There are only 5 ingredients in this simple, paleo and whole30 slow cooker or Instant Pot pot roast recipe. Make this easy dinner any day of the week.
Updated 2019 with Instant Pot instructions
Roasts were made for the slow cooker. Outside of chili I think they’re my favorite dish to make in the slow cooker. In general, roasts are pretty easy to make. When you use your slow cooker, they’re almost 100% foolproof.
Type of Roast To Use
I tend to always use a chuck roast for my pot roasts however the great thing about slow cooking is that almost any cut of beef whether it be chuck, rump, round, etc. can be slow cooked to the point where it’s extremely tender. I mean falling apart tender. I put a range on the roast size (2 to 4 pounds) on purpose. How large is your slow cooker? I used a 3 pound chuck roast in my 6-quart slow cooker. My 6-quart can comfortably hold up to 4 pounds of meat along with potatoes and vegetables. Use a roast that fits your slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and it’s okay if you have to cut it up first. If you use anything under 2 pounds, lower the cook time by 1-2 hours.
The 5 Ingredients
Roast, steak seasoning, potatoes, carrots, and broth. Since I’m limiting myself to 5 ingredients I had to make some choices with this roast. I went with yellow potatoes because waxy potatoes hold their shape better with slow cooking. If you substitute another type of potato like sweet potatoes, I suggest you cut them in larger chunks than usual. This will help them not turn to mush during the long cook time. For my carrots, I picked up my tri-colored carrots but you can use regular orange carrots. I was just trying to be fancy. You don’t need to add a lot of broth. I only used 1/2 cup for the slow cooker (you’ll need a full cup for the Instant Pot). However if you think you’ll want to make a nice gravy for this, then use up to 1 cup with the slow cooker. I don’t suggest you use more than 1 cup – liquid doesn’t evaporate when slow cooking so using more than 1 cup will cause this have way too much liquid in the finished product. Unless you want roast soup.
In the slow cooker version, I did brown my beef beforehand. This is an optional but recommended step. I did so because I have the slow cooker that allows you to brown your meat directly in the base. You can add your meat raw though, you don’t have to sear it first. The pressure cooker makes this easy since you can brown the roast directly in the base. I also added a tablespoon of dried chopped onion. Again, optional and yes that would technically make this more than 5 ingredients so I’ll just act like it was a part of the steak seasoning.
Other roast recipes you might enjoy:
This recipe calls for your favorite steak seasoning. If you don’t have a favorite or preferred steak seasoning, make your own. Below is my homemade steak blend if you don’t have one. It already includes salt; you don’t need to add any additional salt to this recipe, there is more than enough between the steak seasoning and the broth.
You’ll know this is done when the meat shred easily with a fork. Keep cooking it until it does. Depending on how large your roast is and your slow cooker heats, this might take the full 10 hours. Mine cooked in 9 hours on low in the slow cooker and 55 minutes in the Instant Pot.
- 2–4 lb roast of your choice
- 1 lb potatoes, chopped
- 3/4 lb carrots, chopped
- 2 tbsp steak seasoning
- 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth (1 full cup for IP)
- 2 tsp oil (optional)
Optional step is to add oil to a large skillet over medium heat and sear the meat a few minutes each side prior to adding the roast to the slow cooker.
- Season roast generously with steak seasoning.
- Add roast, potatoes, and carrots to the slow cooker. Pour broth on top.
- Cook HIGH 3-5 hours, LOW 8-10.
- Season roast generously with steak seasoning.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute. Once hot, add the oil and beef. Brown beef on all sides, approximately 3-5 minutes per side. Remove roast from the pressure cooker.
- Add broth and deglaze the bottom of the pressure cooker by scraping all the bits off with a wooden spoon. Add roast.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook 40-80 minutes (see notes below). Natural release pressure 10 minutes, then quick release remaining pressure.
- Add potatoes and carrots. Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Quick release pressure.
Instant Pot cook time will depend on how big your roast is and how your pressure cooker heats. Estimate an average of 20 minutes per pound. If you’re using a frozen roast, average 30 minutes per pound.
If you’re using a frozen roast, skip the searing/browning step. Add the roast to the pressure cooker, add seasoning & broth on top.
PS. This is one of those meal that will have your entire house smelling wonderful when you get home!
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