Classic Pot Roast Recipe

This is my mom’s classic pot roast recipe and it’s the ultimate comfort meal for me. Whenever it’s rainy or cold, or just cloudy and dreary it’s the first thing I think of to make for dinner. It’s just a really warming, cozy and nourishing meal to have when it’s chilly outside.

The other thing I love about pot roast is that it always stretches into three meals at least, because you can make it into beef stew and have that for leftovers for a few days, or even hot beef sandwiches.

What do you need to make pot roast?

Meat – There are a few options of cuts you can use to make a pot roast, but I always go with a chuck roast. It has a pretty good amount of fat typically which yields a really flavorful roast. Pick one that looks nice and red and has good marbling. I try to avoid one that has a huge chunk of fat in the middle, or lots of tendons.

Veg – To go in with the pot roast we always add carrots and onions, then potatoes later. I do sometimes add celery if I have it on hand just to lend even more flavor to the meat and gravy.

Spices/herbs – I add a good amount of garlic, usually three cloves, as well as fresh thyme, bay leaves, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sometimes rosemary, and a rather unconventional ingredient, Italian seasoning. It’s the secret to a great pot roast, I’m convinced!

Stock – For a pot roast I go with beef stock or bone broth. I also add a cup of red wine. This can be any red wine you have on hand, but it’s necessary for that really rich, deep flavor.

Dutch oven – You can totally adapt this recipe to the InstantPot or slow cooker, but by far my favorite method of cooking a pot roast is in my heavy enameled dutch oven. It takes a long time in the oven, but I always feel the flavor ends up being better this way.

How to make pot roast

Prep your ingredients – The first thing I always do is get out all the vegetables, seasonings, herbs, equipment, etc. Then I preheat the oven to 325. Heat up the dutch oven on the stovetop to medium/high heat, and while that’s heating I start chopping the vegetables up. I just do a rough chop on the carrots, garlic, and onion and set them aside. Then I get out my herbs, tomato paste, Worcestershire, red wine, and beef stock so it’s ready when I need it.

Ingredients for pot roast
Ingredients for pot roast

Sear the meat – One key to a really flavorful pot roast is a nice brown sear on the meat. I liberally season each side with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then add olive oil to the pot and sear it for about 4 minutes on each side. This makes a really great crust on the meat and adds so much flavor to the dish.

Sauté the veggies – After the meat is done searing, I remove it from the pot and turn the heat down to medium. Then add in the carrots, onions, garlic, fresh thyme, and bay leaf. I cook it for about five minutes until the onions start to turn translucent and they become fragrant. After that I add in the tomato paste and continue cooking the mixture for one more minute.

Add everything else in and throw it in the oven! – After I finish sautéing the tomato paste in with the veggies and herbs all that’s left is to pour in the wine and stock, add the Worcestershire, Italian seasoning, and pot roast with all its juices, bring the whole thing to a boil and put it into the oven with the lid on. I cook it at 325 for 2.5 hours. Meanwhile, I chop up the potatoes into bite sized pieces. After 2.5 hours I take it out, add in the potatoes and put it back in for 30 minutes. I do usually try to push the potatoes down into the cooking liquid so they take on some flavor.

Pot roast in a dutch oven

Serve – To serve, I remove the meat and veggies from the dutch oven and set them aside in a 9×13 dish for serving. Then I return the pot to the stovetop to make the drippings into gravy. I add about 2 tablespoons of flour to a small dish with an equal amount of cold water, and whisk it until there are no lumps. Then whisk this slowly into the simmering drippings until thickened. We also love to serve pot roast with a crusty loaf of bread, and this super simple recipe is my favorite.

Pot roast, potatoes, and carrots on a plate.

Let me know in the comments if you made this recipe, or what your favorite comfort food is! Hope you enjoy, and see below for a recipe card.

Recipe card for pot roast recipe

Easy Weeknight Roast Chicken

Ts there anything more comforting and nourishing than a lovely roast chicken? This roast chicken recipe is super simple, doesn’t require any rinsing or stuffing, and quick enough to put together for a weeknight meal.

I used to be so intimidated by cooking a whole bird. Now it’s almost the only way I cook chicken. My husband and I usually go for the dark meat leg quarters, the kids will go for the breast, and then I pick off the rest of the breast meat and store it for leftovers the rest of the week. If I’m feeling extra ambitious I will put the chicken carcass in the crock pot with some extra vegetables overnight for a really rich chicken stock. I always have some in my freezer!

The leftover roast chicken breast is so versatile, we love to use it for anything from sandwiches, to tacos, or even a casserole or soup the next night.

How to Make Roast Chicken

Prep the chicken and the pan: I love this recipe because there is hardly any prep required. First I chop up the veggies that will serve as the bed for the chicken to roast on. I typically use an onion and around 4-5 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped, then toss them with some olive oil. Remove the chicken from the packaging, either discard or save the neck/giblets if your chicken has them, and place it on the bed of vegetables. I pat it dry with a couple of paper towels.

Chopped carrots and onions

Season the chicken: Sprinkle the entire chicken with some kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and rubbed sage. Then I take some softened butter and coat the entire chicken.

Chicken basted with seasonings and butter

Roast the Chicken: Roast the chicken in a 425 degree oven, uncovered for around an hour and a half, give or take. After 45 minutes I usually take the chicken out and baste with lemon juice then return for the remainder of the time. How long you will need to roast it will depend on how big your chicken is. If I’m roasting a 4-5lb chicken it will typically take exactly an hour and a half. This chicken was a little over 6lbs and took 1 hour and 50 minutes. I always use a meat thermometer in the breast and make sure it hits 165 degrees.

Rest the Chicken: I always rest the chicken for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting into it to make sure all the juice doesn’t run out right away.

Photo of a roasted chicken

Serve: My kids love to have rice alongside the chicken with the carrots and onions on the side, or to make it even easier, I sometimes chop up potatoes and add them in about 30 minutes before the chicken is done roasting. Then it really becomes a one pot meal!

Tips for Making a Roast Chicken

Pick the right pan – Make sure the pan is big enough to fit the chicken, with some room for the air to circulate. For a smaller chicken I will use my dutch oven, that way I can just make gravy in the same pot right after. For a bigger chicken I will have to break out the 9×13.

You don’t need to baste – You really don’t need to baste the chicken, but I like to use lemon juice to baste halfway through because I like the flavor it adds.

Use a meat thermometer – Use the thermometer to test for doneness. This takes any guess work out of roasting a chicken, and you won’t have to worry about serving an under done chicken. Make sure it hits 165 degrees, and it will continue to cook as it rests.

Use the carcass! – In an effort to use the whole bird and have less waste, I almost always use the carcass to make a really rich chicken stock. After picking off all the extra meat and storing it, I pop the chicken carcass into the slow cooker, add carrots, onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, turmeric, and salt. Cover the entire thing with water, and cook on low overnight. I strain it out the next day and store in the freezer. This makes the best chicken soup!

Recipe Card:

this sandwich is lit

bbq cuban

smoky pulled pork, salty ham, tangy pickles, sweet barbecue sauce… this sandwich has it all. ITS LIT FAM.

ingredients

leftover pulled pork – see my instant pot recipe here!
deli ham (i go for the ham off the bone, sliced thin)
panini bread (the pane turano panini bread from aldi is our go to)
2-3 slices havarti cheese depending on how big your bread is
kosher dill sandwich slices
your favorite barbecue sauce
dijon mustard

instructions

mix together half and half dijon mustard and bbq sauce to make bbq dijon spread. butter each slice of bread generously. build sandwich by spreading the first slice with the bbq dijon spread. place the cheese first, then pork, ham, pickles, and finally cheese again. spread the other side with sauce and place on top. press in a panini press until golden brown and cheese is melted, or if you’re like me and don’t have a panini press, grill on the stovetop and use something heavy to press the sandwich down. i used a cast iron skillet. enjoy!

bbq cuban panini

barbecue cuban panini with pickles

BBQ Cuban panini sandwich.

smoky pulled pork, salty ham, tangy pickles, sweet barbecue sauce… this sandwich has it all. ITS LIT FAM. bbq cuban panini is a mashup of two of my favorite things… bbq pulled pork and cuban sandwiches. plus a tangy sweet barbecue dijon mustard spread. definitely an amazing lunch or dinner, and can be made with leftovers of any pulled pork you have.

ingredients

leftover pulled pork – see my instant pot recipe here!
deli ham (i go for the ham off the bone, sliced thin)
panini bread (the pane turano panini bread from aldi is our go to)
2-3 slices havarti cheese depending on how big your bread is
kosher dill sandwich slices
your favorite barbecue sauce
dijon mustard

instructions

mix together half and half dijon mustard and bbq sauce to make bbq dijon spread. butter each slice of bread generously. build the sandwich by spreading the first slice with the bbq dijon spread. place the cheese first, then pork, ham, pickles, and finally cheese again. spread the other side with sauce and place on top. press in a panini press until golden brown and cheese is melted, or if you’re like me and don’t have a panini press, grill on the stovetop and use something heavy to press the sandwich down. i used a cast iron skillet. hope you love this barbecue cuban sandwich as much as i did… if you try it let me know in the comments!

nugget life

veggie chicken nuggets

kid approved and mom-approved, kind of a pain in the butt to make, but as my 2-year-old would say, “so delicious and so healthy!”

ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
3-4 large broccoli florets
1 medium-sized carrot
½ red bell pepper
¼ large yellow onion (If it’s a small onion, use a half)
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few shakes of smoked paprika
1/3-1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

instructions

pulse broccoli, carrots, onion, and red pepper in a food processor. saute over medium heat with some olive oil until veggies start to soften. in a large bowl, beat egg and add chicken. once veggies are softened, add into chicken and egg. add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. add in 1/3-1/2 cups of the italian breadcrumbs until meatball consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape together enough to form into nugget shapes. mix together about half and half panko bread crumbs and italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. form meat mixture into nugget shapes (I just grabbed about as much as I would need for a meatball, rolled it into a ball and pressed it flat). it’s easier to do with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. coat each nugget in breadcrumbs and set aside. heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. cook nuggets for about 4 minutes on each side. i’m a crazy person and put the lid on the pan while they were cooking on the first side, just to make extra sure i wouldn’t give everyone salmonella (but this probably isn’t necessary). 🙂

nugget life – toddler and mom approved vegetable chicken nuggets

veggie chicken nuggets with carrots and broccoli

Vegetable chicken nuggets.
Vegetable chicken nuggets.

kid approved and mom-approved, these vegetable chicken nuggets are kind of a pain in the butt to make, but as my 2-year-old would say, “so delicious and so healthy!” plus they’re packed with healthy veggies. inspired by perdue chicken plus nuggets which i can’t find anywhere in california! love that my kiddos are getting a good serving of vegetables and protein in these nuggets and they really are delicious. i probably ate more of them than my son… enjoy!

ingredients

1 lb ground chicken
3-4 large broccoli florets
1 medium-sized carrot
½ red bell pepper
¼ large yellow onion (If it’s a small onion, use a half)
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few shakes of smoked paprika
1/3-1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for coating
panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

instructions

pulse broccoli, carrots, onion, and red pepper in a food processor. saute over medium heat with some olive oil until veggies start to soften. in a large bowl, beat egg and add chicken. once veggies are softened, add into chicken and egg. add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. add in 1/3-1/2 cups of the italian breadcrumbs until meatball consistency. You want it to be able to hold its shape together enough to form into nugget shapes. mix together about half and half panko bread crumbs and italian seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. form meat mixture into nugget shapes (I just grabbed about as much as I would need for a meatball, rolled it into a ball and pressed it flat). it’s easier to do with wet hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. coat each nugget in breadcrumbs and set aside. heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. cook nuggets for about 4 minutes on each side. i’m a crazy person and put the lid on the pan while they were cooking on the first side, just to make extra sure i wouldn’t give everyone salmonella (but this probably isn’t necessary). 🙂

the pork speaks for itself

instant pot pulled pork

…the two year old ate his entire serving (unheard of), and the 8 month old couldn’t stop shoveling it in. enjoy!

ingredients

6-7 pound bone in pork shoulder

dry rub:
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp ancho chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (to taste).

braising liquid: 1 can of beer (i used blue moon), about ½ cup of water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce

olive oil

instructions

the night before, mix together dry rub and cut pork into 2-3 large pieces. add pork and dry rub to a bowl or gallon sized plastic bag, along with dry rub and a few glugs of olive oil. mix together so all the pork is coated in the dry rub/olive oil mixture. refrigerate overnight. next day, add pork and braising liquid to instant pot. cook on manual mode, high pressure for 90 minutes. let pressure cooker naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then you can manually release steam. enjoy tender, juicy pulled pork 🙂

the pork speaks for itself – instant pot pulled pork

instant pot pulled pork

Instant Pot bbq pulled pork.

…the two year old ate his entire serving (unheard of), and the 8 month old couldn’t stop shoveling it in. enjoy!

ingredients

6-7 pound bone in pork shoulder

dry rub:
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt, ½ tbsp fresh ground black pepper, 1 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp ancho chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, a few shakes of cinnamon (to taste).

braising liquid: 1 can of beer (i used blue moon), about ½ cup of water, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce

olive oil

instructions

the night before, mix together dry rub and cut pork into 2-3 large pieces. add pork and dry rub to a bowl or gallon sized plastic bag, along with dry rub and a few glugs of olive oil. mix together so all the pork is coated in the dry rub/olive oil mixture. refrigerate overnight. next day, add pork and braising liquid to instant pot. cook on manual mode, high pressure for 90 minutes. let pressure cooker naturally release for at least 10 minutes, then you can manually release steam. enjoy tender, juicy pulled pork 🙂