Easy Italian Beef (Make-Ahead Freezer Meal)

This recipe couldn't be easier. It's moist, tender, and full of flavor—it tastes better than pot roast! This slow cooker dish was created as a make-ahead freezer meal, but can easily be made from start to finish at one time (see Notes). Serve on crusty Italian bread and turn leftovers into a tasty ragu sauce!

Italian Beef
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Additional Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
5 hrs 10 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast

  • 1 (16 ounce) jar whole pepperoncini peppers

  • 1 (.6 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Cut chuck roast into 5 pieces and place in a 1-gallon, resealable freezer bag.

  2. Drain pepperoncinis and reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add peppers to the freezer bag.

  3. Whisk reserved liquid with Italian dressing mix and olive oil. Pour mixture over the beef and peppers. Tightly seal the bag and mix the contents until well combined. Lay flat in the freezer and freeze for up to one month.

  4. When ready to cook, remove bag from the freezer and allow contents to partially thaw until they can be broken apart, about 1 hour.

  5. Empty bag into a slow cooker. Cook until meat is tender and shreds easily with a fork, on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours.

  6. Remove meat and shred with a fork. Return meat to the pot and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

You can also partially thaw this in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Turn any leftover beef into a delicious ragu sauce by simmering it with a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 1 ½ to 2 cups water, a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, and ½ teaspoon dried basil. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed and serve over pasta.

Want to eat this right away? Follow steps 1 and 2, using the slow cooker instead of a freezer bag. Follow step 2, pour mixture into the slow cooker, and mix until well combined. Cook until meat is tender and shreds easily with a fork, on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Follow step 6.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

480 Calories
38g Fat
3g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 480
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 123mg 41%
Sodium 1637mg 71%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 30g
Potassium 457mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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