French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe)

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

This recipe was originally published on July 27, 2011, I recently updated it along with the photos. We love this recipe and make it all the time during the winter months, I know you’ll enjoy it!

I love my slow cooker. Lately, it’s been my most favorite appliance because it’s so nice to come home with dinner almost ready. On really busy nights and nights I work late, the slow cooker is my friend.

This French onion pot roast recipe is something I have been making for at least a couple of years now. I have adapted the original recipe and changed it up several times but this is how I make it now. My favorite cut of beef for this recipe is a boneless chuck roast that my grocery store calls a California roast. I love adding celery, carrots and onions and even using them as a side dish when serving it.

So easy to make and the whole family will enjoy! French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from thelittlekitchen.netFrench Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

Add the vegetables to the bottom of your slow cooker.

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from
This is what a California roast looks like. It’s flat unlike the chuck roast. I trim some of the fat off from the edges and pat it dry with a paper towel.

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from
Cover the roast in flour, salt and pepper.

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

Add to a dutch oven on  brown in a pan 2-4 minutes on each side at medium to medium high heat.

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

I use tongs to stand the roast on its ends to sear the ends too!

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

Place the roast in the slow cooker and add the french onion soup along with water. After 5 hours on high or 10 hours on low, you’ll have a wonderfully moist and tender roast. I like to serve it in chunks and then shred it up on my plate. If you prefer, you can shred up the meat and put back into the slow cooker. I use the sauce from the slow cooker and serve it over the meat as well as my potatoes.

I’m a huge fan of comfort food, can you tell? This is a great dish for an easy Sunday dinner or just a quick weeknight meal and it’s not too heavy for a summer dinner.

The original photo from when this post was published in July 2011.

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from thelittlekitchen.netAren’t these plates so lovely? They are from Ree (The Pioneer Woman’s new collection). You can buy them here.


We love this recipe…our family and friends do too! I just love being able to have a little bit of prep and dinner is ready in the evening. When I make this French onion pot roast recipe…when Curtis comes home and opens the garage door, he can usually smell it all the way in the garage…he gets so excited!

If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @thelittlekitchn and use the hashtag #thelittlekitchenrecipes! I love seeing your posts and photos!

French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe)

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours 20 minutes


  • celery stalks, trimmed & cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 4 large carrots, washed, ends trimmed & cut into thirds (if really thick, cut in half length-wise)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 to 4 pound boneless beef chuck roast (also known as a California roast)
  • 3Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • homemade or canned french onion soup (if using condensed, use 10.5-ounce can or 3 cups non-condensed)


  1. Add carrots, celery and onions to the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  3. (Optional) Trim any fat on the sides off of the roast and rinse with water.
  4. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Using your fingers, add flour mixture to cover the roast. (My roast this time was taller than I usually get it and it was tied for me. You can tie yours with kitchen twine if you want.)
  5. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large dutch oven on medium to medium high heat for  to 4 minutes. Add roast to heated pan and heat to sear for 2 to 4 minutes on each side. (Add more oil if needed and lower heat if necessary.) Use tongs to flip the roast and to hold the roast on its ends and sear for one minute.
  6. Add the seared beef roast on top of the vegetables. Add french onion soup to the slow cooker. (If using condensed soup, add 1 cup of water to the slow cooker.)
  7. Cook roast in slow cooker on low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 5 hours.
  8. Serve with vegetables from the slow cooker and mashed potatoes or noodles.

Modifed from French Pot Roast recipe from Recipe Land.

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French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe) from

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47 Responses to “French Onion Pot Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe)”

  1. 1
    Maris (In Good Taste — July 27, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Growing up, pot roast was one of my favorite meals. I am definetly going to have to get out the slow cooker for this one!


    • Melis replied: November 1st, 2015 @ 11:30 am

      Just buy a slow cooker from a thrift store, if you don’t want to spend the money on a new one. Also, they make smaller slow cookers, so that might help your cause (depending on the size of your household).


  2. 2
    Eliana — July 27, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    This has comfort written all over it. I have yet to convince my husband that we need to add a slow cooker to our already packed kitchen but I think I can win him over with this meal. Thanks so much for sharing.


    • JulieD replied: July 27th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm


      It doesn’t have to stay on your counter. :) I know what you mean, I have a little kitchen after all. I use my slow cooker 2-4 times a month and it’s completely worth it! I just bought my sister a 7 Qt slow cooker for $30.00 on Amazon actually!


  3. 3
    Marilyn at Forkful — July 27, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Yup, time to head to my nearest discount store and buy a slow cooker. This roast looks that good! Thank you so much for this workaholic-friendly recipe. 😀


    • JulieD replied: August 9th, 2011 @ 12:43 am

      Did you buy one yet? If not, there are several under $40 on Amazon! :)


  4. 4
    Rob — July 28, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    Pot Roast is awesome plus anything that can be cooked in one pot all together at once is a huge plus. Pot roast in the slow cooker always seems to come out so juicy and tender. MMM, now I am hungry for pot roast. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing.


  5. 5
    Suzanne — July 28, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    Your pot roast looks delicious and your photos are great. I use this same method of making mine and it always turns out great.


  6. 6
    Russell at Chasing Delicious — July 28, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    I love pot roast. This recipe looks scrumptious. Do you know if you have to use a slow cooker or can you do it on the stove or in the oven on a really low temperature?


    • JulieD replied: September 22nd, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

      Russell, I’m sorry I never responded to you! You can definitely do this in the oven. I would do it in a French or Dutch oven at 300 degrees for 4-5 hours. Hope you try it, let me know how it turns out if you do!


  7. 7
    Katie from Katie's Cucina — July 29, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    This looks and sounds amazing! I love pot roast and I love using my slow cooker!!! I’m adding this to my “make” list!


  8. 8
    Lenore — July 29, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    I don’t use my slow cooker nearly often enough; it is such a good idea to start it before work and have dinner ready when you get home. This looks delish, and C would LOVE it, especially with potatoes on the side 😉


  9. 9
    Mommyof2Girlz/StephD — July 29, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

    Found this on foodgawker, it looks amazing! We love pot roast so this is a definite recipe to try this week. Thanks for sharing!


  10. 10
    Kimberly — August 2, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    This looks SO GOOD! It might be early in the AM but I would eat this for breakfast in a heartbeat. Ha Ha. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love my slow cooker. I am going to have to try this.


  11. 11
    Robin @ YankeeKitchen — August 2, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

    I am going to try making my roast this way next time. I have never done it in a slow cooker before, but we have a couple hot months left … time to dust the crock pot off 😉


    • JulieD replied: August 9th, 2011 @ 12:45 am

      I love my slow cooker, I think a little too much. I didn’t realize how hot it is up north in the summer and forget that no one has AC. Slow cookers are the perfect solution to the oven! Hope you’re doing well, Robin!


  12. 12
    Katie — August 6, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    Hi Julie…
    I love your blog and the pot roast was delicious! My girls loved it too…XoXo


  13. 13
    shelly (cookies and cups) — August 8, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    I love pot roast..It reminds me of Sunday Football in the fall!


  14. 14
    Katie — August 8, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    wow.. I don’t use the crockpot much in the summer, but it might be worth it for this. I haven’t made a pot roast since last winter but that looks so good!


  15. 15
    leslie — August 8, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    I love my slow cooker too! I have made my pot roast this way and it is DELICIOUS!


  16. 16
    trina — August 10, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    Your recipes never cease to amaze me! I find myself wanting to try out all of them!


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  20. 17
    kaitlyn — October 27, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    This sounds delicious and super simple. I am going to try it this weekend. I will also add 2 onions sliced, to give it some extra flavor and substance (since I’m sure the onions in the can of soup are chopped pretty small).

    I have used sliced onions before in many slow cooker recipes, and they always turn out perfectly cook and caramelized…just how I like them!


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  22. 18
    Nikki — November 28, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Pot roast is my husband’s favorite but he has been having trouble making it in the slow cooker. This recipe looks like the winner! Thanks so very much!


  23. 19
    Carly — December 12, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

    I have leftover frozen French onion soup, do you think I could use that in place of the can of soup and omit the water?


    • JulieD replied: December 12th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

      I think that would work! You want enough to cover the bottom of your crock pot and for it to reach up the pot roast but not cover it entirely. Let me know how it turns out if you try it! :)


      • Dave replied: November 1st, 2015 @ 6:17 pm

        I couldn’t find Campbell’s condensed French onion soup. I was only able to fine a large can of progreso French onion soup. Will that work?


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  25. 20
    Nikell — April 27, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    This looks really good!! I look forward to trying it. Thanks for sharing!!


  26. 21
    BILL — September 4, 2012 @ 12:59 pm



    • Julie Deily replied: September 6th, 2012 @ 11:28 am

      Hi Bill, if you’re looking at the recipe, the print button is to the right of the recipe name


  27. 22
    Pat Testing — April 13, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Thanks this was really nice – always nice to add another slow-cooker recipe to the list as I’m a bit obsessive about mine too!


  28. 23
    Chassity — December 11, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    This is the easiest and most amazing tasting roast recipe EVER! Thank you for sharing:-)


  29. 24
    Adella Gonzalez — January 21, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    A slow cooker is at the top of my wishlist. I remember my grandmother cooking with one. I’m so glad they are back… And the first thing I would make…pot roast! I’m a carnivore for sure! lol :)


  30. 25
    Susan Dear Bowles — June 7, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

    Made this once before; the fam has to have their chuck roasts cooked this way every time now; only problem, we have potato and rice lovers, so, I alternate the starches. My goodness, it’s not Thanksgiving!!


  31. 26
    mindy — July 2, 2014 @ 10:04 am

    Still trying to figure out my cooking skills so just curious. My family likes potatoes so can I add the potatoes to the bottom as well or will it take away from cooking of the roast?


  32. 27
    Kate — July 8, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

    I’ve made this twice now and it is sooo good! I’ve also added potatoes to the mix and it’s so yummy. My 18 month old loves it as well. Win/win! :) Thank you for sharing!


    • Julie Deily replied: July 14th, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

      Hi Kate,

      So glad you enjoy it!! Yay!!


  33. 28
    Bev — October 5, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    My family loves this style of roast also. A couple of things I do differently though are, I deg-laze the pan I’ve used to sear the roast with some red wine and add that to the crock pot. Also I shake a generous amount of salt, pepper and garlic powder over the roast before searing it. If we have leftovers, they like it if I cut the meat and vegetables into small chunks, add additional beef broth and a splash of red wine and turn it into a kind of soup stew. Heat that through, ladle into heavy bowls and top with croutons and a slice of cheese. Place that under the broiler till the cheese bubbles. We call that french onion stew.


  34. 29
    Leo — October 21, 2015 @ 4:51 pm

    Been meaning to check out the site ever since Curtis mentioned it. I’m excited to try out this pot roast recipe so wish me luck!

    P.S. Thanks again for the wedding gift & those coffee flavored cupcakes were life changing!


  35. 30
    Dani Mendocha | Styled Variety — November 16, 2015 @ 7:08 pm

    This looks like a delicious, cozy meal! Gotta love slow-cooker recipes :)

    Dani |


  36. 31
    Toni | BoulderLocavore — November 18, 2015 @ 2:39 pm

    I feel sure I have NEVER seen a prettier pot roast! All the photos look so delicious and your place settings make me just plain happy. That’s it; I’m getting on a plane today to come to your house for pot roast (don’t tell me ‘no’). Love this.


  37. 32
    bridget {bake at 350} — November 21, 2015 @ 11:49 am

    Oh, that looks AMAZING!!! And on my favorite plates, too!


  38. 33
    Julie M. — November 24, 2015 @ 7:17 am

    Julie, this roast looks like it was cooked to perfection! I’ve been using my slow cooker a lot lately as well. There’s nothing better for hot, hearty and easy meals. Thanks for sharing!


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