Easy Slow Cooker Chicago Style Italian Beef Recipe

Looking for a delicious weeknight dinner idea? This Slow Cooker Italian Beef has very little prep work involved. Add everything to the slow cooker and come home to a hearty flavorful meal.

We never get tired of easy slow cooker recipes. For a different but equally delicious beef, try our Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe too.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is a Chicago classic! Easy to make with little prep work for your crockpot!

Why this Recipe Works

I love Chicago. I love the food we have here. When we moved away in 2006, I didn’t realize just how much I would miss a few of my favorite things.

Everyone knows about Chicago style Deep Dish pizza and our famous Vienna Beef Hot Dogs.

Today’s recipe is all about the unsung hero of Chicago food traditions: Italian Beef.

This isn’t your everyday crockpot beef recipe. Chicago style Italian beef is thinly sliced and simmered with peppers. While it’s similar to my Mississippi Pot Roast, this recipe is made with Italian seasonings and requires no butter.

The slow cooker is the perfect vehicle for cooking Italian Beef.

  • Simmering for hours with peppers transforms ordinary roast into fork tender perfection.
  • You only need three ingredients to make this recipe and it takes virtually no effort.
  • The meat is full of herby flavor and a peppery kick. You decide how spicy you like it!
  • Serve this beef with giardiniera on toasty French rolls for the full Chicago Italian Beef sandwich experience.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is a Chicago classic! Easy to make with little prep work for your crockpot!

Ingredient Notes

Here’s what you need to make Slow Cooker Italian Beef.

Top Roast. I use boneless roasts for this recipe.

Pepper rings. These are canned peppers that are added right to the pot with the roast. You can buy the spicy ones, or mild, depending on how hot you want them to be.

Italian dressing seasoning mix. You’ll find envelopes of dressing seasoning near the bottled salad dressings in the grocery store.

Serving Suggestions

Once the beef has simmered for at least 6 hours, you can serve it one of two ways:

  1. Shredded. Use two sturdy forks to pull the meat apart. It’s so tender that this shouldn’t be hard!
  2. Sliced. Place the cooked roast on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to make thin slices.

This beef is irresistible stuffed into a French roll or on a crusty Italian bread. Top with the giardiniera and you have a Chicagoan-approved Italian Beef sandwich.

Add a green salad with Homemade Italian Salad Dressing for a full meal.

Tips and Tricks

  • Put the roast in the slow cooker with the fat side up. If you prefer, you can also trim the fat first.
  • Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the meat before adding peppers for best flavor.
  • Do NOT drain the liquid from the peppers! It adds delicious flavor and moisture to the beef.

Recipe FAQs

What is giardiniera?

Giardiniera is a mixture of vegetables pickled in spices. It has Italian origins but is an especially popular condiment in Chicago.
Most store bought giardiniera includes peppers, cauliflower and celery. It may also contain onions, carrots or other veggies.

Can I use chuck roast in this recipe?

Yes, both chuck roast and top roast are delicious in this slow cooker recipe.

How do you store leftover Italian beef?

Transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the fridge and enjoy reheated within 3 days.

I don’t have French rolls. What other kinds of bread can I serve with the beef?

Any crusty or hearty bread works! You can even use regular hamburger or hot dug buns in a pinch.

This Slow Cooker Italian Beef is a Chicago classic! Easy to make with little prep work for your crockpot!

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Give Christmas dinner a decadent finish with this Eggnog Cheesecake Cake. A creamy center and plenty of spice make this the ideal dessert for a cozy holiday celebration!

Slow Cooker Italian Beef brings a taste of Chicago to your kitchen. Make a hearty homecooked main dish with just 3 ingredients!

Yield: Serves 8-10

Slow Cooker Italian Beef

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Looking for a delicious weeknight dinner idea? This Slow Cooker Italian Beef has very little prep work, and you can come home to a delicious meal!


  • 3 pound top round roast (I used boneless)
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing seasoning mix
  • 1 jar (16 oz) mild pepper rings (don't drain)
  • giardiniera and french rolls, for serving


  1. In a large slow cooker, place roast in (I like to put the side with the fat up, but you can also trim the fat if you prefer).
  2. Sprinkle the italian dressing seasoning mix over the top of the roast.
  3. Pour the whole jar of pepper rings with juice over the roast.
  4. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. When ready to serve, use two forks and shred beef, or place on a cutting board and slice the beef thin. Serve on a french roll with giardiniera. ENJOY

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 45g

Did you make this recipe?

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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 August 14, 2018

Comments & Reviews


  2. We’ve had this twice so far and I have it in the crockpot again tonight for lunch tomorrow! I personally love salty foods so it is perfect! A little bit of shredded mozzarella topped with spicy giardiniera and you’ve got yourself.

  3. That looks sooooooo delicious!!! McDonalds should definitely add it to their menu. That way they’ll have at least one item worth trying. Great recipe, Aimee! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Chicago really does have some of the best food!!!!  Mmmmm now I’m totally craving some deep dish pizza…thank you for that!  And slow cooker meals really are the best.  Throw it in and forget about it!!!

    1. If you’re still coming to Chitown for BHF, we’ll get some deep dish pizza together and have a PJ party 🙂

  5. This looks like my perfect Friday night dinner! Yummmmm! Also yum is Chicago deep dish pizza, I definitely prefer it to NY style

    1. Do not ever speak of the NY version. Hahaha!! We went to NY a few years ago with our kids and they HATED it, as did I 🙂

  6. Isn’t the slow cooker the best kitchen appliance ever??  I have a chick roast cooking in mine right this minute (great minds!) but next up is your recipe!  And enjoy every minute of your time with your son! 🙂

  7. Aimee, I bet you are so happy that Alex is home from basic. Congratulations and we are very proud of him. Love Chicago Italian beef in . Don’t hate so much on Ohio. :)))  Talk to you soon. Q

  8. This looks amazing! Love anything in the slow cooker and not having to deal with dinner after work! I would have been the same with with the deep dish pizza 😉 Maybe I’ll move to Chicago too!

  9. Oh my goodness, this looks wonderful. And a brilliant idea to use sliced pepper rings! I bet you are in heaven with your son home 🙂

  10. Dear Aimee, this recipe looks easy and delicious and a ton of flavor. Just my style! With soccer and music lessons after school, we use our slow cooker all the time around here. Always glad to have a new recipe. Enjoy your time with Alex! xo

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