Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

Another easy dinner recipe! Shredded Beef made in the slow cooker with balsamic glaze is perfect when you crave comfort food but don’t want to turn on the oven.

Shredded beef over a pile of smashed potatoes on a white plate.

I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice that I love my Slow Cooker!

We seriously use it for dinner recipes 3-4 times a week. You can never have too many recipes for slow cooker meals and this slow cooker Shredded Beef is a new favorite.

With after school activities as well as homework, the dinner hour can be quite hectic!

So this slow cooker thing? It’s been a part of my life for many many years! Ironically enough, I still use the same slow cooker I got as a wedding present, almost 18 years ago!

It’s ugly as heck, but it works just great.

Let’s get back to this beef though.

Choose the right beef

A versatile dinner starter, shredded beef cooks beautifully in the crock pot.

We love it served over mashed potatoes, piled onto toasted buns for a hot sandwich or all on its own with whatever sides you fancy.

I like using a chuck roast, with lots of marbling. This ensures that when you slow cook it, the fat renders into the meat and become fork tender!

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Why Balsamic

Balsamic is one of those ingredients I never really cooked with much in the past.

Then a couple years ago I made balsamic pork tenderloin.

This vinegar adds such complexity to any meat, bringing out its natural juices and complementing the savory flavors so well.

My life was changed. These two dinners are now on my favorites list and get rotated into our menu once a month! I hope you rotate them into your dinner menu soon!

Looking for an instant pot beef recipe? Try this take on Balsamic beef I
 made in my instant pot to fantastic results! 

What You’ll Need

Like all the best slow cooker dinner recipes, making this Balsamic Beef is as easy as dumping everything in your crock pot, turning it on and letting it cook.

Here’s what I used to make this Slow Cooker Shredded Beef recipe: 

  •  chuck roast
  •  beef broth
  •  light brown sugar
  •  balsamic vinegar
  •  soy sauce
  • garlic
  • red pepper flakes 

To prepare the roast, you whisk together all the liquid ingredients and seasonings in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the chuck roast, cover with a lid and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.

The beef will be extremely tender and fall apart easily when you remove it from the pot. Shred it with a fork then return it back to all those delicious juices.

It’s ready to serve right away but also keeps well in the fridge for several days. This makes a lot of meat so you’re likely to have leftovers for lunches the next day!

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Tips and Tricks for Shredded Beef

  • I used a 5 lb roast, you can certainly use a smaller roast if you don’t think your family will eat that much meat. The excess sauce is delicious to reserve for mashed potatoes!
  • Want to make this a freezer meal? Easy. Cook the beef as directed then transfer to a freezer safe bag, juices and all. Thaw in the fridge and reheat to have a nearly instant dinner next time you need it.
  • Time saving tip: whisk the ingredients for the sauce together on the weekend when you have a few minutes, then store in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook the beef, just pour the contents into the slow cooker and proceed as directed. A perfect hack for preparing a slow cooker meal in the morning!

What to serve with shredded beef

Not sure how to serve this Balsamic Beef? There’s no wrong way!

My family raved about the shredded beef served over a mound of  Mashed Potatoes. The juices turn into a perfect gravy for the potatoes that I could probably eat with a spoon all on its own.

You can also serve shredded balsamic beef with sandwich rolls or hamburger buns! Leftovers are great served as sandwiches and wraps, too.

Baked Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli and Zucchini  are other great side dishes that would pair well with this shredded beef dinner.

Whip up a batch of Sweet Potato Fries or Baked French fries for another tasty side.

Forkful of shredded beef and mashed potatoes.

Tangy and aromatic with just a hint of brown sugar sweetness, this beef holds nothing back when it comes to taste!

The fact that it cooks on its own in the slow cooker with almost no hands-on prep time is a major bonus.

Add this to your weekly dinner rotation soon; you’re going to love it!

MORE Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: serves 8

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes

Shredded Beef made in the slow cooker with balsamic glaze is perfect when you crave comfort food but don't want to turn on the oven.


  • 5lb beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed


  1. Whisk together all the ingredients and add to the bottom of a slow cooker. Add roast. Covere and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove roast and shred with a fork, return to juices.
  2. Serve and enjoy. The gravy is delicious with mashed potatoes too!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 724Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 235mgSodium: 733mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 70g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on May 9, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. Hi – I have some stewing beef cubes in the freezer.  I was wondering if I could use that instead of a whole roast for this recipe? Also, I’m assuming the substitution would affect the cooking time?  It looks delicious! Thank-you!

  2. I made this in the pressure cooker yesterday AM and wound up adding 10 minutes to the pressure cooker. It turned out Really good but I’m going to do the crockpot next time as I think the flavors will be more intense. I shredded it then added a thinly sliced onion to it then spread it out on a jelly roll pan and put it under the broiler for ten minutes. I took the juice and strained off the fat added another 1/4 cup balsamic and 1/2 stick of butter and reduced it to about a half cup. I drizzled the sauce over both sides of hard rolls and added the meat. As a side I roasted asparagus with olive oil and kosher salt and served that with the sauce drizzled over it. The sauce is OUTSTANDING over the asparagus. THANK YOU for such a great recipe!!!

  3. I was trying to figure something interesting to do with this roast my Partner took out of the freezer 2 days ago so I went to Pinterest and found your recipe. I’m doing it in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes with plans to shred it then brown it a bit under the broiler something like you would do with carnitas then either serve it over rice or in a hard roll as you would do pulled pork. It smells incredible in the kitchen as I’m posting this. I hope my partner likes this. I’m the guy who does the interesting foods and he’s the one who does the stir frys. Thanks for this great idea.

  4. Made  this for Super Bowl Sunday and DANG!…it’s a Keeper.  We rate 5 out of 5. Super easy too.   I ended up with a 3.5 lb roast but made the full recipe for the sauce. I also seared the roast before putting into the crock pot and strained the sauce afterwards.  Absolutely delicious.  Thank you for sharing!!  

  5. I’ve had this pinned forever and am finally making it tonight. I’m a professional organizer and I tell people that the slow cooker is their best friend. Looking forward to it!

    1. ENJOY!!! Ironically, we have the pork version in our crockpot tonight!! It’s such a family favorite recipe 🙂

  6. Hi! I’m new to the slow cooker world and just wondered about doing a smaller version of this? I have a little 2 quart slow cooker (just for the two of us), so I would have to do a smaller roast. Should I half the entire recipe then? And would it still cook for 6 hours? Recipe sounds so wonderful I really want to try it out!

  7. Oh good lord, this dish is absolutely amazing! I stumbled across your recipe via Pinterest (who doesn’t love Pinterest?!) and decided it sounded delicious and pretty easy to make. I asked for a slow cooker this Christmas just gone, so I have been so excited to put it to use and I have to say thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. It has gone straight to our Top 5 favourites list in our household. My boyfriend said it was “the best thing I’ve ever eaten; a 12 out of 10”. The best part is, there is a surplus of meat so we were even thinking of incorporating half of the leftovers into a whole new dish, with pasta or something like it, to really get the most out of that one cut of meat. Thanks again! x

    1. I love to hear when people enjoy my recipes!! Thanks so much for stopping back! And it’s definitely a 12 out of 10 🙂

  8. I am so hopeful that this recipe will rock that I have already invited 5 people over for dinner to enjoy it…Thanks for sharing!

  9. I tried this recipe out last night and was pleasantly surprised. There was still an hour left on the crockpot when I got home and waited until my 8 hours were up to shred the beef with a fork. The meat was so tender and juicy. I served my balsamic beef with mashed potatoes, green beans and carrots. Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s a winner in our home.

  10. Planning on making this for dinner soon, but have London Broil on hand instead of chuck roast. Would it still work? Would the cooking time be any different? Thank you!!

  11. Aarrgghhh…I made this today and my beef was tough, not shreddable 🙁 I had it on low for 5 hours and it was 4 lbs..help!!!!

    1. The recipe is for 6-8 hours for a 4-5lb roast. That extra hour (to two hours) really makes a difference!!

  12. I made this tonight it smelled so good all day. It was really tasty too. I did sear my roast first with some dehydrated garlic, fresh pepper, and a little salt in olive oil than I didnt have beef stock so I subbed some chicken stock in the marinade and had a little left so I deglazed the pan with that and poured it over the roast in the crock pot. I made mashed potatoes to go with it. I also mixed a little cornstarch with cold water and added that to the au jus and boiled it till it was a nice gravy and it was perfect. I have quite a bit left over so im thinking they might be good in chimichangas tomorrow………..

  13. Made this last night for my book club. Served it on mashed potatoes, with roasted green beans on the side. And enough leftovers for Sunday meal with my husband. It was great!

  14. This was delish! I first served it with some mushrooms & mashed potatoes. The next day, I cooked some with the leftover need broth, kale & wheat pasta. I wish the sauce was a touch thicker but it was so good both ways! Thanks!

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