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Easy Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Garlic

Easy Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Garlic, just three ingredients for the best pot roast ever ~ in the Instant Pot, slow cooker or braised in the oven.

Sliced beef roast served over orzo pasta.


Few things make me happier than cooking something with a few ingredients that turns out beyond all expectations, just really spectacular.  That's how I feel about this pot roast, just three ingredients and the result is astounding.  It's one of my favorite comfort foods.  I mean, isn't pot roast supposed to be comforting?

Close up in bowl, beef roast chunks with garlic and sauce.


I got this recipe from Gourmet magazine (may she rest in peace) years ago.  I think they had a column that was all about five ingredients or less, or something along those lines.  Anyway, I made it, loved it, and have been making it ever since.

Three ingredients for pot roast on board with optional string

The original recipe is braised in the oven, a beef chuck roast with canned tomatoes and a whole head of garlic cloves.  I've also made it in the slow cooker.  And now, I tried it in the pressure cooker.  No matter the method, the results are the same ~ tender braised pot roast in tomato sauce with mellowed garlic.

Hand crushed tomatoes in bowl and unpeeled garlic cloves

Don't peel the garlic, just separate the cloves.  The garlic will come right out of the papery skins after cooking, so good spread on crusty bread or just stirred into the beefy tomato juices.  You don't have to brown the roast first, you really don't, but I like to for more flavor.  And tying the roast with twine is optional also, it helps if you want to hold the shape for slicing.  We just slice and shred and dig in!

Close up sliced beef roast over orzo with sauce and garlic.

Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Garlic, it doesn't get any easier than this.  We like it over orzo or egg noodles, and once in awhile I make parmesan polenta to serve with it (Ina Garten's recipe).  I think you'll really like this, it's one of my favorites.  Best ~ Kelly

Pot roast and garlic in serving bowl.


You might also like these two other easy dinner recipes with just a few ingredients ~ Penne with Prosciutto and Cream and Baked Chicken and White Beans.

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Pot roast served over orzo pasta.

Easy Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Garlic

Braised beef roast with tomatoes and garlic, just three ingredients for the best pot roast ever ~ in the Instant Pot, slow cooker or in the oven.  
4.29 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 438kcal


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with juices (I like San Marzano)
  • 1 (3 to 3½ pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, separated into cloves (do not peel)
  • Orzo, egg noodles or polenta for serving


Instant Pot Instructions

  • Put tomatoes in bowl and crush by hand, set aside.  Swish can with about a ⅓ cup water and set aside for deglazing.
  • Dry pot roast with paper towels, and, if desired, tie with string to hold together while cooking. Set pressure cooker to sauté and heat a glug of olive oil. Season beef roast with kosher salt and brown on both sides. Remove roast to plate, and deglaze pot with the tomato juice and water. Turn off sauté setting.
  • Put beef roast back into pot, pour tomatoes over roast.  Lift up roast to make sure tomatoes and liquid are evenly distributed, season with salt and pepper.  Scatter garlic cloves around roast.  Seal and set at high pressure for 60 minutes.
  • Let pressure cooker naturally release for 20 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.  Remove pot roast to cutting board, slice or shred meat.  Skim fat off tomato mixture and add beef back to pot.  Serve beef and sauce over orzo, egg noodles or polenta with some garlic cloves, just press them right out of their papery skins.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Heat a little olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan large enough to hold the beef roast. Generously salt the roast all over. When oil is shimmering, brown roast on all sides. Remove to a plate. Swirl a little water in the empty tomato can and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Pour into the bottom of the slow cooker and place roast on top, along with any accumulated juices.
  • Season the roast with some fresh, cracked black pepper. Crush the tomatoes by hand and pour the tomatoes over the roast, then scatter the garlic cloves around and on top of the roast. Cook on high for 6 to 8 hours until beef is tender. Mine took about 7 hours, depends on the size of your roast.
  • Skim as much fat as you can from the surface. If you tied your beef, remove to a cutting board and slice or shred the beef and return to the slow cooker. Otherwise, use a fork and spoon to shred the meat into large pieces in the pot. Serve beef and sauce over pasta or polenta, with some garlic cloves, just press them right out of their papery skins.

Oven Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 300º (If desired, brown the beef as directed above in the slow cooker instructions and after deglazing, return roast to pot and continue.)
  • Put tomatoes in bowl with juices and crush by hand.  Put roast in an ovenproof 4- to 5-quart heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. Pour tomatoes over roast and scatter garlic around it. Season with salt and pepper. Braise in middle of oven, covered, until very tender, 3 to 4 hours.
  • Skim as much fat as you can from surface.  Cut roast into slices or shred and serve with sauce and garlic, over pasta or polenta.

Recipe Notes

  • Browning the chuck roast is totally optional.  You can skip this step and make this even easier!
  • Tying the beef roast with string is also optional.  I never do, but you're the boss, applesauce.
  • The cooked garlic will slip right out of their papery skins, spread on crusty bread or just stir back into the beef and sauce.
  • Cooking times are as follows: 1½ hours in the Instant Pot, 7-8 hours in the slow cooker and 3-4 hours in the oven.


Calories: 438kcal Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 45g Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 11g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 156mg Sodium: 374mg Potassium: 1020mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 3g Vitamin A: 185IU Vitamin C: 14mg Calcium: 88mg Iron: 6mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

*Adapted from Gourmet, February, 2001


Recipe Rating

Grandmama D

Thursday 21st of September 2023

This recipe changed my life. I was working as a nanny but not cooking for the family. Then for some reason they needed me to cook a meal. I mdr this and it was a huge success. These people were foodies and the recipe came out of the Gourmet magazine that they subscribed to When I needed a new job they recommended me as a great cook based on me making this for them. I secured a position making more money and cooking for the new family. Love this recipe. I’m retired now and was searching for this recipe to make for my family. Thank you for preserving it on your site


Saturday 17th of July 2021

Will not be repeating. Just those ingredients is too shy. There should have been onions. Also, there should have been heavy cream (or coconut cream if you're paleo) to make the broth richer. Also... by braising the meat in tomatoes in the instant pot, the meat comes out tougher, drier, yet surrounded by stew. Also there are no measurements for salt or pepper. Though I seasoned liberally, though I stewed the meat, it was flavorless.


Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

@Katie, obviously this isn’t the recipe you’re looking for then lmaooo


Monday 19th of July 2021

I wouldn't change a thing in this recipe, it doesn't seem to be for you. It is so good in it's simplicity and the garlic is wonderful on bread or stirred back into the pot roast. Salt and pepper are to taste. It comes out tender, not dry, in my Instant Pot. Sorry to hear it didn't work out for you or meet your expectations.

Melissa Morgan

Saturday 21st of September 2019

So simple and SO delish!! This one’s a keeper!!??


Saturday 21st of September 2019

Definitely a favorite in my house, and so easy! Glad to liked it.


Tuesday 6th of November 2018

Just three ingredients.. and the results are astounding, to say the least.