Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches


Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are a 5-ingredient version of the popular hot sandwich recipe!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Last weekend I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends if they’d like to see a crock pot recipe on the blog this week. There were so many exclamation marks in the comments, which I took to mean heck yes!, that I immediately started brainstorming.

Everyone knows that crock pot recipes are a busy person’s best friend, but many of them can be heavy and at times unappealing, right? While thinking about a new and interesting crock pot combo I decided that:

  1. It’d have to use beef as I have exactly one beef crock pot recipe on the blog (Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce.)
  2. It’d have to be easy, of course. Nobody likes crock pot recipes with several cooking steps before you even plug the dang thing in.
  3. It’d have to be very delicious, unique, and not gloopy whatsoever.

With the aforementioned criteria in mind, I finally settled on Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches. A new flavor combo to come out of my crock pot which has zip, zing, and is seriously mouthwatering.

Chuck roast is slow cooked for 10 hours in a mixture of hot pepperoncini peppers, Giardiniera (an insane-tasting Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich topper – say that 5 times fast!) Italian salad dressing mix, and beef broth, then shredded and served on a chewy hoagie bun with melted provolone cheese. Crazy (CRAZY) good, and made with just 5 ingredients!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

At first Ben was skeptical about eating the crock pot version of one of his favorite sandwiches, which is typically made with thinly sliced beef. “Oh…I’ve never heard of a shredded Italian beef sandwich…” he said in a tone that I knew meant, I am definitely going to hate this.

But guess what? He didn’t! While I stood hunched over the crock pot eating the shredded beef like a rat, he “mogged” down (his words,) a sandwich in under 2 minutes. That is to say, this dish was a total hit!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Start by trimming any large pieces of fat off a 3lb chuck roast then cut the roast into seven or eight big hunks and place ’em in the bottom of a 5.5-6 quart slow cooker.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Next, sprinkle in a packet of Good Seasons Zesty Italian Salad Dressing Mix. I like this pre-packaged mix because I recognize all the ingredients.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Now add 8oz sliced pepperoncini peppers (hot or mild – your call) plus a splash of pepperoncini juice, and 8oz Giardiniera.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

I’d never had Chicago-style Giardiniera, a type of relish made with pickled olives and veggies that’s packed in herbs and oils, but Ben insisted it go into this dish. I’m so glad he did because OH MY GOSH it is so good! It’s supposed to go over Italian beef sandwiches, but I could have eaten forkful after forkful all by itself.

Because it’s packed in oil though, which would add unnecessary fat to the dish, I scooped out the mix with a fork and let it drain away. You can get Giardiniera that’s packed in vinegar, but I found this style to be a real treat.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Finally, add a can of beef broth then place a lid on top of the crock pot and let it cook on low for 9 hours, or until the beef can be easily shredded with a fork. Beef needs the low and slow action, vs cooking it on high, to make sure the meat gets very tender.

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Once the roast can be easily shredded with a fork, shred then slip back into the slow cooker to cook in the juices for 1 more hour on low. Scoop the meat onto hoagie buns then slap a slice of provolone on top to melt from the heat of the beef. Serve with extra pepperoncini peppers and Giardiniera, and you’re golden!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

serves 6


Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are a 5-ingredient version of the popular hot sandwich recipe!


  • 3lb chuck roast, trimmed of visible fat and cut into large hunks
  • 1 envelope Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix
  • 8oz pepperoncini pepper slices + splash of juice (plus extra for serving)
  • 8oz Giardiniera (Chicago-Style Italian Sandwich Mix,) drained (plus extra for serving)
  • 14.5oz can beef broth
  • provolone cheese slices
  • hoagie buns


  1. Place chuck roast into the bottom of a 5.5 - 6 quart crock pot then sprinkle with salad dressing mix. Add pepperoncini peppers plus a splash of juice, Giardiniera, and beef broth then lift up chuck roast pieces to get broth underneath. Place a lid on top then cook on low for 9 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. Shred then place meat back into crock pot and cook on low for 1 more hour.
  2. Split buns in half then scoop the shredded meat mixture on top and add provolone cheese slices. Top with additional pepperoncini peppers and Giardiniera, if desired, then serve.


Adapted from Pioneer Woman.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |

This is absolutely one of my favorite crock pot recipes to date. Could not have been easier to make, and the flavors from the pickled veggies and hot pepper rings really made the beef sing. Let’s not forget that chewy hoagie bun either, which soaks up all the yummy juices. So good. Hope you’ll give it a try sometime!

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are so delicious - and made with just 5 ingredients! |


More Crock Pot Recipes You’ll Love!

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Enchiladas >


Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole >


Crock Pot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Turkey Chili >


Crock Pot Bourbon Chicken Sammies with Crunchy Apple Slaw > 

Check out all crock pot recipes >

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  1. C. 10.23.2013

    This looks delicious – especially paired with that squishy bread!

  2. Jodie 10.23.2013

    I have been making this for years it’s so good! Perfect for Super Bowl Sundays! (PS I am born and bred Chicago Style and it certainly can be shredded)

  3. Sarah 10.23.2013

    Thank for so much for posting a crock pot recipe that can go for over 9 hours! We are gone around 10-11 most week days and have a hard time coming by good crock pot recipes. My other beef with crock pot recipes is the “gloopiness” as you called it. I hate that too.

    We’ll be trying this recipe next week!

  4. JJ 10.23.2013

    Oh. My. Word. This looks phenomenal. I love pepperoncini and giardiniera. This may have to replace my currently planned recipe for this Sunday.

  5. Debtgirl 10.23.2013

    I just picked up a cheapie crockpot and can’t wait to make some sandwiches for a quick fix dinner! This might be the first! Your photos are better than ever!

  6. April 10.23.2013

    A few months ago I was sent your blog by my aunt. I never follow blogs; however, I’ve made an exception for your blog. Each week I try out a few of your recipes for our meals. Today I went to your site as I wanted to see if you had any crock pot recipes, and I could not believe that was your recipe for the day! I find that we have similar cooking styles and likes (travel, running, food, etc…) And I just had a baby girl in July. :) I just want you to know how much I appreciate the time you put forth on your blog. Thank you!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.23.2013

      So glad to hear, April – thanks for the nice feedback!

      • Cheryl Belangee 09.21.2014

        Cant find giardiniera. Started crock pot an hour ago, have been to grocery store, they only have a mix with cauliflower in it. What do i do?

        • Kristin 09.21.2014

          Go for it! I’m sure it will be delicious!

  7. ZG 10.23.2013

    If you want to change it up next time, and I understand if you wouldn’t, try using a bottle of beer in place of the beef broth. It acts as an amazing tenderizer and also, hey! beer! I’ve never tried it with the peppers in the crock pot, just on top, so I’ve got something new to try as well!

    • Taira 06.03.2014

      I make this same thing only with beer instead of broth also. It is on the regular rotation at our house.

  8. That is a good looking sandwich! This would be a huge hit at our house.

  9. i can say with absolute certainty that this would become my husband’s favorite meal. so i’ll probably need to make it when he isn’t traveling next week and become his hero for doing so.

  10. AF 10.23.2013

    Wow, this sounds sooooo delish!! I can’t wait to try it.

  11. colleen 10.23.2013

    Yum! Do you think it would work with chicken also?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.23.2013

      Hmm, I’m not sure I haven’t tried. If you do try, I’d only cook the chicken for 5-6 hours on low.

  12. Melissa 10.23.2013

    I am from the south suburbs of Chicago who married a Italian and his grandma has been making these for years! We use the entire jar of the juice from the peppers in the crock pot! It is easy and tasty. We don’t think of it as Italian beef sandwhich but pepper beef .Good choice!

  13. Odie 10.23.2013

    Just curious where you bought the Giardiniera? I’ve never seen it chopped up like that.

  14. I have to say I was skeptical at first, but this just made it into my next menu plan. I can easily get crock-pot-ed out (like you said, it can be heavy, and to me crock pot meals are usually too monotonous – not enough variety in flavors, and I love me some variety!) but this looks like the exception – I’m excited to try it!

  15. You’ve done it again! Another amazing looking recipe! My husband would love this. :)

  16. Margaret 10.23.2013

    This is a family staple for our extended family. Everyone loves it! We use dried Italian seasoning (a mix of herbs in the spice section) rather than Italian dressing mix, and it is fabulous. We actually just made a spur-of-the-moment knock-off this weekend to use up some lunchmeat by simmering chopped up deli roast beef in beef broth with Italian seasoning. Topped with the Giardiniera and provolone.

  17. As a Chicagoan I am all about the giardiniera! I am going to add this to my meals to make before the baby gets here list! Cannot wait!

  18. Debby 10.23.2013

    This is a great recipe! We’ve been making this for years. I’ve had to strain the broth after cooking, and serve it with fresh Giardiniera & pepperoncini on the side, other wise my kids wouldn’t eat it. Leftovers (if there are any) freeze well, and are quickly reheated in the microwave.

  19. Jamie 10.23.2013

    Since my freezer is (happily!) full of it, I’ll be trying this with elk. I’ll let you know how it goes… YUM!

    • Gail Caraway 03.20.2014

      works good with venison, too.

  20. Tracy 10.23.2013

    My kids and husband will love this!

    I request more crock pot recipes :)

  21. Elaine 10.23.2013

    Mmm….that looks a lot like my favorite type of sandwich…Banh-Mi! Something about sandwiches on a hoagie roll/french bread…delectable! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe…Banana Peppers are my favorite!

  22. Tabitha 10.23.2013

    My family has been making this recipe for years…almost to a ‘T’! We don’t add the giardiniera and we use swiss cheese instead of the provolone! It’s a really great recipe. Was this a family recipe as well?

  23. Ali 10.23.2013

    Would you be able to add nutritional information – calorie count, etc. – to your recipes?

  24. Tully 10.23.2013

    Where can I buy the sandwich mix?

  25. Melissa 10.23.2013

    I’m salivating just looking at the pictures! Definitely making this on Saturday – perfect accompaniment to late night football game!

  26. Curvy Academic 10.23.2013

    For Vegetarians and Vegans I think this would work with Morningstar Veg Bacon substituted for the meat. Skinny @*tch has a fantastic Reuben recipe I love with veggie bacon sauteed in a vegan “not beef” broth. I think this could work well with the peppers and seasonings!

    • Jodi 11.09.2014

      I’m making these for the meat eaters in the family but also have vegans. Could you provide the recipe that you speak of in this? Thanks!

  27. Absolutely mouthwatering, Kristin! My Chicago born and raised hubby is going to flip when I whip these up. Can’t wait to try these sandwiches soon!

  28. OMGGGGGG I need this immediately!! Man I wish I were eating this tonight.

  29. young c 10.23.2013

    Looks delish! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Kris 10.23.2013

    Do you think the recipe would seem like it’s missing something if I didn’t use the Giardiniera? I have a picky eater and I’m not sure if he’ll eat it.

  31. Kristin 10.23.2013

    Sounds great but it seems like so much sodium (salad dressing mix, peppers, giardiniera, juice, broth). I would probably look like the Michelin man the day after I ate it :(

  32. Dee 10.23.2013

    Saw this on zite! This looks awesome!

  33. Trisha 10.23.2013

    When I make this in a few days, you’re sure to become my husband’s newest hero. I made a Jamaican slow cooker dish today and he wasn’t such a fan. This, on the other hand, might as well be called “Every Husband’s Favorite Meal”.

    • Trisha 03.07.2014

      To follow up… this has become a staple meal in our house since I first made it. I’d say we’ve had it at least every other week since November. Not only has my husband memorized the recipe, but he tells everyone about it and I now have random friends telling how awesome “my” recipe is. Of course I always give you the credit, but wanted to officially give you credit here for such a recipe!

  34. Every time I see one of your crock pot recipes it reminds me once again how badly I need to go out and buy one. This recipe looks so delicious and something that I think my boyfriend would very much enjoy!

  35. Stacy 10.24.2013

    I ran out and bought all the ingredients and pulled the elk roast out of the freezer and am looking forward to this for friday supper! I saw Jamie above had also commented on doing it with elk. I did a roast last week and didn’t know it had to cook for 10 hours, but it was delicious when it was finally done. Can’t wait to try this spiced up version.

  36. Lauren 10.24.2013

    As always, LOVE your recipes Kristin! This one looks especially great & I can’t wait to try it. Just in case you’re searching for blog topics (ha! I’m sure there’s very little time for that) I would love to hear more about how you manage your working-from-home schedule. As someone who has always worked out of the home, I am always curious how people manage schedules, motivation, etc. Thanks, def. no rush!

  37. Michelle 10.24.2013

    A similar recipe to this has been an absolute Favorite of mine since I was a kid. Now, thanks to you, we use the leftovers in ‘Chipotle’ style rice bowls – SO good!

  38. Sarah 10.24.2013

    You posted this recipe yesterday… It is cooking in my crockpot today.. Cant wait for dinner tonight :)

  39. Yum! This recipe looks delicious and you’re pictures are stunning. I feel that sandwiches are not the most photogenic food, but yours is quite the model (:

  40. Jill 10.24.2013

    I am curious how ‘spicy’ the meat is by itself. Also, does this freeze well after it is cooked? With a 3.5 year old and a 12 month old, I am wondering if either would JUST eat the meat with mashed potatoes or pasta (unless it is too spicy). If not, I would love to freeze it so my hubby and I don’t get burnt out from the sandwiches. Thinking of throwing it into the crock pot on Sunday.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.25.2013

      The Giardiniera is not spicy, and you can get mild pepper rings (or leave those out/just use them for garnish.) Otherwise the beef with the seasoning and beef broth is not spicy at all!)

  41. jodea @ 10.24.2013

    You could never be like a rat… But I know exactly what you mean! I do the same with roast chicken.

  42. Leslie 10.24.2013

    Sounds great! I was unable to print the recipe though…is there a glitch in the link? Thanks!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.25.2013

      Sorry about that! I’ve been having some issues with the service I use for organizing recipes, but it should be working now!

  43. YUM! Being Italian, I can certainly appreciate this sandwich :)

  44. Jena 10.24.2013

    I have been following your blog for a while now. I have not found a recipe that I didn’t like! In fact I now have several recipes that you have shown in my trustee recipe binder. They have become some of our favorite go to meals. I am SOOOOO looking forward to trying this recipe! I will be making it for Sunday Funday Football this week for my husband and some of his friends! I’m sure it will be a huge hit!

  45. Vonna Viglione 10.24.2013

    Can’t wait to try this…..I think I might even make it a “pizza steak” and add some marinara

    • Dave 11.09.2013

      What about toasting the buns slightly with garlic butter?

  46. This looks soo good. Can’t beat a sandwich like this!

  47. Jason D. @ IS 10.25.2013

    This looks so amazing…. I’m going to have to fit one of these in as a post workout meal this weekend!

  48. […] not a football fan. I am, however, a fan of food that most people eat while watching football. Crock pot Italian beef is one of my faves, and perfect for fall. The best is when you throw it all in the crock pot in the […]

  49. Brenda 10.25.2013

    In my crockpot right now!I used the Italian Style Giardiniara, I hope it is similar. Am eager to try this one!

  50. Goodness – I love how packed this sandwich is! And I can make it in the crockpot? Double win!

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