that idea. I honestly couldn’t believe that I haven’t shared this with you yet, mostly because it is such a staple meal in our home. I hope y’all love it so much! Another reason I love this pot o’ beef is because it can be so versatile. I use it in a number of different ways over a couple of days throughout the week, even though sandwiches are our personal favorite. Sometimes, when I am trying to eat a little less carbs I grab a bowl, place some beef inside and top with a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. Honestly, I’ve only tried doing a low carb diet a few times and this recipe it ALWAYS on the menu when I am attempting it.  Oh! Don’t forget the pepperoncinis! Mmmm mmm, goodness it’s good. Another way I enjoy this is on top of a bed of rice or mashed potatoes! It’s delicious and I’m so glad I’ve perfected it because I believe everyone should have a really good Italian Beef recipe in their arsenal. Now if you don’t have one, here you go! My gift to you. Enjoy!

In just a few quick minutes you’ll…

Grab a beef chuck roast. Some people use bottom round roast too. I personally like the chuck roast more!

Excuse the photo- odd, I know, but trim as much of the fat off that you can! I find there’s really only a few spots, and it’s pretty easy to trim.

Place it in a slow cooker.

Sprinkle this stuff on top of the roast!

Then add a little salt, a little pepper, a few cloves of chopped garlic, a bayleaf, and some pepperoncinis!

Pour in about three cups of low sodium beef broth. Don’t mix it up, just put the cover on and forget about it. Literally, forget about it for at least 16 hours. I’ve honestly left it in there for almost 24 hours before and it is just as tender as can be.

Not super photogenic after 16 hours, but holy cow, have you smelled your house? It tastes even better than the smell. I promise.

Remove from the liquid and shred it with two forks! Resist the urge to try it, ha! I’m just kidding. I totally can’t. Add about 1 cup of the broth from the slow cooker and mix it in. The beef will soak it up and add even more flavor.

And you’re done! The ways to eat it are positively endless, Stuff it in a toasty roll with some mozzarella, scoop it on top of a mountain of Homestyle Tater Cauli Mash, or just all by it’s lonesome because it’s really that delicious.

Fun Fact: When we go to order a Italian Beef somewhere you can ask for it “Dipped” I personally don’t do it this way, but my mama and Eric cannot have it any other way. So, If you’re making a sandwich go ahead and “dip it” in the broth in the crockpot and enjoy life to it’s fullest.

mmmmmm.. mountain of Italian Beef…

I’ll admit I took a few too many close ups of the sandwich I had for dinner the other night, but ya guys just don’t understand yet. It’s so delicious. I can’t wait for you to find out for yourselves. Let me know if you like it and I hope you enjoy!


With love from my kitchen to yours, 


4.94 from 15 votes

Italian Beef

Slow cooked, tender, beef full of savory Italian flavor.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 16 hours


  • 3 lb boneless chuck roast , trimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 packet Italian dressing seasoning mix
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup pepperoncinis + extra for garnish , optional
  • 3 cups beef broth , low sodium if available


  1. In a slow cooker place chuck roast and top with kosher salt, pepper, Italian seasoning packet, minced garlic, bay leaf, and pepperoncinis. Pour beef broth over it. Cover, set to low, and cook for 16-20 hours.

Recipe Notes

Serving Size: 3 oz

5 Freestyle Smart Points (calculated with Weight Watchers Recipe Builder)

5 Smart Points (calculated with Weight Watchers Recipe Builder)

4 Points Plus (calculated with My Score Plus app)

168 calories 11g fat, 4.9g saturated fat, 0 carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 0 sugar, 16.3g protein (calculated with My Fitness Pal)


  1. Kelly Hudson

    I’m loving everything you have put out! I’m running out of endless options please keep them coming!

  2. I’ve heard of but never had Italian beef. I’m going to try it this week. I am from Louisiana; I have also never heard of Mississippi Pot Roast. It does not sound very good to me, so I won’t try that one. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. I LOVE Italian beef sandwiches so much and every time I’m in or near Chicago I HAVE to get one (I’m from MA). So excited to try this recipe out!!

  4. Oh gosh, Star, I am so excited about this! I’ve been dreaming of Italian Beef since eating at Portillo’s last June. Thank you so much!!!!

  5. This looks really good! Quick question, does it have to be cooked for 16 hours or would it be ok to start it in the morning before work and have it for dinner?

    • It more than likely will not be tender if it’s only cooking for 8-10 hours. The key with roasts is to cook them low and slow. I’d start it the night before for the absolute best results. =)

  6. I’m from CT and I’ve never heard of Italian beef but this looks delicious!! Making it this week

    • Hope you enjoy!

      • I don’t know what took me so long to make this but WOW. Easiest roast I have ever made and by far the most delicious. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers today! Thanks for all of the easy, awesome recipes that keep me on track with Weight Watchers

  7. Girl, that sounds SO freakin good! I’d eat that right up! Pinning for later, thanks for sharing!

  8. I just put this in the crockpot, can’t wait to try it! I should have asked before I did this but do you put the pepperocinis in with some of their juice? I probably added a few tablespoons worth before I realized it didn’t specify if I should drain the peppers first. Oops! Just curious. Thanks!

    • Hi Natalie! I don’t put them in with juice, but I don’t think it should matter too much. I hope you enjoyed! I will specify in the recipe though. Thanks!

  9. We had this for dinner last night, I cooked it for 18 hours and “Oh My Goodness!” This recipe was delicious! All my family loved it, I made it with 3 sp mashed potatoes (if you are on weight watchers) and carrots. This will definitely have to be a monthly meal . Love the crock pot recipes!

  10. GOOD LORD!!!! I made this today and just took a bite! Just like my mama used to make! YUM YUM YUM!!!!!

    • That makes me so happy! I love when my recipes bring a sense of nostalgia to people. Thanks for the comment!

  11. This looks so good. Am going to make it. Question. What kind of bread would u recommend for weight watchers smart points for a sandwich

    • Hi Marlene! I use S. Rosens French Bread rolls for sandwiches like this. I follow the Smart Points plan and they are each 5 SP for a huge roll. I’ve seen people do open faced sandwiches using half the roll and a lot of people just use wheat sandwich bread (Sara Lee I believe is the brand) for 2 Sp and love them!

  12. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This Illinois girl married a Southerner that had never heard of Italian Beef until he met me. He’s baffled as well as to why the rest of the country doesn’t join in on this yummy dish. Now that I’m following WW Smart Points, I never thought I would find Italian Beef as a meal option. Never even thought to calculate my own mom’s recipe. Yours is pretty darn close to hers. Yay! Italian Beef is back on the menu in this house!

    • I ALWAYS think of Italian Beef as a “splurge” meal, but thankfully sometimes I decide to check just to see how much I am splurging and I realized not long ago that I wasn’t really splurging at all! It’s amazing what just one or two tweaks and portioning can do. I’m so happy your southern hubby enjoys this! I’m still baffled as to why this isn’t a thing every where too!

  13. Gonna try this for sure. Making my shopping list and noticed there was no onion. Have you tried with onion and if so how much?

    • Hi! (I just saw it’s already in your crockpot tonight with your most recent comment) I have never made it with onions before. I’ve surprisingly never even thought to add them! I would probably start with a medium thinly sliced onion if I was going to try it out though. =)

  14. Have this cooking in my slow cooker tonight. Can’t wait to see how this tastes.

  15. I’m super excited to try this recipe! Could I make this in the instant lot?

  16. Sara Wierimaa

    I made this and it was delicious! My fiancee love it as well. I was nervous to cook it so long but it turned out perfect and so flavorful. We will definitely be making again.

  17. Oh. My. Goodness. You guys, this is RIDICULOUSLY good. I made it for dinner last night, cooked it about 18 hours and then put the crockpot on warm until we were ready to eat. MY fiance was super excited when I told him we had enough for sandwiches today too. Im so glad I found your blog! I’ve also made your Biscuits and Gravy bake and HOLY COW, its delish! I ended up misreading the ingredients and I used a 17.5oz can of biscuits instead of ONE 7.5oz can. Whoops! I’ll be making it again witht the correct can though. =]

    • I am so happy you liked it, Jenny! Thanks so much for stopping by and giving it a review. I will have a look at B&G recipe and write it more clearly because I feel like a few people have done that now. I’m sorry about that! I’m so happy you enjoyed still though!

  18. How do you toast your bread and melt the mozzarella so perfectly in the photos?

    • Umm I can’t remember the exact temp and time for this one, but I cut the roll in half put the sandwich open faced in the oven meat and cheese on one side. I usually do 400 for about 10-12 minutes so I am guessing that’s what I did. =)

  19. Made this tonight for my hubby’s birthday and it was a hit! Thank-you!!

  20. I made this for dinner tonight and it was so delicious! Even my picky husband liked it, he ate three sandwiches.

  21. This looks wonderful. I have not heard of Italian beef. Are the pepperoncicis hot? I’m not a big fan of hot or spicy foods. Could you use red and green peppers?

  22. I have been making a lot of your recipes. Last night was the Cajun chicken sausage and rice. So good. Tonight is this. Have you ever doubled this recipe to serve at parties?

  23. Have made this once before and it is easy and tastes spectacular!! Just put it on in the slow cooker so it’s going to be on the menu this week. Warms up/toasts very nicely in the toaster oven on 1/2 sheet of lavash (1 point) or a light flat out (2 points). Thank you so much for the delicious, easy recipes that already have the WW points calculated.

  24. Can the left overs be frozen? It’s jist me and my husband and I don’t want it to go to waste. Or is there another recipe that I can use the leftover meat in? Making this tonight, can’t wait for supper tomorrow!

  25. Debra manino

    I made this and it was absolutely delicious. We are having a Super Bowl party with lots of people and I wanted to make this for one of the dishes. Have you ever doubled the recipe in one crockpot and use 6 pounds of meat?

  26. How do you set your crock pot to 16 hours? Do you just reset it when you wake up in the morning? Mine only goes to 10 hours then goes onto the warm setting.
    Thank you!

    • You can just set it to low then use a seperate kitchen timer or timer on your phone instead of setting the crockpot timer =)

  27. I am making this for our super bowl party and I am so excited to try it! I doubled the recipe with 5 pounds of roast. My house smells amazing!!!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  28. I couldn’t not comment on this. I made it for the first time over the weekend. It cooked for about ~17 hours total from Saturday into Sunday. The house smelled delicious! The taste was INCREDIBLE. So incredible that when my husband stepped away from his sandwich to fill the dog’s water bowl, I snuck a bite. This is incredibly flavorful and worth the wait. I am using the leftovers to make a skinny philly cheese steak pizza. And let’s be honest.. eat the rest with my hands.

    • I am SO happy you loved this recipe! It’s a true family favorite and something I’ve enjoyed since I was young! I’ve eaten my FAIR SHARE straight out of the pot with my hands too. haha!

  29. Love all your recipes, they are not necessarily “diet” foods otherwise my husband wouldn’t touch it. He’s so excited to eat this tomorrow. I am going to start it tonight before bed and let it cook through during the work day tomorrow. Good to know the longer the better, just curious if it really needs 3 cups of liquid because I always feel like my crockpot has so much liquid when I’m done cooking.

    Anyway, thanks keep posting pics on Instagram. I’m a huge fan, I feel like such a stalker but I need your creativity to get through weight watchers!

    • Hi there Halley! I am SO happy you and your husband are enjoying the recipes. I don’t really like to feel like I am eating “diet food” on a daily basis so I really try to make food that fits into a healthier lifestyle that can be attainable every day! Don’t feel like a stalker. Your support means the world to me.
      Also, Yes, I use the 3 cups of beef broth and I feel as if there’s no very much left over in the pan after it’s done cooking. I would use it to be sure, but if you find it is too much maybe decrease it to two cups.
      I hope you love it! Thanks again

  30. I made this over night last night and woke up to an amazing aroma throughout the house. The beef is perfecty flavoured and oh so tender. Can’t wait to have it later on a nice crusty bun with some sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic mayo!

  31. How many servings does the 3lb roast make? Is the serving size weighed after it’s been cooked? I want to make this for next week’s meal prep and trying to figure out how many servings I’ll get.

    • Hi Ally! It depends a little on how much “fat” you cut off of a 3 lb roast. I do weight after it is cooked because of this it doesn’t change by much, but it does change enough that I didn’t want to specify the servings. I’d say you should safely get 6 servings out of with no problem, there might be a lil extra! I hope you love this one. Let me know how it goes.

  32. Phyllis Kidd

    I am from SC, born & raised. I had a coworker from Chicago, she talked about Italian Beef so descriptively that I could almost taste it! And…I’d still like to go to Chicago just to have it. I’m definitely making this as soon as possible. Thank you! (I think)

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