Nothing says comfort food more than our Sunday best Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe. Mouthwatering bites of roast beef is braised in its rich juices until tender with earthy carrots, caramelized onions, and Yukon gold potatoes. This simple recipe is a timeless classic that is perfect for entertaining company or establishing a weekend tradition for your family.

Although this truly is a one-pot meal, we like to serve our pot roast with a fruit salad and dinner rolls with cinnamon honey butter for a special treat.

A large Dutch oven with pot roast, potatoes, and carrots.

My mother-in-law makes the best Yankee pot roast. The succulent roasted beef is always fork-tender while the vegetables soak up the savory broth that gets turned into a simple brown gravy to pour over the meat, if you're into that sort of thing. Which you should be because it's delicious.

The extra steps of searing your chuck roast and veggies before slow roasting in the oven makes a big difference in this hearty, homey meal. Also, using a Dutch oven makes this a foolproof pot roast recipe. I'll leave tips for how to use the slow cooker below, but the Dutch oven is my favorite method.

An overhead image of large chunks of roasted carrots, pot roast, and Yukon gold potatoes in a white serving bowl.

Why You'll Love Dutch Oven Pot Roast

  • Searing the meat caramelizes the edges for a delicious crust that also seals in the juices and really amplifies the meaty flavor. You want the pan to be really hot for the meat to sear rather than steam.
  • Perfect for every occasion. Sunday dinners, holidays, graduations, birthdays, you name it and a pot roast is a great celebratory meal.
  • Make-ahead friendly. Start it in the early afternoon or before you leave for church and it will be ready right on time for dinner a few hours later.
  • Simple pot roast seasoning. When you get the searing technique right, you really don't need much beyond salt and pepper to season a pot roast, but we like the additional depth of flavor from a couple of sprigs of rosemary and thyme thrown in with the broth.

Ingredient Notes

This is a quick overview of some of the important ingredients you'll need for this pot roast recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Beef Roast: Chuck roast is my favorite cut of beef for a pot roast. It's beautifully marbled with fat, which means lots of flavor, and it will pretty much fall apart by the time it's done. Round roast or brisket will also work. Brisket is fattier and can be sliced. Round roast is my least favorite because it's leaner and tends to dry out more easily, but it can be used if that's the only option available.
  • Carrots: I recommend using whole carrots cut into large chunks rather than baby carrots, which don't have nearly as good of flavor when roasted. You can substitute parsnips or turnips for carrots.
  • Tomato paste: Adds richness and depth.
  • Garlic & onions: The onions are cut into wedges and sauteed briefly in the same pot where the meat was seared to help caramelize them and bring out their natural sweetness before roasting.
  • Potatoes: Yukon golds are our favorite potatoes to go with pot roast because of their buttery flavor and texture that holds up better than Russets which tend to fall apart.
Homemade Sunday pot roast ingredients on a white surface.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Generously season the chuck roast with coarse kosher salt and black pepper. The salt will help develop that wonderful crust and this is a large piece of meat, so be liberal with your seasoning.
  2. Spread a small amount of flour on a large plate or pan and lay the roast on top of it, turning to coat all sides, then shaking off any excess flour. This thin dusting of flour helps develop the crust as well and protects the meat while searing.
  1. Heat a little oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot, then place the meat in it and sear for 3-5 minutes without moving until it's browned on the bottom. Carefully use tongs to lift and turn the meat to sear on the other side for another 3-5 minutes. Be sure to also sear the edges of the roast by holding it up with tongs and searing on each side until a nice browned crust has developed all over. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Leave any browned bits in the bottom of the pot and add the remaining oil to the Dutch oven along with the onions. Saute for 5 minutes until they start to soften and get a little browned in places. You may want to reduce the heat slightly if the onions start to burn around the edges.
  1. Add the carrots and garlic to the pot with the onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes. The point is really to just get a little color on the vegetables before you put everything together. The carrots should be thick or they end up mushy and overcooked. My mother-in-law adds whole carrots, but I like to cut them into 2-inch pieces. No need to peel them first as long as they are washed well.
  2. Season the vegetables with the remaining salt and pepper, then add the tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is evenly dispersed.
  1. Deglaze the pot by adding 1 cup of beef broth to the vegetables and continuing to cook over medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  2. Return the seared chuck roast to the pot, nestling it in with the vegetables, and add the remaining beef broth. Lay a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top (dried herbs will also work), then cover with a lid and transfer the Dutch oven to a preheated 300°F oven to cook slowly for 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of your roast. This technique of slow cooking in liquid is known as a braise.
  3. Remove the lid and add the potatoes to the Dutch oven. Place the lid back on and roast for 1 more hour, for a total of 3 to 4 hours until the veggies and potatoes are tender and the roast is practically falls apart with a fork.
  1. Use tongs to lift the pot roast out of the Dutch oven and transfer it to a serving platter. Likewise remove the carrots, potatoes, and onions and arrange them around the pot roast. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley for a little color.
  2. Make the gravy on the stovetop by pouring the remaining liquid through a fat separator, then return the juices to the Dutch oven. Whisk 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl. Stir the slurry into the meat juices over medium-high heat until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. For a thicker gravy, you may want to double the amount of cornstarch.
A large 9-quart Dutch oven with roasted carrots, potatoes, and pot roast.

Recipe FAQ's

What cut of meat is chuck roast?

A chuck roast comes from the shoulder of a cow. It's tough because of all the connective tissues, but it's also well-marbled so if you cook it low and slow, the connective tissues dissolve and you are left with a deliciously tender and juicy piece of meat.

How long does it take to cook a pot roast?

A smaller 3-pound chuck roast will only take 3 hours to cook, while a 4- or 5-pound chuck roast will be ready around the 4 hour mark.

What size Dutch oven do I need?

This depends on the size of your roast and how many veggies you want to add, but I prefer a large 8- or 9-quart Dutch oven.

Roasted carrots, pot roast, and potatoes in a large white serving bowl with a gravy boat in the background.

Recipe Tips

  • Flavor variations: If you want to adjust the flavor profile slightly, consider adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or 1-2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce with the broth when deglazing the pan. You can also use 1 cup of red wine to deglaze in place of 1 cup of the beef broth.
  • Add more vegetables: You can stretch your meat and budget by adding more potatoes and carrots per person without increasing the size of the roast. Also, you can add celery or mushrooms with the carrots for even more veggies.
  • Serving with gravy: We like to pour a little of the gravy over the meat before serving with the remaining gravy in a gravy boat on the side.
  • Repurpose leftovers: Leftover pot roast makes great sandwiches or pot pie. Add some frozen peas and thicken the gravy even more with some flour, then combine them in a pie plate and throw on a pie crust before baking at 375°F for an hour.

Storing Instructions

  • How to store: Store any leftover pot roast and vegetables in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Store the gravy in a separate container.
  • How to freeze: Once cooled, freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. They can be frozen with the gravy or separately.
  • How to reheat: Reheat leftover pot roast and vegetables in the microwave or in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes until warm. Reheat gravy separately on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
Parsley sprinkled over pot roast and vegetables in a Dutch oven.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

  1. Follow the same steps for seasoning and searing meat and vegetables in a large skillet or cast iron pan. Add everything to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Instant Pot Pot Roast

  1. Use the saute feature to sear the meat in half of the olive oil. You may need to cut it in half to do this depending on how large it is. Transfer to a plate. Saute the onions and carrots in the remaining olive oil.
  2. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with ½ cup of beef broth, scraping up any browned bits. Remove the carrots and set aside. Return the chuck roast to the pan with another 1 ½ cups beef broth (less liquid is needed with this method).
  3. Switch to pressure cooking mode on High and seal the lid (the steam release knob must be turned to the sealed position). Cook for 1 hour. Do a 15 minute natural pressure release, then quick release any remaining pressure by turning the steam release valve to the venting position.
  4. Add the carrots and potatoes. Replace the lid and cook on High pressure for another 10 minutes. Do another 15 minute natural pressure release, then remove meat and vegetables and serve.
  5. The gravy can be made with the remaining liquid by switching back to the saute feature.

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Best Sunday Pot Roast

5 from 5 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8 servings
Nothing says comfort food more than our Sunday best Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe. Start it in the early afternoon or before you leave for church and your house will smell amazing by the time dinner rolls around a few hours later. The leftovers are even better the next day.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (3- to 5-pound) beef chuck roast
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 sweet onions, peeled and quartered or roughly chopped
  • 6-8 large carrots, roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds yukon gold potatoes, halved if they are large

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Generously season the chuck roast on all sides with about 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. Lightly dredge the meat in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Place the seasoned chuck roast in the hot oil and let it sear without moving for 3-5 minutes until browned on one side. Use tongs to carefully flip the meat to sear on the other side for another 3-5 minutes. Sear edges and ends of the roast as well. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add onions and cook for 5-6 minutes until tender. Remove to a plate. Add the carrots and garlic. Toss them around for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Add tomato paste and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Stir until the tomato paste is evenly dispersed among the vegetables. Remove to the plate with the onions.
  • Add 1 cup of liquid (either red wine or beef broth) to the dutch oven and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
  • Return the roast to the pan and add the remaining beef broth. Add the onions, carrots, and herbs, then cover with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 300°F and cook for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast or 4 hours for a 4-5 pound roast until the meat is fork tender. Add the potatoes during the last hour of cooking. The meat is done when it can be pulled apart with a fork.

Notes

  • To make gravy: Strain fat off the pan juices after removing the roast, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Whisk 1 Tablespoon cornstarch with 3 Tablespoons cold water. Whisk a little of the slurry at a time into the hot juices on the stovetop until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Thin with water or broth, if needed, or add more slurry for a thicker gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may want to add 1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Storing: Store any leftover pot roast and vegetables in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Store the gravy in a separate container.
  • Freezing: Once cooled, freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. They can be frozen with the gravy or separately.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftover pot roast and vegetables in the microwave or in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes until warm. Reheat gravy separately on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
  • Flavor variations: If you want to adjust the flavor profile slightly, consider adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or 1-2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce with the broth when deglazing the pan. You can also use 1 cup of red wine to deglaze in place of 1 cup of the beef broth.
  • Add more vegetables: You can stretch your meat and budget by adding more potatoes and carrots per person without increasing the size of the roast. Also, you can add celery or mushrooms with the carrots for even more veggies.
  • Slow Cooker: Follow the same steps for seasoning and searing meat and vegetables in a large skillet or cast iron pan. Add everything to the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Instant Pot: Use the saute feature to sear the meat. You may need to cut it in half to do this depending on how large it is. Transfer to a plate, then saute the onions and carrots. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with ½ cup of beef broth, scraping up any browned bits, then remove the carrots and set aside. Return the chuck roast to the pan with another 1 ½ cups beef broth (less liquid is needed with this method). Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 1 hour. Do a 15 minute natural pressure release, then remove the lid and add the carrots and potatoes. Replace the lid and pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. Do another 15 minute natural pressure release, then remove meat and vegetables and serve. The gravy can be made with the remaining liquid using the saute feature.

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2865mg | Potassium: 875mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10304IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg
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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so delicious! Full of flavor! I usually make my pot roast in a slow cooker, but loved how it turned out with the dutch oven! Saved the recipe so I can make it again!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing dutch oven pot roast recipe! Will surely have this again! It's really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!