Weekday Meals: Slow Cooker Pot Roast | Polk County Moms
Pot roast over mashed potatoes

As our carefree summer days fade into busy weekdays full of schedules, practices, and homework finding time to make dinner becomes harder and harder. On those extra busy days, I rely heavily on my crockpot and instapot.  I have a few recipes that I use but this pot roast is a family favorite – hands down. It’s easy to prepare and when we get home after a busy day the only thing we have to do is get the sides ready.

Pot Roast calls for a tougher cut of meat – Chuck Roast,  Beef Brisket, and Bottom Round Roast. Cooking the roast at a low temperature over a long period of time makes the meat fork tender. For this recipe, I use 1 can of cola as my liquid. You can swap out red wine or water or broth if you prefer. 

Ingredients for the roast:

3 lb to 4 lb Chuck Roast, Bottom Round Roast, or Beef Brisket
1 tablespoon butter or Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 carrots cut up
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped
3 potatoes, cut
1 packet brown gravy sauce
1 packet of ranch dressing
1 packet of Italian dressing
12-ounce can of cola or wine, broth or water
1 can of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/4 cup flour or cornstarch


  • Season roast with salt and pepper generously
  • Turn crockpot/instant pot on to Saute, melt butter or add olive oil. Brown roast on all sides
  • Add chopped carrots
  • Add sliced onions
  • Add garlic
  • Add potatoes
  • Add Italian, Ranch, and Brown Gravy Sauce packets to the pot
  • Lastly, add preferred liquid – I use cola but water, red wine, or broth works well. Stir well
  • Set to cook for desired time – the longer the better. I usually set it for 8 hours minimum for the slow cooker.                                             *** If you have an Instant Pot/ Slow Cooker combo – once the cooking time is finished set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, if using
  • Ladle out 1/2 cup of liquid and add a little flour/cornstarch to thicken. Mix it well to avoid lumpiness. Once you have your desired thickness add liquid back to the pot.
  • Get ready to eat and enjoy!


I serve the roast in a bowl over mashed potatoes or rice. I sprinkle grated parmesan cheese on top before serving. This would also pair well with macaroni and cheese, a garden salad, and rolls.

Leftover ideas:

Remove roast from liquid, shred meat, and store for later use (freezer or fridge).

  1. Use the meat as on nachos! Spread tortilla chips on a baking sheet, and top with leftover shredded roast. Add a can of black beans (drained of liquid), 1 can of corn (drained of liquid), and cheese – I use a combo of Mexican blend and Velveeta cheese. Bake until everything is warmed (10 minutes in a preheated 350 oven). Top with diced tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, diced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapenos. 
  2. Make tacos! You can warm up the meat in the microwave/oven OR heat it on the stove. For the stove –  over medium heat add canola/olive oil to a frying pan. Once the oil is heated add the meat and fry. I prefer the meat a little crunchy. Serve with tortillas, taco shells, and toppings (cheese, tomatoes, sour cream)

Store roast WITH Liquid and vegetables

  1. Make a modified shepherd’s pie using the leftover meat. Lightly grease a casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix in a can of cream of mushroom soup with meat and liquid – I use the same gallon zip lock bag to avoid washing a bowl. Put mixture into the greased casserole dish, top with 1 can of green beans or peas (drained of liquid), spread mashed potatoes on top (instant mashed is a blessing), sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and bake. I prep this and store it in the fridge or freezer to use another night. 

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