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Dutch Oven Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Dutch oven pot roast with carrots and potatoes gets juicy and fork tender right from the oven. If you have time to skip the slow cooker, it’s worth it for a melt in your mouth meal you’ll be happy to serve again and again. 

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a dutch oven with a cooked pot roast surrounded by potatoes and carrots on a table

If you’ve been around here any length of time, you know that I’m not a slow cooker person. I won’t rant–but just know that it doesn’t produce the kind of food we enjoy.

And it seems like the #1 food people want to make in a slow cooker is a pot roast. And a lot of pull it off. I’ve tried it but my meat comes out so dry at the end. Yes, it’s tender on some occasions but what’s the trade off? The meat has just been cooked to death.

Why choose a dutch oven over a slow cooker for pot roast

Dutch ovens are made from cast iron and retain and distribute heat really evenly. Plus the tight fitting lid allows moisture to stay inside for the most part and with a few tricks, makes the juiciest pot roast you’ve ever had.

Plan ahead for this dutch oven pot roast

This recipe probably won’t be something you make on a week night if you’re terribly busy–but save it for a weekend, or if you happen to have a snow day at home and you’ll be so glad you put it together.

This roast takes 3 or so hours to cook in your oven.

Add those carrots and potatoes in the last hour of cooking and they are so soft when you’re ready to eat that they beg for a light mash with a little butter and salt.


a fork twisting out a piece of tender meat in the dutch oven

What cut of beef is best for pot roast?

I almost always choose a chuck roast. Its marbling means the fat slowly melts during cooking and helps ensure the meat stays tender.

Other cuts that can work include a rump or round roast. They just don’t have the same marbling and are a bit tougher than chuck roasts so they may need a slightly longer cook time. Just cook it until a fork inserted in the meat will twist easily.

What’s the difference between pot roast and roast beef?

The pot roast method is different from that used to cook more tender cuts of beef such as “roast beef” (often top round or top sirloin) or prime rib.

Although both methods involve cooking relatively large pieces of meat until tender, there is a distinction in how it’s done. 

Pot roast is cooked covered for hours at a low temperature until the meat softens, not until it reaches a specific temperature.

Roast beef, on the other hand, is cooked uncovered until a meat thermometer inserted into the beef reads a specific temperature.

In other words, roast beef requires you to cook to a specific doneness while pot roast requires you to cook to a certain level of tenderness. Make sense?

Should pot roast be submerged in liquid?

When making a pot roast, the meat does not need to be completely submerged but you do want the cooking liquid to come at least ¾ of the way up the roast. Some choose to use beef broth while some choose to use water.

Either will do. Note that, if you do decide to use water, you will want to season a bit more heavily.

Regardless of your choice, you will end up with a delicious, rich beef broth at the end. I love saving mine and using it for soup and stews.

Tips for a top-notch dutch oven pot roast

  • Use a heavy cast iron dutch oven with a lid. This one is my favorite, or a good quality oven-safe pot with a tight lid. Just covering your meat in aluminum foil won’t work.
  • Sear your meat first over high heat to start the browning process. Browning meat equals flavor and we need that.
  • Add carrots and potatoes to the pot during the last 45 minutes to an hour of cook time so they absorb the broth and get good and soft.

When adding beef broth, know this

You can just use water on your roast if you want to. It will make its own wonderful beef broth as it simmers, but beef broth can be used too.
Choose a broth without additives, MSG or flavorings and never, ever use bouillon cubes or powders. They are so salty you could ruin your roast with them.

>>This is not a rare roast beef recipe. Please take note.<<

I’ve gotten a bit of hate mail from some confused home cooks who make this and then yell that their roast is overcooked at the halfway point.

This is not oven roasted rare roast beef and at no point should you be taking its temperature.

This is a pot roast that’s braised–a technique that uses moisture and long cook times to break down tough cuts of meat like a chuck roast until it falls apart. If you want a rare roast beef, you want a recipe like this one.

Ingredients you can add for a pot roast flavor boost

A pot roast can handle a variety of different flavors. Try these options:

  • Swap part of the beef broth for red wine. Never use cooking wines.
  • Add herbs like thyme or rosemary. If you want to use these, put them in during the last hour of cooking or the heat destroys the essential oils and their flavor.
  • Toss in whole garlic cloves for a hint of flavor.
  • Baby or pearl onions are a simple addition. Buy a bag of the frozen ones and add them with the carrots and potatoes.
  • Swap the root vegetables for parsnips, turnips or sweet potatoes.

How to store leftover pot roast

If you find yourself with leftovers, allow the pot roast to cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

When you are ready to enjoy, reheat the desired portion on the stovetop over medium heat or in the oven, covered, at 300 degrees F until heated through.

I recommend adding a dash of beef broth, in either case, to help keep things moist.  

To freeze

You can also freeze leftover pot roast. After the meat has cooled completely, separate it from the veggies, shred it, transfer it to a ziplock bag or an airtight container, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I do not recommend freezing the veggies as they will not reheat well.

When you are ready to enjoy the pot roast, reheat it as you would from refrigerated. Just tack on a bit of extra time.

What to serve with pot roast made in a dutch oven

Rolls are a staple with this recipe. Try one of these versions:

We love a horseradish cream sauce with our roasts. This one is a favorite though sometimes my recipe is as simple as some mayonnaise and ground horseradish. 😉

a fork twisting out a piece of tender meat in the dutch oven

Dutch Oven Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes

Fork tender and juicy right from your dutch oven, this classic post roast with carrots and potatoes is a meal in one pan and perfect for your next Sunday supper. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 2 pound chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 3 large russet potatoes peeled and sliced into 1-inch wedges
  • 5 large carrots peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces


  • Preheat the oven to 375. 
  • Put your dutch oven on the stove and heat it over high heat about 5 minutes to sear the meat. (Please watch your pot and monitor the heat. Your pot may only need 3 minutes or 4. Y'all stop trying to burn your houses down because I said 5 minutes) Add the oil and season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Add it to the pan.  It should sizzle immediately. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium high, and let the meat sear on one side 5 minutes, then flip.  Add the onions and cook 5 minutes more. 
  • Add the beef broth to the pot--it should come about halfway up the side of the meat. 
  • Cover and bake an hour and a half, then check the liquid in the pot. Add a cup or so of extra water if needed. 
  • Reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional hour, and then add the carrots and potatoes. Bake covered 45 minutes longer or until the meat is tender and the potatoes and carrots are soft. 


Please read the post for an explanation of the difference between a pot roast and a rare oven roast beef. Make sure this is the type of roast you want to make before continuing.


Calories: 498kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 35gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 1156mgPotassium: 1563mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 10043IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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  1. 5 stars
    This is so great! Yes, I took the temperature at the halfway point and freaked out for a minute, but then realized what we were trying to accomplish; a very tender, mouth watering, juicy pulled roast. I used what I had because we were leaving for a long trip; 2 lbs sirloin tip roast, 2 sweet potatoes, 1 Japanese white potato, 1 whole red onion, 8 carrots, 4 cups beef broth. I heated the dutch oven for 3 minutes, then added 4 TBSP butter instead of oil and seared the roast in it (yes, the butter turns a bit brown, but who cares!). I turned the roast after 3 min, then seared the other side for 3 min, then put it on its edge (which is when I added the red onion) and seared for 2 min, then flipped it to the other edge and seared for 2 min. I added the broth, carrots and potatoes, then moved it to the oven and cooked as prescribed. Yes, if you want a firmer/crunchier texture to your carrots and potatoes, then wait to add these until the final 45 min cooking. I gotta say, the sweet potatoes gave this dish an awesome and unexpected flavor that you will really enjoy.

    1. 5 stars
      I made this last night in my cast-iron dutch oven and it turned out totally awesome! I added some garlic into the roast itself (made slits and stuck sliced garlic in the meat) and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary to the broth along with 2 tblsps of San-J soy sauce (not the kikoman type). Turned out absolutely fantastic and will use this recipe from now on.

  2. 4 stars
    This is the first time in 18 years I’ve made a Pot Roast as my late husband who passed recently was incredibly sensitive to beef of any kind, so I stopped cooking beef when we were married. This was bang on…so tender and juicy. I removed the Roast and veggies and made a slurry of cornstarch to thicken the juice, and added salt and more ground black pepper. This recipe is a winner! Thank you so much for sharing!! I also have leftovers
    now which I will package and freeze once completely cold, so I’ll have a few ready to eat meals when I don’t feel up to cooking.

    1. Certainly a bittersweet reason I’m sure Wendy. I’m so sorry for your loss but so glad you enjoyed the recipe. And leftovers are wonderful! Enjoy. 🙂 –Rachel

  3. 5 stars
    My daughter, her children, and myself just enjoyed the best Pot Roast I’ve ever prepared. your recipe is spot on. Salt and pepper and a real good sear was the start of a masterpiece. I used a very well marbled Chuck Roast and added 2 cloves of minced garlic and 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary. The onion disappeared from sight but the flavor remained. When I read other comments about herbs and garlic I had to use it. @ Rick, next time add the flavor you want and then you’ll get the flavor you want. My grandchildren are asking me when I’m making this again.Thanks a million for this and other great recipes.

  4. Baking beef stew vs stovetop cooking is something different for me. Cant wait to try it. What is the cook time iand temp if done on a gas stove?

    1. Hi Jodie, well this isn’t beef stew in the oven though it may seem that way since some of the ingredients are similar. This is a pot roast with carrots and potatoes so it’s meant to be served as a pile of meat on a platter with the vegetables on the side and perhaps a gravy made with the drippings. Does that make sense? I cook on gas and there are no changes to the recipe for a gas oven vs. an electric oven. –Rachel

    1. 5 stars
      Leslie, I used a large Vidalia onion sliced thin and it had the best flavor I can imagine having.

    1. Hey Dave, no real adjustments–just know that sirloin roasts are lower in fat than the chuck roast recommended here so you may end up with a drier end result. –Rachel

    2. 5 stars
      i am new to dutch oven cooking.. I felt it was less dry than crock pot roast, a bit more tender. used juice to make a gravy. Husband was pleased and he doesn’t care much for my crock pot roast so I definitely will keep cooking it in Dutch oven.

  5. Just wondering how much longer to cook a 3lb roast for this recipe?
    I cooked one that was 2lbs, followed everything exactly and it was Amazing!!

    1. Hey Lisa, there’s not really a set time on that. Just until it falls apart. Maybe an hour to an hour and a half longer? That’s just a ballpark guess. I do this recipe with roasts of various sizes and never watch the clock. I always just check the meat and take it out when it’s fork tender.–Rachel

  6. 5 stars
    Just made this today! Veggies are delicious; meat made it’s own gravy pretty much. Used butter instead of olive oil, minced garlic too!
    Will definitely make it again.

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.