Yes, you CAN have a nutritious dinner on the table even after a late day at work or after-school activities when you make moist, tender Slow Cooker BBQ Chuck Tender Roast.
This blog post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I’m excited to share one of my family’s favorite slow cooker dinner recipes. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Are you a parent in need of dinner shortcuts and solutions? I am! That’s why when a friend asked what we eat for dinner on busy weeknights I decided to share. This SUPER SIMPLE slow cooker beef recipe is a regular on our meal rotation and an absolute fave. Slow cooker meals are ideal for our family because they require only a few minutes of morning prep so that by the time we get home, dinner is ready and waiting. Plus, we usually always have leftovers that I’m able to serve again during the week. Slow Cooker BBQ Chuck Tender Roast is a game changer and a go-to for a delicious busy weeknight meal.
Chuck Tender Roast
When you go to the meat counter to choose a roast do you hesitate because you aren’t sure which to purchase? Next time, look for a chuck tender roast. What I love about a chuck tender roast is how lean it is. It has very little visible fat to trim before cooking (which is always a plus in this dietitian mom’s book). When cooked properly, it yields delicious, fork-tender, flavor-packed shredded beef. We love eating the roast on its own or in tacos, nachos, shepherd’s pie and more. (Scroll down for more ideas!)
If you aren’t familiar with a chuck tender roast, it comes from the shoulder area and yields a big beefy flavor. You may also know this particular cut of beef as a chuck eye, medallion pot roast or a mock tender roast. This larger, less tender roast is ideal for slow cooking, braising or pot roasting. Plan to make it when you have a few minutes for prep and then hours to forget about it.
A 3-ounce serving of chuck tender roast has 160 calories and 28 grams of high-quality protein.
It provides 10 essential nutrients including zinc, iron and B-vitamins to help support an active, heart-healthy lifestyle.
How to Serve BBQ Chuck Tender Roast
After the BBQ roast cooks for 10 hours and fills your house with the most amazing aroma (or 5-6 hours on HIGH if you want to speed it up!), you may be wondering what to do next. I like to remove the meat from the slow cooker and transfer it to a baking sheet or cutting board. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. I then do one of two things. I use two forks to shred the entire roast if we are serving a crowd. If I know I want to freeze part of the roast, I’ll cut it in half allowing one portion to cool before wrapping and freezing and then shred the other half to eat immediately.
Now let’s talk about the juice… The juice left in the slow cooker has so much flavor so don’t pour it out! It can definitely be used again! If there is any fat, skim it to remove it but thankfully because a chuck tender roast is a lean cut there is usually very little to contend with. You can use the juice straight from the slow cooker or transfer it to a saucepan and reduce by half to concentrate the flavors for a simple dipping sauce. (Careful, the bowl of the slow cooker will be HOT!) I also like to spoon some over any leftover shredded meat before storing for added moisture.
The meat by itself makes a wonderful meal especially when served alongside mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, or couscous. We usually will pair it with a green salad or roasted veggies like green beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots or broccoli (or a mix of all of these) to round out the meal.
Clever Leftover Ideas
Most chuck tender roasts average 3 pounds which means you should have LEFTOVERS unless you’re feeding a larger crowd. Store any cooked, uneaten meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month.
In addition to eating the roast as is, we also love using it for sliders. The sliders are a cinch to make since you’ll just need to rewarm any meat, onions or juice before assembling. Simply pile bakery slider buns high with 2-3 ounces of meat depending on the size of your bun, onions, pickles and if you have any, some of the juice from the slow cooker. Slaw is also a nice topping or can be served as a side.
Whether you choose to make sliders or want to try something else, when you’re ready to go back for seconds, consider some of these ideas to mix things up:
- Tacos, Tamales or Burritos
- Beef Stroganoff
- Shepherd’s Pie
- French Dip Sandwich
- Beefy Burrito Bowl
- Patty Melt
I hope you’ll try this affordable weeknight meal next time you need a recipe ready when you come home for work or school. Because it uses just a few ingredients and is so easy to prepare, it is sure to become a staple in your home.
Slow Cooker BBQ Chuck Tender Roast
- Yield: 8-10 people 1x
- Cuisine: American
- 3 lb chuck tender roast (trimmed)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/2 sweet onion (cut into quarters)
- Trim chuck tender roast of visible fat. Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper and garlic powder; gently rub into meat.
- For optional browning, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.
- Add roast to 3 1/2 to 5 quart slow cooker. Cover beef with barbecue sauce. Add onion. Cover and cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
- Remove roast and onions from slow cooker. Shred beef with 2 forks. If desired, skim fat from cooking liquid, transfer to a saucepan and reduce by half. Serve alongside beef.