Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
8 Hours 15 Mins
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 sandwich and about 2 tablespoons sauce)

Here's an example where the slow cooker excels: The beef slowly braises until it prac­tically falls to shreds. We like the mixture on sandwiches, but it's also delicious over a baked potato and topped with sour cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler.

Step 2

Arrange peppers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 6 minutes or until blackened in spots, turning occasionally. Place peppers in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper; stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and chopped pepperoncini.

Step 3

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until beef is very tender. Remove beef from cooker; shred with 2 forks. Stir beef and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into cooking liquid. Divide beef mixture evenly among sandwich rolls, spooning out with a slotted spoon. Serve any extra sauce for dipping.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

Holiday favorite!

December 22, 2016
I  have made this multiple times!  When my husband was growing up, his family always had Italian beefs for Christmas eve dinner.  He wanted to continue the tradition with our family.  I use cubanelles instead of banana peppers (a challenge to find in New England in winter) and about 1/2 the crushed red pepper (the kids have a sensitive palate...much like their mom).  Don't tell my mother-in-law, but he says these sammies are better than hers (which is grandma's recipe).  No additional liquid needed; the slow cooking of the meat and inherent fluid in the peppers provides plenty!


March 21, 2016
Do the pepperoncini's cook with everything else or are they used as garnish?

daneanp's Review

June 21, 2014
Really great. Our market did not have banana peppers so DH got serranos and man - it was hot! Too hot for my teenager. But really delicious. I also forgot to sear the meat but it didn't seem to make any difference. It was still great and I had one less pan to wash. So easy to throw this together in the morning before work and come home to a meal with meat so tender. I'd love to use the meat for soft tacos or as the filling for enchilladas. Will definitely make again.

Skogstroll's Review

February 12, 2014
Delicious!! Served this for lunch with guests and everyone liked it a lot! Definitely not too spicy. I substituted 3 poblano peppers for the banana peppers, since my store did not have any banana peppers in stock. Followed recipe otherwise, and served with cole slaw. Will make again!!!!

sherril's Review

February 02, 2014
Too hot for me although beef was very tender and plenty of liquid. Next time I will eliminate crushed red pepper and seeds from banana peppers (and I only used 2). Also will try adding ketchup or a sweet BBQ sauce and/or beef stock to offset the spicy broth.

Bethlawrence's Review

February 01, 2014
Superb. My family LOVED this recipe and asked that it be in our "rotation" regularly!

acmeinecke's Review

January 18, 2014
Absolutely wonderful! I only used 1/2 of the crush red pepper and it was still a bit too spicy for the kids. Next time I may take the seeds out of the banana peppers and see if that cuts down on the spice or leave out the crushed red pepper all together. It was just the right amount of spice for the adults though. This will be my go-to sandwich beef when we have company over for sure.

sukeedog's Review

January 18, 2014

skucyk's Review

January 12, 2014
A family favorite.

Lsbates17's Review

January 05, 2014
This is one of the best Cooking Light recipes I have made. I used yellow bell peppers instead of banana pepper as I couldn't find them, it didn't seem to make a difference. I also added an extra pecorino pepper and an extra 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper as I often find Cooking Light recipes to be light on the heat. The heat was perfect for me--if you don't like spice/heat I would reduce the number of pecorinos.