This easy Dutch oven pot roast recipe results in fork-tender, flavorful meat every time; and we take it one step further and make it into a full meal with potatoes, carrots, and gravy!
I can't think of a dinner that's more cozy, hearty, and perfect for winter than pot roast.
Funny story, as a kid my grandfather made pot roast more than anything else for family dinners during the fall and winter months. And as a result, their house always smelled like a pot roast, lol! Now when I smell a roast cooking, it brings me back.
This is an easy one-pot meal: tender beef pot roast with flavorful vegetables and a savory gravy. With about 15 minutes of prep work, this meal basically cooks itself after that! It'll give you time to cozy up with a good book or movie until dinner is ready.
A classic comfort food, pot roast is perfect for chilly Sundays at home. Or if you work from home, don't wait until the weekend to make it!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's a full one pot meal. Pot roast with potatoes and carrots is a hearty, cozy, and satisfying fall and winter dinner that you don't have to worry about other side dishes for!
- You can easily make it stretch. A 2-pound chuck roast will feed about 4 people. However, you can use a 3-pound roast if you're feeding 6 people or if you want leftovers.
- It's cozy. There's nothing better than a slow cooked meal that makes the whole house smell delicious! This easy pot roast recipe is a great option for lazy Sundays at home. Or any day you have the time to let it cook low and slow!
Ingredients for Chuck Roast in a Dutch Oven
In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.
- Boneless chuck roast - look for a roast with good marbling, meaning it has streaks of fat running through the muscle; as we cook the roast low and slow, the marbling keeps the meat moist and flavorful
- Salt and black pepper - to season the meat, vegetables, and gravy
- Olive oil - or you can use avocado oil or vegetable oil
- Onion and garlic - onion and garlic adds savory flavor and aroma, and of course bumps up the nutrition
- Fresh rosemary and thyme - if you don't have fresh herbs on hand, you can use about ½ tablespoon each of dried rosemary and thyme leaves; gently crush them between your fingers before adding to release their oils
- Bay leaf - don't worry if you don't have a bay leaf on hand, you can just omit it
- Beef stock - or beef broth, or water in a pinch
- Worcestershire sauce - this fermented condiment contains a blend of spices, herbs, seasonings, and aromatics; we only need a little bit for depth of flavor and savory, umami notes
- Yellow potatoes - I prefer yellow potatoes here instead of starchy potatoes like Russet because yellow potatoes hold up well to braising
- Carrots - carrot is a classic ingredient in a Yankee pot roast meal
- Flour - we mix flour with water to form a slurry to thicken the gravy; for gluten free gravy, you can use cornstarch mixed with water to form a cornstarch slurry
- Red wine vinegar - just a splash of red wine vinegar added at the end wakes up the flavor of this slow-cooked meal
How to Make Pot Roast From Chuck Steak in a Dutch Oven
- Season the roast on both sides with 1 ½ teaspoons salt + ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add the oil to a 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add the roast and sear for about 2 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from the heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary springs, thyme springs, and bay leaf around the outside of the roast. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire.
- Cover the Dutch oven and cook at 325F for 1 ½ hours if your roast is between 2 to 2 ½ pounds, or cook for 2 hours if your roast is between 2 ½ to 3 pounds.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Return to the oven and cook (covered) until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, 15 minutes more.
How to Make Gravy From Roast Drippings With Cornstarch or Flour Slurry
- Remove the potatoes, carrots, and meat from the Dutch oven, leaving the cooking liquid and drippings in the pot. Put the Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour (or cornstarch) slurry. Continue to whisk until the gravy thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and remove from the heat.
- The gravy should look like this. Serve the meat and vegetables with the gravy to drizzle on top.
Pro Tip: For a Smooth Gravy
If you want a lump-free gravy, you can strain the cooking liquid before adding the flour or cornstarch slurry to thicken it.
Dutch Oven Pot Roast Recipe FAQs
What Cut of Meat is Pot Roast?
A pot roast isn't a specific cut of meat. Instead, it's a roast that's cooked using a certain method (i.e., braising, which means the meat is cooked low and slow with liquid, such as broth, water, wine, etc.).
Tough cuts of meat (such as chuck roast, beef brisket, and bottom round roast) are good for pot roast. They become fork-tender and melt in your mouth when cooked. My favorite cut of meat for pot roast is chuck because it has a good amount of connective tissue and marbling. This not only adds a ton of flavor, but also makes sure the meat is fall-apart tender after braising.
Is Roast Better in a Crockpot or Dutch Oven?
In terms of flavorful and tender meat, you can use either a slow cooker or Dutch oven for an amazing roast! Both a Dutch oven and Crockpot seal in liquid and moisture as the meat braises and tenderizes. However, each cooking method comes with its own set of pros and cons.
If you want minimal cleanup, a Dutch oven might be a better bet.
This is because you can sear the roast right in a Dutch oven before adding liquid and transferring it to the oven to slow cook. This means you don't have another pan to clean!
On the other hand, many slow cookers don't have a sear or sauté function, so yours may or may not have it. Traditionally, if you wanted to sear meat before slow cooking, it needed to be seared on the stovetop in a separate pan. Of course this adds another step and results in another dish to clean. But now a lot of slow cookers have a sauté function built in. (By the way, this looks like a great slow cooker with a sauté function!)
If You Need to Leave the House During Cooking
If you need a meal that you can prep in the morning and then forget for 8 to 10 hours while you're out of the house, then a Crockpot is a better option.
Making a roast in a Dutch oven in the oven only requires minimal hands-on prep. However, it's the sort of thing that you don't want to leave the house and come back to!
Think About How Much Time You Have
Another thing to consider is the timing so whatever cooking method you choose works with your schedule.
If you're using a Crockpot, I find that a chuck roast or other pot roast comes out the most tender and juicy if you cook it on LOW for 8 to 10 hours (instead of on high for a shorter period). So you really do need a full day to let it cook!
On the other hand, it only takes around 3 hours to cook pot roast in a Dutch oven. And it comes out fall-apart tender and flavorful every time.
Compared to an 8 to 10-hour cook time, a 3-hour cook time is a good thing if you need to get a meal on the table a little bit quicker. But if you need to be able to leave the house and you have all day to let the roast cook, then a Crockpot might be a better bet.
If you want to compare recipes, take a look at my Crockpot pot roast recipe; it's also a full meal with vegetables!
What Size Dutch Oven Do You Need for Pot Roast?
I find that a 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven is the perfect size for a lot of different meals.
I love my 5.5-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, which was my great-grandfather's. Additionally, I have a 6-quart Le Creuset that works well.
As far as what size Dutch oven works well for a pot roast, you can cook up to a 3-pound roast in a 3.5-quart Dutch oven. If you have a 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven, you can cook a roast that's up to 5 pounds.
How Long Do You Cook Pot Roast in a Dutch Oven?
In general, you cook pot roast in a Dutch oven for about 45 minutes at 350F for every one pound of meat. Or if you prefer a lower cooking temperature, about 1 hour at 325F for every one pound of meat. So if your roast is two pounds and you're cooking it at 350F, you'll need around an hour and a half.
We're cooking this pot roast at 325F, so we follow the 1 hour per 1 pound rule. I find that this temperature results in the best pot roast. It's fall-apart tender and a bit more forgiving; it's harder to dry out when you cook at a lower temperature!
Also, because we're making a Yankee pot roast (which is just a pot roast that's cooked with root vegetables, such as potato, carrot, and/or turnip), don't forget that the vegetables are added a little bit later. We typically add the vegetables when the roast has about 1 hour, 15 minutes left to cook.
How Do You Make Sure Your Pot Roast in the Oven is Tender?
There are three factors that help ensure your pot roast is fork tender and juicy every time:
- Start with a roast that a has good marbling. Look for streaks or flecks of fat running through the meat when you're selecting your roast. (Side Note: It's a fine line because I look for good marbling, but avoid cuts that have thick globs of fat in them.)
- Use enough liquid. When you braise meat (which is the cooking method we're using here), you need enough liquid to come about halfway up the roast. If necessary, you can add more liquid when you add the vegetables, so there's always enough liquid to come halfway up the meat.
- Cook it low and slow. The best way to cook a roast is on a low heat for a longer period. When you have a tougher cut of meat, braising (i.e., cooking it low and slow with liquid) allows tough connective tissue and collagen to break down into melt-in-your-mouth tender meat.
More Cozy Beef Dinners to Try
- Crockpot Enchiladas (Ground Beef Slow Cooker Enchilada Casserole)
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole (aka Unstuffed Pepper Skillet)
- Individual Steak and Ale Pies
Dutch Oven Pot Roast Recipe
- 2 pound chuck roast or up to 3 pounds is fine for this recipe
- 2 teaspoons salt divided into 1 ½ teaspoons + ½ teaspoon
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper divided into ½ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves garlic crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ½ tablespoon dried rosemary leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups beef stock or water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ pounds yellow potatoes scrubbed and quartered
- 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour mixed with ½ cup cool water to form a slurry
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Season the roast on both sides with 1 ½ teaspoons salt + ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add the oil to a 5 to 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering hot, add the roast and sear for about 2 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. Remove from the heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, rosemary springs, thyme springs, and bay leaf around the outside of the roast. Add the beef stock and Worcestershire.
- Cover the Dutch oven and cook for 1 ½ hours if your roast is between 2 to 2 ½ pounds, or cook for 2 hours if your roast is between 2 ½ to 3 pounds.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt + ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Return to the oven and cook (covered) until the meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, 15 minutes more.
- To make the gravy, remove the potatoes, carrots, and meat from the Dutch oven, leaving the cooking liquid and drippings in the pot. Put the Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the flour (or cornstarch) slurry, continuing to whisk until the gravy thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and remove from the heat.
- Serve the meat and vegetables with the gravy to drizzle on top.
- Gluten Free Version: Omit the flour slurry, and instead use 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup cool water to form a slurry. Follow the same method to make the gravy with the cornstarch slurry.
- Gravy Yield: This makes about 3 cups of gravy, so you will likely have extra.