This slow cooker Italian pork roast is coated in a blend of Italian herbs and spices and cooked alongside potatoes and carrots until it's fall-apart tender. It's a delicious, warming dinner that can also be made ahead for special occasions or used for meal prep!
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Why You’ll Love This Italian Pork Roast Recipe
This flavorful slow cooker pork roast recipe is an easy way to make roasted pork with relatively little effort. You'll need to grind the spices, coat the meat, and brown it, but the crock pot does all the rest of the work!
Slow cooking is the best on days when you want something super cozy without having to stand over the stove all day.
And it's a great way to save time on busy days. Set the slow cooker in the morning, let it cook all day, then come home to an amazing dinner.
You can also use this slow cooker recipe for meal prep! One of the best things about testing this recipe was getting to pack up the leftover pork for future lunches and dinners.
Plus, pork roast and potatoes are unbelievably delicious. These simple ingredients are elevated by the blend of Italian herbs and spices and the savory white wine, stock, and garlic cooking liquid.
Be sure to let me know if you give this slow-cooker Italian pork a try in the comments below!
What You’ll Need for Roasted Italian Pulled Pork
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- Boston Butt This recipe is best made with a boneless Boston butt (also called a pork butt). At my Whole Foods, this is also called boneless pork shoulder butt or pork butt shoulder roast. It's generally the same cut of pork. If that's unavailable, use pork shoulder. I do not recommend using a pork tenderloin or pork loin for this recipe.
- Chicken Stock You can use chicken stock or chicken broth in this recipe. Bouillon is another great option.
- Garlic Fresh garlic is best here. I would not substitute for garlic powder. If needed, you could use jarred, chopped garlic instead.
- Olive Oil This is for browning the meat, so the quality of the olive oil isn't extremely important. You can also use a neutral oil like grapeseed or avocado oil.
- Baby Potatoes I recommend using a waxy yellow potato here rather than a red potato, as they will fall apart more easily.
- Carrots Peeled carrots chopped into large pieces help make this dish a full meal. If you aren't a carrot person, you could try this dish with parsnips instead.
- White Wine Any white wine that you would personally drink is a good choice for this recipe. I tried a few different varieties and didn't notice any major differences in flavor in the final product.
- Fennel Seeds I like to purchase new fennel seeds if my old container has been sitting for a long time. They tend to lose flavor and become a bit brittle when they have been stored for longer periods.
- Black Peppercorns Malabar black peppercorns are the most commonly used black peppercorns. I recommend using those here. Green peppercorns or pink peppercorns are more floral than spicy, and you want that black pepper kick.
- Rosemary Dried rosemary adds a fragrant, earthy note to the spice blend that I really love. No need to buy fresh rosemary for this dish.
- Oregano Same for the oregano. There is no need to buy fresh for this recipe. I find it easier to coat the pork loin with the dried herb mixture rather than fresh herbs.
- Red Pepper Flake Only a small amount is used in this recipe, but if you're worried about it being too spicy, you can omit this.
- Kosher Salt I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt in all of my savory cooking. If you are using table salt or sea salt, it is very important that you use less than the recommended amount in the recipe card. Kosher salt is less salty per teaspoon than other varieties of salt.
- Fresh Herbs Parsley or basil will add nice freshness to your final meal.
- Red Wine Vinegar I add 1 or 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to the cooking liquid at the end to bring the flavors to life. If you don't have red wine vinegar, a bit of balsamic vinegar would work as well.
This is the Slow Cooker I use. I love it!
How to Make This Recipe
Step One: Add the fennel seed, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flake, peppercorns, and salt to a mortar or spice grinder.
Step Two: Grind until well-blended, but still somewhat coarse.
Step Three: Chop the garlic.
Step Four: Remove the string from the pork roast. Pat it dry with paper towels, then coat all over with the seasoning blend.
Step Five: Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Place pork roast in the hot skillet. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until the outside of the roast in browned.
Step Six: Peel and chop the carrots into 2-inch pieces. Add the carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.
Step Seven: Nestle the pork roast into the potatoes and carrots.
Step Eight: Add the garlic to the pan the pork was browned in. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant and somewhat golden.
Step Nine: Add the wine and chicken stock to the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot or pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has slightly reduced.
Step Ten: Pour the cooking liquid over the pork roast, potatoes, and carrots.
Step Eleven: Place the lid on the crockpot and cook pork on high for 4 hours.
Step Twelve: Flip the roast, then cook for another 2 hours on high. Check to see if the pork is done by using an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The pork should be fall-apart tender.
Step Thirteen: Add the red wine vinegar to the cooking liquid. Taste every component of the dish for seasoning.
Step Fourteen: Shred the pork with 2 forks.
Step Fifteen: Plate some of the pork, potatoes, and carrots with a bit of cooking liquid spooned over top. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired and serve!
Variations and Substitutions
- Italian Seasoning: If you're struggling to find one or more of the ingredients in the rub for the pork, you can use Italian seasoning along with some crushed fennel seeds instead.
- Onions: Try adding some thinly sliced onions to your potatoes and carrots for additional sweetness and depth of flavor.
- Parsnips: Bored of carrots? Try swapping them for parsnips for a twist on a classic roast recipe.
Storage and Reheating
Fridge Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer You can freeze pulled pork for about 3 months. Be sure to store them with the cooking liquid and fat from the slow cooker to maintain moisture.
I don't recommend freezing the potatoes and carrots unless you plan to add them to a puree, because they'll be very mushy when defrosted.
Reheating Reheat the pork and vegetables on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave at 30-second intervals until cooked through.
How to Serve Slow Cooker Roast Pork
Serve this crock pot pork roast as a standalone meal, or try the options below!
Philly Italian Pork Sandwich: Use the shredded pork to make an Italian pulled pork sandwich, then have the potatoes and carrots as a side.
Side Dishes: This pork recipe would be delicious with a side of broccoli, like this roasted Tenderstem broccoli, spicy roasted vegetables, roasted Brussels sprouts and asparagus, or roasted cherry tomatoes.
Bread: Some good, crusty Italian bread would be so good dipped in the garlicky cooking liquid.
- Don't use pork tenderloin or pork loin roast. These cuts are too lean for this recipe. Instead, go for pork butt or pork shoulder.
- Cook it for the full 6 hours. I found that cooking the roast for 6 hours on high achieved a tender roast. If you want to cook on low heat, it will take 10 hours. Cooking on low for 8 hours will cook the pork through, but it will still be tough.
- Flip the roast. If you're able to, definitely flip the roast at some point after the 3-hour mark. This will help it to become tender on all sides.
More Italian Recipes to Try
Slow Cooker Italian Pork Roast
- Frying Pan or Dutch Oven
- 1 (3 lb) pork butt boneless
- 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon rosemary dried
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt see note 1
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic
- ½ cup chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 ½ pounds baby gold potatoes
- 3 carrots large
- 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- fresh herbs like parsley or basil, to garnish, optional
- Add the fennel seed, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flake, peppercorns, and salt to a mortar or spice grinder. Grind until well-blended, but still somewhat coarse.
- Chop the garlic.
- Peel the carrots and chop them into 2- to 3-inch pieces.
- Remove the string from the pork roast. Pat it dry with paper towels, then coat all over with the seasoning blend.
- Add the olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once hot, brown the pork roast on all sides.
- While the pork is browning, add the carrots and potatoes to the slow cooker.
- Once browned, nestle the pork roast into the potatoes and carrots.
- Add the garlic to the pan the pork was browned in. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant and somewhat golden.
- Add the wine and chicken stock to the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits and leftover spices on the bottom. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has slightly reduced.
- Pour the cooking liquid over the pork roast, potatoes, and carrots.
- Cook for 4 hours on high heat.
- At the 4-hour mark, remove the lid and flip the roast for even cooking. This step can be optional if need be, but will produce a more tender roast.
- Cook for another 2 hours on high.
- Remove the lid and check for doneness. At this point, the pork should be fall-apart tender and shred easily with 2 forks.
- Stir the red wine vinegar into the cooking liquid. Taste all components of the dish for seasoning.
- Shred the pork apart with 2 forks. You can shred it more finely for sandwiches and in thicker pieces if serving by itself.
- If you are using table salt or sea salt, use half of the recommended amount (or less) and taste for seasoning once the pork has cooked. Add salt as needed.
- I do not recommend using pork tenderloin for this recipe because it is quite lean. If you cannot find pork butt/Boston butt, pork shoulder is the next best cut to buy.
- Fridge Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer You can freeze pulled pork for about 3 months. Be sure to store them with the cooking liquid and fat from the slow cooker to maintain moisture. I don't recommend freezing the potatoes and carrots unless you plan to add them to a puree, because they'll be very mushy when defrosted.
- Reheating Reheat the pork and vegetables on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave at 30-second intervals until cooked through.