Classic Oven Pot Roast

Nothing is as comforting as a flavorful, fork-tender oven pot roast. Best of all, this is ready for the oven in only 15 minutes, and uses simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry!

Pot roast with carrots and potatoes in a pottery bowl with a spoon

When it’s August in the South, consistently nearly 90 degrees, and humid enough that you want to take a shower the moment you step out the door, I feel like I should be eating things like cucumber tomato salad and light, refreshing raw veggies for dinner. Crunchy, cold things.

But what was I supposed to do when jumbo-packs of stew-meat pot roast chunks were half off at Harris Teeter? It was out of my control. I don’t know how that value pack ended up in my cart, officer. 

Well, I considered making something exciting and unexpected like French dip sandwiches or Chipotle-knockoff barbacoa with it, but then the more I thought about it, and the more we had dark, night-like afternoons filled with thunderstorms that make you want to curl up under a blanket, the more regular ol’ classic pot roast started to sound like just the thing to do with three pounds of beef.

Pot roast with carrots and potatoes in hand-thrown ceramic bowl with spoon

My mom, you should know, has been known to make a mean pot roast. At one point I asked her about it and she said she had forgotten how to make it. What?! FORGOTTEN how to make the pot roast? The legendary fork-tender fall-apart meat and potatoes? The loss of a national treasure! Tragedy. 

Flashback: I’m not sure how long ago it was, but when cheesy computer clip art was in its heyday, my mom made me a cookbook of her favorite go-to recipes, the half-letter pages in plastic sleeves decorated with exciting little cartoony illustrations of the ingredients. It was great. There are a few recipes I consistently reference the book for, but honestly, (sorry, mother) I’ve never made half the things in there and I don’t even know what’s on many of the pages. So when I was flipping through the book one day (and my foreshadowing skills are sooooo subtle here, I’m sure), I was surprised and thrilled to find the long-lost oven pot roast recipe! 

It may not be a slow-cooker recipe, but this classic oven pot roast is just as simple.

Hand holding glass baking pan of pot roast with carrots and potatoes

It probably only took 15 minutes to prep, contained mostly pantry-staple ingredients, and then during the long cooking time, Mike and I got all the yard work done. All of it. I’m talking mowing the lawn and weed-whacking by the fence and raised garden (thanks, dearest), trimming the monster bushes that shoot branches all the way to the freaking ROOF (no exaggeration, really!), watering all the potted plants, cutting all the dead sago palm branches off… by the time we were done, it was dusk, we were dog-tired, and the most delicious aroma greeted us at the door. It was so powerful it even overpowered the sweat-and-bug-spray smell we brought in with us.

Much nicer than working in the yard for three hours, coming inside to no food and going “Wanna have mac and cheese?” Seriously, it was awesome. Just as flavorful and tender and comforting as I remembered, and much easier than I expected for a family-famous meal.

Close up of pot roast with carrots and potatoes in ceramic bowl

So, as my mother passed it on to me, I now pass it on to you: the famous pot roast.

Pot roast with carrots and potatoes in ceramic bowl with spoon

Classic Oven Pot Roast

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4 3/4-lb servings
Author: Caroline Lindsey
Nothing is as comforting as a flavorful, fork-tender pot roast. Best of all, this is ready for the oven in only 15 minutes, and uses simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry!


  • 3 lbs stew meat chunks or blade cut chuck roast
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes (red, yellow, or white), cut into large chunks
  • 1 lb bag of baby carrots or 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 can beef broth, if necessary


  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Place onion slices in bottom of large baking dish and top with meat. Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over meat, cover with undiluted cream of mushroom soup, and sprinkle with soy sauce.
  3. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven, uncover, and surround roast with potatoes and carrots. If using stew meat chunks, toss ingredients together to make sure vegetables are coated with soup and juices. If meat seems dry, add beef broth.
  5. Recover pan and return to oven for 2-3 hours, or until meat is fork-tender.

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  • Reply
    Christina Nelson
    August 14, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Oh yum. I think I have wasted too much time trying to recreate the flavor “from scratch”. Maybe I’ll try making it this simple old fashioned convenience cooking way.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      August 17, 2015 at 11:52 am

      I’m sure you know I, too, tend towards from-scratch type recipes, but who was I to argue with the recipe you so lovingly illustrated for me? It did not disappoint. It’s like the ranch mix on the pork chops – when the onion soup mixes with the mushroom soup and the beef juices, the flavor is so much more complex than you’d imagine! If you make it, let me know if it’s how you remembered it!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    We missed comfort foods like this when we first moved to Tucson. Now, we just crank the AC and give into our desires whenever we want them. (It helps that we are fully solar…)

    Gosh, I remember those corny clip art illustrations – they were revolutionary at the time. I wonder if anyone is still getting royalties from them… 🙂

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      January 12, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Did you not make comfort foods when you first moved to Tucson because it wasn’t cold enough? I’m very cold natured so I didn’t have a problem with that when I lived there. I have two space heaters by my feet at work!

      I did feel a little weird making this pot roast in the late summer but it was still delicious! Now that it’s actually a bit cold (we got a frost last night!) I will make it again for sure. I should post some photos of the clip art recipe pages!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2017 at 12:29 am

    This pot roast sounds delicious, the mushroom cream is a great idea. Storm on its way, after 3 months of intense heat. Perfect time for it.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      September 3, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Hopefully not too bad of a storm! It’s nice when the rain cools off the heat though. Pot roast is perfect for days like that!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

    I’ve made this pot roast twice and followed the recipe exactly. I must say that it is the best pot roast I have cooked. I used a 3 lb Chuck roast and cut it in pieces removing a lot of the connnecting tissue. It is so much better than the ones I have cooked in a slow cooker.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      November 12, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Thanks so much for your comment, Nancy! Glad you liked the recipe!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Very close to my nana’s pot roast recipe! 🙂 Hers uses golden mushroom soup instead of cream. In the oven now and I’m dyyyyyyying from the good smells! 💜 Thanks!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      April 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

      Oh yummmm, I can imagine that delicious smell now! Such a cozy meal. Hope it tastes like your nana’s!

  • Reply
    Diane Billigsley
    October 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for the “how-to” for adding the vegetables to the classic roast! Delicious and easy on this cool fall day.

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      October 25, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s definitely that time of year again!

  • Reply
    Leo Rousseau
    November 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    I’ve got this in the oven right now! My second time making it and I wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply
      Caroline Lindsey
      December 13, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m glad you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Denise Oakes
    November 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Making this now. Smells delicious already. I am only using a 2 pound blade cut (that’s what I bought before finding this recipe). I am sure it will come out perfectly. I will update in a few hours.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Oh my goodness! I made this recipe for my boyfriend and mother last night. My mom who is 62 years old said it is the best pot roast she has ever had in her entire life! I’ll take that as a huge compliment! Anybody looking for a yummy quick and easy dinner this is it! Takes about 10 to 15 minutes to prep it. All you have to do is pop it in the oven.

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