Crock pot Italian beef is a delicious slow cooked roast, shredded and served on a bun with hot giardiniera. This delicious sandwich is perfect for family dinner or game day with friends.

Top down view of Italian beef sandwich

It doesn’t get much better than tender, melt in your mouth beef sandwiches. Crock Pot Italian beef is slow cooked until it is ready to just fall apart and then the juicy beef is stuffed into delicious rolls and topped with spicy hot giardiniera for the perfect hot sandwich.

Making Italian beef in a slow cooker means you can set it and forget AND it’s great for parties because you can keep the finished roast warm in the slow cooker while you’re watching the game or playing a game and guests can make their sandwiches when their ready (or go back for seconds!)

This isn’t our only Italian slow cooker recipe. Make sure you try our slow cooker chicken cacciatore and slow cooker sausage and ravioli too!

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serving Crock Pot Italian Beef with tongs

What is Italian Beef?

Italian beef doesn’t actually originate from Italy directly. Instead, it comes from Italian immigrants and likely originated in Chicago during the 1900s. It is essentially thinly sliced roast beef cooked in its own juices and Italian seasonings.

The slow cooked beef is fork tender and even better when served on a soft roll as an Italian beef sandwich

ingredients to make Crock Pot Italian Beef

Ingredients You’ll Need

Italian beef made in the crock pot needs the following ingredients to come out perfect:

  • Top sirloin roast – You could also use bottom round or rear sirloin, but sirloin is the preferred cut of beef to use.
  • Seasonings – For this dish we use Italian seasoning, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, bay leaves, and paprika.
  • Canola oil – You could use another oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil or peanut oil instead if you prefer.
  • Veggies – We use a mix of yellow onions, green peppers, and garlic cloves to add the flavor to this dish.
  • Liquids  – You’ll need red wine, Worcheshire sauce, and beef stock all of which work to tenderize the meat as it slowly cooks.
  • Sourdough baguettes – This is really a personal preference so there is no strict right or wrong bread for this dish. You want to use sub rolls or other long baguettes that you can make into a sandwich. The bread does need to be able to hold up to liquid so you want something that isn’t too soft and is thick enough to absorb the juices without getting soggy.
  • Hot giardiniera – This is a hot Italian relish of pickled peppers and vegetables that often is used as spicy topping to Italian beef. You do not need to add this if you prefer milder flavors but in my opinion it’s the best part!
searing Crock Pot Italian Beef in skillet

Instructions

Here’s what you need to do to make the slow cooker sandwiches.

Step 1 – Prep and sear the beef. To start, season the beef with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Rub seasoning into the meat, cover and let it marinate for 1 hour. 

Next, heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add canola oil and then the beef to the skillet. Brown each side of the meat for about 2 minutes per side. When the meat has finished browning set aside.

Step 2 – Cook the veggies. Next, add the onions, green peppers, and garlic to the pan. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine by slowly pouring the wine into the hot pan and using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

pouring sauce on Crock Pot Italian Beef on slow cooker

Step 3 – Slow cook the beef. Add the meat and vegetables to the slow cooker. Pour the Worcheshire sauce and beef stock on top of the beef. Then place the bay leaves onto the top of the beef and cover the slow cooker with its lid. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Crock Pot Italian Beef in slow cooker with tongs

Step 4 – Shred and serve. When done cooking, discard the bay leaves.

Next, remove the beef from the slow cooker and place on a wooden cutting board. Shred the meat using two forks. 

Remove the peppers,onion, and garlic cloves and place into a bowl for serving. Return meat to the slow cooker so you can easily serve with its juices.

Finally, add a generous helping of meat to each baguette and top with the peppers and onions or giardiniera. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Italian Beef with peppers

What Cut of Meat is Italian Beef Made From?

Italian beef is traditionally made from different cuts of sirloin including:

  • top round sirloin
  • bottom round sirloin 
  • rear sirloin

But if you are not a traditionalist, you can make it from just about any roasting beef. Just note that some cuts are more tender or tougher than others, which can change the texture and the taste a bit.

How to Make it Ahead of Time

Italian beef is the perfect make on the weekend meal and serve for lunch or quick dinners the rest of the week. If you have time to make it on a day off, make the whole recipe and then slice up the meat before storing for a quick lunch or dinner. 

If you want to make it on a busy morning before work, you can prepare the veggies the night before and store them in bags or storage containers in the fridge so you won’t need to cut them the next day.

What Goes Well With Italian Beef?

Italian beef is a delicious sandwich, so it goes well with just about any food you might serve with your favorite sandwich. Some of our favorite sides include:

Crock Pot Italian Beef with peppers

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Servings: 8
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins

Crock Pot Italian Beef

Crock pot Italian beef is a delicious slow cooked roast, shredded and served on a bun with hot giardiniera. This delicious sandwich is perfect for family dinner or game day with friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Top sirloin roast
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Sea salt
  • ½ tablespoon Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 2 Yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 Green peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup Garlic cloves
  • ¼ Cup Red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 cups Beef stock
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 8 Sourdough baguettes or sub rolls
  • 2 cups Hot giardiniera, as a topping

Instructions

  • Season meat with italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika. Rub seasoning into the meat and cover. Let marinate for 1 hour.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until. Add canola oil and beef and brown each side, about 2 minutes per side. Set browned beef aside.
  • Add the onions, green peppers, and garlic to the pan. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  • Deglaze pan with red wine by slowly pouring the wine into the pan and using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits.
  • Add the beef and vegetables to your slow cooker.
  • Pour worcestershire and beef stock over the beef. Place the bay leaves onto the top and cover. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  • Discard the bay leaves. Remove beef from the slow cooker and place on a wooden cutting board. Shred the meat.
  • Remove peppers,onion, and garlic cloves and place into a separate bowl for serving.
  • Return meat to the slow cooker and set to warm.
  • Add a generous helping of meat to each baguette.
  • Top with sweet peppers and onions or giardiniera and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich, Calories: 675kcal, Carbohydrates: 88g, Protein: 51g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 2837mg, Potassium: 997mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 638IU, Vitamin C: 49mg, Calcium: 130mg, Iron: 15mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crock pot italian beef, italian beef sandwich