Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Balsamic Onions – $5 Dinner Challenge

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 25, 2010

I will make this again.

Maybe tomorrow.


If you like the balsamic flavor, this is a must try!

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Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Balsamic Onions

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 8 hours in slow cooker


  • 1 – 2.6 lb. beef roast ($5.10/2 = $2.55) Will use the other half of the meat for another meal!
  • 2 onions, sliced ($.60)
  • 4 garlic cloves, smooshed ($.20)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar ($.50) If you’re a fan of the balsamic flavor, add 1/2 cup…or more!
  • Salt and pepper
  • Serve with green beans


  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal ($.50)
  • 1/2 cup flour ($.10)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder ($.05)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar ($.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil ($.10)
  • 2 eggs ($.20)
  • 1 cup milk ($.10) Use rice milk to stay dairy-free!


  • In a large pot, sear or brown the beef roast on all sides in a little olive oil.

  • Slice onions into strips. Smoosh garlic clove with flat part of the knife. Is that a technical cooking term, smoosh?!?

  • Place seared roast into slow cooker with the oil that it was seared in. Season with salt and pepper. Add sliced onions and smooshed garlic around the roast. Sprinkle about 1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar into the slow cooker.

  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • In mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, powder and salt. Whisk in the oil, eggs and milk until batter forms. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 16-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean in the middle.
  • Prepare green beans as directed on package.
  • Serve Slow Cooker Beef Roast with Balsamic Onions, Green Beans and Cornbread.

Cost $5.45 with leftover cornbread

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

The Prudent Homemaker January 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I’m not sure how much you pay for balsamic vinegar, but I buy 1 liter bottles at Sam’s Club for under $5 (Costco is over $11 for the same size). We love balsamic vinegar, and I always have several bottles in my pantry.


Kim January 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Wow – this looks delish. I am going to give this a try this week. I know I have a roast in the freezer – what a great way to use it.


the mrs January 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I’m going to have to try this one! it looks great!


Teresa Schoell January 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm

What temp do I cook the muffins at?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 25, 2010 at 10:05 pm
Liz@HoosierHomemade January 25, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I had a roast planned for last Sunday, but didn’t get it because it was $6 something, and I could have probably only gotten 1 meal out of it. I have 3 teenage boys, ugh, maybe when it goes on sale.
Thanks for hosting!


angie January 25, 2010 at 11:04 pm

looks delicious


Queen of the House January 25, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Once again, it looks delicious! Love the corn muffin idea….I think I will add corn meal to my grocery list for this week! :)


Laura January 26, 2010 at 8:47 am

I’ll definately have to try this. I love new crockpot recipes. I’m surprised how much the homemade corn muffins were. Don’t you think it could have been made cheaper by using a box of Jiffy?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm


Probably cheaper for a box, but homemade = no preservatives!


Laura January 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm
Mary January 26, 2010 at 8:49 am

What size slow cooker did you use for this recipe? Do you always use the same size slow cooker or do you have more than one?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm


I have 1 slow cooker…I believe a 4 or 5 qt.


Shannon January 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I made this for dinner tonight. My family enjoyed it!


justaflipflopmom January 27, 2010 at 5:49 am

This looks FABULOUS.. I got a great deal on TWO pot roasts this past week!!!


lynn January 27, 2010 at 8:10 am

What cut of roast did you use. I just got a chuck roast on sale and was wondering if that would work – I have never cooked a chuck roast. Also, what are your thoughts about other veggies (carrots) in there? I am assuming potatoes would get too mushy! By the way I am a big fan of official cooking lingo – smoosh – I use it all the time – LOL!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 27, 2010 at 8:13 am


I think this one was a chuck roast…and yes, absolutely…throw whatever other veggies in there with it!


Melinda January 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

I made the roast last night… was a hit!! I was unsure how the vinegar and everything would work out, but it was yummy!!! Was a great way to use up the roast in the freezer… I’m always digging around for recipes.


Michelle February 4, 2010 at 9:44 pm

My husband loved it! And of course had no clue it was Balsamic Vinegar..and he’s always said he didn’t like it. :-) Now he does…at least when it’s on a hunk of beef. Very yummy..will definitely make again.


lexi March 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm


I made this for dinner tonight (with bisquick biscuits since I ran out of cornmeal) and DANG this was good!!!!

Seriously good!!!


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom March 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm


So glad you enjoyed it…one of my all-time favorites!!!


becca March 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Wow, I can’t wait to make this for tonight’s dinner!! It sounds so easy and delicious. Just what I was looking for! Thank you so much!


Martha April 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm

What is the reason for the searing? If I am in a hurry, could it be cooked without the searing? I assume a pork roast could be used as well?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom April 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Yes…doesn’t have to be seared. Searing seals in the juices for a more tender roast.

And pork roast works too!


Lisa May 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

link #17 (italian sausage with white beans and rice) does not work. it wants me to create a log in, but when I do, I still cannot get in to see the recipe. am I doing something wrong?

p.s. we had the roast recipe last week. I LOVE BALSAMIC VINEGAR!!! any excuse for me to have more works for me!!


Renata April 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

Just made this roast with balsamic onions last night, and oh my goodness, this was by far the BEST roast I have ever made or tasted. I will be making it many more times. Thanks for a GREAT recipe. I have already passed the recipe on to several co-workers.


kelly anton June 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm

id like to recieve your newsletter- thanks!


edith July 29, 2011 at 6:34 pm

im asking everyone, which brand of balsamic vinager you like or you recomend??!!


Dawn August 31, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Agree with all the others…. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband said it tortured him all day long since he was home all day long… heehee
I did add a little Worcestershire sauce. Have some left over, so leftover stroganoff it is (our other fav!).
1 can tomoato
1 can cr mush soup
1-16 oz light sour cream
worcestershire to taste
the carmelized onions
left over meat


Stephanie March 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Made this last night and although I forgot to plug the crockpot in at 10 when I started, (I ended up turning it on high at 12 and it was totally fine). Very tasty. I probably let it go a little too long on high though but the kids loved the meat and I added little purple potatoes and carrots.


Sandra K. Lewis July 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

This was absolutely delicious. My 70 something year old mother keeps bugging me for the recipe, said it was the best she has ever tasted, and she has always been a darn good cook. Thank you for a great meal…


mangastream techscinet May 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Very cool post


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