Cranberry Pot Roast

You may be looking for a last minute holiday recipe that is easy to cook, makes for perfect leftovers and is filled with festive flavors. That’s where this Cranberry Pot Roast comes in!

I’m a big fan of cooking a roast to celebrate the holidays because it’s comforting, you can do minimal work for a big payoff and the slow cooking process makes the house smell ah-mazing.

This beef roast is made with cranberries, which add a wintery touch and provide a ton of nutrition. They contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and add a delicious tartness to this beef roast. I’ve also added onion, carrot, celery and garlic to maximize the nutrition. And if you’re curious, beef is a good source of vitamin B12 and iron! When this roast is served with a side of mashed winter squash, you have a well-balanced, fabulously delicious meal that’ll please the entire family!

A few quick cooking notes: I’ve written the recipe to make this on the stove-top and finish in the oven (braising). I like to start it on the stove because searing the meat adds a delicious crust that is full of texture and flavor. I then let it slow cook in the oven until the roast is fall-apart tender. If you want to make it in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, go ahead and sear it, then slow cook it or pressure cook it until fall-apart tender. Play with the cooking times a bit depending on your cooking method – the good news is you’re just looking for the meat to pull apart easily! It’s pretty much fool-proof (those are my kind of recipes!).

Enjoy, my friends! Happy holidays!

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Cranberry Pot Roast

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs 15 mins – 4 hrs 15 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 30 mins – 3 hrs 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Holiday
  • Method: Stove-Top, Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Slow roasted beef with cranberries, balsamic and fresh thyme.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 ½ cups unsalted beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup or dark brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ sprig rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven to medium-high. Season with roast with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the roast and brown each side until a crust forms. Remove from the pot and place on a plate; set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot. Sauté 4-5 minutes or until slightly soft. Stir in the garlic and sauté 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the cranberries, stock, balsamic vinegar, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar and the remaining salt and black pepper. Add the roast back to the pot as well as the thyme and rosemary.
  4. Place a lid on the Dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Cook 3-4 hours or until roast is pull-apart tender. Remove the sprigs of thyme and rosemary; discard. Serve roast with cranberries, vegetables and cooking liquid spooned on top.


Cooking Tip: Searing the meat first before braising it gives the beef a textured crust.

Make it a Meal: Serve with mashed sweet potato or winter squash and a green salad.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 455
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 437mg
  • Fat: 15g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 44g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 32g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg

Keywords: roast, beef, cranberry, holiday