Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

If I was a food blogger worth my salt (get it?), I would have come up with some clever theme for the last two weeks. Like, Slow Cooker Bonanza Week or Slow Cookerpalooza (too much?) since, unintentionally, every main dish I’ve posted in the last two weeks has been a slow cooker wonder. But. Since I didn’t come up with a clever theme or tagline, I’ll just make peace with my one track mind that’s clearly focused on slow cooker meals right now (and I’m pretty sure if the stars align, I have a killer slow cooker soup coming next week, too).

Just like the slow cooker lasagna and slow cooker butternut tortellini (holy cow, I can’t believe how many of you have tried that one already!), this roasted garlic beef is spectacular. It’s no surprise that the beef cooks up tender and delicious. I mean, that’s the whole appeal to a slow cooker in the first place. But the roasted garlic? That smashed, caramelized, roasted garlic thrown in there with the flavorful bits of meat puts it waaaaay over the top. Way.

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you’re in for a treat. The sometimes harsh, strong flavor of garlic totally mellows as it roasts in the oven, browning and becoming butter-soft. It adds such a delicious layer of flavor to the slow cooked roast beef (and about a million other things). I figure if we all start roasting garlic on a regular basis and putting it in everything, no one will even notice the arlic-gay eath-bray issue.

BTW, these incredible and easy French bread rolls (or their whole wheat counterparts) are the perfect sandwiching option for this tasty garlic roast beef.

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

What To ServeKale Salad with Pecan Parmesan and Lemon Dressing
Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables (with homemade ranch)
Chips or crackers

One Year Ago: Pumpkin White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake {Egg-Free, Easily Gluten Free}
Two Years Ago: The Best and Only Pie Crust Recipe {& Tutorial} You’ll Ever Need
Three Years Ago: Sweet Potato Casserole

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

Yield: Serves 6

Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

If you really want to max out the flavor, rub the spice mixture (in step 1) on the beef, cover and refrigerate overnight before putting in the slow cooker.

This freezes wonderfully - when reheating, if it seems dry, add a little beef broth.


  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock (use less salt above if not using low-sodium broth)
  • 2 full heads garlic


  1. Pat the chuck roast dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, black pepper, onion powder, paprika and brown sugar. Rub and pat the spice mixture evenly on the roast.
  2. Place the roast in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Pour the beef broth around the roast, cover, and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
  3. While the meat cooks, roast the garlic (you can do this several days in advance and refrigerate). Peel most of the paper skin off the heads of garlic (making sure all the cloves stay intact). Slice about 1/4-inch or so off the tip of the head of garlic so the ends of the garlic are exposed. Place the two heads of garlic cut-side up on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Wrap the foil around to cover completely and bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until the garlic is starting to look caramelized and brown and the texture is very, very soft.
  4. Let the garlic cool until it doesn't burn your fingers off before squeezing the soft garlic out of the skins. Mash and lightly chop the garlic; set aside.
  5. When the meat has finished cooking, remove the roast and liquid from the slow cooker. Shred the meat into small pieces, discarding any pieces of fat. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir in the liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, until it's as moist as you want it to be (I don't add it all back in because I don't want the sandwiches dripping and soggy but add it to your personal taste). Stir in the mashed garlic and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook on low until ready to serve (up to an additional hour, if needed).
  6. Serve warm on rolls.

Recipe Source: adapted from Jessica’s recipe at How Sweet It Is after my virtual friend Heather emailed me telling me it was amazing

56 Responses to Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Beef Sandwiches

  1. Sandra Roberts says:

    I have been haunting your blog for the last year trying various recipes almost every week now and I must say you have a Delicious Blog!! This is one of our family’s favorites. The Juice we skim the fat from the Juice The boys love dipping theirs in Like the Best French Dip You Ever Tasted.( I also add roasted Garlic to the Rub before cooking)

  2. Amy C. says:

    I just thought that your Italian meatball subs were the best sandwich I’d ever eaten! This was so good. My boys and husband ate theirs with cheese, but I just had a few squirts of horseradish and it was perfection!

  3. Amanda says:

    Made this for xmas eve. It was a big hit!! SOOO yummy!! With your rolls it was perfection!! Thanks for the GREAT recipes!

  4. Heidy A says:

    We love this recipe. Simple and delicious every single time! It is part of our typical rotation of recipes!

  5. Laura says:

    Mel, which recipe do you like better, this garlic beef or your Italian beef recipe? Thanks!

  6. London says:

    Hello, could this be made in an Instant Pot? If so, what would you recommend for the time, setting, and amount of liquid?

    • Mel says:

      Hi London – it kind of depends what size the meat is. If it’s cut into cubes (like 2 or 3-inch), I’d suggest maybe 20-25 minutes at high pressure. If it’s a full roast, I’d suggest around 60 minutes. The rule of thumb is at least 1 1/2 cups of liquid in the instant pot. Good luck!

  7. Sara says:

    Could I double this recipe? If so, would it change the cooking time?

  8. Deb says:

    So, you know I make your recipes all the time and love them. This is seriously the best thing I’ve made all year. SO simple yet the flavor is amazing. Doubled the recipe for a group (yeah, before I tried it for myself because I trust you that much!) and the crock pot was licked clean. As in, no leftovers. Unacceptable. So, I am making it again this week and keeping it for myself :). Thanks Mel for continuing to bring awesome reliable recipes, you are the best! Merry Christmas!

  9. Rochelle says:

    This was delicious!!

  10. Stacey says:

    These are fantastic! I toasted some buns, threw on some swiss, and served them with hot mustard (Chinese style) on the side. Always thrilled to fine a GOOD slow-cooker recipe! Thanks, Mel!!!

  11. Julia says:

    Oh my! Yum! The only thing I did different was “roast” my garlic in the foil on top of my roast in the crock pot for about four hours. It worked great!

  12. Jamie says:

    I made this last night and liked it, but I think next time I will take into consideration how big my roast is and how big the heads of garlic are. I had a roast a little under 3 pounds and 2 really large heads of garlic. It was a little too garlicky–and I like a lot of garlic. Next time I will add the garlic a little at a time until I reach the right garlic to beef ratio. I am contemplating how this would taste with a little horseradish added on the sandwich. Thanks!

  13. Hilary says:

    Oh my gracious…..this is DELICIOUS!!!! My only regret is I didn’t double this recipe!!! Phenomenal…no one spoke at supper because they were all devouring these sandwiches. Made them with your lion house rolls and definitely a keeper. Kids are requesting this again tomorrow 🙂 THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  14. NancyV908 says:

    I made this last night and it was DELICIOUS. Thank you! I did season the meat the night before, which I think helped. The roasted garlic really makes this dish. (It took me significantly longer to roast mine, in my toaster oven, than the recipe said, but it was no big deal as I did it the day before.) I so want to love my slow cooker but I’m often underwhelmed (to be fair, my kids don’t like stews or chilis, which are so good in them), but this recipe is a keeper. And so easy. We eat only limited amounts of red meat so I am glad to have a recipe for it that is so easy and good. Thanks so much!

  15. Amber says:

    Let’s say that you only had a boneless pork shoulder roast in the freezer…what are your thoughts on using instead of a chuck roast?

  16. Margo says:

    This was so delicious! I’m sure it would make a great sandwich, but we ate it without bread and it was amazing. So flavorful! Much as I looooove bread, I don’t think I want to let anything stand between me and this meaty goodness!

  17. Molly Schaaf says:

    Another winner! My husband (who thinks “It’s ok” is high praise for a meal) exclaimed, “Wow! This is good!” I made the French Bread Rolls, too, and we had an awesome meal with plenty left over for several more! Will definitely make again!

  18. sweetpea says:

    sounds so good. Boneless roast, I guess, or does it even matter? Do you pre-trim pretty

  19. Becki says:

    This sounds wonderful – love the idea of roasted garlic in here.

  20. Teresa R. says:

    I love slow cooker recipes! I’ll be trying this tomorrow night! Thanks.

  21. Karina says:

    This looks amazing! I don’t have a slow cooker, do you think it would it be possible to cook it in a covered pot in the oven?

  22. Heidi says:

    Thank you for this recipe. It saved me on dinner tonight. We’ve had so many of your recipes lately because I have NO idea what is for dinner, so I open your blog, see a recipe, make it, and it’s always a winner. My husband asks, “Mel’s?” And when I tell him yes, he knows dinner will be good 🙂

  23. Tanya M. says:

    This looks delicious! I love my crockpots more and than anything in my kitchen– I have three of them!
    Just a note about roasting the garlic– I’ve done this with a big bag of garlic (like 20 heads?). Roast them just like you said with olive oil (adjust amount accordingly), squeeze them all out of their skins and into a quart jar and pour the oil in on top. They keep in your fridge for a while and are so yummy in recipes!
    Thanks for all your amazing recipes!!

  24. Mark says:

    Why would you replace the beer with beef broth and lose all of that flavor? Are you really so paranoid about ingesting any amount of alcohol that you won’t even cook with it? All of the alcohol content would be cooked out in the process anyway. Seems pretty silly.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Mark, you are certainly welcome to make this recipe using the original version with beer but I will attest it certainly wasn’t lacking flavor using beef broth. Perhaps you should do a side by side comparison and see what you think. Feel free to chime back in if you do – I can tell this is an important issue to you. 🙂

    • mjfluke says:

      It is a myth that all of the alcohol content cooks out.

    • Isabelle Wright says:

      I wouldn’t super call it “paranoid,” but personally, I don’t buy alcohol so I just don’t have it on hand. But I almost always have Better than Bouillon to make broths with. So I appreciate recipes that don’t include alcohol, whether or not “most” of it cooks out 🙂

    • NancyV908 says:

      I don’t believe that all alcohol cooks out of all recipes. There are too many variables, so it’s not always true. Also, Mel, how nice of you to respond so politely, given the tone of the original comment.

    • Ruby says:

      There are huge fans of the site (like me) that are prohibited from drinking alcohol due to religious reasons. It’s a real bummer because there are so many things I’m dying to try (chicken marsala, beef bourguignon) but can’t because there doesn’t seem to be an alcohol substitute, so I’m always thankful for the alcohol free recipes 🙂

    • Megan G says:

      This comment made me laugh– some people would want nothing more than to lose all the flavor of beer. I can’t even stand the smell of it, let alone leaving a perfectly good roast to simmer in it for eight hours. Gross. Beef broth is perfect in this!

  25. I love slow cooking!! This looks delicious

  26. lauren says:

    I’m so glad you included a recommendation for a roll, as I have recently been making all my own using your fabulous recipes. I loved your Italian bread bowl I made this week; perfect for soup & versatile enough to slice for smaller sandwiches. Can’t wait to try this…looks like another delicious winner!

  27. Paige says:

    Yum! We just made slow cooker roast beef sandwiches last week with pepperonchinis. We’ll have to try these ones next time.


  28. Jen T says:

    Your slow cooker Italian beef if a family favorite here, so I am sure we will love this too! Thanks!

  29. Tara says:

    Yes! Thank you for this! Tomorrow I am trying your Slow-cooker lasagna. And soon the Butternut one. I’m a bit of a new recipe snob. Every week out of 7 main courses, generally 4, often 5, are new recipes. I can’t get enough. And I always know I can trust your recipes. Thank you. I never post before I try the recipe, but I did this time just to say thank you. I always look forward to your recipes. I have subscribed and unsubscribed to many food bloggers. Yours seems to be the only one I stick with!

  30. Emilee says:

    I love roasted garlic, especially in mashed potatoes. I love the tip about putting on the spice rub the night before. I usually do dinners like this on Sunday and sometimes my mornings are crazier than anticipated and I’m scrambling to get even a simple meal in the crock pot before church. Prepping and rubbing the meat the night before will make it even easier, thanks!

  31. Beth says:

    Love these slow cooker recipes; that appliance has been life changing for me. So great for these busy, fall days!

  32. Jolene P says:

    Love your slow cooker Italian Beef (we often use moose instead of beef) & this looks like another winner! Slow cookers are great for crazy days (or more like crazy after-school hours). Thanks!

  33. Heather bell says:

    It really is the best! Can’t wait to try it with your changes:)

  34. Heather says:

    These sound delicious! I bet a horseradish cream would add a nice touch 🙂 Definitely gonna try these this week!

  35. Desiree says:

    Going to pick up a beef roast today just for this 🙂

  36. Sheila says:

    So simple, yet so delicious and easy? I’m in. I’m loving these crock pot recipes. You are the very best!

    • Sheila says:

      This is so very good. And easy. And delicious. My family loved these flavorful sandwiches. Good food adds to the warmth, closeness, and love within the family unit. Mom was a rock star this weekend thanks to this recipe (as with so many of your recipes).

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