Balsamic Slow Cooker Pot Roast

If you’re always on the lookout for crazy-easy yet flavorful roast beef recipes, you’re in the right spot. This balsamic slow cooker pot roast is a total game-changer.

close up angled shot of balsamic pot roast over mased potatoes on plate


I’m a huge fan of beef (I did write a cookbook about it after all!) so I’m always experimenting in the kitchen with it. From tenderloins and ribeyes to filets and briskets, I’m all in on finding easy ways to make tender, juicy beef recipes.

This easy pot roast is one of my favorites because it takes so little prep time, yet it comes out full of flavor and fork tender. And while I do cook it in a slow cooker, you can feel free to adjust it to roast in the oven. Just do the quick stovetop cook of the beef on the stove in your Dutch oven, then roast.

And the sauce? It’s the savory version of the metaphorical “cherry on top.” It takes the whole dish to the next level. Trust me — everyone will be asking for seconds when you make this dish!

What Makes This The Best Pot Roast

Pot roast can sound like a kind of boring meal but we spice things up with lots of seasoning and, of course, the goodness of balsamic vinegar. 

  • Easy-Peasy – You can’t beat how easy this meal is to make. Just a little bit of prep goes a long way toward making an amazing meal since the slow cooker does most of the work. 
  • Full of Savory Flavor – Onion, garlic, balsamic — oh my! There’s so much flavor packed into this simple dish, and the since the beef is sliced and browned it’s full of juicy flavor with lots of surface area to soak up those seasonings. 
  • It’s a Complete Meal – Sure, you can serve this with sides (and we certainly love to pile on more veggies or a cheesy pasta or starch). But the truth is, you can take this dish from the crockpot to the table and have a wholesome meal all without any extra fuss. 
angled close up shot of shredded balsamic slow cooker pot roast

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast

While the ingredient list looks long, I promise you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand.

  • Boneless Beef Chuck Roast – This cut of beef is ideal for pot roast thanks to its rich marbling which makes it tender and juicy. You can also use bottom round roast if you prefer.
  • Garlic Powder – Garlic powder adds depth and savory flavor to the roast. Plus it makes your kitchen smell heavenly while it’s cooking!
  • Onion Powder – Similar to garlic powder, onion powder contributes to the savory character of the dish, providing layers of flavor that complement the beef.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt – Salt not only seasons the meat but also helps to tenderize it.
  • Ground Black Pepper – Black pepper adds a subtle heat and balances the dish.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Using extra virgin olive oil while cooking not only helps to keep the beef from sticking to your pan — it also adds healthy fat and subtle, delicious flavor.
  • Plum Tomatoes – Tomatoes add acidity and sweetness to the dish and provide a fresh contrast to the other rich flavors.
  • White Onion – Along with sweetness, onions add depth to the pot roast.
  • Baby Carrots – Carrots not only add sweetness to the dish but also contribute texture and color, making for a pretty presentation.
  • White Mushrooms – Mushrooms impart an earthiness and umami flavor to the sauce.
  • Small Red Potatoes – Red potatoes hold their shape well during cooking and absorb the flavors of the sauce. They help to make the dish even more hearty and satisfying.
overhead shot of seasoned beef in bowl


The sauce is a simple blend of umami, acid and sugars.

  • Low-Sodium Beef Broth – Beef broth forms the base of the sauce, adding richness and depth of flavor while also providing moisture to keep the roast tender during cooking.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar is the star ingredient that adds a tangy sweetness and rich complexity to the sauce.
  • Light Brown Sugar – Brown sugar adds sweetness and provides a subtle molasses flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard – Dijon mustard contributes tanginess and depth to the sauce.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch acts as a thickener and gives the sauce its luxe texture. Be sure to fully combine it with the water before adding it to the sauce to avoid having lumps form. 
spoon in gravy boat

How to Make Balsamic Pot Roast

You won’t believe how absolutely easy it is to make this! Whoever said something was “easy as pie” never made this pot roast! 

  1. Trim and pat dry roast. Once you’ve trimmed the roast and cut it into chunks, use a paper towel to pat it dry. The beef being dry on the outside will promote browning and thus, build flavor.
  2. Season. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix together before coating the beef with it. 
  3. Brown beef. Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it before adding beef chunks. Brown beef on all sides over medium-high heat. Add it to the prepared slow cooker. 
  4. Top with vegetables. Add the prepared vegetables and potatoes to the slow cooker on top of the beef. 
  5. Combine wet ingredients. Then add the broth, balsamic, vinegar, sugar, and mustard to a large bowl or measuring cup and stir until completely combined. 
  6. Add to slow cooker. Pour the broth mixture into the crockpot over top of the vegetables and beef. 
  7. Set slow cooker. Put the lid on top of the slow cooker and set it for the recommended time. The total time will depend if you choose to cook it on high or low — we definitely recommend doing it on low if you can. Periodically take the lid off to baste the beef chunks with the sauce. 
  8. Shred beef. When the pot roast is finished, take the beef and vegetables out with a slotted spoon to serve. Shred the beef, if desired. 
  9. Strain the sauce by pouring it through a fine mesh sieve into a small pan. 
  10. Make slurry and thicken gravy. Once the slurry is completely mixed together, add it to the sauce in the pan and heat gently until it becomes glossy and thickens to the desired consistency. 
  11. Serve and enjoy. Serve the sauce on the side or spoon it over top of the beef and vegetables before serving. 

What to Serve With Balsamic Roast Beef

What can’t you serve with pot roast, is the question! This main dish is always a star of the show but it’s even more amazing with sides like creamy crockpot mac and cheese, twice baked potatoes casserole, cheesy bacon rice, or creamy mushroom risotto.

Work in some veggies, too! Try serving a simple side salad, balsamic stewed tomatoes, garlic parmesan asparagus, or garlic herb sauteed mushrooms

close up overhead shot of plate of balsamic slow cooker pot roast

Variations on Balsamic Slow Cooker Pot Roast

The fabulous thing about this pot roast dish (and lots of other beef recipes) is how easy it is to change things up! Add or omit ingredients as you like to make it your own amazing dish! 

  • Vegetables – Add or substitute other veggies that you like. Try swapping the potatoes for sweet potatoes, add parsnips or radishes, or substitute shallots for the white onions.
  • Spiciness – If you want a little heat in your sauce try adding a dash of cayenne pepper powder or red pepper flakes. 
  • Umami – Shake things up by adding a bit of fish sauce, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce. 
  • Arrowroot – Use this instead of cornstarch to thicken the sauce. 
  • Sweetness – Pour a bit of ketchup into your sauce to thicken and sweeten it. Or, add honey or maple syrup. Alternatively, you can use a bit of balsamic glaze to add nuanced flavor.

Storage and Freezing

This balsamic pot roast recipe is super easy to make and it’s even easier to store so that you can dig into it throughout the week.

You can prepare the veggies and the sauce ahead of time and assemble everything when ready to roast. Or, you can make the whole recipe and store it in the fridge for a protein-packed meal to enjoy all week long.

How to Store Balsamic Pot Roast

After allowing it to come to room temperature, store the leftover pot roast in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Or, wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or store it in a resealable plastic bag. 

Can I Freeze Balsamic Pot Roast?

Freeze pot roast in slices in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. 

Common Questions About Balsamic Slow Cooker Pot Roast

What can I add to my pot roast for more flavor?

The possibilities are nearly endless for adding more flavor to pot roast! Try using spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to add warm flavor or red pepper or cayenne for heat. Just take a look at your spice cabinet and choose the flavors that you love best.
You can also choose to add red wine to your sauce for extra flavor or boost the savory flavor by adding some garlic cloves to the pot while cooking.

Does vinegar tenderize pot roast?

Vinegar, and other acidic ingredients, do tenderize pot roast. Using it is a great way to wind up with a juicy, tender roast.

What not to do with pot roast?

Pot roast is a pretty easy dish to make but the one step you don’t want to skip is browning it before putting it in the crockpot. Browning beef on the stovetop adds that extra layer of flavor and juiciness that will take your pot roast over the top.

overhead shot of plate of balsamic slow cooker pot roast

More Beefy Recipes

While I love a good chicken recipe, beef has my heart. Here are some of our favorite beef recipes that we know you’ll love too.

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Herb and Garlic Roast Beef Tenderloin Recipe

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Beef Lo Mein Recipe

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Noodles, vegetables & tender beef are tossed in a slightly sweet and spicy sesame sauce to make this easy Beef Lo Mein! Ready in 30 minutes!
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angled shot of balsamic slow cooker pot roast on a plate with text overlay
close up angled shot of balsamic pot roast over mased potatoes on plate

Balsamic Slow Cooker Pot Roast Recipe

5 from 5 votes
With fork-tender beef, tons of veggies, and a flavorful balsamic-infused sauce, this Balsamic Slow Cooker Pot Roast is a total game-changer!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8


For the Roast:

Vegetable Trimmings:

Balsamic Pot Roast Sauce:



  • Trim the beef roast and cut into large chunks, discarding any large pieces of fat. Pat dry and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, sprinkle over the chunks of beef, covering evenly.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Brown all sides of the beef chunks, approximately 2 minutes per side.
  • Coat the inside of a large slow cooker with olive oil or cooking spray. Transfer the browned beef to the pot.

Vegetable Trimmings:

  • Top the beef with the tomatoes, onion, carrots, mushrooms and potatoes.


  • In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the beef broth, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard until the sugar has dissolved. There might some bits of mustard and that is fine.
  • Pour over the beef and vegetables.

Cook the Roast:

  • Place on the cover and set to 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Pot roasts do best low and slow so I highly recommend the 8 hour option. Occasionally spoon sauce over the beef and turn the beef chunks.
  • Just before you are ready to serve, remove the beef and vegetable trimmings using a slotted spoon. If desired, shredded the beef using two forks.
  • Carefully pour the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan. Discard solids.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk it back into the sauce and bring to a low simmer, continuing to whisk until it thickens and turns glossy.
  • Spoon the sauce over the beef and vegetables and serve.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


To Make in the Instant Pot: Saute the beef directly in the pot. 
Add the vegetables and sauce to the pot. Close and lock the lid and vent. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, allowing for 10 minutes of natural release. 
Follow the same instructions for serving and thickening the sauce. 


Calories: 379 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 35 g, Fat: 21 g, Saturated Fat: 9 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 117 mg, Sodium: 546 mg, Potassium: 860 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 2360 IU, Vitamin C: 4 mg, Calcium: 49 mg, Iron: 4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 379
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: balsamic pot roast, balsamic slow cooker pot roast
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of balsamic slow cooker pot roast
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This pot roast sounds delightful. I love that it’s made in the slow cooker, so the meat gets super tender and the addition of balsamic gives it a zing that sounds wonderful.

  2. 5 stars
    My family really enjoyed this pot roast! The addition of the balsamic vinegar gives it such a great depth of flavor. I’ll be making it again.