This easy pot roast recipe is fall-apart-tender with a lush 2-ingredient gravy for the best Sunday night comfort food dinner straight from my mama’s kitchen.
How to Cook a Pot Roast
This is my mom’s pot roast recipe. It’s the one I grew up with. It’s the recipe that started on the stove and finished in the oven as it perfumed our house as it braised away. With the gravy I still can’t stop myself from sopping up with that extra bite of bread I told myself I wasn’t going to have.
You won’t find many recipes that use canned cream-of-anything-soup here on the blog, but this recipe is the fantastic exception. Braised in red wine and condensed cream of mushroom soup, I still can’t wrap my head around how these two singular ingredients transform into the most lush, savory gravy you’ll ever wish to ladle. From the tender meat to flavorful veggies to velvety gravy, this easy pot roast is THE BEST lazy cook recipe for any given Sunday.
What’s In THE BEST Pot Roast
If I’m being honest, this isn’t my mom’s pot roast recipe. Well, at least not exactly. Her pot roast is even simpler than this one because she never added vegetables to her pot roast recipe. That was my idea. But after tasting mine, she has whole heartedly approved. Sidenote: You have permission to skip the vegetables too.
This recipe is extremely forgiving, where ingredient additions or substitutions are certainly acceptable. Adding vegetables and herbs to the pot roast cooking process not only enhances the flavor, but adds more nibbles to eat when its done. Another request of my husbands that I welcome too.
Here’s what you’ll need for this pot roast recipe:
- 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lb chuck roast
- Yellow onion
- Condensed cream of mushroom soup
- Red wine
- Rosemary, thyme, or bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil
We like pot roast served over fluffy mashed potatoes, but if you prefer yours with potatoes cooked right in the mix, add 2 cups halved and quartered yellow potatoes or baby red or yellow potatoes with the other vegetables before going into the oven.
The Best Beef Meat for Pot Roast
Because fat infuses flavor, the best meat for pot roast is always a well marbled chuck roast. Choose a marbled chuck roast that’s between 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds.
Chuck roasts need more cooking time to become tender. Patience pays off with pot roast! As the meat slow cooks at a lower oven temperature, the tough connective tissues soften and melt into the meat. This process creates tender, savory cuts of beef that easily cut with a fork.
And, the Best Pot for Pot Roast
Break out the dutch oven. Use a heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid or a dutch oven to take this recipe from the stove to the oven. The oven’s heat does all the work.
Sear the Roast for More Flavor
You could toss the roast into the dutch oven and call it good, but searing the meat before going in the oven adds a whole lotta flavor to the entire dish.
Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast. Don’t be shy when it comes to seasoning the meat. I prefer the flakiness and flavor of kosher salt over table salt, which can taste more pungent and iodized.
Sear the meat over medium high heat. Searing the seasoned meat over medium high heat creates a seasoned crust that adds flavor to the dish. Turn on the stove’s fan and let ‘er rip. Searing also adds bits of fond to the bottom of the pan for another layer of savory. Sear the top, bottom and sides of the roast for best results.
The Easiest 2-Ingredient Pot Roast Gravy
This gravy might be the main reason you’ll find yourself making this pot roast again and again. It’s that good.
I try to avoid the processed ingredient shortcuts some old school recipes suggest. That’s why I try to avoid using condensed soup in the recipes I share. But my mom’s pot roast is one of the exceptions to my whole food cooking rule. I mean, sometimes you just gotta step down from your smug perch and go with what mom says.
One step gravy making. There’s no butter and flour roux or extra steps to take when making the gravy. The gravy cooks right alongside—literally—the roast as it cooks.
Don’t dilute the condensed cream of mushroom soup with water. Get saucy with red wine instead. The combination adds depth and body to the gravy as it absorbs flavor from the meat and vegetable braise.
Use a drinkable red wine for the gravy. To avoid opening a new bottle just for cooking, I keep a box of drinkable red wine on hand instead. Use any variety you prefer. Merlot, pinot noir, cabernet, etc. are all good choices.
What Temperature Do You Cook Pot Roast
Cook the pot roast at 325°F. After searing the meat on the stove, low and slow in the oven is the yellow brick road to the most tender pot roast. Braising the meat in the gravy sauce on lower heat breaks down the connective tissue in this less expensive cut of beef, making it tender and delicious.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Pot Roast
Cook the roast for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Once in the oven, this roast is the poster child for hands free cooking. Tightly fit with a lid, the roast cooks best undisturbed as the pot traps all the heat. Check the progress at the 3 hour mark, ladling some of the gravy over the meat as it cooks if you’re feeling like you need something to do. Otherwise, just let it go to do its thing.
How to Cook Pot Roast In the Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
Sear the meat in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet as directed in the recipe card below. Transfer the meat, juices, and crispy bits to the insert of a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Add the vegetables, herbs, and gravy ingredients. Cover and set the cooker on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
How to Cook Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Pot Roast
Sear the meat in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed skillet as directed in the recipe card below or sauté directly in an Instant Pot. Transfer the meat to the insert of the pressure cooker, add the veggies, herbs, and gravy ingredients. Set the pressure cooker to HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. When done, let the cooker naturally release for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick release. NOTE: Because the liquid does not evaporate when pressure cooking, the gravy may not be as thick. Also, be careful of how many vegetables you add to the pressure cooker, and don’t go over the suggested fill line.
What to Serve With Pot Roast
- How to Make the Best Mashed Potatoes
- Buttermilk Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- Avocado Grapefruit and Fennel Salad
- Maple Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
- Beet, Carrot and Pomegranate Salad
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Mom's BEST Pot Roast Recipe
- 4 pound chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 ounces mushrooms , trimmed and halved or quartered
- 3 stalks celery , cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 carrots , peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 yellow onion , quartered
- 4 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced thin
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 10.5 ounce cans condensed cream of mushroom soup , undiluted
- 1 cup red wine , any drinkable variety will do
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Season the chuck roast with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add the chuck roast to the pot. Sear 3-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Add the mushrooms, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and rosemary to the pot. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the mushroom soup and red wine until smooth. Pour over the chuck roast and vegetables, cover tight with a lid, and transfer to the oven.
- Cook in the oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender and pulls apart easily. Transfer the roast to a serving platter with the vegetables and gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes or buttery parsley red potatoes.
More Sunday Dinner Ideas
- 5 Easy Tips for Juicy Roast Chicken
- Beef Bourguignon
- Braised Pork Roast in Almond Milk
- Curry Turkey Pot Pie With Homemade Butter Pie Crust
- Grandma’s Fall-Off-the-Bone Country Style BBQ Pork Ribs
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