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Slow Cooker Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches (Gluten-Free Friendly!)

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These easy Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches are made in the slow cooker! The perfect easy dinner recipe for a busy night!

Slow cooker Italian beef sandwiches with peperoncini stacked on a white plate

This back to school season is no joke! We’re adjusting to two different school schedules, and all the fun extracurriculars that come with that. Michael’s also headed back to the office a few days a week after several years of working 100% remotely, so we’re definitely feeling that busy night stretch trying to get something on the dinner table during the week!

My goal over the last few weeks was to focus on EASY recipes for dinners that don’t take long to pull together on busy weeknights.  Maybe the easiest way to do that is with a slow cooker!

These slow cooker peperoncini beef sandwiches have been in our family favorite dinner rotation since 2010(!!!), and we love them! It’s an easy dinner recipe with minimal ingredients that is VERY low maintenance. You can toss it in your slow-cooker, leave for a day of work, errands, etc., then come home, shred the meat, toast some buns, add cheese, and presto! Sandwiches!

Here are the simple ingredients you need to get started on these shredded beef sandwiches…

ingredients for Italian peperoncini beef sandwiches

Simple Ingredients For Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches:

This crock pot recipe is similar to Mississippi pot roast, but doesn’t use any gravy packets or ranch seasoning mix/Italian dressing mix. Instead, we’re keeping the ingredients super simple (and more fresh!). You’ll need:

  • Chuck Roast. I usually choose beef chuck roast at the grocery stores since it holds up really nicely in a slow cooker. It’s the same cut of meat I love for slow cooker pot roast or shredded beef tacos
  • Mild Peperoncini Peppers or Banana Peppers. To keep these peperoncini beef sandwiches mild, make sure to buy MILD peperoncinis or mild banana peppers. Many jars come with a little heat thermometer to show how spicy they are, or the jar will label them hot/spicy or mild. I highly recommend mild here to start with.
  • Garlic. If you like! A little garlic adds fantastic flavor and melts into the beef as it cooks.
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper. Always a must when cooking a roast!
  • Beef Broth. You don’t need much, but a little broth helps everything cook down and stay deliciously juicy.
  • Sandwich Buns. Feel free to use a hoagie roll, sub sandwich buns, or ciabatta buns. Ideally, you want something slightly sturdy that you can toast.
  • Provolone Cheese. I love this flavor with the seasoned, tender beef, but you can absolutely swap in your favorite cheese–mozzarella, Swiss, and Monterey jack are all nice! Or you can use pepper Jack for some extra kick.
  • Maybe A Few Extra Finishes. I love to tuck a few extra peppers into my sandwich before diving in! You can also consider a yummy mayo or sauce. Our chipotle ranch or parmesan dressing make a great schmear!

Gluten-Free? Let’s Talk Buns!

We’re gluten-free, so we’re always on the lookout for delicious gluten-free sandwich buns. We’ve had good luck with Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free hoagie buns, and Schar ciabatta buns.

making Italian beef sandwiches step by step

How To Make Shredded Beef Sandwiches, Step By Step:

  1. Optional: Brown The Beef. For the best texture, start by browning the pot roast. Add a small drizzle of oil to a Dutch oven or large skillet. Cut the roast in half if it’s large and brown the roast on the top and bottom until deep brown, about 5-6 minutes per side on medium heat or medium-high heat. Repeat with the other half of the roast, if needed.
  2. Layer. Place roast in the crock of your slow cooker. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic, and 8 oz of peperoncini with with 1/4 cup of their juice on top of the roast. (This is usually half of a 16 oz. jar for me) Pour a cup of beef broth around the roast and cover with the lid.
  3. Slow Cook. Cook the roast on LOW 7-8 hours (or HIGH for 4-5 hours) or until it’s fork-tender and easily pulls apart.
  4. Shred. Use two forks to shred the beef, removing any extra fatty bits or cartilage. (It should be very easy to shred! If it’s not, it needs to cook longer.) Slice the peperoncini and mix into the beef. (You can also cut the beef into thin slices if you prefer that to shredding)
  5. Assemble. For best results, toast the buns in the oven or in a pan for a few minutes until golden brown. Add a generous portion of meat and top with a slice of provolone cheese (or 2 slices of provolone cheese!). If desired, pop the sandwiches in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Serve & Store. Enjoy sandwiches warm with your favorite side dishes. Store leftover shredded meat with its juices in an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days. (Or freeze up to 2 months)

Fun Fact: These slow cooker beef sandwiches are similar to the Italian beef sandwiches made famous by Italian immigrants in Chicago as far back as the 1930s! They’re inexpensive, easy, and feed a crowd. I get why they’ve stayed so popular! For more of this classic Italian beef flavor, top your sandwich with hot giardiniera.

shredded italian beef with peperoncini
Slow cooker italian beef sandwich with peperoncinis and provolone cheese

Make It A Meal! (Side Dishes To Try)

These shredded beef sandwiches are an easy, delicious meal, and you can go as fancy or simple as you like with the side dishes! Some of my favorite side dishes to serve with this dinner are:

  • Fresh Veggies & Dip! Keep it simple with fresh veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, and celery sticks. Add some of my homemade ranch to dip them in and you’re good to go!
  • Sweet Potato Fries. If you’ve got the time, these Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries are fantastic with these yummy sandwiches.
  • Lime Watermelon. If you’re making these in summer, some fresh watermelon or this easy lime watermelon is a yummy, simple side!
  • Chips. I’ll just say it. Potato chips are amazing with these.
  • Parmesan Broccoli. A little steamed or roasted broccoli is a quick & easy side dish! Lately, I’ve been loving parmesan broccoli with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Coleslaw. You can pull this classic coleslsaw together in just a few minutes then let the flavors meld in the fridge all day. Or, mix it up right before you shred the beef and let it chill while you get the rest of the sandwiches ready. (Prefer a no-mayo coleslaw? This Cilantro-Lime Slaw is a major winner!)
  • Honey Lime Fruit Salad. Regular sliced or fresh fruit makes a delicious side dish, but you’ll never go wrong with this honey lime fruit salad. It’s great for picnics, cookouts, and easy dinners!
  • Pickled Cabbage. Pile some on top of your sandwich, or serve this punchy slaw as a side!

In general, I favor things that feel lighter, like this Cucumber Pepper Salad Recipe to balance out the heartier, warm sandwiches.

Slow cooker italian beef sandwich with peperoncinis

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Slow cooker Beef Sandwiches:

Choose The Right Cut Of Beef. I recommend a boneless chuck roast for slow cooking, since it’s got a good blend of lean meat and marbling. This gives it a meltingly tender texture when you cook it with the low and slow method (like a slow cooker!) It’s one of the most common beef roasts you’ll see at the grocery store, but if you need a back-up option, rump roast can be a good way to go.

Are Peperoncini and Banana Peppers The Same Thing? They’re VERY similar and are interchangeable for this recipe. Both peppers have a similar heat on the Scoville scale (which scores spiciness) and a very similar flavor, especially when jarred or pickled. If your grocery store doesn’t carry peperoncini, they likely carry banana peppers! Mild banana peppers will absolutely work here.

Need A Slow Cooker? We love this one. It’s inexpensive, works reliably and it’s even cute!

Feeling Cheesy? Lots of white cheese options taste delicious on these slow cooker shredded beef sandwiches. We love provolone, Swiss cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and Monterey Jack. You can also use Pepper Jack for a spicy kick. Lots of different options work!

⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our Slow Cooker Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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Slow cooker Italian beef sandwiches with peperoncini stacked on a white plate

Slow Cooker Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches


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  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These easy Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches are made in the slow cooker! The perfect easy dinner recipe for a busy night!


Ingredients

Scale

For The Peperoncini Beef:

  • 2.5 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 8 oz. whole or sliced mild peperoncini or banana peppers (about 2/3 of a 12 oz. jar)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup beef broth

To Serve:

  • 810 Sandwich buns (gluten-free, as needed)*
  • Your favorite white cheese. We like provolone, mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack
  • Optional: extra peperoncini slices for serving (or hot giardiniera relish for an Italian beef sandwich spin!)

Instructions

  1. Optional: Brown The Beef. For the best texture, start by browning the pot roast. Add a small drizzle of oil to a Dutch oven or large skillet. Cut the roast in half if it’s large and brown the roast on the top and bottom until deep brown, about 5-6 minutes per side on medium heat or medium-high heat. Repeat with the other half of the roast, if needed.
  2. Layer. Place roast in the crock of your slow cooker. Sprinkle the roast generously with salt and pepper. Add the minced garlic, and 8 oz of peperoncini with 1/4 cup of their juice on top of the roast. (This is usually half of a 16 oz. jar for me) Pour a cup of beef broth around the roast and cover with the lid.
  3. Slow Cook. Cook the roast on LOW 7-8 hours (or HIGH for 4-5 hours) or until it’s fork-tender and easily pulls apart.
  4. Shred. Use two forks to shred the beef, removing any excess fat or cartilage. (It should be very easy to shred! If it’s not, it needs to cook longer.) Slice the peperoncini and mix into the beef. (You can also cut the beef into thin slices if you prefer that to shredding)
  5. Assemble. For best results, toast the buns in the oven or in a pan for a few minutes until golden brown. Add a generous portion of meat and top with a slice of provolone cheese (or 2 slices of provolone cheese!). If desired, pop the sandwiches in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Serve & Store. Enjoy sandwiches warm with your favorite side dishes. Store leftover shredded meat with its juices in an airtight container in the fridge 3-4 days. (Or freeze up to 2 months)

Notes

*We recommend sturdy buns, like hoagie buns or ciabatta buns. For a gluten free version, be sure to use gluten free buns, like Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free sub rolls or Schar gluten-free ciabatta buns.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Originally shared September 2010. Fully updated June 2023.

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10 Comments

  1. Ooo, I know what you mean about craving warm and cozy foods. I’m already looking forward to making slow-cooked pulled pork sandwiches and big pots of chili and… wait, it’s only 10AM here and you’ve got me drooling! These will be on my dinner list, for sure. My Chicago-bred husband would go nuts for them, and I could very well see myself going back for seconds! Thanks for sharing these awesome photos and recipes, Emily!

  2. I discovered your My Muffin Thursdays blog a LONG time ago. This is one of my favorite recipes! I’ve shared it with so many different people, and it’s always a hit. I always give them your blog address and tell them you are wonderful (even though I don’t know you)! I do live in Wyoming (only 50 miles from Yellowstone’s East Entrance) and it IS a great place, isn’t it? :o)

  3. I found this recipe on your old blog…and it’s now a FAVORITE at our house! So incredibly easy and so amazingly yummy. Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!

  4. I made this last week for dinner. It was really good my daughter liked who won’t eat anything that has hot peppers. I added onions the last half hour of cooking. We froze the juice that was left over which my husband really liked and added Roast Beef from the deli. This one is a keeper.

  5. I put the beef, etc. in the crock pot today before work and just came home to a delicious and easy meal for my husband and I to enjoy. This recipe is a big hit in our house, thanks for sharing!

  6. Found a very similar recipe on Allrecipes and made it this past weekend. Unbelievable how 3 ingredients makes such tasty beef (the Allrecipes.com version studs the beef with garlic slices before placing in the slow cooker and covering it with the pepperoncini and juice. Gorgeous pic!

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