I will always be an East Coast girl down to my core. I grew up in a tiny coastal Connecticut town, went on summer vacations to Cape Cod, and spent a lot of time searching for crabs under rocks at the beach with my brothers. And while I still hold the sun and the sand close to my heart, I admit, my heart does hold another allegiance. Because once I experienced the midwest with all its charm—and its infamous Sunday pot roast—my heart was literally torn in two. Because who could not love a place where people instantly yell at you for calling a “pop” a soda? Or for laughing at you when you never heard of a pop roast before?
Okay, I’m only teasing—a little. Spending five years in Chicago was an eye-opening experience for a little east coaster like me. I learned a lot about a part of the country I literally knew nothing about, including all of the crazy foods and dishes I never heard of. I mean, how was a girl supposed to know a “hot dish” was a baked casserole?! Or that salad could come in whipped cream form—and served with dinner?
And…how was I supposed to know that I would marry into a family that is not only full of midwest charm, but is also armed with so many delicious midwest recipes that I have never heard of before. Like pop roast. And tater tot hot dish. And Snicker’s salad.
Yes…it’s exactly how it sounds.
For any east coasters reading this blog, you may be completely shocked by all of the lingo (which you’ll get profusely made fun of for saying in “funky accents” in the midwest) But let me give it to you straight: If you haven’t tried any of these foods, especially this easy pop roast, you are surely missing out on one of the most delicious culinary experiences of your life.
I’m sure I garnered a few eye rolls from the Midwesterners reading that sentence, but come on. If you experienced pop roast for the first time at 23, wouldn’t you also be obsessed with it? I mean, how could a can of soda make a meat so tasty, and a gravy so delicious it can never compare to any other beef gravy ever?! It blows my mind.
So it only felt appropriate to post one of the most classic midwest recipes that I’m absolutely obsessed with. My mother-in-law taught me how to make it, and you better believe I have this on the regular meal plan rotation from here on out. It will certainly be making an appearance in my monthly meal plans in the future…
Oh, and it is so easy to make. All you have to do is whisk together a can of soda, a can of Cream of Celery, and a dry packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Just pour it over the roast in a dutch oven, and bake. Yum.
What kind of soda?
There are honestly so many options for this. I personally love a classic cola, like Coca-Cola, for this recipe. But I’ve also seen it done with a can of Dr. Pepper or Pepsi.
How big should the roast be?
I don’t have to cook for a lot of people, so I keep my roast small. Three pounds is usually good and cooks perfectly after about 90 minutes. However, this same recipe will work for bigger cuts of meat. So if you grab a chuck roast that’s four or five pounds, you can still follow this same recipe! You don’t have to double the soda or anything for it. Just make sure to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
What should the pop roast cook in?
A dutch oven! I would say anything between a 6 or 7.5-quart dutch oven— something in that range will work well for a roast.
If you don’t have one, I suggest buying this one by Lodge. It’s a bit on the cheaper side for dutch ovens, but works really, really well.
Plus, with a new dutch oven, you can try one of these delicious recipes!
- Easy One-Pot Jambalaya
- One-Pot Bolognese
- Sweet Potato Turkey Chili
- Sourdough Bread (or use for artisanal-style bread baking!)
And now, a delicious pop roast. Enjoy!!
- 3 lb chuck roast
- 1 12 oz. can of Coca-Cola
- 1 dry packet of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix
- 1 can of creamy of celery
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the can of soda, packet of dry soup mix, and the cream of celery in a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the chuck roast in a dutch oven. Pour the soda mixture over the roast, letting the soup mix fall on top of the chuck roast.
- Place the lid on the dutch oven and put it in the oven.
- Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the roast reaches at least 145 degrees.
- Remove to a large serving platter and slice. Ladle the gravy into a gravy boat or a bowl with a spoon. Serve warm with roasted vegetables of your choosing.
Looking for even more meal ideas? Sign up for my email list and I’ll send over a free one-month meal plan!