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!
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.
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.
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.
So, as my mother passed it on to me, I now pass it on to you: the famous pot roast.
Try serving this pot roast with:
- No-Knead Rosemary Thyme Dutch Oven Bread
- Lemon Broccoli Salad
If you like easy comfort food recipes, also check out:
- Stove Top Beef Stew with Red Wine
- Easy Turkey Chili
- Kielbasa and Cabbage with Egg Noodles
- Italian Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
Or visit my comfort foods category page!
Classic Oven Pot Roast
- 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 baby carrots or 6 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 can beef broth if necessary
- Preheat oven to 325.
- 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.
- Tightly cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
- 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.
- Recover pan and return to oven for 2-3 hours, or until meat is fork-tender.
I don’t have the onion soup mix. Can I use onion powder and season salt ?
Onion powder, onion flakes, and a beef bouillon cube would be a better substitute if you have it. Here’s a recipe for an onion soup mix substitute! https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/homemade-dry-onion-soup-mix/
My dad made an oven pot roast every Sunday. As I recall he did it pretty much as you recommend but instead of the standard onion and mushroom soups, he used Campbells vegetable beef soup. I am cooking one like that as I write, will report on the results tomorrow!
A Sunday pot roast sounds like a great tradition!
I just made this for the first time. Flavors came out good but for some reason my meat was a little dry… :/ not sure why.
The main reason it might seem dry is the fat content of the meat. The fattier the meat is the juicer it should come out! Next time if you look for meat with more fat/marbling it should come out less dry! But if the meat seems dry you can also add a little broth in step 4 of the recipe. Hope this helps!
Can you use a frozen roast? If so, any change in time frame?
I haven’t tested this from frozen but I bet if you added a little time to the beginning (maybe half-hour?) it would probably work. No guarantees though since I haven’t tried it from frozen!
I can’t cook. At all. I burn water.
But even I could follow these easy instructions, and it was AMAZING!
Oh good, I’m so glad you loved this recipe! Thanks for your comment!
I have this in my dutch oven now cooking with 30 mins to go! I added celery to the recipe when I added the veggies. My house smells amazing! We are big deer hunters so this is the 1st beef roast I’ve bought in years. I am very excited!! Will try again with a deer roast soon! Smells like my grandmas house used to on the holidays.
Yum! I hope you enjoyed it and that it’s just as good with one of your deer roasts too!
I know I’m dating myself, but once my mom made this recipe and cooked it on the engine of our car. Multiple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and separately wrapped potatoes. I don’t remember how they secured everything under the hood of the car, but by the time we got to our destination, we were all drooling and dinner was hot and ready!
I think I’ll stick to my oven or instapot
Haha wow, what a story! I love that this brings back those memories for you. Hope you enjoy it made in your oven too!
Thinking of making this tomorrow for my family… When you say 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 can of beef broth. How big are the cans?
I use a 10.5 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and a 14.5 oz can of beef broth (if necessary).
I used a can of cream of chicken soup as a base around the chuck roast,and a pack of apple wood bourbon slow cooker sauce,which I laid on top of the onions and then placed my roast on top and placed in the oven on 350 uncoverred it turnned out great.I will do this again.
Thanks for sharing!
We love this recipe!!! Enjoy!!!❤️
Thanks so much, Leo!
Im making it right now been craving it.
Next time I make this, I will either use an extra can of cream of mushroom or use only half a packet of onion soup. It came out tasting with too much onion
Thanks for sharing!
This is my new go-to pot roast recipe.
Better than Mom used to make when I was a kid. And Mom knew beef roasts!
Wow, that’s quite the compliment! Thank you so much!
5-STARS ! (I could not get the stars to light up! LoL) Hi Caroline! I make my pot roast using the same ingredients except that I omit the soy and add 1/2 cup dry Red Wine. It’s mixed with the cr of mushroom soup and the dry onion mix in a bowl and tops the beef prior to covering and baking. The smell alone is mouth-watering. Thank you for sharing.
Yum, you can’t go wrong adding some wine! Glad you enjoyed it!
I grew up with this every Sunday of my life that we ate at home. It went in the oven after breakfast and was done after church. Mama put the veggies in with the roast to begin with and they. She cut them in larger pieces so they cooked enough, but not too much. I adjust for the size of the carrots and potatoes to and play around with the liquid ingredients based on what I have on hand and my mood. 🙂 No complaints after 41 years of marriage!
Such good memories! That sounds like an excellent (and delicious) Sunday tradition!
Are you supposed to cover it after you add the veggies?
Yup, you are supposed to recover the pan before you put it back in the oven!
So delicious, I used a packet beef stew mix instead of broth, both very tender and lip smacking!!! Great recipe!!
So glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing!
I accidentally bought cut stew meat. Will this recipe still work?! I’m such a beginner! Haha!
That’s actually what the recipe calls for!
It is so nice to see this recipe in print. My dad passed down the Onion Soup and Golden Mushroom Soup Pot roast recipe to me… It is so delicious!
It’s such a classic recipe, isn’t it? I’m so glad you like it!
Best pot roast I’ve ever made, delicious.
I’m so glad you liked this recipe!
Can I use a piece of bottom round?….a whole piece instead of chunks?
You should be able to use a whole piece of bottom round! A smaller roast around 3 lbs should cook in a total of about 3 hours while a 4-5 lb roast will probably need an extra hour to cook. It’s done when it’s fall-apart fork-tender!