Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta

by Amy on 22 September 2015

Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI go through phases of obsession with my crock-pot. I may not use it for a month or two, but then I remember how awesome it is, get into crazy crock-pot mode, and find myself using it three or more times a week. And these days, folks, I’m in crock-pot-lovin’ mode. Life is (wonderfully!) busy, between work and family and friends, and I adore the set-it-and-forget-it aspect of a slow-cooker dinner. Pop it all in in the morning, go about your usual day, and a whole lotta hours later you come home to an amazing smelling house, and a meal that’s ready to be devoured.

And this particular meal? We loved it. Fall-apart tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth beef, combined with flavorful peppers, onions, and garlic, all in a savory tomato-herb broth. While I’d normally serve this type of beef with mashed potatoes or pasta, the original recipe called for it to be served over polenta, so I decided to give that a try. And wow, I loved it! The creamy, buttery, mild polenta is a beautiful complement to the super savory beef + veggies, and a sprinkle of fresh basil + a grating of parmesan rounded the whole meal out perfectly. I did serve the leftovers with pasta, to see which version I liked better, and I’m split 50/50 — it was fantastic both with the polenta, and the pasta.

So, if you’re looking for some new slow-cooker meals to add to your lineup this fall/winter, add this one to your list — it is wonderful. And hop over to my Recipe Index for all my slow-cooker/crock-pot recipes. There are tons of fantastic ones to choose from!

Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta | www.FearlessHomemaker.comSlow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta |

Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta

serves 4-6, adapted from Real Simple


1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound assorted bell peppers, sliced (about 3 – I used 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green)
1 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
1 cup polenta
Basil leaves, chopped, for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving


In your slow-cooker, combine onion, garlic, bell peppers, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir well to combine.

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brown beef roast, flipping once, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the slow-cooker, atop the peppers/onion/tomato mixture. Sprinkle the top of the roast (now in slow-cooker) with the italian seasoning. Cover; cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or until roast is fall-apart tender.

Remove roast to cutting board and shred into large pieces, discarding fat. Transfer meat to a large serving bowl. With slotted spoon, remove all peppers/onions/vegetables from the slow-cooker, and place in the same serving bowl. Drizzle with as much cooking liquid as you like — I used about 1/3 cup. Salt and pepper to taste.

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the polenta according to the package directions. Serve the polenta topped with the beef and peppers, and sprinkled with the chopped fresh basil and freshly-grated parmesan cheese.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel Cooks September 22, 2015 at 5:33 am

This is the perfect fall/winter meal! I love it

2 Emily @ Life on Food September 22, 2015 at 7:03 am

I saw this recipe in Real Simple and thought it look delicious. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Now I must make it. Lovely!

3 Amy September 22, 2015 at 7:15 am

Emily, I love Real Simple recipes and make them all the time! I do find that they are really light on seasoning, so I tend to kick up the seasonings/spices by at least double. But overall, they create/share some really fantastic (and tasty!) recipes!

4 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie September 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

Love all the colors in this! I too go through phases with my slow cooker. Seems like sometimes I never put it away cause it’s getting used so much and other times it’s collecting dust. I was good at using it a lot at the beginning of summer but teetered off. Now that fall is here I am sure the demand will rise. Especially with meals like this!

5 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry September 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I actually don’t have a slow cooker but it’s on my wish list. This beef and peppers looks amazing yet so simple for a quick weeknight dinner.

6 Amy September 22, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Nicole, you gotta get one! It’s seriously one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. =)

7 Amy (Savory Moments) September 22, 2015 at 8:52 pm

This looks delicious. I really enjoy polenta as a change-up from pasta, but sometimes I forget about it!

8 Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness September 23, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I just bought a slow cooker, and am SO looking forward to using it. But I have yet to try polenta. It looks great though!

9 Beth September 24, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Now that I’m back working full time, I could definitely use some new slow cooker recipes! Looking forward to checking them all out. Your beef looks wonderful.

10 Adri October 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Yum, an Italian classic brought up to date for the crock pot generation. This was a regular on our family table when I was growing up, and your version looks fab! Brava!

11 Anna S. January 10, 2016 at 10:49 am

I think I saw on your Instagram the idea to just add shredded leftover pot roast to sauce and serve over pasta. GENIUS. I actually did that with shredded leftover pork, sautéed some peppers and onions with a jar of Newman’s sauce and a savory delicious weekday dinner was had in 30 minutes:)))

12 Amy January 10, 2016 at 1:17 pm

YES! That is one of my favorite uses of any leftover shredded beef — I love your idea of using pork, and the sautéed peppers and onions sound like a fabulous addition, too. Dressing up leftovers to give them a second life in a new meal is one of my favorite things to do, because I hate wasting/throwing out food if I can avoid it!

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