Italian Beef is so delicious! You can make it in the slow cooker, instant pot, or in the oven. Serve it on it’s own or as Italian Beef Sandwiches!
Italian beef is a stand-by for potlucks and big parties. Simple to make, but always a big hit, it’s packed with delicious flavor. And bonus, you can make it ahead of time and freeze until party day. She hits, she scores!
An Italian Beef Recipe is great to have tucked away when you find bottom round roast on a good sale. You can make a crock pot Italian Beef to free up your day, and then have dinner one night with antipasto salad and mashed potatoes, and Italian Beef sandwiches the next day!
Italian Beef Ingredients
- Ground Black Pepper – Using dried spices makes this a quick recipe to pull together.
- Dried Oregano – It isn’t Italian without oregano.
- Dried Basil – Basil adds a delicious earthy and slightly sweet flavor.
- Powdered Onion – You can use fresh onion if that’s on hand or easier.
- Dried Parsley – Italian parsley or flat leaf parsley will work. Make sure not to use cilantro though!
- Garlic Powder – Not garlic salt; the dressing mix has plenty of salt.
- Bay Leaves – Don’t forget to pull these out at the end.
- Italian-style Salad Dressing Mix – I like to use Good Seasons brand Italian dressing mix.
- Bottom Round Roast – cut into quarters and slightly de-fatify(yes, I totally made that word up)
For Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Italian or French Bread – You can grab a loaf from the market or use our easy French bread recipe.
- Provolone Cheese – My husband loves provolone cheese, but my kids like a mix of provolone and mozzarella. Gotta have the cheese pull!
- Sweet or hot peppers – I love to serve our sandwiches with pickled pepperocinis.
How do you make Italian beef for sandwiches? (Step-by-step)
⭐ First, whisk all ingredients except meat and bay leaves together and pour over meat into slow cooker.
⭐ Next, pour seasoned broth mix over meat and add bay leaves.
⭐ Then, cook until beef is tender and shreds easily. This can be done in a slow cooker, instant pot, or in the oven.
⭐ Finally, remove bay leaves, and shred meat with a fork.
Tips and tricks
🟢 If you don’t have all the individual spices, go ahead and sub them for 4 heaping teaspoons of Italian seasoning spice blend.
🟢 Need it too cook faster? Cut the meat into smaller pieces before putting in the pot.
🟢 Add some spice with pickled pepperocinis or other hot or sweet peppers. They can be added either or both in the cooking pot and on the sandwiches!
Frequently asked questions
What Do You Dip Italian Beef Sandwiches In
Dip your sandwich in the juices from the cooking! This is known as an “au jus” and is French for the juices of the meat. If you accidentally toss yours, don’t worry, we have a recipe for making au jus without drippings! If you want to thicken the jus, bring the strained juices to a simmer and stir in a slurry of cornstarch (mixture of 2 tablespoons cornstarch with cold water).
How is an Italian beef different than a French dip?
Italian Beef Sandwiches and French Dip Sandwiches are very similar. The Italian Beef originated in Chicago, IL and is usually more highly seasoned. It is often served with hot and/or sweet peppers on an Italian roll.
The French Dip originated in Los Angeles, CA and is not as highly seasoned. It is served on a French roll with or without added cheese. No matter which you get, both are smart enough to serve with a side of “jus” for dipping!
What meat do you use for Italian beef sandwiches
Traditionally a top or bottom round roast is used, but any cut of beef will work. I like to keep an eye out for sales on large cuts of beef at the market. The nice thing about this recipe is it can turn any cut of meat tender and delicious.
How long can Italian beef sit out?
It should sit out no longer than two hours. The “danger zone” for food safety is between 41F and 140F, as this is where bacteria can grow! If the beef needs to be out longer, use a chafing dish or some other way to keep it warmer than 141F.
Leftovers and storage
How long can Italian beef be stored in the refrigerator?
It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 – 5 days after preparation. If it was left out at room temperature for longer than two hours though, leftovers should be disposed of and not saved.
Can you freeze Italian beef?
You can freeze the meat after immediately cooking. It will keep indefinitely at 0F, but for best taste eat it within 3 months. If you freeze a prepared Italian Beef Sandwich you should eat within 3 months for best flavor and texture.
You can also refreeze the leftovers, or any cooked meat that has been thawed in the refrigerator. However, this will result in some moisture loss so the beef may taste dry when thawed a second time. Refrozen meat should be used within 3 months.
To thaw, place the beef it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, if thawing premade frozen sandwiches, place in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 hours.
How do you reheat Italian beef?
The best way to reheat by first reheating the juices, then placing the meat in the juice just until warm. If you leave it in too long the meat may toughen up.
Reheat an Italian Beef Sandwich by wrapping it completely in aluminum foil and reheating in a 325F oven for 15-20 minutes. Place on a baking sheet to catch any potential drips! If the sandwich still has cold spots, heat for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Is Italian Beef Healthy
Italian Beef is healthy, insofar as beef is high in protein. Using a grass-fed beef will increase the nutrient content, especially Omega-3 fatty acids.
It is also keto and paleo (if you use a salad dressing mix without added sugar), as well as gluten free when served without a bun or with a gluten free bun.
Finish your meal with our serving suggestions
French Bread – Serve with provolone cheese. (And for a really authentic flavor, dip the whole sandwich into the broth immediately prior to serving.) YUM.
Olive Tapenade – Have the tapenade as part of an antipasto plate or by itself for a salty addition to the meat.
Brussels Sprout Salad – I love the crisp green taste of the sprouts alongside the richness of the beef.
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Tools we love
Instant Pot electric pressure cooker – Hey there busy person, it’s me! Also busy person! Can we talk about how hard it is to get a healthy dinner on the table during the week? So. Hard. Well, Imma tell you – this electric pressure cooker, and my gas grill are the saving graces in our home. A delicious roast with carrots and potatoes in 45 minutes? Yes, please! You’re seriously going to love this one!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot you can of course use your trusty slow cooker!
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How to make Italian Beef
- 32 oz beef broth
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp powdered onion
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 .7 ounce package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix (such as Good Seasons brand)
- 8 lb bottom round roast cut into quarters
- Italian or French bread
- Provolone or mozzarella cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except meat and bay leaves. Whisk together and pour over meat into slow cooker.
- Pour seasoned broth mix over meat and add bay leaves.
IN SLOW COOKER:
- Cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
IN INSTANT POT:
- Cook on manual (high pressure) 90 minutes. Natural pressure release.
- 275 degrees in a covered dutch oven for 5 - 6 hours.
- Remove bay leaves, and shred meat with a fork.
- Serve on French Bread with provolone cheese. (And for a really authentic flavor, dip the whole sandwich into the broth immediately prior to serving.) YUM.
Substitution:If you don’t have all the individual spices, go ahead and sub them for 4 heaping teaspoons of Italian seasoning spice blend. Don't skip the dressing mix though.
How to thicken the drippings:Strain 3 - 4 cups of cooking liquid, bring to a simmer and stir in a cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons cold water). Continue to simmer until thickened. Add additional slurry as desired.