Crockpot Balsamic Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms (Instant Pot directions too!)

5 from 2 votes
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Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Mushrooms is hearty, comforting, and easy to make in a crockpot or even your Instant Pot. It’s a classic recipe with an Italian-inspired twist. The melt-in-your-mouth beef and tender veggies are sure to be a family favorite. Toss everything in your crock pot for a comfort food dinner on a busy weeknight. Or enjoy this balsamic beef pot roast recipe as a classic Sunday supper that’s also gluten free.

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Balsamic Beef Pot Roast Recipe Image with title

I should have known at some point I’d be a foodie. Yes, as a kid I was super picky. But even when I hardly ate anything, I would go into my grandma’s bedroom, gather all her bottles of perfume, boxes of jewelry, and knick-knacks, and pretend they were my ingredients and kitchen gadgets while I watched The Frugal Gourmet.

In high school, after I finished my homework, I would sit in my room to watch Too Hot Tamales and How to Boil Water. And though I started to learn some techniques and cook more, I didn’t really get too adventurous until after I graduated from college.

And now?

Well, I take recipes from world-renowned, expertly-trained celebrity chefs and turn them into something completely different. However, I usually make them easier, and they are still just as delicious.

This Balsamic Beef Pot Roast recipe is based on Giada DeLaurentiis’ Stracoto with Porcini Mushrooms. I have made this recipe several times, and it has always been a hit. But I wanted to simplify it while keeping all of the amazing Italian flavors.

Instead of braising on the stove, this is all simmered in a crockpot. Though don’t skip the pan-searing. That browning step really amps up the deliciousness.

And she takes all of the juices and veggies and purees them into a gravy. It’s delicious, but a bit cumbersome and messy. And personally I love having veggies with my pot roast and a thinner sauce that is just enough to keep the meat moist and tender without being too rich and thick.

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Balsamic Beef Pot Roast on a rectangular platter

Balsamic Beef Pot Roast Recipe

A little chopping, a quick sear, and then pouring everything into your slow cooker. Then just come home at the end of a long day, and all you need is some polenta, potatoes, pasta, or even just bread to soak up all the flavorful juices.

And if you want to do it all in one pot and have time to make your meal right before you serve it, you can make it in your Instant Pot too!

What is in this pot roast recipe?

  • Olive oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beef roast – I use a beef eye round or top round, but you can also use a chuck roast.
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Beef broth
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Tomato paste
  • Dry red wine – I have used Merlot and Red Zinfandel. If you do not cook with alcohol, you can use additional broth.
  • Carrots
  • Rosemary
  • Mushrooms – I like baby Bella or cremini mushrooms, but white button mushrooms work well too.
  • Frozen peas
Slow Cooker Pot Roast with balsamic served over polenta

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast Recipe PRO TIPS and Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to brown a roast before putting it in the crockpot?

Technically browning the pot roast is not a required step. However, this step really does make the flavor even better. That browning adds a deep, rich flavor that you can’t get any other way.

What is the best cut of meat for pot roast in a crock pot?

I’ve made this recipe using beef eye round or top round roast. This is a leaner cut, which I prefer because that means the sauce is less oily and you don’t have to go through the process of skimming or straining it.

Since it is braised for a long time or cooked in a pressure cooker, the meat is tenderized quite well, and the liquid keeps it moist.

Many people prefer to use a chuck roast. This cut has more fat, so it does produce an even moister and juicier end product. You can use the one you prefer.

Why is my roast tough?

Both undercooking and overcooking will lead to a tough pot roast. If it has not cooked long enough, there has not been enough time for the meat and fat to fully break down. So you’ll need to return it to the slow cooker or pressure cooker for additional time if you find that you can’t break it apart easily with a fork

In this recipe, overcooking should not be a problem as there is plenty of liquid that will stay sealed in your slow cooker or Instant Pot This is more of a problem when you are braising pot roast on the stove and the liquid evaporates.

Also, is you make it in your Instant Pot, be sure to let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes before doing a Quick Release of the remaining pressure.

Does meat need to be submerged in slow cooker?

No, as long as your lid fits properly, your liquid comes partway up the meat, and it does not fully evaporate while cooking, there will be enough moisture in the crockpot to keep the meat moist.

Should meat or vegetables go in crockpot first?

Some people prefer to have their veggies at the bottom to form a base for the meat, I actually prefer to put them at the top. This allows them to cook and absorb some flavor without getting too mushy.

When should I add mushrooms to slow cooker?

While you technically can add all of your vegetables at once, this will result in quite soggy mushrooms and overcooked peas. If possible, I recommend adding them about 30 minutes before you plan on serving the meal.

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Pot Roast with Mushrooms recipe served on a rectangular platter

What do you serve with pot roast?

A plate of crockpot balsamic beef pot roast with mushrooms, carrots and peas over polenta

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More classic comfort food recipes:

Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms

Your classic comfort food gets an Italian-inspired twist with the addition of balsamic vinegar and mushrooms. So rich in flavor with plenty of vegetables, but your crock pot does all the hard work. And if you don’t want to let it cook all day, you can make it as an Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe.

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a review on Pinterest or photo on Instagram!
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A plate of crockpot balsamic beef pot roast with mushrooms, carrots and peas over polenta
5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms

Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis, your slow cooker makes it easy to make a moist, flavorful, comforting pot roast with mushrooms, carrots, and peas.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 2 to 3-pound or bigger beef eye round or top round roast (or another type of beef roast, such as chuck)
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth/stock
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 medium or 1/2 of a large onion, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 cup dry red wine , or additional beef broth (I've used Merlot and Zinfandel)
  • 1 cup baby carrots or 4-6 whole carrots, peeled and cut into “fingers”
  • 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 10 oz. cremini, baby bella, or white button mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas no need to thaw

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Combine the corn starch, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
  • Roll the meat around in the cornstarch mixture until it is coated on all sides. Set aside the remaining cornstarch mixture.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the meat in the pan for 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is nice and browned.
  • While the meat is searing, add the reserved cornstarch mixture, broth, balsamic vinegar, and tomato paste to the slow cooker, and stir to dissolve.
  • Remove the meat from the pan, and put it in the slow cooker. Then add the onions to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Reduce the heat to low and pour the wine into the pan. Scrape up any of the brown bits with a wooden spoon, and pour everything into the crockpot.
  • Arrange the carrots and rosemary around the roast.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is cooked through.
  • Add the mushrooms and peas and cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the meat and vegetables from the slow cooker, and slice or shred the meat. Ladle out or strain the liquid from the crockpot, and serve on the side as a gravy.

Instant Pot Directions:

  • Combine the corn starch, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.
  • Roll the meat around in the cornstarch mixture until it is coated on all sides. Set aside the remaining cornstarch mixture.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute and add the olive oil
  • Sear the meat in the pan for 2-3 minutes on each side, until it is nice and browned.
  • Remove the meat from the Instant Pot and set it aside on a plate. Then add the onions to the Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
  • Pour the wine into the Instant Pot. Scrape up any of the brown bits with a wooden spoon, and then return the meat to the Instant Pot and add the rosemary.
  • Lock the lid and cook on High Pressure for 90 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then do a quick release to release the remaining pressure.
  • Add the carrots and mushrooms, seal again, and cook on High Pressure for another 5 minutes.
  • Quick release the pressure and stir in the peas and allow them a couple of minutes to heat through.
  • Remove the meat and vegetables from the Instant Pot, and slice or shred the meat. Ladle out or strain the liquid from the crockpot, and serve on the side as a gravy.
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 88mg29%
Sodium 531mg22%
Potassium 746mg21%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 2337IU47%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 45mg5%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

42 Comments
  1. Giada’s recipes are one of my favorite go to’s when I need a meal to impress. This dish looks so comforting and delicous. Perfect for the weather we’ve been having over here. Rainy and foggy.

  2. I love Giada too! You can just feel that she loves being in her kitchen and loves cooking for her family, that’s how I feel when I’m in my kitchen, I feel like I can relate! Your story is too cute! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I remember watching the Frugal Gourmet so long ago. His tiny little kitchen is so different than the massive ones in today’s cooking shows. I’ll always remember his tip “Hot wok, cold oil, food won’t stick”.

    Great pot roast recipe. I need to try it instead of the usual one. I do like that it has wine in it.

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