French Onion Pot Roast

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Our comforting French Onion Pot Roast recipe is an easy to prepare slow cooker meal. Enjoy a cozy, flavorful roast that’s ideal for Sunday dinners or any day of the week.

French Onion Pot Roast is a mix of two of my favorite dinners: slow cooked beef roast and French Onion Soup. This slow cooker pot roast is tender, flavorful, and has a rich onion-infused sauce that complements the beef perfectly. 

Learn how to prepare this beef roast in a slow cooker, or make it in a Dutch oven or Instant Pot. This recipe is adaptable to your schedule and kitchen tools on hand.

french onion pot roast cooked in a slow cooker with fresh parsley on top

Ingredients

ingredients for slow cooker french onion pot roast on a table

A few notes: 

  • Beef Chuck Roast. Chuck roast, thanks to its marbling, makes a flavorful pot roast that is fork tender. Although you can make this with other cuts of roast beef, chuck roast gives the best results for tender beef.
  • Red Onions. I love the slightly spicy flavor these give. Yellow onions are also a great option.
  • French Onion Soup Mix. Buy this in the grocery store in the soup aisle. It comes in a box with two packets of onions soup mix. Stores also may sell a dry soup mix that is French onion flavor, which works well for this French onion roast.

✨ See the recipe card for the full list of ingredients. ✨

How to Make French Onion Pot Roast

Prepare the pot roast for slow cooking in 4 easy steps:

collage of how to make french onion pot roast in the slow cooker
  • Season the chuck roast with salt and black pepper on all sides. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan. Sear the seasoned chuck roast on all sides until it forms a golden brown crust. Place the seared chuck roast at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Add the sliced onions to the skillet. Cook and stir the onions for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat to lightly brown them. They do not have to be fully cooked, just seared. Spread the thinly sliced red onions and minced garlic over the roast.
  • In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, tomato paste, beef broth and French onion soup mix. 
  • Pour this mixture over the chuck roast and onions. Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat is tender and easily shreds. If you cook on high, plan for about 4-5 hours.

When the pot roast is done, it will look something like this:

cooked pot roast with onions on top in a slow cooker

Use two forks to shred the beef, then sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Dutch Oven and Instant Pot Instructions

  • Dutch Oven: For a Dutch oven version, simply follow the same steps but cook in a preheated oven at 325°F for about 3-4 hours.
  • Instant Pot: For the pressure cooker version, use the sauté function for browning the meat and onions, then add the liquid and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes followed by a natural release. This method is perfect for when you’re craving comfort but are short on time.
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Make it a meal.

This pot roast pairs beautifully with some of our favorite side dishes such as creamy mashed potatoes or crusty bread, which is ideal for soaking up the rich onion sauce.

Don’t forget to add a side of steamed broccoli or a green salad for the ultimate comfort food meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

​Can I add vegetables to the slow cooker? 

Yes. Add a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and red potatoes to the slow cooker for a complete one-pot meal. These vegetables will absorb the flavorful broth and complement the roast.

How can I add more flavor to this pot roast?

Replace a portion of the beef broth with red wine for a deep and rich flavors. Choose a red wine that you enjoy drinking. Add a bay leaf, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, or even a touch of brown sugar. 

Can I use frozen meat for this recipe?

The USDA does not recommended using frozen meat in a slow cooker as it may not cook evenly and could lead to food safety concerns. Use completely thawed meat in the slow cooker.

What can I do with leftover sauce?

Make beef gravy! Make a cornstarch slurry with a tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. Drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the leftover sauce and mix. Heat until it is thickened.

overhead view of shredded pot roast in a slow cooker
overhead view of shredded pot roast in a slow cooker

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker)

5 from 7 votes
Our comforting French Onion Pot Roast recipe is an easy to prepare slow cooker meal. Enjoy a cozy, flavorful roast that's ideal for Sunday dinners or any day of the week.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

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Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup beef broth or beef stock
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix 1 ounce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Season the chuck roast with salt and black pepper on all sides. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil to the pan. Sear the seasoned chuck roast on all sides until it forms a golden brown crust. Place the seared chuck roast at the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Add the sliced onions to the skillet. Cook and stir the onions for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat to lightly brown them. They do not have to be fully cooked, just seared. Spread the thinly sliced red onions and minced garlic over the roast.
  • In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, tomato paste, beef broth and French onion soup mix.
  • Pour this mixture over the chuck roast and onions. Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender and easily shreds.
  • Once the roast is tender, carefully remove it from the slow cooker and place it on a serving dish. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top.
  • Serve the slow cooker French onion pot roast with your favorite sides like mashed potatoes or crusty bread.

Notes

  • While searing the chuck roast before placing it in the slow cooker is optional, it greatly enhances the flavor by creating a caramelized crust on the meat. Take the extra few minutes to sear for a delicious pot roast.
  • Cooking on low heat for an extended period (6-8 hours) allows the connective tissues in the chuck roast to break down, resulting in tender, juicy meat. Avoid the temptation to cook on high heat as it may lead to a less tender roast.
  • Test the roast for doneness by using a fork to see if it shreds easily. If it’s still tough, let it cook for an additional hour and check again. Cooking times can vary depending on the slow cooker.
  • Storage: Leftover pot roast can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezer Leftovers: If you have more leftovers than you can consume within a few days, consider freezing them. Place the cooled pot roast and sauce in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
  • The calories shown are based on the recipe making 6 servings, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the pot roast. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1302mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 317
Keyword easy slow cooker recipe, pot roast recipe, slow cooker roast beef

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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