Southern Pot Roast

Southern Pot Roast recipe, on a plate

The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 roast
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
570 Calories
31g Fat
22g Carbs
45g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 570
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 141mg 47%
Sodium 644mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 9mg 45%
Calcium 66mg 5%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1071mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tender and delicious, this classic pot roast recipe makes an incredible wholesome dinner. Make the easy gravy and sit down to feast. It's perfect for a holiday table or a celebratory family meal. Serve with the carrots and potatoes that cook right alongside.

Chuck roast is a tough, flavorful cut that needs slow and gentle cooking to soften the connective tissue, cartilage, and tendons that are typical of this part of the animal. It's perfect for a pot roast that simmers in the oven for several hours as you go about your business—keeping that braising liquid at least halfway up the side of the pot keeps it nice and tender and flavorful. As it's a cut low in fat, the silky gravy complements the texture and flavors, but if you want to skip the gravy simply use the yielded juices to moisten the meat after you've carved it.

“Easy to make and cook time was perfect. You’ve got your veg, starch, tender and moist protein, and a flavorful sauce. A winning recipe and a complete dinner. Though all that gravy is just screaming for a bed of mashed potatoes. There’s always next time.” —Carrie Parente

Southern Pot Roast Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Pot Roast:

  • 1 (3-pound) boneless chuck pot roast

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 large onions, peeled and quartered

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup dry red wine

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup cold water

Steps to Make It

Make the Pot Roast

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 300 F.

    Southern Pot Roast ingredients

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  2. Sprinkle the chuck roast with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    Pot roast on a wooden cutting board, seasoned with salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quartered onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned–about 5 to 8 minutes. 

    Onions cooking in a large white pot, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  4. Add the carrots to the pot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove the carrots and onions to a plate and set aside. 

    Onions and carrots cooking in a large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and sear the roast, turning to brown all sides–about 6 to 8 minutes total. Remove the roast to a plate and set aside.

    Cooked pot roast on a white plate

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  6. Add the garlic to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

    add garlic to the large white pot, dutch oven

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  7. Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits until the wine is reduced by a third.

    garlic cooking with red wine in a large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  8. Add the beef broth to the pan along with the thyme and rosemary.

    Stock cooking with red wine, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  9. Add the seared beef, onions, and carrots back to the pot. Bring to a simmer.

    Pot roast cooking in the beef broth and wine, with carrots and onions, in a large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  10. Cover the Dutch oven tightly and braise the roast in the 300 F oven for 2 hours.

    Cover the pot with a lid to braise the roast with the carrots and onions in the broth

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  11. After 2 hours, remove from the oven and add the potatoes. Place back in the oven and continue cooking for 1 additional hour, or until the potatoes and roast are fork-tender.

    Pot roast with potatoes in a large white pot, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

Make the Gravy

  1. Uncover the Dutch oven.

    Pot roast with potatoes, carrots, onions and herbs in stock, in a large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  2. Strain and pour the meat juices into a saucepan, and use a gravy separator to eliminate excess fats.

    The broth from the pot roast in a small sauce pan

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  3. Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. Stir until smooth and blended.

    Cornstarch and water in a small white bowl, stirred with a metal spoon

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  4. Mix the meat juices and cornstarch mixture. Bring to a simmer in a small pot and cook, stirring, until thickened.

    Pot roast broth combined with water and cornstarch in a small sauce pan

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia

  5. Pour the gravy over the pot roast and potatoes and serve.

    Gravy poured over the pot roast and vegetables in the large white pot

    The Spruce / Priscilla Jia


Cuts from the chuck are budget-friendly and flavorful when cooked properly. Here's a list of the best cuts for a pot roast:

  • 7-Bone Roast
  • Chuck Roast Center Cut
  • Chuck Arm
  • Shoulder Roast
  • Cross-Rib Roast
  • Blade Roast
  • Beef Brisket

Recipe Variations

Here are some things to add to the pot roast to make it taste even better.

  • Brown Sugar
  • Beer
  • Tomato Juice
  • Cola
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Parsley

How to Store and Freeze

Store the cooled pot roast in a shallow airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag for up to four months.

Why Does My Pot Roast Turn Out Tough?

A pot roast that turns out tough and chewy has been under or overcooked. If it is done, the fork will go in easily and you'll be able to twist off a forkful of meat. It if is still firm, return the roast to the pot and continue cooking for up to another hour.