easy pot roast

blue plate special easy pot roast

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If you remember the mid-20th century and if you grew into adulthood in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, then you probably remember five and dimes, soda fountains, dime stores, GC Murphys and blue plate specials. This blue plate special easy pot roast sure does take me home to growing up in Logan County, West Virginia. Mom and Dad would make Saturdays a special occasion once or twice every six to eight weeks and take us into the big ‘city’ of Logan. One of our favorite things to do was to eat lunch at ‘The Rainbow Grill’ where we could always find a blue plate special. And, if we ate everything on our plates, dessert. My absolute choice was Boston Cream Pie.

A Bit of Nostalgia

According to Wikipedia, here’s the scoop on the blue plate special.

Blue-plate special or blue plate special is a term used in the United States and Canada by restaurants, especially diners and cafes. It refers to a low-priced meal that usually changes daily.

The term was very common from the 1920s through the 1950s. As of 2007, there are still a few restaurants and diners that offer blue-plate specials under that name, sometimes on blue plates, but it is a vanishing tradition. The phrase itself, however, is still a common American colloquialism.[citation needed]

A web collection of 1930s prose gives this definition: “A Blue Plate Special is a low-priced daily diner special: a main course with all the fixins, a daily combo, a square for two bits.

It’s almost spiritual to me how food brings up so many memories of childhood, growing up, adulthood and mommyhood. Family affairs and holidays were always centered around the big table of food. And, nothing makes me happier than trying to reconstruct some of the dishes that brought me so much joy and happiness.

Why I Love this Recipe

Now, this easy pot roast is truly EASY! And, I love cooking a pot roast in the oven because it’s another way for me to connect with my past. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back to the past. Hey, I love my present and look immensely forward to the future. But, there’s something about the past that can give a sense of warmth if you’ve got sweet memories.

And, since we didn’t have any real gadgets and small appliances, oh, yes, a mixer, the oven and stovetop got a good workout in Mom’s cooking. Another reason I love cooking this pot roast in the oven is because of the aromas that waft through the house during the cooking time. And, I love cooking and serving in the beautiful blue Le Creuset.

I sure hope you try this recipe! Maybe it’ll conjure up in your memories some of those good ol’ days when life was extraordinarily simple, economic times could be tough and history was being made. xoxo ~ally

pot roast

blue plate special easy pot roast

Yield: About 6+ folks


  • Preheat oven to 400
  • 3 lb. chuck roast, cut into 4-6 smaller pieces
  • ½ cup flour, all purpose
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbl. nutritional yeast seasoning
  • 2 Tbl. No-Salt seasoning mixture, such as Mrs. Dash or Costco brand
  • 1 sweet onions, French slice
  • 4 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 (28 oz.) jar marinara sauce + 4+ cups water


  • Coat the chuck roast pieces completely with flour.
  • Put the oil in a large Dutch oven pot over medium high heat. Let it get hot. Add the beef chunks and brown on both sides. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Turn off heat.
  • Combine the salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and no salt seasoning mixture in a small bowl then sprinkle over the meat. Add the oinons, mushrooms marinara sauce and four cups of water.
  • Cover the pot. Put in a preheated 400 oven and cook for 2 hours. Check to see if you need to add more water. Continue cooking another hour. Meat should begin shredding easily with large forks.
  • (If the sauce is too thick add more water.) If not, cook another about 15 minutes or until the meat is totally tender.
  • Remove from oven to the stove top. Serve as you like!


So many things you can do with this pot roast! Make sandwiches, sliders, use as a base for stews and soups.

Serve over mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.

Serve as over pasta. Be sure to coat your cooked pasta in some of this gloriously delicious gravy!

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easy pot roast


  1. MADE THIS!!! Loved it! (omitted the mushrooms, because they’re not my jam, but didn’t change a thing besides that. Even got the nutritional yeast 🙂

    Thanks for this easy quarantine meal, Ally! Already planning to make it again!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, Kathy dear! Your comment is music to my ears! Thank you thank you! You’re gonna have fun w/the nutritional yeast. It’s so great for soooooooooo many things. Magic dust it is!! xox ~ally

  2. Thanks! I’ve used it before… though I’m sure I didn’t leverage it for all its magic dust! I just don’t have any on hand right now, but I have everything else, including the meat. Looking forward to trying it!

    • Then you’re in busy, girl! The parmesan substitute is a great alternative. If you have finely grated ( like magic dust!) it will incorporate best, i think. Hope you likeeee! If you don’t like really spicy, reduce that with ketchup. The Cajun seasoning is robust too! Happy meatloafing, luv! Here’s to the weekend! xoxo ally

  3. Okay, Ally… in times of “cook with what’s in your pantry”, I just don’t have any nutritional yeast right now. Skip it? Sub it? Wait to make this?

    • For sure, Kathy, we cook with what we have. You can omit. Nutritional yeast, or magic dust, enhances the flavor of about everything. Plus, adds nutritional value. You might want to buy some for your pantry. I like Braggs. It’s like salt or pepper to me. A staple. You can substitute 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese since there are similar flavor properties. Let me know how you like, luv! Stay safe and always so appreciative of your support!💕💕

    • I just put links to Amazon for the nutritional yeast. I buy 3 or 4 at a time since I use it in so many things, even sprinkle on popcorn (which I pop from scratch!). xo ally

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