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Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

This mouth-watering Chicago specialty is made easier by using the slow cooker, the results are just as delicious!

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

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Recipe by Jennifer Course: Main Courses, Sandwiches, Slow CookerCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This mouth-watering Chicago specialty is made easier by using the slow cooker, the results are just as delicious!


  • For Beef
  • 3-4 lbs boneless beef chuck shoulder roast, trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 can / 14.5 oz beef broth

  • 1 cup cola (I like to use RC), Do NOT use diet

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

  • 3 tbsp dried minced onion

  • 1 tbsp beef bouillon

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • 2 tsp dried basil

  • 2 tsp dried parsley

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 fresh ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp fresh red pepper flakes

  • pinch of dried thyme

  • 1 – 2 bay leaves

  • 1-1/3 cup pepperoncini juice

  • For Sandwiches
  • hoagie rolls

  • provolone cheese slices

  • sliced pepperoncini peppers (mild)

  • Cento Diced Hot Cherry Pepper (Hot) Hoagie Spread (optional, highly recommended)


  • Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Cut roast into 4 large chunks.
  • Sear roast in skillet on all sides until browned, transfer to slow cooker.
  • To a large bowl, add all remaining roast ingredients and stir well, pour over meat in slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until roast is super tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  • Once tender, remove roast to a plate and cool to room temperature until you’re able to shred it.
  • Let juices from slow cooker cool slightly and then strain fat. I like to use a fat separator.
  • Pour juices into a medium sized sauce pan.
  • Shred meat back into slow cooker and ladle about 3 spoonfuls of pan juices over the meat.
  • The meat should look moist and juicy but not too wet.
  • Cover the slow cooker and let meat cook on low for 1 hour to warm and absorb juices.
  • When ready to serve the sandwiches, bring the rest of the juices in the pan to a simmer.
  • Toast the hoagie rolls in an oven preheated to 425°f.
  • Add the beef and cheese, return to oven just until cheese is melted.
  • Add the sliced pepperoncini and cherry pepper hoagie spread.
  • Serve the pan juices in little bowls on the side for dipping.


  • You can use chuck roast for this if you prefer, but I like the chuck shoulder because it is less fatty, resulting in better pan juices for dipping.

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