These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches are made with ultra tender roasted beef, melted provolone cheese, soft hoagie bread, and dipped into an amazing au jus sauce. Perfect cold weather comfort food for the whole family!
This is one of my Slow Cooker recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
French dip sandwiches are a classic for a reason… they’re completely delicious!
All that tender beef, melty cheese, soft yet crusty bread, and the dipping… oh the dipping. The au jus sauce is just the cherry on top!
I love how simple this recipe is to put together. There’s a little bit of prep in the morning, then it cooks all day, then you just shred the meat and make sandwiches.
Perfect for a busy weeknight! The only downside is, if you’re home during the day, you’re going to be very hungry, since the amazing smell will be driving you crazy all day lol.
How to make french dip sandwiches in the slow cooker?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Sear beef. I highly recommend searing the beef even though it’s an extra step. It adds a great depth of flavor!
- Deglaze. Adding the beer to the skillet and loosening those browned bits is just increasing the flavor.
- Add to slow cooker. Add the beef, beer, onion, and sauces.
- Slow cook. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- Shred. Shred the beef in a bowl, then add a bit of the cooking liquid to the meat.
- Toast buns. This is optional, but I recommend it.
- Make sandwiches. Add beef to rolls, top with cheese.
- Broil. Just to melt the cheese.
- Serve. Add the top of the roll, then serve alongside some of the cooking liquid.
In the cooking time listed in the recipe, most chuck roasts will be plenty tender. However, all slow cookers cook slightly differently. So if your roast won’t shred for you, don’t worry, it’s likely not overcooked. But rather, it hasn’t cooked long enough. Cooking low and slow allows all those connective tissues to break down, which results in tender, shred-able meat.
Variations of this recipe
- Non alcoholic – if you prefer not to use beer, you can replace it with an equal amount of beef broth.
- Beef – I like to use chuck roast, but a rump roast or other tough cut of meat will work. You want something that needs that low and slow braise, since it’ll get super tender.
- Cheese – we prefer to use provolone cheese, but mozzarella is a good alternative. Not the fresh stuff, but a sliced version from the deli counter.
- Bread – we prefer to use a french roll, but any hearty bread that is dense and a little crusty will do just fine. You don’t want to use super soft bread, since it’ll just fall apart during the dipping.
- Mayo – we LOVE to add a good slather of horseradish mayo on the top or bottom buns! The recipe for horseradish mayo is included with this Cheesesteak recipe.
It’s a French culinary term that simply means “with juice”. It’s not a gravy, but rather the juice that’s in the cooking vessel after cooking meat.
Yes! I prefer the shredded meat version I’m sharing today, but in a pinch, some quality sliced roast beef from the deli will work.
Making french dip sandwiches ahead of time
I don’t recommend making the whole sandwich ahead of time, since the hoagie buns can get soggy.
However, the beef can absolutely be made the day before. Store the beef in some of the au jus so it doesn’t dry out.
Leftover french dip shredded beef should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 1 week.
Shredded beef can be frozen for up to 3-6 months. The au jus can also be frozen for up to 6 months.
Thaw both in the refrigerator.
I had this crockpot for a while now, and I really love how it cooks. The locking lid feature is amazing for taking foods to potlucks or other gatherings!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3-4 lb beef chuck roast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 12 oz dark beer we love to use a porter, brown ale, stout, or amber beer
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 6 large french or hoagie rolls
- 6 – 12 slices provolone cheese enough for 1-2 slices per sandwich
- butter for toasting rolls
- Heat oil in a large skillet over MED HIGH heat.
- Pat roast dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning into the meat.
- Once oil is hot, add chuck roast and sear for 3-4 minutes per side, until a deep golden brown crust forms on the outside of the roast.
- Remove roast from skillet and add to the bottom of a slow cooker insert.
- Add beer to skillet and heat over MED heat. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Those bits are flavor and we don't want to lose them.
- Pour contents of the skillet into the slow cooker insert with the beef. Add beef broth, onion, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or high for 5-6 hours (although I recommend cooking on low for best texture).
- When cooking time is up, remove meat to a large bowl and shred, discarding any large fat pieces. Add a few ladles of the cooking liquid to the bowl with the meat.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and set aside.
- Lightly butter the cut sides of the hoagie rolls and add to a clean skillet, cut sides down, over MED HIGH heat and toast until golden brown if desired. I know this is an extra step, but I highly recommend it.
- Pile some shredded beef to toasted hoagie rolls, then top with 1-2 slices of cheese.
- Place on prepared baking sheet, leaving the top part of the roll off. Broil until cheese is melted (be careful, this shouldn’t take long, you don’t want them to burn!).
- Add top part of the roll.
- To serve, add a ladle-full (or about a cup) of the juices from the slow cooker to a small bowl. Serve sandwich alongside the juices, dipping the sandwich into the bowl, and enjoy!
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Making French Dip Sandwiches in the Instant Pot
- Keep ingredients the same.
- Cut chuck roast into approximately 2 inch pieces.
- Select “saute” and allow to heat up until very hot. Add oil, then add about half the beef pieces and cook 1-2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining half of the beef pieces.
- Add beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
- Cancel saute mode, then add beef back to the pot. Add in beer, onion, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then perform a natural pressure release (just leave it alone) for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, release any remaining pressure, if there is any.
- Remove beef to a bowl and shred. Add a ladle or two of the cooking liquid to the bowl with the meat.
- Proceed with the “make the sandwiches” part of the recipe above.