Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches Recipe + Video

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Make this Italian beef recipe for tender roast beef in a crock pot, then make Italian beef sandwiches with sweet peppers and melted cheese. SO delicious! If you love tender beef, this simple recipe has a lot of flavor! 

italian beef recipe crock pot


Italian Beef Recipe

I love cooking beef in my slow cooker. Not only is it quick and easy, but the meat comes out fork tender and delicious every time I make it!

If you want more crockpot beef recipes, you have got to try my Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff.

It’s hearty and flavorful with beef, mushrooms, onions, and garlic that are slow-cooked all day long.

Or, my Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon is full of delicious and tender veggies, with juicy, melt in your mouth beef cooked in wine. And, it’s incredibly easy to make!!

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is smothered with spices, oven seared, then simmered in the crockpot for a simple recipe that is wonderfully juicy and exploding with flavor. 


How to Make Italian Beef in the Slow Cooker

Slow cook a boneless beef chuck roast in your crockpot with bouillon and seasonings until it is fork-tender.

Then, shred the meat and serve on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone cheese for a simple, but delicious dinner!

About the broth

You can substitute 3 cups of boiling beef stock for the water and bouillon, but the bouillon gives it a really great flavor!

I would still add a few teaspoons of the bouillon or beef base when making this Italian beef recipe.


Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Beef – I use chuck roast for this Italian beef slow cooker recipe because it comes out perfectly tender every time. 

    But, you could also substitute a rump roast or another type of boneless beef roast if you prefer.
  • Cheese – We love the taste of provolone cheese on our sandwiches. But, you can use another type of meltable cheese if you prefer. 

    Good substitutions are mozzarella or cheddar cheese.
  • Toppings – We top our Italian Beef Sandwiches with roasted red peppers and mild banana peppers. 

    For a slightly different taste, try swapping those with your favorite giardiniera — Italian pickled vegetables.

Best Bread for Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian beef is typically served on hoagie rolls, but you can use any thin sandwich-type roll if those aren’t available.

  • Brioche sandwich roll
  • Ciabatta oblong bun
  • French torpedo roll
  • Italian sandwich roll

I do not recommend using slices of sandwich bread for this Italian beef recipe. 

The bread will quickly become soggy and won’t be sturdy enough to hold all of the shredded beef and peppers.

shredded italian beef in crock pot

Storing and Reheating Slow Cooker Italian Beef

Transfer cooked Italian beef from crock pot to a tightly covered container. It will stay good for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

To extend the storage time, you can easily freeze your leftovers

Just place the meat in a freezer bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, then store it for up to 2 to 3 months for the best quality.

To reheat, allow slow cooker Italian beef to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place the meat and broth in a pan covered with aluminum foil. 

Bake until it is warmed through and serve it on freshly toasted rolls.

close up: tongs grabbing shredded italian beef in slow cooker

Italian Beef Crock Pot FAQ

What meat is Italian beef made from?

Typically, Italian beef is made with chuck roast. Other cuts of meat that work well include top round, top sirloin, and bottom round (also known as rump roast).

Italian Beef vs. Roast Beef vs. French Dip

Although fairly similar, there are a few key differences between each of these types of sandwiches!

Italian Beef: Seasoned and slow cooked beef is shredded and piled on hoagie rolls with roasted or pickled veggies.

Roast Beef: Oven roasted beef is thinly sliced and used in a variety of sandwich recipes. Often paired with peppers and cheese.

French Dip: A type of roast beef sandwich that is served with au jus on the side for dipping.

What are the best toppings for an Italian beef sandwich recipe? 

I’m a big fan of hot peppers or pepperoncini peppers. They just pair so perfectly with the thing slices or cut of beef, and you can add it all on top of crusty rolls. Bell peppers in thin slices are another great option as well. 

The best thing about making a delicious Italian beef sandwich is that you can use a number of favorite ways to create it. The juicy beef pairs well with hoagie buns, and easily creates the perfect sandwich for an easy weeknight diner or for the holiday season. 

In just a little time, you can have one of the best sandwiches with the slow cooking process and your favorite toppings. I assure you that the flavor of this beef is the perfect way to make the whole sandwich incredibly delicious. 

Serving Suggestions

If you’re wondering what to serve with this Italian beef recipe, traditionally, you would serve French fries. But, here are a few alternative options to consider:

Don’t feel like sandwiches? Spoon slow cooker Italian beef or rice or mashed potatoes.

You could even eat it by the forkful with a side of mozzarella sticks and marinara!

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Italian beef on a sliced sub roll

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Make this Italian beef recipe for tender roast beef in a crock pot, then make sandwiches with sweet peppers and melted cheese. SO delicious!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Method Slow Cooker
Servings 8


  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 5 cubes of beef bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, 1 3-pound roast, trimmed of most fat

Sandwich Fixin's

  • 8 hoagie rolls
  • 16 slices provolone cheese
  • 16 ounces roasted red peppers, 1 16-ounce jar, sliced
  • 16 ounces mild sliced pepper rings, 1 16-ounce jar


  • Turn 6 quart slow cooker to high heat. Add boiling water, beef bouillon and Worcestershire.
  • Combine remaining seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle over beef broth and whisk to combine. Add roast and flip to coat both sides. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low 8-10 hours. Shred beef by using two forks to pull it apart. Stir to coat all beef in the juices. Cook 1 additional hour covered. (Do not drain)
  • When ready to serve: Slice rolls in half, place on a baking sheet and broil in oven for 2-4 minutes until bread is lightly golden brown.
  • Scoop beef on toasted roll and top with 2 slices of provolone cheese. Place back on baking sheet and broil until cheese is melted. Top with red pepper slices and mild pepper rings.
  • Serve and enjoy.


Donna’s Notes

To extend the storage time, you can easily freeze your leftovers. Just place the meat in a freezer bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and store it for up to two to three months for the best quality.
To reheat your leftovers after storing them, you will need to allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Then, place the leftover beef and the broth in a pan covered with aluminum foil. Bake until it is warmed through and serve it on toasted rolls.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 636cal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 2155mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 368mg | Iron: 15mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published July 2014, updated and republished February 2024

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  1. I made these and they took a little longer than the 4 hours to cook.They had a mild flavor on the first day, but on the second day, they picked up so much more flavor and were delicious. I am going to make them for my family reunion and use slider rolls for buns.

  2. Made this and it was really good and a lot less sodium than the recipes that use "packets" to season.

  3. My family loves this recipe! I never buy bouillon so I just used beef broth and added a teaspoon of salt to make up for that. We have eaten this many times and it is always yummy. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. This is the best beef sandwich I have ever made. I have made this recipe many times. The blend of spices are so good! It's just delish!

  5. This looks amazing. My question is a substitute for bouillon and water? Also seems like a lot of liquid left?

  6. Just for the record: Donna never said HER recipe was Chicago style. She said " Omit the Worcestershire. Skip toasting the bun and THEN you have MORE Chicago style."

  7. This recipe is delicious. It is my go-to recipe especially when I need to make a main dish for a large group since it can easily be doubled, tripled, depending on the size for your slow cooker. I have made it several times for family gatherings (it is usually requested), a baby shower (where someone asked if I was a caterer), and it's currently in the pot for a potluck gathering that I'm attending later this week. It freezes well and can be adjusted for taste. I do use beef broth instead of bouillon (to cut sodium) and use only a pinch of red pepper flakes since I don't want the spiciness.

  8. 5 stars
    Everyone always asks me when I’m going to be making this again, it’s that good!! Thank you for this recipe. I love how you can change the serving size to fit your needs

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