Looking for a new easy dinner recipe? Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches are tender beef with hot pepperoncini chiles, smothered with cheese and loaded onto a hearty roll!
I know many folks think of the slow cooker for winter meals, but I actually prefer it in the summer and Italian beef with pepperoncinis are the perfect meal to prepare in it! They make a fabulous slider or hoagie.
Why Cook Beef in a Slow Cooker?
Why use a slow cooker in the summer instead of the winter? Instead of heating up the house with the oven or stove, the warmth is contained.
I can throw something in before I leave for work and expect it to be done by the time I get home, leaving more time for outdoor activities and time with the family. Easy, peasy!
What Are Italian Beef Sandwiches?
Pepperoncinis have a unique taste that is sometimes described as a moderately spicy chile pepper similar to banana peppers, but just slightly bitter. The natural juices of the pepperoncini give the beef a big, bold flavor and help break down the fibers in beef.
Add Swiss cheese, or any other desired cheese, to a hearty sub roll and you have a crowd pleasing Italian Beef Sandwich. Jarlsberg and white cheddar are also winners!
After your Italian beef is all cooked, you can keep it in the slow cooker on the warm function, making it ideal for serving at parties or family functions.
Why You’ll Love These Sandwiches
Flavorful beef on crusty bread with melty cheese- what’s not to love!
- Easy dinner – This beef is made with simple ingredients and requires only 3 steps- the slow cooker does all the work making it perfect for busy weeknights.
- Great for all occasions – Whether making these italian beef sandwiches for game day, family reunions or just a weeknight dinner, it’s perfect!
- Crock pot recipe – My go-to recipes for busy nights are always slow cooker recipes. Just set it, forget it and dinner is ready with virtually no work!
Italian Beef Sandwiches Ingredients
With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can have these sandwiches ready in no time.
- Pot roast beef – A boneless chuck roast is the best cut of meat to use for this recipe.
- Pepperoncinis – most of the flavor for this Italian beef sandwich recipe comes from these peppers, juice and all. Just make sure the stems are removed first.
- Beef stock – I always prefer to use low sodium beef stock or beef broth. That way I’m more able to control the salt content and can add more at the end of needed.
- Garlic cloves – As always, I like to mince my own garlic rather than buying the pre-minced jar at the grocery store. The flavor is more pungent when you use fresh garlic.
- Italian seasoning – Rub dry Italian seasoning between your palms before adding to the recipe. This releases the natural oils and helps infuse flavor.
- Salt – If you didn’t use low sodium beef stock, make sure to taste your beef roast before adding this additional salt. You can always add more, but it’s hard to take it away.
- Ground black pepper – I always like to freshly grind my own black pepper. The flavor is fresher and more pungent that way.
- Sub rolls – You can really use any type of bread to make your favorite sandwiches, I just like the amount of meat sub rolls hold.
- Swiss cheese – Thin slices of cheese are what takes these crock pot Italian beef sandwiches to the next level.
- Giardiniera– This is optional, but I love the vinegary flavor, pop of color and juiciest of this relish. It is picked vegetables and can be picked up in a jar at the store.
How to Make Italian Beef Sandwiches
With only three simple steps, you are going to love how easy it is to make these sandwiches.
- Add ingredients to slow cooker. Throw all items into your slow cooker. Set for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low,
- Shred beef. Before serving, shred beef with two forks and return to the slow cooker to soak up the juices.
- Toast rolls and add cheese. Toast sub rolls, add two slices Swiss cheese to each. Top with Beef pepperoncini and giardiniera if you desire and then serve.
We like these Italian beef sandwiches exactly as the recipe is written, but there are plenty of ways to make them your own.
- Cheese – If you aren’t a fan of Swiss cheese, you could use provolone cheese or even pepper jack cheese instead.
- Rolls – Any type of crusty sandwich rolls will work. Hoagie buns, a french roll, hoagie rolls or even hot dog buns can be used.
- Spice – If you’d like to take the spice level up a notch, try adding some red pepper flakes or hot peppers into the italian roast beef.
- Seasoning – There are plenty of options to season this beef. You could use Good Seasons italian dressing mix, a bay leaf or onion powder.
What to Serve with Italian Beef Sandwiches
Besides serving this flavorful beef on crusty rolls, you can eat it as is, without bread, to keep the carbs down. Similar to a french dip sandwich, you can dip your sandwiches into a sauce like an au jus sauce to add even more flavor.
You can serve these sandwiches with just about any side you can think of. Something as simple as potato chips, or as elegant as a leafy green side salad. Whatever tickles your fancy. Of course, sweet potato fries or broccolini are great too.
Storage, Make Ahead and Freezing
Storage: Any leftover Italian beef can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay for up to three to 5 days. Do not store the whole sandwich, though. The bread will become very soggy.
Make ahead: Make it up to 24 hours in advance and then just reheat it on the stove or on the “warm” setting of your crock pot.
Freezing: Leftover beef also freezes really well. Store it in an airtight plastic bag or container and you can freeze it for up to six months.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is… until you put it on bread. Use a gluten free bread and make sure your beef stock is also gluten free.
I am not a keto expert, however as far as I know the Italian beef alone is keto friendly. Now after you put it on a sandwich… it isn’t.
This is a loaded question and everyone’s definition of “healthy” is different. You can scroll down to the recipe and see the nutritional information to determine if it is healthy in your eyes. Remember to consume everything in moderation.
You sure can! Follow the same directions. Brisket also needs the TLC of a nice slow cook, so it should translate perfectly.
Easy Side Recipes
- Winter Tomato Salad
- Oven Baked Parmesan and Garlic Sweet Potato Fries
- Shaved Zucchini Salad
- Turnip Fries
Slow Cooker Italian Beef Hoagies
- 2 pounds tender chuck roast , sometimes labeled "pot roast"
- 16 ounces pepperoncinis , stems removed
- 1/2 cup low-sodium beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 large sub rolls
- 12 slices Swiss cheese
- giardiniera , for topping, optional
- Add the beef roast to the slow cooker. Top with with pepperoncinis (with juice), beef stock, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cover and set for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Before serving, shred the beef with two forks and return to the slow cooker to soak up the juices.
- Toast the sub rolls and then add two slices Swiss cheese to each. Top with the shredded beef, pepperoncini and giardiniera.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!