This slow cooker sweet and sour beef roast is rich, flavorful, and so easy to make. Tender beef slow cooks in cranberry sauce, chili sauce, and a few easy seasonings bringing an Asian twist to a classic comfort dish.
Ken and I were trying to remember where we ate this roast for the first time. All we know for sure is we were so surprised by the simplicity of the recipe itself.
It's shocking how just a few ingredients add so much flavor to slow cooked roast beef making it turn out so tender and juicy.
It's hard to believe after all these years, we're still making this Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Beef Roast for dinner!
Why You Will Love this Recipe
- All you need are a few simple ingredients and many are pantry staples you may already have on hand.
- It's incredibly easy to make and the slow cooker does all the heavy lifting.
- Unique flavors bringing an Asian flair to classic pot roast.
- A satisfying, hearty, and comforting meal that will be a new family favorite.
You're going to be shocked at the short list of ingredients you need to make this simple recipe.
The main players are below, but you can find the complete ingredient list along with amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Beef pot roast: You want to choose a pot roast with plenty of marbling throughout the entire piece of meat. This will slowly cook down over time and make it tender and juicy.
- Whole berry cranberry sauce: Look for this on your canned fruit or vegetable aisle. If you're making this outside the holiday season, it may be on a bottom shelf.
- Ketchup style chili sauce: Heinz is the popular brand that makes this sauce. It's a cross between a hot chili sauce and ketchup, with a bit more zing than ketchup.
- Spices: You will need ground ginger and onion powder to season the sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce: Gives the sweet and sour a bit more depth of flavor.
- Flour: Just a bit at the end to help thicken the sauce. You can use cornstarch instead.
- Beef pot roast: Swap it for steak cubes or stew meat instead of a whole roast.
- No chili sauce? You can use ketchup and add some cayenne to get a similar flavor profile.
- Swap the Worcestershire sauce with red wine vinegar.
- Like it spicy? This dish is great with a teaspoon or so of chili pepper flakes or jalapeno powder to give it a bit of heat. If you like a smoky, spiciness try this smoked jalapeno powder, or chipotle powder.
- Add more vegetables such as potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms. Add them during the last hour of cooking so they cook to tender crisp consistency.
- Add extra spices such as garlic powder or some fresh garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, or dried oregano.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Roast
Making this recipe is as easy as it gets. It only takes a few simple steps and some time in the slow cooker.
The highlights are below, but you can find the complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Place the onions in the slow cooker.
- Add the beef roast on top.
- Mix together the chili sauce, canned cranberry, and spices.
- Pour it over the beef in the slow cooker. Cook for 6 to 8 hours.
- Mix together the flour and water.
- Remove the roast when it's ready. Turn the the slow cooker to high and stir in the flour slurry. Cook until the sauce thickens.
- Slice up the beef and top with the sweet and sour sauce.
- Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: This dish also freezes well. Store it in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: Slice the roast beef and place it in a baking dish along with any sauce. Cover the dish and bake at 325 degrees until heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
What to Serve with Beef Roast
This roast is perfect with all the classic sides that we normally think of when we think of roasts.
- Potatoes: It's great with mashed potatoes, air fryer parmesan potatoes or cheesy potato casserole.
- Pasta: We love this creamy risotto pasta or macaroni and cheese with this sweet and sour pot roast.
- Rice: Steamed white, brown or wild rice pilaf works great too since it soaks up all the yummy juices.
- Vegetables: Instant pot asparagus, parmesan green beans, and glazed carrots are a few of our favorites.
- This delicious meal would be made perfect with some flavorful sides. Find many at What to Serve with Paella.
- If you love veggies, add some carrots or potatoes to cook with the meat.
- Avoid overcrowding the slow cooker so that there is plenty of room for heat circulation.
- Cook on low until tender, then increase heat to high near the end of cooking time to thicken the sauce
- Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and green onion slices for a splash of color.
- Let your cooked beef rest before slicing or cutting into chunks
- Cook the meat longer on low heat settings for the most tender results.
For the best results, we recommend using raw boneless chuck roast with its wonderful fat marbling that helps keep it juicy and tender when cooked over low heat for a long period of time.
Yes, you can. Bake it in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 ½ to 3 hours.
The internal temperature of your roast should reach at least 145 degrees in order for it to be cooked through and safe to eat. You can also test for doneness by inserting a fork into the center of the roast and if it easily pierces through the meat then your beef is usually done!
That depends on the size of your roast. In general, it should take between 6 and 8 hours. Begin checking for doneness after about 5 hours. When it easily shreds with a fork, it's done.
More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes
Peek at our video! This way you can see just how simple this dinner recipe really is!
Slow Cooker Beef Roast Video
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Beef Roast
- Spray slow cooker with cooking spray and sprinkle onions all over the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Liberally sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper on your beef roast and place it on top of the onions.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, ginger, Worcestershire sauce and onion powder.
- Pour over beef.
- Cover and cook on low until beef is tender between 6 and 8 hours. It all depends on the size of your roast.
- Transfer beef from slow cooker to a plate and let rest.
- Turn slow cooker up to high.
- In a small bowl mix flour and water together and add to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high, stirring periodically, until sauce thickens about 20 minutes.
- Remove string from roast (if there is any) and slice or cut meat into chunks.
- Serve with sauce and enjoy!
This post was originally published December 2017. It has been updated with new content and images.