Slow Cooker Italian Beef

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef recipe has incredibly tender shredded beef infused with Italian flavors and au jus that drips with delight in every mouthful. 

Slow Cooker Italian Beef is my “free pass” in life when I don’t have any time or energy to make something fancy and, by design, takes the least effort possible.

While my recipe always resulted in Italian seasoned, perfectly tender shredded beef, my phone didn’t start blowing up from people raving about how good it was and asking for the recipe. Nor did I expect it to. It’s the dish I throw together when I don’t know what to make and know it is easily customized with toppings to suit anyone’s palate. 

ingredients for Italian beef in different size bowls surrounding a chuck roast

Last year, though, I accidentally made my Shredded Italian Beef recipe even better. So much so, people haven’t stopped talking about it. This is the point where I smile hesitantly and hate to admit that I buy bottled jars and dump them into a slow cooker with beef chunks and leave it alone to cook all day. It is the epitome of a Midwestern crockpot recipe that no one noticed, until now.

Now, I’ve begun wondering how popular this recipe will become in my inner circle. Will I have to call dibs on the recipe so no one else makes it? Or worse, come up with a new “dump” recipe altogether? The competitive side is coming out in me, and all I have to say is, game on. Oh, and here is the recipe (finally).

Italian beef on a piece of Italian bread on a plate with an extra piece of bread on the side

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is your ultimate no-nonsense recipe. No searing. No homemade sauces or condiments. Beef chuck is cut into chunks and seasoned with Italian spices before bathing in canned pepperoncini peppers, Chicago-style giardiniera mix, and beef broth for as many hours as you can allow. The result is incredibly tender shredded beef infused with Italian flavors and au jus that sinks into the sandwich bread with delight. Just remember to grab a napkin.

Possible Substitutions

SPICES. In lieu of making your own spice mix, you can use an Italian dressing packet such as Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix.

MILD CHICAGO-STYLE GIARDINIERA. If you like your Italian shredded beef extra spice, feel free to use Hot Chicago style giardiniera.

How to make slow cooker Italian beef

  1. Gather your ingredients and let the meat rest to room temperature. Cut the beef into large chunks.

    cut up chuck roast with pepperoncini peppers and salt on the side

  2. Stir the seasonings and salt together and sprinkle them over the beef.

    seasoned chuck roast with salt and homemade Italian spice mix

  3. Add the seasoned beef, Pepperoncini Peppers, Giardiniera, and beef broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

    seasoned chuck roast, pepperoncini peppers, and Giardiniera in a slow cooker bowl

  4. Shred the beef and keep warm in the slow cooker until ready to serve.

Ways to use leftover Italian Beef

This Italian beef goes way beyond just sandwiches or alone. It also works great over rice, with eggs for breakfast, or in Italian beef soup. If your creativity runs out, rest assured, this Italian beef freezes beautifully.

FAQ’S about Slow Cooker Italian Beef

What cut of beef is best for slow cooking?

A chuck roast or arm roast works best here. Look for a cut that has nice marbling, and doesn’t have a large fat cap. If the roast has a lot of fat, I recommend trimming this off before placing the beef in the slow cooker.

Does the beef get more tender the longer you cook it in the slow cooker?

I recommend you cook the roast on low for 10 hours for pull-apart, tender meat. After this, turn the heat down to warm on the slow cooker and let the beef sit in the au jus if you have time.

Does the meat need to be submerged in the slow cooker?

No. Only a little bit of beef broth is needed in the bottom of the slow cooker to help keep the beef moist while cooking.

How do I store the Italian beef?

Make sure to store leftover Italian beef in its juices. Store in a air-tight container or freezer ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

Can I freeze leftover Italian Beef?

Yes! To freeze, cool the Italian Beef to room temperature and place it in a freezer zip-lock bag with its juices. Spread the beef mixture evenly in the bag so it lays flat. Seal the bag, making sure there are no air pockets in the bag. Place the bag flat in the freezer. Alternatively, freeze the beef mixture in a freezer-safe container with a lid, such as a glass food storage container. Keep frozen up to 3 months. 

How do I reheat the Italian beef?

To reheat in a slow cooker: Place the frozen Italian beef in a slow cooker, add 1/4 cup water or beef broth in the bottom, and cook on low for 8 hours. To reheat on the stove-top: Defrost the Italian beef in the refrigerator overnight, and reheat in a large heavy-bottom pot on medium-low, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture frequently to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning.

slow cooker Italian beef on a plate with a fork


Slow Cooker Italian Beef

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef recipe has incredibly tender shredded beef infused with Italian flavors and au jus that drips with delight in every mouthful. 

  • Author: Kim
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 hours
  • Total Time: 10 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free



For the spice mix:

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • pinch of celery seed 
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the Italian beef:

  • 8 oz Chicago-Style Italian Giardiniera Sandwich Mix, about 1/2 a 16oz  jar*
  • 2.53 lb chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 oz sliced pepperoncini peppers, about 1/2 a jar, drained*
  • 1 recipe Italian spice mix (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth


  1. Make the spice mix. Mix all of the spices in a small bowl until evenly combined.
  2. Drain the Giardiniera. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and place the giardiniera sandwich mix in the strainer. Let the oil strain from the giardiniera for 5 minutes. Discard the oil.
  3. Prepare the beef. Set the chuck roast on the counter and allow it to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of beef. Place the beef pieces in a 4 or 6 qt slow cooker with the pepperoncini peppers and the drained Giardiniera Sandwich Mix. Mix the beef mixture until thoroughly combined (your hands work great for this!). Pour the beef broth over the meat mixture into the slow cooker.
  4. Cook the beef. Cover and cook on low for at least 10 hours, until the beef is very tender and shreds easily. After 10 hours, shred the beef, discarding any excess fat. Return the beef to the slow cooker and turn the slow cooker to warm. Keep the Italian beef warm in the slow cooker until ready to serve. Alternatively, cool the Italian beef to room temperature and place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim the Italian beef of any excess fat and rewarm it on low heat in the slow cooker or in a 10-12-inch skillet on the stovetop until warm.
  5. Serve. Serve the beef alone or with Italian bread, and pickled jalapenos for an extra spicy kick. 


CONDIMENTS. Using homemade canned pepperoncini peppers or giardiniera is never a bad idea if you have them on hand


  • Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
  • Calories: 461 calories
  • Sugar: 1.6g
  • Sodium: 666mg
  • Fat: 17.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 63.2g
  • Cholesterol: 191 mg

Keywords: Italian beef sandwich, Chicago-style Italian beef

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag @frommarkettotable on Instagram or leave a comment below so I can see!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating