French onion pot roast is a tender and flavorful roast that makes the perfect comfort food. Make this easily in your Instant Pot, Instant Dutch oven, or slow cooker. A crusted chuck roast cooked with caramelized onions served in a yummy au jus gravy for a delicious dinner.
Why this works
- Easy prepping - this French onion pot roast is easy to prep a lot like my Yankee Pot Roast.
- Multiple ways to cook it - I've included directions so you can cook this in the time you have using your Instant Dutch oven, Instant Pot, or slow cooker.
- Comfort food for a crowd - full of flavor this pot roast can easily feed a crown. Add some fresh baked bread for a full meal!
- Leftovers for days - this French onion pot roast holds it flavor well after cooking. It can be made ahead for a weekday meal, and the leftovers make great sandwiches! You could even do impromptu French dip sandwiches with some crusty French bread!
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
- Chuck roast - your roast should be a deep red color with marbling or fat throughout the meat. I prefer to use a boneless but, but if you do have a bone it should be bright white in color. Meat that is grayish-brown in color tends to be older, and may have been sitting on your butchers shelf for a while.
- Onions - I like to use either Vidalia or red onions for this French onion pot roast recipe for better flavor.
- Red wine - choose your favorite! I use a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon usually. If you don't want to use the wine that's just fine. It can be left out, and beef broth can be used to deglaze the pan.
How to make this
Step 1: Seasoning the meat
Pat your chuck roast dry, and then coat it in the Dijon mustard. Make sure you coat all sides really well with the mustard. The mustard will act as a binder for the soup mix, and will add an additional layer of flavor.
Next coat the chuck roast in the dry onion soup mix on all sides. Make sure to really pat it in, and then set aside.
Step 2: Prepping the pot roast for cooking
Preheat the Instant Dutch oven or Instant Pot on sear. Once preheated add a small amount of oil for frying. Add the seasoned chuck roast and sear all sides.
If the sear function gets to hot it can be toggled off and on. The cast iron in the Instant Dutch oven naturally retains heat really well so you may find yourself doing this.
Add the butter to the pot and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom. Since we used the dry onion soup mix for the seasoning there will be quite a bit of dried onion on the bottom. No worries since this will all come up as we continue to cook.
Once the butter has melted add the sliced onions. Cook for two minutes, and then cover with a lid or plate to "sweat" the onions. Once the 2-minutes are up remove the lid, and saute stirring until the onions have browned to your liking.
Add the celery and cook to soften slightly. Add in the garlic, and cook until fragrant or about 30 seconds. Add the red wine and reduce by half. Add in all the remaining seasonings.
Pour the beef broth in the pot or Dutch oven then add the meat back in.
Instant Dutch Oven - cook on manual mode 2 for three hours at 275-degrees. Flip halfway through cooking. You can add vegetables like baby potatoes or carrots at this stage. Throw in on the top, they do not need to be under the roast.
Instant Pot - Cook on high pressure for 90-minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release. This will produce a roast that shreds easily. For a roast that is more sliceable cook on high pressure for 80-minutes then follow with a 15-minute natural pressure release. Once done, remove the roast to a platter. If you want to add vegetables add these into the broth and cook on high pressure for 10-minutes.
Slow cooker - cook for 8-10 hours in Instant Dutch oven. For a traditional slow cooker cooker for 8-10 hours on low. If adding vegetables be sure to put them in at the beginning of your cooking.
Be sure not to skip the sear as it's a really important step for depth of flavor for this recipe. To make a gravy add a cornstarch slurry and thicken on saute.
You can use yellow, Vidalia, or red onions for pot roast.
Chuck roast yields a tender result with meat that is easy to shred. Brisket is great for low and slow cooking or pressure cooking. Round roasts are lean and easy to slice.
Likely it has been undercooked. If it is still firm add it back to the cooking vessel for some additional cook time.
This is wonderful served with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice. Your French onion pot roast will give you plenty of leftovers and they make great sandwiches!
Storage & reheating
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator. You can freeze pot roast without the vegetables for up two or three months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and reheat on the stove, microwave, Dutch oven, or Instant Pot.
How to video
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French Onion Pot Roast
- 4 pound chuck roast can be 2-4 pounds
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 envelopes dry onion soup mix 1 envelope for small roasts under 3 pounds
- 3 onions sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter I used unsalted
- 1 celery stalk sliced
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups beef broth
- Cover the roast with the Dijon mustard, and then coat with the dry onion soup mix. Set aside on plate.
- Preheat the Instant Pot or Instant Dutch oven to saute. Once preheated add a small amount of oil to the pot, and sear all sides of the chuck roast. Once done set aside on a plate. Leave the saute function on.
- Add the butter to the pot, and melt. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom as much as possible. Add the onions, and saute for a couple of minutes. Then cover with lid or plate to "sweat" the onions for about 5 minutes. If using the Instant Pot lid be sure the seal is not on the lid.
- After "sweating" the onions, remove the lid and continue to stir to finish browning the onions to your liking.
- Add the celery, and saute for a minute. Next, add the minced garlic and stir constantly until fragrant. This just takes a few minutes.
- Add the wine, and cooked until reduced down by one-third. Turn off the saute function.
- Add in all the seasonings, and the beef broth. Stir together, and add the seared chuck roast back in.
- Instant Dutch Oven - cook on manual mode 2 for three hours at 275-degrees. Flip halfway through cooking. You can add vegetables like baby potatoes or carrots at this stage. Throw in on the top, they do not need to be under the roast.
- Instant Pot - Cook on high pressure for 90-minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release. This will produce a roast that shreds easily. For a roast that is more sliceable cook on high pressure for 80-minutes then follow with a 15-minute natural pressure release. Once done, remove the roast to a platter. If you want to add vegetables add these into the broth and cook on high pressure for 10-minutes.
- Slow cooker - cook for 8-10 hours in Instant Dutch oven. For a traditional slow cooker cooker for 8-10 hours on low. If adding vegetables be sure to put them in at the beginning of your cooking.