Recipe: Lean Pot Roast

Eric October 15, 2010

It’s fall now,¬†so time to bust out the recipes that warm the heart, soul, and hot bod. ūüôā¬†The challenge with comfort food, however, is making it both comfortable¬†and¬†healthy. What tastes oh-so-good¬†tends to be oh-so-bad for you. Take¬†pot roast, for example. Beef chuck roast,¬†one of the most popular¬†cuts as a pot roast candidate, has a whopping 23g of fat per 3 oz serving (which is not¬†very much meat). Not exactly hot bod figure-friendly, huh?

This pot roast uses beef chuck tender instead. This is a much leaner cut of beef, having about 1/3 of the calories and only 1/6 of the fat! You’ll want to cook it for longer than the regular pot roast to compensate, but if you do, the meat becomes very tender and flakes off like the normal pot roast would. Braising it in gravy flavored by soup mixes, onions, and mushrooms adds a lot of great flavors, and a little whole wheat flour is used to thicken everything, since there‚Äôs little fat to serve that purpose. This recipe is very much fire-and-forget if you have a crock pot; just make sure you start it early enough that it will be ready by meal time.

The full recipe is just past the break!


  • 2 ‚Äď 3 lb beef chuck tender, raw
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 red potatoes, chopped (about 1.5-2″ pieces, skin on)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 packet of onion soup mix
  • 1 can of low fat or nonfat cream of mushroom soup
  • ¬ĺ C water
  • ¬ĺ C skim milk
  • ¬Ĺ C beef stock
  • ¬ľ C whole wheat flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil on high in a large nonstick pan. Salt and pepper the top of the beef and add to the pan, seasoned side down, once the oil is hot. Season the side of the beef facing up and sear the meat for 1-2 minutes. Turn the beef over and repeat the searing process.

Transfer the seared meat to the crock pot. Add the potatoes, onions, mushrooms, onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, water, and skim milk around the beef. Whisk the flour in the beef stock until dissolved and add that mixture to the crock pot as well. (The beef should be mostly or completely submerged in the liquid. If not, add more beef stock.)

Cook in the crock pot on low for at least 10 hours or on high¬†for at least¬†5 hours. Adjust the gravy seasonings as necessary while it’s cooking. (Note: If you don‚Äôt have a crock pot, you can place everything in a deep baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 300 degrees F for at least 5-6 hours.)

Serves 6-8.

Nutritional data: 366 Calories, 7.5g total fat, 3.5g sat fat, 29g total carbs, 4g fiber, 42g protein


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