Classic pot roast with tender braised beef and chunky carrots and potatoes is loaded with comforting flavor and is easy to make. Since it calls for a relatively inexpensive cut of beef, it’s also budget-friendly making it a real homerun!

Overhead shot of fully cooked pot roast and vegetables in Dutch oven.


I believe every home cook should have a pot roast recipe they turn to when the weather cools down and comfort food is on the brain.

My classic pot roast recipe is not only easy to make, but the methods I highlight below help yield maximum flavor, super tender beef, and the best pot roast sauce you’ve ever had!

Beef pot roast is great served with a side of green vegetables, such as roasted broccoli or honey balsamic Brussels sprouts.

And even though my pot roast recipe includes potatoes, you can opt to serve it over roasted garlic mashed potatoes instead.

A little horseradish sauce on the side would also be great!

While classic pot roast is wonderful for quiet evenings at home, it’s also a great option for dinner parties and holidays including Christmas Day!

Recipe Ingredients

Most ingredients for this recipe are shown in the pic below and special notes are made in this bulleted list to assist you.

Ingredients shown: carrots, onions, red wine, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, beef stock, potatoes, olive oil, thyme, bay leaves, chuck roast, and garlic.
  • Chuck roast. I use chuck roast because its fat profile makes it uniquely suited for pot roast. You can also use leaner roasts such as rump roast, top round, and bottom round.
  • Beef stock. I used my homemade beef stock for this recipe, but you can also use low-sodium store-bought beef stock, or make a quick stock using beef base, such as Better than Bullion brand.
  • Red wine. Opt for a dry red wine such as cabernet, merlot, or chianti. If you can’t have alcohol, you can replace the wine with additional stock.
  • Potatoes. Use small waxy potatoes such as Yukon Golds or red potatoes since they tend to hold their shape better after hours of braising.
  • Tomato paste. Canned or tubed paste adds great body to the pot roast.
  • Worcestershire sauce. This adds great flavor to many beef recipes!
  • Thyme. Tie up your thyme sprigs for easy removal.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour is added to thicken the sauce. If you prefer to not use flour, refer to the other thickening suggestions in step 12 below.

See the recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325f and set the rack to the middle of the oven allowing enough room to accommodate a Dutch oven and its lid. Chop 8 cloves of garlic and slice 2 large onions into large pieces. Cut 2 pounds of carrots and 1 1/2 pounds of small potatoes into large chunks. Mince 3 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley and set aside (Photo #1).
Pot roast recipe collage number one showing cut vegetables and seasoning chuck roast.
  1. Using kitchen twine, tie up a 4-pound chuck roast, or ask your butcher to tie it up for you. Heat a large pan to medium heat, then pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels and season with 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (Photo #2).
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan along with the chuck roast and sear until browned on all sides (about 15 minutes total). Remove from the pan and allow the roast to rest on a plate (Photo #3).
Recipe collage group two showing searing of chuck roast and deglazing pan.
  1. Add 1/2 cup of homemade beef stock (or low sodium storebought beef stock) to the pan and use a flat wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits from the pan. Add the pan sauce to a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of beef stock and set aside (Photo #4).
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat and add 1/4 cup of olive oil along with the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent (Photo #5).
Recipe collage group three showing sauteing of onions and garlic and adding tomato paste.
  1. Add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes, then add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and mix for about 1 minute or until the white flour specks are gone (Photo #6).
  2. Add the beef stock, 1 1/2 cups of dry red wine, 10 sprigs of thyme (tied), 2 large bay leaves, and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce to the pot and bring to a boil while stirring to break up any clumps of flour (Photo #7).
Recipe collage group four showing boiling sauce and then adding seared chuck roast to Dutch oven.
  1. After 2 minutes of boiling, add the roast to the pot (Photo #8).
  2. Cover the pot and place into the oven to roast for 1 1/2 hours (Photo #9).
Recipe collage group five showing covering Dutch oven lid and grabbing with gloves and also adding potatoes and carrots to pot.
  1. After 11/2 hours, remove the pot and uncover it. Quickly add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and cover again. Return it to the oven for another 2-2 1/2 hours (Photo #10).
  2. After 2 1/2 hours or once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 200-210f, remove the pot from the oven (Photo #11).
Recipe collage group six showing finished pot roast and platter with pot roast and vegetables along with pot and just sauce.
  1. Transfer the pot roast, carrots, and potatoes to a serving plate and tent with foil. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme. If desired, de-grease the sauce by using a ladle to remove the fat, or by laying paper towels on top of the sauce to absorb some of the fat. By this point, the sauce will be quite thick thanks to the flour, but to make it even thicker, use an immersion blender or ladle the sauce into a countertop blender to blend the softened onions and a few potatoes. You can also heat the pot with sauce over medium-high heat to reduce it until it coats the back of a spoon or use a slurry of flour and water or cornstarch and water. (Photo #12). The roast can be shredded or cut into chunks and mixed with sauce before serving. Discard any large pieces of fat before serving, and season the carrots and potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the parsley, serve, and enjoy!
White plate with vegetables and piece of pot roast torn open by fork.

Top tips

  • Tie the beef. Use kitchen twine to tie up the roast or ask your butcher to tie it for you. Doing so will create a more even shape of the roast which will allow for even searing and braising.
  • Use homemade stock. To achieve restaurant quality taste, I suggest using homemade beef stock. You’ll get superior results every time!
  • Serving. I like to cut the pot roast into chunks and serve it on a plate with a few carrots and potatoes topped with the thickened pot roast sauce. If preferred, you can shred all the pot roast before serving and toss with the sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should vegetables be on the top or bottom of pot roast?

I recommend adding the vegetables (carrots and potatoes) to the top and sides of your pot roast and only do so after the roast has cooked for the first 1 1/2 hours so that they do not get too mushy.

What’s the best way to thicken my pot roast sauce?

I used flour to thicken the sauce, but you can omit it and opt for another method. Once the pot roast is fully cooked, transfer it to a plate along with the vegetables. The sauce will be left in the pan and can either be heated over medium-high heat to thicken, or you can use an immersion blender or ladle into a countertop blender and puree a few potatoes along with the sauce to thicken it.

You can also make a slurry using 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch and a few tablespoons of water or 2-3 tablespoons of flour and water, mix together, and add to the simmering sauce. The cornstarch mix will thicken it more quickly (1 minute) than the flour slurry (~3 minutes) and cornstarch has about double the thickening power of flour.

Large white platter with pot roast, carrots, potatoes, and blue napkin and serving spoon on the side.

More comforting beef recipes

  • Shepherd’s Pie – the classic with ground lamb, peas, carrots, and Guinness.
  • Prime rib – tender and juicy slow-roasted beef with au jus.
  • Classic Chili – with ground beef, beans, ancho, and chipotle chiles, and a touch of chocolate.
  • Salisbury Steak – ground beef patties with a mushroom brown gravy.
  • Meatloaf with Brown Gravy – with ground beef and a delicious meatloaf brown gravy.
  • Hungarian Goulash – chunks of beef with potatoes, carrots, and peppers in a flavorful paprika-forward broth.

If you’ve enjoyed this Classic Pot Roast recipe or any recipe on this site, give it a 5-star rating and tell us about it in the comments below.

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Classic Pot Roast

4.91 from 22 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Classic pot roast is the ultimate comfort food dish. Tender braised beef, potatoes, and carrots marry together in the most flavorful sauce!

Ingredients 

  • 4 pound chuck roast tied
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions cut into large pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock divided
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 sprigs thyme tied
  • 1 1/2 pounds red or small yellow potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 2 pounds carrots cut into 3-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley minced, garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325f and set the rack in the middle of the oven to accommodate a Dutch oven with its lid.
  • Heat a large pan to medium heat. Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan along with the chuck roast. Sear until browned on all sides (about 15 minutes total) then remove the roast to a plate.
  • Add a 1/2 cup of beef stock to the pot and scrape off all of the browned bits. Pour the pan sauce into the same vessel as the remaining beef stock and set aside.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven to medium heat, add the olive oil and onions along with a pinch of salt, and cook until translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes then add the flour and mix until all of the white specks have vanished (about 1 minute).
  • Add the red wine, beef stock, thyme, bay leaves, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot and bring to a boil while stirring to break up any flour clumps. Boil for 2 minutes then turn off the heat and add the roast back to the pot and cover. Place into the oven to roast.
  • After 1 1/2 hours, remove the pot and uncover it. Quickly add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and cover again. Return to the oven for another 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 200-210f.
  • Place the pot roast and veggies on a plate and tent with foil. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme bundle from the Dutch oven.
  • To de-grease the sauce, lay paper towels on top of the sauce to absorb the fat then discard or use a ladle to skim some of the fat.
  • The sauce will usually be quite thick from the added flour, but for an even thicker sauce, simply use an immersion blender to blend the softened onions and a few potatoes. Alternatively, heat just the pot with the sauce over medium-high heat to reduce until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon. Or make a slurry of 2 tablespoons flour and 1/4 cup of water. Pour into the simmering sauce and stir for a few minutes until adequately thickened.
  • The roast can be shredded or cut into chunks and mixed with the sauce. Any large pieces of fat can be discarded right before serving. Season the carrots and potatoes with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Chuck roast makes the best pot roast due to its unique fat profile, but other leaner roasts such as rump roast, top round, and bottom round can also be used.  
  • Many people will enjoy the pot roast sauce as is and will not need to make a thicker gravy.  If you do enjoy a thicker sauce, by all means, follow the instructions to boil and/or add a slurry of flour and water.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated in the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 944kcal | Carbohydrates: 46.6g | Protein: 105.9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 305mg | Sodium: 1260mg | Potassium: 2115mg | Fiber: 8.6g | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 13mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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42 Comments

  1. Karen M says:

    5 stars
    We just served this dish to family and it was outstanding. The night before, we prepared the roast up to the step before adding the carrots and potatoes and then put in the fridge overnight. The next day we removed the fat from the top, warmed the pot on the stovetop briefly, added the veg and popped it into the oven. This allowed us time to relax and enjoy our guests. Served with homemade biscuits and crusty bread. The boys had seconds. The gravy is so good! One of our nephews poured gravy into his bowl and dunked crusty bread into it as his third helping.

    We love your YouTube channel! Thanks for the excellent recipes with clear detailed instructions. We learn something every time. Making the chicken salad later on today.

    1. Tara says:

      We are so happy you and your family enjoyed, Karen, and thank you for the comment!

  2. Kristina says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is our family’s go-to pot roast dish. I’ve honestly never liked pot roast until making this recipe. The only thing we do differently is omit the potatoes in the Dutch oven and cook mashed potatoes on the side.

    1. Tara says:

      Hi Kristina, that’s great to hear! Thanks for the comment and we’re so happy you love this recipe!

  3. Louise Tripoli says:

    5 stars
    Living alone now, I haven’t made a pot roast in at least 10 years. I have a feeling this recipe will break my fast lol. Thank you James.

  4. Ronald Cavallo says:

    5 stars
    Looks Delicious love Gravy