Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

By Rachel Tiemeyer
January 9, 2020

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef is an easy, healthy, dump-and-go, delicious dinner. This freezer friendly recipe is a win for my family and is a great recipe for large groups. So simple!

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

Slow Cooker Shredded Balsamic Beef might be the easiest and very best slow cooker meal I’ve ever made for my family. You simply can’t beat the aroma of slow cooked chuck roast. It’s one of the best dump-and-go meals you’ll find!

Seasoned chuck roast in a slow cooker

Everyone, from ages 4 to 42, devoured this tender, flavorful meat dish. I have served it with mashed potatoes (and of course veggies and fruit), which is perfect for all that extra sauce in the crock, or Boiled Baby Potatoes go well with it, too. Then, the next night we had this same Slow Cooker Shredded Balsamic Beef on mini wheat rolls as “french dip” sandwiches. Again, a huge win!

Video Tutorial: How to Make Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

How to Freeze Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

This recipe works great to prep ahead and freeze. You can make lots of batches at once if you plan ahead a bit.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

Method One:

To Freeze: Place all ingredients together in a freezer friendly plastic bag and freeze. To prepare, let bag thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours.

To Prepare: After thawed, cook as directed.

Method Two:

To Freeze: Fully cook the meal (through Step #4). Let it cool completely. (Safety Note: Do not let the meat sit on the counter more than 2 hours.) Store meat and sauce in a freezer container or freezer bag after it’s cooled completely.

To thaw: There are at least three safe ways to defrost and warm up this meal.

  1. Let meat thaw in the fridge for 24-48 hours and then warm gently on the stove top or in the microwave. (This is the preferred method.)
  2. From frozen on stove top: Place the frozen meat and sauce on the stove top in a pot over medium-low heat. Dump 1 cup of water or beef broth over the top. Put a lid on and stir periodically until warmed through.
  3. From frozen in microwave: Place frozen meat and sauce in a microwave-safe bowl. Use the DEFROST setting to thaw, stirring occasionally. Then heat in the microwave on the COOK setting in 30-60 second increments until warmed through.
Slow cooker balsamic shredded beef on a plate

Can You Make Shredded Beef in the Instant Pot?

You bet! Just follow the instructions in the recipe below but make the following changes:

  • Cut the beef into 2×2 pieces.
  • Place the beef and the sauce in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10+ minutes.

If you want to know how to convert other recipes to the Instant Pot, be sure to download our Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart. We also have a cookbook that gives slow cooker AND Instant Pot instructions for EVERY recipe. You can check out From Freezer to Cooker here.

What Goes Well with Shredded Beef?

Serve this with our 3-Minute No-Boil Corn on the Cob or our Simple Baby Boiled Potatoes.

No-Boil Corn on the cob

Slow Cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minute
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Slow cooker balsamic shredded beef is packed full of flavor and oh-so-easy to savor. So. Good. 


  • About a 3 pound boneless roast beef (chuck or round roast)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth (or sub chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (Gluten-free option: Use coconut aminos or gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (increase if you want more heat)


Make It Now:

  1. Put roast beef into slow cooker and season with Kosher salt and pepper on all sides.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over roast beef.
  3. Slow cook on LOW for about 8 hours, or until meat easily shreds apart.
  4. Using two large forks, shred the meat apart in the slow cooker.
  5. Serve meat warm on top of mashed potatoes or on a bun with a bit of the sauce over the top. There should be plenty of sauce for dipping sandwiches, too!

Freeze For Later:

Method One:

To Freeze: Place all ingredients together in a freezer friendly plastic bag and freeze. To prepare, let bag thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours.

To Prepare: Thaw using one of these three safe ways and then cook as directed.

Method Two:

To freeze: Fully cook the meal (through Step #4). Let it cool completely. (Safety Note: Do not let the meat sit on the counter more than 2 hours.) Store meat and sauce in a freezer container or freezer bag after it’s cooled completely.

To thaw: Thaw using one of these three safe ways and then warm on the stove over low heat or in the microwave.

Slow cooker Balsamic Shredded Beef

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83 replies
  1. Kande says:

    Y’all must make this ASAP! Hands down The BEST roast we’ve ever tasted!!! I used mushroom broth instead of beef broth. Served it with skin on roasted butternut squash, extra balsamic & cold arugula salad greens. The juices are the salad dressing.
    Wasn’t just the BEST thing I’ve had since my special fight cancer diet but, BEST EVER!

  2. Mrs.S says:

    I am so sorry. I don’t know why I’m not seeing the mistakes in my writing. My original question, would it be helpful to brown the meat first for either the slow cooker or instant pot?

  3. The East Family says:

    Made this again this week. Had it the first night over mashed potatoes/cauliflower. The second night, I slipped brioche hot dog buns and a couple of slices of mozzarella/provolone under the broiler and topped with the meat for French Dips, using all that good broth as au jus. SO good!! I’m guessing we’ll fight over who gets the last serving for lunch today!

  4. Suzie says:

    Made this last night in my instant pot. So easy and so good. I served it both ways on a hoagie with dipping sauce and I made gravy with the other half of the sauce. I will make this again.

    • Jo says:

      Hi how long in the instant pot? I was thinking the same thing, but i dont want to deal with a slow cooker, since I’m leaving to go out of town the day it needs cooked. (Hubby just told me he has to bring lunch to feed 7 guys at work on Wednesday, lol)

  5. Ashley says:

    This recipe is so good! I made it in my Instant Pot and it was perfect. It’s so tender and flavorful that ever my picky kids will eat it!

  6. Christine says:

    This was great tasting and super easy! My husband loved the flavor. I made two at once so I could pop one in the freezer!

  7. Amanda says:

    This recipe was so good and so easy! I did this as a part of a 1 hour meal prep and made two at once…we cooked and ate them within 2 weeks! Im intimidated by beef recipes sometimes because I don’t have much experience with different cuts of meat but this recipe made it so easy! Make it; you won’t be disappointed!

    • Polly Conner says:

      That’s awesome to hear. We love inspiring confidence in the kitchen. You should try out our BBQ shredded beef recipe next. Yummmm

  8. Allison Nelson says:

    My favorite recipe for the past few years. Meat is incredibly tender after slow cooking on this combination of liquids. Perfect over mashed potatoes.

  9. Stephanie Boyd says:

    My husband and all four kids (ages 2-14) loved this meal! I made it in the instant pot, and it was super easy! Definitely worth doubling and freezing half for later 😀

  10. Jackie says:

    The balsamic beef is absolutely delicious! So tender and lots of flavor! I served it over cauliflower mash potatoes with green beans! Highly recommend!

  11. Vanessa says:

    I made this in the instant pot and it was so easy! It was flavorful and was enjoyed by entire family! We served it with cauli mashed potatoes and cut the red pepper flakes down for my kids. Highly recommend this recipe. It’s in our monthly routine.

  12. Kristia says:

    One of our new favorite recipes. I usually make as directed, but last night I subbed chicken stock for the beef stock and used a pork roast. It was delicious, and I’m happy to have another pork roast recipe now!

  13. Kelsey says:

    I love this recipe. I was always looking for different way to prepare a beef roast and this is it! I love it as is, my kids prefer a little less heat so I cut some of the red pepper flake. But it’s incredibly tender, juicy, and flavorful. Try it!

  14. Esther says:

    I love this no fail recipe! I have done it with beef roast in the instapot as well as with a venison roast in the crock pot. It comes out tender and a distinct flavor that you don’t get with just onion soup mix. A great change up.

  15. lois says:

    Guys!! you REALLY need to try this one!! It does NOT taste as easy as it is! I package it as a meal kit with Ore-Ida Steam & Mash potatoes… Such an easy meal to throw together, and seriously, comfort food on steroids!

  16. Dani says:

    I have made this before and it was amazing. I want to make it again but I can’t see the recipe can you please help?

    • Polly Conner says:

      I’m so glad you said something! I made a revision yesterday that (for some unknown reason) made the recipe card not visible. It’s back now. Enjoy!

  17. Emily says:

    This is a recipe that you hold onto. Delicious with basic, identifiable ingredients. One of my top, if not top, slow cooker recipes.

  18. Jan says:

    Husband claimed top ten of all meals I’ve ever made. He never offers compliments on meals but he sure was vocal about this one. Will make this again. Everyone loved it

  19. Gallagher says:

    This was amazing! I made it for a party with some slider rolls. I don’t often eat meat and I couldn’t stop. Delicious!

  20. Amy says:

    This recipe is delicious! We just cooked and served it to about 100 people for a Lenten dinner at our church and it was a big hit, with adults and kids alike! Many people asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  21. Megan says:

    I made this last night for dinner. I put the meat in around 10 in the morning and everything was cooked by 6:30. I did turn the temp up to high around 3:30 to make sure the meat was cooked all the way through. The meat easily shredded, and I threw it back into the crock pot juices until my husband got home from work. I served it with roasted root veggies. My husband ate it on a muffin like a french-dip sandwich. We both loved it. I mostly made this to freeze the leftovers to eat once baby arrives (I’m 38 weeks pregnant), and I am excited to have a delicious dinner to thaw when we’re too busy to cook dinner. Thank you for such an easy and delicious meal!

    • Rachel says:

      We eat it like french dip sandwiches, too. So glad you liked it. Definitely the longer it cooks, the more easily those tough cuts of beef will shred apart.

  22. Tara says:

    Wondering if I can prep the roast with marinade, freeze, then pop in the slow cooker and cook from frozen? Might take a little longer, but that would be ok. Any experience with this or hang-ups to think about?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Tara. We don’t recommend cooking a frozen meal in the slow cooker. From the research we have done, it sounds like there is a chance it can sit at the unsafe temp for food too long. I’ve done it, but it’s just not worth the risk to me in the future.

    • Rachel says:

      Chicken might work, but you’d need to adjust the cook time depending on what cut you are using. Chicken breasts cook quickly in the slow cooker, like in 2-3 hours.

  23. Tia says:

    i read the comment about the nesco roaster. You need this roaster! its like a crockpot but it cooks the same temperatures as a oven.You will not be sorry!! It cooks the best lasagna ive ever had!!My grandmothers secret recipe.

  24. Jamie says:

    If I put carrots and chopped red potatoes in the crockpot under the meat, would it all cook together ok? I need something I can put on in the morning before I leave for the office and it’ll be ready when I get home in the evening with no maintenance during the day.

  25. Ashley says:

    This is fantastic! I’m happy to report every member of my family enjoyed it, including me, and I’m not really into beef. Thanks, ladies!

  26. Jennifer says:

    Do you think this would work in a large Nesco type roaster? I need to feed large crowd and would double possibly triple recipe. If so what temperature would you recommend and how long?

  27. Kathy says:

    We enjoyed this Balsamic Shredded Beef tonight. I had a cheap cut of beef in the freezer and threw it in the crockpot this morning along with the other ingredients. It turned out sooooooo good. This recipe is a keeper!

  28. Meredith says:

    If I wanted to make this without honey so my almost one year old could enjoy it with us, should I substitute something else, or just leave out the honey?

    • Rachel says:

      I think the concern with honey for babies is that it might be contaminated in the bottle it comes in. Once it’s cooked (for 8 hours, no less), wouldn’t it be fine? You might Google to find out. But, if you want to substitute it, just add 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar. That would be tasty.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Just found your site, these recipes look delicious! I think what Meredith meant was that honey has botulism toxins in it and is not safe for children under the age of 1.

        “Don’t give your baby any honey before she’s a year old, even if it’s to treat a cough. This is because honey can, very occasionally, contain a spore of a bacterium called clostridium botulinum. This can cause a rare form of food poisoning (botulism) in babies.”