Sweet Peppers Recipe For Italian Beef


Your family will love this recipe for Sweet Peppers Recipe for Italian Beef. It is that easy to make and it is delicious. The perfect combination of Italian Beef and sweet peppers, wrapped in a nice Italian bread. What could be better? This recipe is designed so that you can save it and make this great dish often without having to re-invent the wheel each time. If you are someone who

Italian Beef with Peppers and Onions

Portions: 15

Serving Size: 3 ounces meat with 1/4 cup vegetables

  • Diabetes
  • Dialysis
  • Gluten-free


  • 3-pound lean beef roast, fat trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced 
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini juice


  1. Place the  beef roast, oregano, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper in a Crock-Pot®. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until tender.
  2. Remove beef from Crock-Pot and let cool.
  3. Shred beef and remove fat.
  4. Place the shredded beef back into the Crock-Pot. Add the sliced peppers, onion and pepperoncini juice.
  5. Cook on high for 45 to 60 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Helpful hints

  • Serve Italian beef on a hamburger bun or roll.
  • Pepperoncini juice is high in sodium and replaces other sodium sources in this recipe. Limit portion and avoid adding salt to keep total sodium intake low.
  • For a lower-protein diet, reduce meat portion according to your diet plan or consult with your dietitian.

Homemade Italian Beef

Recreating Italian beef at home is easy—if you cheat a little.


  • Using thinly sliced roast beef from a trusted butcher ensures a tender Italian beef, solving the problem of slicing at home.
  • To make an extra beefy jus, beef bones and sliced stew meat are roasted until deeply browned and then simmered for hours.
  • The thinly sliced roast beef warms in the jus at 140°F (60°C), the ideal temperature for balancing tender texture without losing juiciness.
An Italian beef sandwich from Johnnie's Beef, a storied Chicago eatery. The bread is no match for the amount of beef, peppers, and giardiniera piled on it.

While none of these iconic dishes are even remotely polite, there’s no doubt which one required the tallest stack of napkins. That honor went to the Italian beef, one of the most unwieldy sandwiches ever created. At first glance, it looks like the cousin of the French dip, but instead of coming with a nice little side of jus for you to wet the sandwich’s ends with, this bad boy is saturated from the start. Ask for it “dipped” and the whole sandwich is dunked in meaty juices, soaking the bread to the core. I know this sounds insane, and if you’re talking about the mess, you’re absolutely right. There’s no respectable way to eat one of these. All you can hope to do is contain the chaos.

The shock of eating one of these for the first time is genuine, but great sandwiches are not built on blunt tricks alone. The true power of the Italian beef is how it takes one of the leanest, toughest, and least flavorful parts of the cow, the lean and boring round, and transforms it into something so unhinged and supremely beefy. If you’re looking to try one of these for yourself, it’s hard to go wrong with offerings at Al’s #1 Italian, Johnnie’s Beef, or, a personal favorite, Bari. But what if you don’t live in the Chicagoland area or just want to make one at home?

What Is an Italian Beef?

An Italian beef sandwich, amply appointed.

First we need to nail down what this beast of a sandwich is, because it’s slightly more confusing than it first appears. I’ve always thought of the sandwich as a spruced up roast beef sandwich, but that’s not quite the case. Watch this behind the scenes video at Al’s #1 Italian Beef and you’ll see they start with an enormous hunk of beef roasted with a fair amount of liquid. You’d think that would make this a braised dish, much like a roast beef po’ boy, but that’s not quite true, either. The beef isn’t cooked to the point where it falls apart like a pot roast. Instead, the roast is cut very thin, and these slices maintain some of their integrity.

Though the sandwich is a bit tricky to define, making one looks simple enough: roast a big hunk of meat with water and seasonings, thinly slice the meat, combine the slices with the flavorful leftover liquid from cooking, and then serve it all on rolls. This is basically what I did a few years ago when I followed the very good recipe from Saveur. Yet I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing from the finished sandwich. While solid, it never quite crossed the line into pure mayhem like the best Italian beefs.

Beefing Up the Jus

While it’s almost always referred to as being served au jus, the liquid used with an Italian beef is actually more of a broth. In the strictest sense, the jus only refers to the juices released from the meat. While a vat of this elixir would be pure heaven, a single roast would never release enough natural juices necessary for the sandwich (remember: this thing needs to be dunked). To come anywhere close, you’d have to cook an epic amount of meat solely for the juices, turning what should be a humble dish into an insanely expensive project. Simply pouring extra water into the pan with the roast helps with volume but is nowhere near as potent.

Close-up of meaty sliced beef neck bones.

Peterson’s solution is to add inexpensive, flavor-packed stew meat and bones to the pan underneath the roast. It’s a method that Kenji uses with his prime rib recipe to produce extra red wine jus. Since these scraps are used solely to deepen the flavor of the liquid, they can be cooked longer to release more of their juices. For even deeper, more complex flavor, the stew meat is also cut into strips and browned first.

Roasted beef neck bones and stew meat in a baking dish. All of the pieces are well-browned.

What kind of beef should you use for this? There are a number options, so try to find what is cheapest for you. For me, that was beef neck, which, at my market at least, had an even ratio of meat to bones. Of course, this means you’ll need to cut the meat off the bones, but that’s pretty easy. The rest of my mix was made of oxtails, which are more expensive but add loads of body. Beef shin is also a great option if you can find it.

The only further additions were some aromatics and a few spices, like clove and black pepper, to give it some personality. Simmer everything for about four hours and that’s it.

The additional beef scraps accomplished everything I wanted in the liquid, making it richer and more savory. The only problem, oddly enough, was with the roast.

The Roast

Thin slices of medium-rare beef piled on a cutting board. The roast they were carved from is out of focus in the background.

I thought the roast would be the easy part. Almost every source I found online called for using a hunk of round, which comes from the very back of the cow. Sure, it’s tough and lean, but it’s cheap, and using anything else would kind of go against everything this sandwich is about. All I thought I needed to do was mimic what they do at Al’s: roast it with some liquid, let it cool, and then cut it into thin slices. While this sort of worked, the beef was never quite as tender as I wanted it to be.

A line cook in the kitchen of Al's, manning a meat slicer.

The problem? Equipment. Walk to the end of the counter at the original Al’s #1 Italian Beef on Taylor and peek into the kitchen. There you’ll see a meat slicer that’s about the size of a fridge. This hulking machine is what allows Al’s #1 to get its beef so thin, almost to the point where the slightest touch breaks each sheet apart. At home, I have to rely on my knives for slicing, and even the best cook in the world will never match an electric slicer for even, thin slices.

A dipped Italian beef from Al's. The slices of beef are pretty thin.

On one hand, finding out about the slicer was great news—this is how to make the meat so tender!—but it left one enormous problem: I don’t have an enormous meat slicer at home. So where to go from here?

A number of recipes online recommend a solution to this problem: cooking the beef until it falls apart like a pot roast. This can be utterly delicious, but it’s not, strictly speaking, an Italian beef, and I’m going for tradition here.

No, I just needed to figure out a way to slice the meat more thinly. One method for achieving this is to let the roast cool, and then transfer it to the freezer for an hour or two to firm it up. This does make it slightly easier to cut those paper-thin slices, but no matter how carefully I carved, I could never get the slices as uniformly thin as they needed to be. I worried that this was the end of the line—that I’d have to give up trying to come up with an accurate Italian beef recipe and settle for one that was merely close-ish. But what’s the fun in that?

Giving Up the Roast

I’d always assumed an Italian beef was just a glorified roast beef sandwich, and that the best version would follow the same logic: cook until medium-rare and slice thin. But there is one peculiar aspect of the Italian beef that sets it apart. After it’s cooked and sliced, the meat is mixed with the warm jus. This essentially continues the cooking process, so even if I did cook the beef to a spot-on 125°F (52°C), those slices would eventually have to take a bath in liquid held at a higher temperature, around 140°F (60°C).

So if the meat is being cooked by the jus anyway, why did I need to roast the meat in the first place? I could make a batch of the jus using scraps and bones, find a butcher to thinly slice uncooked beef for me—thereby solving the thinness problem—and simply add the beef to the jus, cook for a few minutes, and I’d be done. What a genius idea!

Not exactly. When I tested the idea with some meat that I sliced as thinly as possible, the slices were even tougher than before. Plus, the raw meat clouded the liquid, casting it an unappetizing grey. A quick chat with Kenji confirmed that this idea had some serious logistical issues, namely that with thin raw slices of beef, proteins and other contaminants leak out too quickly into the jus, turning it cloudy and robbing the beef of flavor. Not only that, but I’d have to cook the slices in the liquid for a long time for them to become tender. Besides, it was doubtful I’d ever be able to convince some knife wielding butcher to dirty his or her deli slicer with raw meat.

“But what about using good quality roast beef?” Kenji wrote.

Roast beef in a deli case, ready to be sliced.

Beef that has been par-cooked through roasting already has its proteins set, meaning they won’t leak out into the jus. The idea of using homogenous grey lunch meat didn’t sound appealing, but what about delis that roast their own beef? I knew Whole Foods had nice looking roast beef ready for slicing in its deli section. I just made sure to ask for it to be sliced as thinly as possible.

Close-up of a pile of thinly sliced roast beef.

Taking the Plunge

Now all I had to do was combine the sliced beef and the jus. You could just warm the jus on the stove, swirl in the meat, and you’d probably be okay. But I wanted to get an exact temperature. I started the test at 130°F (54°C) and tried 10 degree increments up to 170°F (77°C). The meat was added and left at each temperature for about 30 seconds.

Five slices of roast beef that have been dipped in broth at incrementally higher temperatures. The three slices on the right have been cooked at higher temperatures and look progressively contracted or "crumpled."
Starting on the left: 130°F, 140°F, 150°F, 160°F, 170°F

130°F was too low. The texture wasn’t quite right, the slices were a bit bouncy, and each still had a light red hue, which I’d never encountered with an Italian beef. There was a big change at 140°F—the meat was far more tender and lost the red tint. At 150°F, the meat was still tender but was starting to look grainier. By 160°F, the slices started to curl and dry out, which meant that at 170°F they started to look truly disheveled. 140°F it is.

The Rolls

A package of pre-sliced French rolls.

Most Italian beefs in Chicago are served on Turano or Gonnella French rolls, which I’ve always found a bit underwhelming, especially compared to the fresh and flaky rolls often used for New Orleans po’ boys or Philadelphia cheesesteaks. But after a few tests, I realized why these rolls are used. The French rolls remain sound and strong after being dipped, unlike extra flaky rolls, which may turn mushy and soft.

While you can use any hearty French roll straight out of the packaging, I found them a little more pleasing if warmed in the oven for a bit. I just simply wrapped them in aluminum foil so the exterior wouldn’t crisp up too much.

Hot and Sweet

Italian beefs are topped with “hot” and/or “sweet peppers,” which is code for giardiniera and roasted green peppers. You can make giardiniera at home, but that was one step too many for me, especially since I still had a fridge full of options while taste testing the best versions in Chicago. As for the green peppers, they just need to be roasted in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, then peeled, stemmed, seeded, and sliced.

To Dip or Not to Dip

After loading up your sandwich with beef and topping it with sweet and hot peppers, your last decision is whether you want the whole sandwich dunked. It’ll taste great regardless, but I’d like to give you the hard sell to make the plunge. It’s the final flourish to the already ridiculous sandwich, and while it leaves your hands messy, it’s well worth the mess.

Italian Beef Recipe (Crock Pot) + Video

Make this Italian beef recipe for tender roast beef in a crock pot, then make sandwiches with sweet peppers and melted cheese. SO delicious!


I love cooking beef in my slow cooker. Not only is it quick and easy, but the meat comes out fork tender and delicious every time I make it.

If you want more crockpot beef recipes, you have got to try my Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff. Hearty and flavorful with beef, mushrooms, onions, and garlic that are slow-cooked all day long!!!

Or, my Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon is full of delicious and tender veggies, with juicy, melt in your mouth beef cooked in wine. And, it’s incredibly easy to make.

Slow Cooker Beef Brisket is a simple recipe that is wonderfully juicy, exploding with flavor, smothered with spices, oven seared then simmered in the crockpot until it is melt-in-your-mouth-tender.


How to make the Italian Beef Recipe

Slow cook a boneless beef chuck roast in your crockpot with bouillon and seasonings until it is fork-tender.

Then, shred the meat and serve on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone cheese for a simple, but delicious dinner.

Ingredient notes for Italian Beef Sandwiches

What cut of beef is best for Italian beef?

I use chuck roast in this recipe because it comes out perfectly tender when cooked in the slow cooker. But, you could also substitute a rump roast or another type of boneless beef roast if you prefer.

What type of bread is best for Italian beef sandwiches?

I love hearty sandwiches on hoagie rolls. But, you can use any thin sandwich-type roll if you don’t have hoagie rolls.

  • Brioche sandwich roll
  • Ciabatta oblong bun
  • French torpedo roll
  • Italian sandwich roll

Serving the sandwiches on slices of sandwich bread is not recommended. The bread will not be sturdy enough to hold all of the shredded beef and peppers.


About the broth

You can substitute 3 cups of boiling beef stock for the water and bouillon, but the bouillon gives it a really great flavor!

I would still add a few teaspoons of the bouillon or beef base when making this Italian beef recipe.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is au jus?

The French word, Au jus translates in English to “with juice”. It refers to beef that is served along with the liquid secreted as the beef cooks.

How to store leftovers

Store the cooked Italian beef in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. It will stay good for up to three to four days this way.


Can you freeze crockpot Italian beef?

To extend the storage time, you can easily freeze your leftovers. Just place the meat in a freezer bag or wrap it tightly with aluminum foil and store it for up to two to three months for the best quality.

To reheat your leftovers after storing them, you will need to allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Then, place the leftover beef and the broth in a pan covered with aluminum foil. Bake until it is warmed through and serve it on toasted rolls.


Serving suggestions

We top our Italian Beef Sandwich with roasted red peppers and mild banana peppers.

But, if you want a slightly different taste, you can top it with your favorite giardiniera.

If you’re wondering what to serve with this Italian beef recipe, traditionally, you would serve French fries. But, here are a few alternative options to consider:

  • Ranch mashed potato salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Green salad
  • Tater tots
  • Sweet potato fries

Italian Beef Recipe (Crock Pot)

Make this Italian beef recipe for tender roast beef in a crock pot, then make sandwiches with sweet peppers and melted cheese. SO delicious!Cook Mode

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PREP TIME20 mins


TOTAL TIME5 hrs 20 mins



METHODSlow Cooker



  • ▢3 cups boiling water
  • ▢5 cubes of beef bouillon
  • ▢1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ▢2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • ▢2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ▢1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • ▢1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ▢1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • ▢1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ▢1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, to taste
  • ▢1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
  • ▢3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, 1 3-pound roast, trimmed of most fat

Sandwich Fixin’s

  • ▢8 hoagie rolls
  • ▢16 slices provolone cheese
  • ▢16 ounces roasted red peppers, 1 16-ounce jar, sliced
  • ▢16 ounces mild sliced pepper rings, 1 16-ounce jar


  • Turn 6 quart slow cooker to high heat. Add boiling water, beef bouillon and Worcestershire.
  • Combine remaining seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle over beef broth and whisk to combine. Add roast and flip to coat both sides. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low 8-10 hours. Shred beef by using two forks to pull it apart. Stir to coat all beef in the juices. Cook 1 additional hour covered. (Do not drain)
  • When ready to serve: Slice rolls in half, place on a baking sheet and broil in oven for 2-4 minutes until bread is lightly golden brown.
  • Scoop beef on toasted roll and top with 2 slices of provolone cheese. Place back on baking sheet and broil until cheese is melted. Top with red pepper slices and mild pepper rings.
  • Serve and enjoy.

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