One of my favorite meals, both to eat and to cook, is also one of the easiest: slow-cooker roast beef and noodles. It’s simple, cheap, uses very few dishes, and makes enough for dinner and leftovers for lunches the whole week.
My favorite part, though, is you can either start it in the morning and eat for dinner, or set it going in the slow cooker before you go to bed and give yourself a delicious gift when you get home after work the next day. Thanks, me!
Bonus: the whole kitchen smells like roast.
I give credit for this dish to my mom – her dedication to making tasty homemade meals without needing to spend all day in the kitchen led to several iterations. And now, after honing my own version over years of making it for myself and my then-girlfriend (now-wife), I will share it with you.
What I have here is the whole process of making slow-cooker beef roast and noodles, plus helpful tips. However, if you don’t want any of that, there is an easy, condensed recipe at the bottom.
Quick thing: I have included affiliate links to Amazon below – it won’t affect your price to click them, but I do get a kickback. I promise that my links are only to be helpful and offer products that would be useful with the recipe.
So, first thing for making a roast, you need a roast. There are a bunch that you can go for, most of which work just fine, but here’s what I do: buy a round roast.
It doesn’t matter too much if it’s top, bottom, or eye of round, either. I use it because it’s cheap and doesn’t have a lot of fat in it.
You’ll also need salt, pepper, granulated garlic, an onion, some carrots, a few potatoes, and a package of egg noodles. Plus, to cook you will need a slow cooker, a strainer, and a sauce pot (plus maybe a sauté pan, depending on your slow cooker)
The amounts on the carrots and potatoes aren’t hard and fast – most of the time it’s just my wife and I, so I just get three nice-sized carrots and two good potatoes.
I have to admit it: the veggies are mostly for my wife. They’re her favorite part.
Inn Maid isn’t paying me to say that, by the way. I’ve just tried generic-brand noodles, and they were just wrong.
So. Making the roast.
First, get your slow cooker out.
Ours is an old hand-me-down with a metal pot (thanks again, mom!), so I can cook with it right on the stove before switching it over to the base. If you don’t have one, you can click on the image to the left and it will take you to one that I found on Amazon.
If you just have a crock pot or similar, it’s no big deal – just follow along with a sauté pan or skillet and scrape everything into the crock pot afterward.
You’ll want to start with the onion.
Prep is easy, just peel it and chop it into slices.
Sauté on medium-high heat in some olive oil, canola oil, or butter until soft. Free spirit I am, I’ve used all three at different times – use whichever one you like best.
Meanwhile, take out your roast, and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and garlic.
And, once your onion slices are ready, push them to the sides, leaving a nice roast-sized hole.
Lay that roast right in the middle.
Now, this isn’t about cooking the roast – the slow cooker handles that. You’re just here to sear the beef for that delicious meaty taste.
So, every few minutes, rotate that roast around to get it nice and brown. Oh, and don’t forget to stir the onions, too – burning onion is not the smell you want in your kitchen.
While that’s going on, it’s time to prep some veggies. Wash your potatoes and chop them into cubes. You can peel them if you feel like it, but you’re tossing out a good portion of the vitamins and minerals.
It’s the same deal for your carrots. These I do peel, but if you like the earthier taste of a natural-skinned carrot (and how often do you get to say that in your lifetime?), then more power to you – just make sure to wash them well first. Then, just chop into fork-ready chunks.
So, when your meat is nice and brown and your veggies are well-chunked, it’s time to change scenes. From your stove top, we move to the counter top, because now we get ready to slow cook.
Put everything into your slow cooker and fill it up with water. If possible, use enough to cover the roast, but if not, just make sure to cover the veggies.
Now, set it to medium and leave it.
Go to work. Go play with your kids. Let that roast go for anywhere between 6 and 24 hours.
Just check after several hours that there’s still plenty of water (and that nobody has been snitching potatoes).
When it’s almost dinner time, it’s time to fix those noodles, and you already have what you need in that slow cooker.
So, get your serving dish, and spoon out the roast, the potatoes, the carrots, and all the onions, then put the beef stock left over in a pot on the stove.
Actually, I just get out the roast and like two spoonfuls of veggies before I dump it all through a strainer into a pot, but you get the idea.
Cover the roast and veggies in aluminum foil to keep warm while you deal with the stove.
Dump your noodles into the stock. If there wasn’t enough liquid to cover them, don’t panic.
Just add more water to cover and one or two beef bouillon cubes.
Bring the whole thing to a boil. Let that go for somewhere around 8 minutes, stirring every minute or so (I like my noodles a little overdone, so I go a little longer).
Finally, drain the noodles and season everything with salt to taste.
After dinner, if you are strapped for cash, you can stretch that roast and veggies into several more meals.
Add some shredded roast back into the broth with some of the veggies and noodles, then add some more cheap staples like sliced celery, and you have a tasty and wholesome beef stew. My parents like to take the beef and put it in a sandwich with some brown mustard and swiss cheese.
My go-to, though, is just to heat it up and eat as-is. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Recipe: Slow-Cooker Beef Roast and Noodles
Prep Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 8-24 hours
- 1 beef roast, preferably round roast
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 medium potatoes, cubed
- 1 package egg noodles (8 or 16 oz.)
- Salt, pepper, and granulated garlic to taste
- Peel and slice onion (1, yellow), then sauté over medium-high heat until soft.
- Season roast with salt, pepper, and garlic while onions cook (just sprinkle it on there evenly on every side).
- Push onion slices out of the center of the pan and add roast, turning to brown on all sides (don’t forget to stir the onions, too).
- Peel carrots (3, peeled) and slice into bite-size pieces.
- Wash and cube potatoes (3 medium spuds).
- When roast is browned, transfer all contents of pan to slow cooker.
- Add carrots and potatoes.
- Cover roast and veggies in water.
- Cook on medium for 8-24 hours.
- About 20 minutes prior to eating, remove roast and veggies from broth.
- Transfer broth to soup pot and add egg noodles (the whole 8-16-ounce bag).
- Boil for 8 or so minutes.
- Drain (or save broth for other dishes).
- Season with salt to taste, and serve warm.