French Dip Sandwiches

Classic French dip sandwiches were a staple in my house growing up. You slow-cook a beef roast all day long until it’s so tender that you can shred it with one hand and a fork. The real beauty is how simple the ingredients are and how easy it is; it comes together in a matter of minutes in the morning and then you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. It’s also one that works great for a make-ahead meal in the freezer, perfect for times when you know you’re going to be busy. You can also make it in an electric pressure cooker, which is a total game changer.

A sandwich with beef and cheese being dipped in au jus.

Ingredient and Recipe Notes

  • Beef roast – For best results, use a chuck roast. You could also use top or bottom round. The one roast to stay away from is eye of round; it is dry and flavorless.
  • Onion soup mix – Regular or beefy onion flavor will work.
  • Beef broth – You’ll notice the recipe calls for 4 cups of beef broth, which is 1 32-ounce box. 2 cans of beef broth will also work, even though they don’t equal a full 4 cups.
  • Rolls or bread – How you serve these is totally up to personal preference. Crusty bakery rolls, baguette thirds, or ciabatta rolls all work great.
  • Cheese – Take your pick when it comes to cheese! I like Swiss, provolone, or mozzarella, shredded or sliced.

How to Make French Dip Sandwiches

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear the roast on all sides, then transfer to the pot of a slow cooker.seared roast in pot
  2.  Sprinkle with onion soup mix, then add in water and beef broth.
  3. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or start it on high and cook for 2-3 hours on high (until it comes to a boil), then turn it to low and cook for another 4-5 hours on low. It’s hard to mess this part up, but you’ll know it’s done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart. When the meat is done cooking, shredded it with two forks.shredded french dip roast
  4. Place the meat on crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open face in the oven or for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is golden and the cheese is melty. And don’t even think about walking away–things can go from lightly toasted to on fire in a matter of seconds when it comes to bread and broilers. Ladle au jus (the juices, skim off fat as necessary) into small cups for dipping and enjoy!A sandwich with beef and cheese being dipped in au jus.

Freezer Directions

Prepare roast through the searing step. After the meat has cooled, place in a plastic freezer-safe container, cover with onion soup mix, broth, and freeze. When ready to cook, pop it straight into the crockpot, add 2 cups of water, and set to high until simmering, then turn to low; cook for a total of 8-10 hours.

Instant Pot Directions

Prepare meat through the searing step (you can sear it in your Instant Pot.) Transfer the roast to a cutting board and slice it into 1″ slices. Place the slices back in the pot and add onion soup mix, broth, and water. Use the manual setting to cook on high for 30 minutes. Allow it to release naturally (so don’t release the pressure valve); it will take about 10 minutes. Remove lid and shred with forks. Serve as directed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! See the freezer meal notes for instructions on prepping ahead.

Related Recipes

If you think French Dip sounds delicious, you may also be interested in these other Our Best Bites favorites:

French Onion Soup
Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches
Kalua Pork Sliders with Pineapple-Mango Slaw

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture on tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

A sandwich with beef and cheese being dipped in au jus.

French Dip Sandwiches

5 from 2 votes
Classic French dip sandwiches, dipped in au jus, are no fuss and super easy, using only a handful of pantry ingredients.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings8 -10

Ingredients

  • 1 2.5-3 pound beef roast see note below
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1- ounce packages dry onion soup mix
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups 1 box or 2 cans beef broth
  • 8-10 crusty rolls or baguette thirds ciabatta rolls work great
  • Swiss provolone, or mozzarella, shredded or sliced

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, high-sided pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. While the oil is heating, season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear the roast on all sides, then transfer to the pot of a slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion soup mix and add in water and beef broth. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or start it on high and cook for 2-3 hours on high (until it comes to a boil), then turn it to low and cook for another 4-5 hours on low. It's hard to mess this part up, but you'll know it's done when you pop a fork in it and the meat just falls apart.
  • When the meat is done cooking, shredded it with two forks. Place the meat on crusty rolls. Top with cheese and broil open face in the oven or for 1-2 minutes or until the bread is golden and the cheese is melty. And don't even think about walking away--things can go from lightly toasted to on fire in a matter of seconds when it comes to bread and broilers. Ladle au jus (the juices, skim off fat as necessary) into small cups for dipping and enjoy!

Notes

BEEF ROASTS
For best results, use a chuck roast. You could also use top or bottom round. The one roast to stay away from is eye of round; it is dry and flavorless.
FREEZER DIRECTIONS: Prepare roast through the searing step. After the meat has cooled, place in a plastic freezer-safe container, cover with onion soup mix, broth, and freeze. When ready to cook, pop it straight into the crock pot, add 2 cups of water, and set to high until simmering, then turn to low; cook for a total of 8-10 hours.
INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS: Prepare meat through the searing step (you can sear it in your Instant Pot.) Transfer the roast to a cutting board and slice it into 1" slices. Place the slices back in the pot and add onion soup mix, broth, and water. Use the manual setting to cook on high for 30 minutes. Allow it to release naturally (so don't release the pressure valve); it will take about 10 minutes. Remove lid and shred with forks.
Keyword: beef, roasts, sandwiches
Author: Kate Jones
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I know its been a little while since you posted this, but this is now my FAVORITE recipe. I've always LOVED french dip, I'm thrilled I can make it myself and its DELISH! I've got a roast cooking right now even…

  2. I love French Dip Sandwiches and it has been so hot in the Seattle area that I thought they would be any easy meal to make for company last night! I was right! Not only did we all love them, but I didn't have to slave over the stove! Thanks! We will definitely be having these regularly in my house!

  3. Hey, Glenna! 🙂 Honestly, I just use whatever cut is cheapest. The only made I’ve had turn out not-so-great is that vacuum-sealed meat from Walmart. Other than that, it’s awesome every time!

  4. What cut did you use for your roast? I use a chuck roast in the crock pot when I make pot roast, but that doesn’t seem quite right for these sandwiches.

  5. Can I just say YUM? These were a HUGE hit at my house. We loved them! SO easy, and SO good! Thank you!

  6. Yum. I just made this tonight and BOY was it good. DH kept moaning angdgroaning as he ate it. Lol. It was THAT good. And so easy, too. Almost too easy!!

  7. Yum. I just made this tonight and BOY was it good. DH kept moaning angdgroaning as he ate it. Lol. It was THAT good. And so easy, too. Almost too easy!!

  8. Yum. I just made this tonight and BOY was it good. DH kept moaning angdgroaning as he ate it. Lol. It was THAT good. And so easy, too. Almost too easy!!

  9. Kate-
    Yes, he was born 3/31, and it was snowing like crazy that day-be very glad you live in the South now! Thanks again for all of your help-I’m completely addicted to your blog and can’t wait until things calm down at my house just a little so I can start cooking things that take some time. In the meantime though, we are eating very well out of the freezer! =)

  10. Alison, I’m so glad these were good for you! You had your baby at the end of March, right? Congrats! And I hope the freezer meals are working well for you. Gotta love a crockpot after you have a baby! 🙂

  11. Kate, I love these! We’re having them tonight as a matter of fact. You totally saved me with the “make ahead meals” I needed for after the baby came. Just want to recommend these to whoever else reads the comments-you won’t be disappointed!

  12. Just wanted to mention that I made this for my family recently and received comments such as: “I think this is the best roast beef I’ve ever tasted!”

    Fabulous and easy! Just what I like. Thanks!

  13. Just wanted to mention that I made this for my family recently and received comments such as: “I think this is the best roast beef I’ve ever tasted!”

    Fabulous and easy! Just what I like. Thanks!

  14. Just wanted to mention that I made this for my family recently and received comments such as: “I think this is the best roast beef I’ve ever tasted!”

    Fabulous and easy! Just what I like. Thanks!

  15. Yum Yum Yum, LOVE these sandwiches. They are a regular here. And I just bought the stuff yesterday to make them this week. Thanks girls!

  16. I love this recipe! Dale even ate it (that’s HUGE). So yummy. We were actually thinking about making in the next week or so.

  17. You guessed right! Allison (Evans) Scott and I recently got back in touch through blogs and she posted the link. The horticulture background and only boys in your life was a major clue.

    Allison is one year older than me, we were in the same ward growing up, and we were even ‘sisters’ on our pioneer trek. Also my little sister and Mandy Evans are great friends, so we figured out that your brother is married to Emily, right? It definitely is a small world!

    Anyway, I love the site and can use all the cooking help I can get.

  18. You guessed right! Allison (Evans) Scott and I recently got back in touch through blogs and she posted the link. The horticulture background and only boys in your life was a major clue.

    Allison is one year older than me, we were in the same ward growing up, and we were even ‘sisters’ on our pioneer trek. Also my little sister and Mandy Evans are great friends, so we figured out that your brother is married to Emily, right? It definitely is a small world!

    Anyway, I love the site and can use all the cooking help I can get.

  19. You guessed right! Allison (Evans) Scott and I recently got back in touch through blogs and she posted the link. The horticulture background and only boys in your life was a major clue.

    Allison is one year older than me, we were in the same ward growing up, and we were even ‘sisters’ on our pioneer trek. Also my little sister and Mandy Evans are great friends, so we figured out that your brother is married to Emily, right? It definitely is a small world!

    Anyway, I love the site and can use all the cooking help I can get.

  20. Em, I was thinking you might be the connection….small world!

    And since I’ve totally hijacked this comment thread, I have to add that the FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES ARE DELISH! lol. Everyone needs to try them!

  21. I think I know Jody from Oakley too. . .and I’m guessing you found this AWESOME blog from my sister’s blog who couldn’t resist stealing the link from me.

    Man! Good stuff travels fast and far. . . way to go Sara!

  22. Yes Jody it’s me! I know who you are too, lol. I saw the “Wes, Jody, and Cameron” from Oakley and figured it HAD to be you guys! So who is it that you know that had our blog listed? I’m just curious where the string of people leads and if we have more people in common!

  23. Quick question…I think I might know you Sara, but in case you don’t want any personal info disclosed here…I will just ask if you speak Portuguese?

    Jody

  24. Quick question…I think I might know you Sara, but in case you don’t want any personal info disclosed here…I will just ask if you speak Portuguese?

    Jody

  25. Quick question…I think I might know you Sara, but in case you don’t want any personal info disclosed here…I will just ask if you speak Portuguese?

    Jody

  26. Hi, I’m definitely in a recipe/cooking slump and stumbled upon your wesite from an old friend from high school’s blog. I’ll be sure to check back often.

    Thanks for all your hard work.
    Jody Harris
    Oakley, UT

  27. Hi, I’m definitely in a recipe/cooking slump and stumbled upon your wesite from an old friend from high school’s blog. I’ll be sure to check back often.

    Thanks for all your hard work.
    Jody Harris
    Oakley, UT

  28. Hi, I’m definitely in a recipe/cooking slump and stumbled upon your wesite from an old friend from high school’s blog. I’ll be sure to check back often.

    Thanks for all your hard work.
    Jody Harris
    Oakley, UT

  29. It’s funny that you posted this recipe because I was just asking Treven yesterday if he would like to try french dips and told him that I would look for a recipe. It sounds delicous!