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Cooked low and slow, this well-known Slow Cooker Italian Beef made into sandwiches is the perfect dinnertime meal. You will not be able to resist them.

Close up of closed Slow Cooker Italian Beef with French fries in background

Growing up in Chicago and going there a couple of times a year I’m obsessed with Italian Beef Sandwiches. I’ve come to make my own version with this Slow Cooker Italian Beef.

Everyone knows Chicago for its deep-dish pizza but only a true Chicagoin knows a juicy Italian Beef is where it’s at. (Though anything Chicago style is amazing, haha!)

We love to dip our hoagie roll in the juice from cooking the beef then pile it high with the shaved beef. Most of the time it is served with sweet peppers (roasted green bell peppers) and spicy giardiniera. 

This is a home-cooked version with shredded beef and topped with sliced mozzarella because who doesn’t love cheese?! 

I personally always like to have more of the “juice” on the side to dip each bite. It’s messy, hearty, pure comfort food. And trust me this is comfort right here!

These Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches are super easy to whip up, I promise. Once you try this main dish you wont want to stop eating them. That slow cooker beef is seriously addictive. 

That is what made me come to love them so much. I mean being formerly from Chicago helped but when you can make a good sandwich at home, nothing compares. You have to try my Slow Cooker Italian Beef version.

Some of my other favorite sandwich recipes we have on our site include Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches, Easy Muffaletta Sandwiches and Best Oven Baked Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Italian Beef s on tray open with pepperoncinis on top and in bowl

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. With easy-to-find ingredients mainly containing spices, this is a breeze to make.
  2. Cooking the slow and slow makes the beef super tender and easy to shred.
  3. You can use any leftover meat for other things, topped on potatoes or rice, etc.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Beef broth
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried onion
  • Dried parsley
  • Garlic powder
  • Bay leaf
  • Dry Italian dressing mix (package of dried salad dressing mix, such as Good Seasons)
  • Chuck roast
  • Giardiniera
  • Pepperoncinis (more or less to taste)
  • Pepperoncini juice

HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF:

  1. Combine beef broth, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried onion, parsley, garlic powder, Bay leaf, and Italian salad dressing mix.
  2. Put the roast in the slow cooker.
  3. Pour mixture over top of the roast.
  4. Add giardiniera, pepperoncini’s, and liquid over roast
  5. Cover and cook on low for approximately 10 hours or until pull=apart tender.
  6. When done take out the Bay leaf.
  7. Shred beef with two forks
  8. Serve on a hoagie roll topped with sliced mozzarella cheese and extra peppers and giardiniera if desired.
Step by step photos on how to make Slow Cooker Italian Beef

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

Chicago-style giardiniera is a mixture of chopped vegetables, most commonly, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, celery, and Chile peppers that is then marinated in vinegar or oil. 

This is something I absolutely love to add to my Italian Beef Sandwiches, but is completely option if you would like to add them. 

You can easily locate it at your local supermarket a lot of the times or deli if you have one near you!

No, the original Italian Beef sandwiches in Chicago are not made with shredded meat or prepared in a slow cooker.

Those sandwiches feature thinly sliced beef, often soaked in its own juices and served on an Italian roll, quite distinct from the slow cooker method which results in a different texture and flavor profile.

Overhead of Slow Cooker Italian Beef open faced with dip on tray

Head to the grocery store and pick out any of the following for slow cooking.

  • Caramelized onions for a sweet touch
  • Banana peppers for a mild, tangy flavor
  • A mixture of pepperoncini peppers for extra spice and crunch
  • Pickled vegetables to add acidity and texture
  • Red wine in the broth for a deeper flavor
  • Crusty rolls, hoagie buns, or Italian rolls for authentic serving
  • Sliced provolone cheese or Swiss cheese for a meltier cheese option
  • Fresh herbs like basil or oregano for garnish

All of that cooking liquid makes for some amazing dipping. Such tender beef and other simple ingredients!

  • Low sodium beef broth instead of regular to reduce salt content
  • Top round or rump roast in place of chuck roast for a leaner option
  • Beef stock can be used as an alternative to beef broth for a richer base
  • Gluten-free hoagie rolls for those with dietary restrictions
  • Boneless chuck roast can be replaced with a similar cut if unavailable

HOW TO STORE:

If you have leftover beef from your crock pot italian beef sandwiches you can easily store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container such as a ziptop bag or Tupperware container, I like to store with some of the juices.

This will stay good properly stored in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

This can also be frozen. The best way is to store with some juices in a freezer bag with the air pushed out. This should keep for up to 5 months.

Let defrost in the refrigerator and heat up in a pan on the stove or in your microwave, either will work just fine.

I mean just look at these sandwiches, are they calling your name? Because they are certainly calling mine. Now I miss the originals I had from Chicago, but this is the next best thing.

I love trying to get as authentic to the original as I can and I think this recipe pretty much hits the nail on the head!

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Use the pan juices for dipping, it is amazing. 
  • You can choose to use giardiniera if you like, I highly recommend it but it is optional.
  • Leftover meat can easily be frozen, see my tips above on how to do that.
  • We like to serve these with mozzarella cheese, but provolone is also a good substitute.
  • Do not try to cook this on high, this must be cooked on low otherwise the meat will get tough and you won’t be able to shred it.
  • Don’t forget to remove your bay leaf, the last thing you want is one of those in your sandwich.
Hand dipping on Slow Cooker Italian Beef into juices

Looking for the perfect sandwich? Look no further.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is easy, irresistible, and the perfect dinner recipe.

If you’ve tried this SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF, let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 hours
Total: 10 hours 20 minutes
Cooked low and slow, this well-known Slow Cooker Italian Beef made into sandwiches is the perfect dinnertime meal. You will not be able to resist them.
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • slow cooker

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Combine beef broth, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried onion, parsley, garlic powder, Bay leaf, and Italian salad dressing mix.
    3 cups beef broth, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon dried onion, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 bay leaf, 1 pkg dry Italian dressing mix
  • Put the roast in the slow cooker.
    3-4 pounds chuck roast
  • Pour mixture over top of the roast.
  • Add giardiniera, pepperoncini’s, and liquid over roast
    1/2 cup giardiniera, 4-8 pepperoncinis, 1/4 cup pepperoncini juice
  • Cover and cook on low for approximately 10 hours or until pull=apart tender.
  • When done take out the Bay leaf.
  • Shred meat with two forks
  • Serve on a hoagie roll topped with sliced mozzarella cheese and extra peppers and giardiniera if desired.

Video

Notes

  1. Nutritional information is calculated for the meat only, not cheese or hoagie rolls.
  2. Use the pan juices for dipping, it is amazing. 
  3. You can choose to use giardiniera if you like, I highly recommend it but it is optional.
  4. Leftover meat can easily be frozen, see my tips above on how to do that.
  5. We like to serve these with mozzarella cheese, but provolone is also a good substitute.
  6. Do not try to cook this on high, this must be cooked on low otherwise the meat will get tough and you won’t be able to shred it.
  7. Don’t forget to remove your bay leaf, the last thing you want is one of those in your sandwich.

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1131mg | Potassium: 661mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian

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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. Italian Beefs are sliced meat. Not shredded just sayin. Also the juice from the pepperoncini is A bit hot.

  2. You’re right, I never claimed them to be like the original.

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