Tender Roast Beef Recipe: Traditional Sunday Recipe (+ the best gravy)

4.93 from 68 votes

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The BEST Oven Roast Beef is tender, flavorful, and perfect every time! Sunday roast has been a tradition in our family for years. We hope you love this classic recipe as much as we do.

Roast beef on a plate next to a bowl of potatoes and gravy

How Do You Cook a Roast in the Oven?

Don’t be intimidated by oven roast. It couldn’t be easier! There are just a few tricks to getting that buttery, melt-in-your-mouth roast beef you love:

  • Bring the meat to room temperature. Take it out of the fridge and let it relax a little before roasting. This will help create a tender roast beef. 
  • Start with the right pan or pot. A heavy duty roasting pan or a Dutch oven work best (As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases). It needs to be able to transfer from stove top to oven.
  • Sear that meat! Using hot oil, sear all sides of your roast until there’s a nice brown crust. This step will ensure all those delicious juices stay locked in and give it a gorgeous color.
  • For tantalizing, fall-apart meat remember these two words: LOW and SLOW. Simmering at a lower heat for a longer period of time will give even tougher types of meat that tender texture your family will die over! 
  • Make sure your meat never roasts dry. Keep it covered in its natural juices and beef broth for maximum juicy tenderness.

How Long Does it Take to Cook a Roast Beef in the Oven?

Depending on the size of roast, plan to keep that meat snug in the oven for at least three hours (remember low and slooooow) for a three pound roast. Then, add about an hour per extra pound on top of that.

But, even better than watching a clock is using a meat thermometer. Oven roast is ready when it’s 160-165 degrees inside for a well done roast, or when it easily pulls apart with a fork. For medium-rare, internal temperature should reach 125-130 degrees. For medium, internal temp should reach 140-150 degrees.

Roast beef made in the oven that has been sliced and on a plate

Which Roast Beef Cut is Best for an Oven Roast?

Choosing a cut of meat can seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. With the low and slow method, most cuts of beef can be roasted to tender perfection. But here are a few options to look for at the grocery store:

  • Rump Roast
  • Chuck Roast or Shoulder Pot Roast
  • Rib Roast
  • Ribeye Roast
  • Tenderloin Roast
  • Top Sirloin Roast or Steak
  • Tri-Tip Roast (try this Rosemary Tri-Tip Roast!)
  • Round Tip Roast
  • Bottom Round Roast
  • Top Round Roast
  • Eye of Round Roast

Optional Roast Beef Cooking Methods

Growing up, Sunday just wasn’t Sunday without the waft of savory roast permeating the house. But sometimes during the summer, our mom refused to heat up the house using the oven. This Slow Cooker Roast Beef came to the rescue during those hot months and is so delicious! And now with the popularity of the Instant Pot, a homemade roast can be on the table in a fraction of the time. Try our Instant Pot Sunday Pot Roast  for a quick and easy roast dinner.

More Flavors and Add-Ins

Looking for more flavors and add-ins to try? Here are some more popular additions:

  • Red wine: Add a splash of red wine to the broth to get a richer, deeper flavor.
  • Garlic: It never hurts to throw in a clove or two or seven with your roast. Mash the cooked garlic in with mashed potatoes or serve them whole with your roast and vegetables.
  • Potatoes and carrots: Add some quartered potatoes and thick-cut carrots to the roasting pan with the roast beef before cooking to make an all-in-one meal.
  • Pepper: Add some extra black pepper for a little kick.
  • Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme: A teaspoon of each will make a delicious herb mix that you can sprinkle over the top for a more earthy flavor.
Gravy being poured over sliced roast beef

How to Make Beef Gravy from Beef Drippings

Don’t forget about the show-stopper topper: gravy! Those delectable drippings from the pan make the richest, creamiest gravy you’ve ever had. It’s delicious over roast, mashed potatoes, veggies, rice, just about anything. Just use our simple tips for How to Make the Best Beef Gravy. It’s easy, fool-proof, and oh so yummy.

What To Serve With Oven Roast Beef

When it comes to a family-style roast beef dinner, we definitely have our go-to favorite side dishes. Here is what we like to serve with our roast dinners:

Leftover Roast Beef

We love shredding up our leftover roast beef to make roast beef sandwiches, French dip sandwiches, beef stew, and our Mom’s shredded Mexican beef. It sounds weird, but it really makes the best filling for Mexican dishes like enchiladas, burritos, taquitos, and shredded beef tacos. Just shred up the leftovers, add some salsa, and the sky is the limit! 

Oven roast beef on a platter with gravy and garnish

The BEST Oven Roast Beef

4.93 from 68 votes
This oven roast beef is tender, flavorful, and perfect every time! Sunday roast has been a tradition in our family for years. We hope you love this classic recipe as much as we do.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings



  • Conventional Oven



  • Remove roast from refrigerator and allow to come to room-temperature (about 30-40 minutes). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim excess fat from roast and generously rub all sides with Kosher salt.
  • In a heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add roast to pan and sear on all sides for about one minute per side. You want the roast to be brown all over.
  • Sprinkle onion soup mix over the roast and pour beef broth over the top and around the inside of the roasting pan.
  • Cover and roast in the oven for 3 hours or until beef is fall-apart tender (add 40-60 minutes per pound over 3 pounds).
  • Allow roast beef to rest 10-15 minutes, still covered or wrapped in foil, before carving. While the roast rests, make gravy (optional, see notes above). Use a sharp knife to cut into slices and serve!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 236kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 34gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 215mgPotassium: 530mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 78IUCalcium: 30mgIron: 3mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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  1. 5 stars
    love the receipe, but I struggle with the internal temp of the roast hts the medium rare 130 F after one hour of cooking .. but one hour can’t be long enough.. everyone says low and slow at 300F for 3 hours for a 3 lb roast .. what am i missing?? clearly, I’m new at this!

    1. Three hours low and slow is for a well done roast. If you want a medium rare roast, the cook time will be shorter. Always go by what the meat thermometer says instead of going by time.

  2. I don’t have a dutch over so I want to do the roasting pan approach. Can I cover this will foil if I don’t have a proper lid for the roasting pan?

  3. 5 stars
    This was the most delicious roast beef, it came out so tender. I cooked it on the stove instead of the oven on low. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Delicious 😋

  4. If I want to add thick cut carrots and potatoes, at what point in the 3 hours should I add them so they aren’t disintegrated by the time I pull the roast out?

  5. 5 stars
    This was excellent! Forget the crock pot! Better than the memories of the traditional Sunday meal. Only modification was the initial seasoning which was the addition of 1/2 tsp of garlic powder to the salt and pepper. I let it cool in the Duth oven before slicing. I made portioned meals for the week of: base of mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables topped with sliced roast beef with gravy (made with the remaining juice). We also ate: sandwiches with home made bread, mayonnaise, cheddar and a bit of horseradish. Oh so yummy! I bought another roast and will be cooking it tomorrow for more of what I described plus some shredded meat for some awesome tacos! The pico de gallo is already made! Can’t wait! Thanks for the excellent recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    It was tender and delicious. I cooked it in the Dutch oven, used kosher salt, seared it and then used “simply Asia” Vietnamese inspired pho beef broth (incredibly delicious). I poured that over the roast and THEN added the soup mix (if you do it the other way then you’re removing the soup mix from the roast when you pour the broth over the soup mix first). I added a TBS of onion and garlic powder, 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper, added carrots and sliced onions. I used Chuck roast as the store didn’t have rump roast. The house smelled incredible while it was cooking and the meat was tender and the flavor phenomenal. Served with mashed potatoes and gravy. A HUGE hit!!!!

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