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Slow Cooker Sunday: Fall-apart tender pot roast with tart cherries

Tart cherries are one of my favorite fruits to cook with. Not only are they good for you (they’re powerful little things, with muscle recovery and sleep benefits!), but they also work so well in both sweet and savory dishes, like this slow cooker pot roast.

If you told me pot roast was for dinner anytime in the year after March and before October, I’d tell you to go away. But come those colder months and that craving for hearty comfort food, I’m all ears. Pot roast is perfect for the slow cooker because the longer you cook it, the more tender it gets. After 5 hours, this was literally falling apart as I tried to pick it up with tongs to remove it from the slow cooker.

Having cooked in a nice little bath of tart cherry juice and surrounded by dried tart cherries (which plump up perfectly in that cooking liquid), the meat has a deliciously sweet flavor balanced perfectly with fresh herbs and savory onions. It’s so good I’d even consider doubling the recipe to have leftovers.

slow cooker pot roast
Image: Gina Matsoukas/SheKnows

Slow cooker pot roast with cherries recipe

Serve this pot roast over cooked pasta or rice for a heartier meal.

Serves 4 – 6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 5 hours 10 minutes | Total time: 5 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 pounds chuck roast
  • 4 – 5 leaves fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 – 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Into a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, pour the olive oil.
  2. Season the chuck roast liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Once the oil is hot, place the beef in the pot, and brown on all sides, about 2 – 3 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the herbs, onion, cherry juice and dried cherries to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 5 hours.
  6. Remove the meat from the slow cooker (it should be tender and falling apart), and set it aside on a cutting board.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch in the water until dissolved, and add it to the slow cooker (still on low cook). Stir, cover, and let thicken while the meat cools, about 5 – 10 minutes.
  8. Using 2 forks, shred the meat a bit, then return it to the slow cooker, and stir together with the cherry sauce.
  9. Serve over cooked pasta or rice.
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