Best Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches (Video!)

Crazy tender Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches seeping with spices are unbelievably delicious and make the easiest dinner or party food!

You haven’t had a French Dip Sandwich until you try this French Dip Recipe!  These French Dips have rave reviews for a reason – they are rave worthy!  The meat is cooked low and slow, sliced then put back in the slow cooker so it drinks up all the juices and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.  Pile that juicy beef on to a golden toasted bun smothered with gooey cheese then dunk in flavor bursting au jus and you quite possibly the most delectably delicious bite of. your. life.  

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Recipe Video

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

What is a French Dip Sandwich?

The classic French Dip Sandwich is a hot sandwich boasting tender thin slices of beef layered on a long French roll, often with melted cheese, then dipped in a flavorful sauce made from the pan juices called  “au jus,”  French for “with broth” or “with juice.”

Who invented the French dip sandwich?

The French Dip Sandwich did not originate from France but its originator, Philippe Mathieu, was French. Phillipe owned a sandwich shop in Los Angeles, Philippe the Original that is still around today!  

According to the story, Philippe was making a sandwich for a policeman and accidentally dropped the sliced French roll into the drippings of a roasting pan. Instead of getting new bread, Phillipe served dipped bread and the policeman loved it so much he returned the next day with friends requesting all of their sandwiches be dipped in the meat drippings – and that’s how The French Dip Sandwich was born.

Best French Dip Sandwich

I had high expectations for my French Dip Sandwich recipe but this French Dip is sooooo good, I am going out on the limb and calling it the BEST French Dip Sandwich Recipe out there (update: hundreds of you agree by the comments – thank you!). Sometimes you create a recipe that’s so melt in your mouth –  savor every meaty, cheesy bite – delicious that you get giddy just dreaming of when you can consume it again and you know you will be best friends forever and ever.  

These Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches is one of those recipes.  And almost as thrilling as the taste is the fact that it takes all but 5 minutes to prep.  We are already planning on making these for  New Years because they are the best/easiest dinner ever!   If we can wait that long…

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with dipping sauce on the side.

What Makes This the Best French Dip Recipe?

1. It is all about the slow cooker liquid which will become your dunkable au jus.  This magical beef bath of beef consommé, soy sauce and COKE (inspired by my Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork), showered with dry minced onions, dry thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powder is savory spiced perfection.  But that alone is not enough to make these obsessive worthy French Dip Sandwiches.  The meat needs to be crazy tender

2.  To achieve such melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, the roast gets cooked low and slow for 4 hours, then sliced thinly while it is mostly cooked but still firm enough to hold together.  The roast slices continued to cook for another 2 hours, so the seasoned broth can permeate every centimeter of the thinly sliced meat, leaving you with the most unbelievably tender, flavorful beef.

3.  And then the cheeeeeese.   The beef is so melt in your mouth tender, I guarantee you will be devouring this beef alone, no cheese, no sandwich, just moist, flavor bathed beef.   But when you finally find the will power to pull yourself away to pile your rolls or hoagie buns with your can’t=stop-eating-meat, top with provolone cheese and bake until the cheese is ooey gooey and bubbly.  Because a melty cheese toasted bun bursting with savory meat can only get better by…

4.  Dipping our French Dip in best au jus sauce!  The leftover slow cooker savory juices further penetrate the meat and the bun leaving it delightfully drippy and drenched in more flavor.

Showing how to cook the beef for Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches.

French Dip Sandwiches Ingredients

You don’t need many ingredients to make the BEST slow cooker french dip sandwiches!

  • Beef chuck roast: The beef can be more or less than 3 pounds, but 3 pounds is roughly the amount for 6 sandwiches.
  • Hoagie buns: Ultra soft and perfect for dipping into french dip au jus.
  • Provolone cheese: Lots of flavor, but also ultra gooey.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced sodium soy sauce or the french dip will be too salty.
  • Coca-Cola: Tenderizes and adds flavor to the beef; please don’t use diet.
  • Beef consummé: Beef consomme can usually be found in the canned section next to the beef broth OR the soups.
  • Beef bouillon: Adds a depth of concentrated beefy flavor.  You may also use an equal amount of better than bouillon. 
  • Dried herbs and spices: This Crockpot french dip is seasoned with dry minced onions, garlic powder, dried oregano, and more!
Sliced Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches meat.

How to Make French Dip Sandwiches

Are you ready for the easiest beef dip recipe EVER?

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet, then sear the beef on all sides.
  2. Add the seared beef and pan drippings to a slow cooker.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook on LOW for 4 hours then remove roast to a cutting board. Thinly slice roast across the grain.
  5. Place sliced meat back in slow cooker and continue to cook on LOW for 1-2 additional hours.
  6. Assemble sandwiches, then bake to melt cheese. Yum!

Tips for the Best French Dip

  • If your grocery store doesn’t carry beef consumme, you may substitute beef broth.
  • Trim the beef chuck roast of any excess fat before searing it.
  • If you wind up with leftovers, save the meat AND the french dip sauce! Leftover sandwiches aren’t the same without the au jus!
Aide view of Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches with dipping sauce.

Can I Prep French Dip in Advance?

YES!  I think this French dip tastes very best if made ahead – or partially made ahead. Once the beef is cooked up to slicing, I like to refrigerate it, then the next day reheat it, slice it, and proceed with making the beef dip sandwiches.

  • Cook beef until tender but don’t slice.
  • Remove ceramic insert from slow cooker and let cool to room temperature (for food safety and because it can crack if placed directly in the refrigerator).
  • Refrigerate the beef in the juices up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to heat, skim off all the hardened fat.
  • Cook on LOW in the slow cooker for 1-2 hours until warmed through.
  • Slice beef and let soak for 30 minutes. 
  • Continue per recipe instructions.

How to Store Crockpot French Dip

You should store your cooked French dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  I like to refrigerate mine with some of the slow cooker juices for extra moisture and flavor. When stored correctly, cooked beef will keep fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.  You can even eat it straight from the fridge!

How to Reheat Slow Cooker French Dip

French dip reheats beautifully, just don’t forget to save some of the slow cooker liquid so you can add it to your leftover beef when reheating to prevent it from drying out. 

  • Crockpot: add some of the jus and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
  • Stove: transfer to a Dutch oven with some jus and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  • Microwave: transfer smaller servings to a microwave-safe dish with some jus, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel.  Microwave for 60 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.

CAN I FREEZE SLOW COCOKER French Dip?

Yes, you certainly can!  You may freeze both the rolls and the beef dip.

  1. Let beef cool completely.
  2. Transfer beef to an air-tight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag along with some of the juices (to keep it juicy).
  3. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  4. Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. When ready to eat, thaw French dip in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Reheat in the slow cooker, microwave or stove.
Crock pot French Dip Sandwich being dipped in and dripping with au jus

Helpful Tools to make French Dip Sandwiches

  • Slow Cooker: is one of my most used kitchen gadgets all year round and is just SO convenient and easy for one-pot meals and makes them taste even more delicious! This is the exact slow cooker I have had for years and love it.  It is large, cooks well and is very well made.  That being said, this model has more fancy features such as a thermometer port and smart technology which either cooks to specific temperature or cooking  time before automatically switching to warm when it’s done.
  • Cast iron skillet:  A quality cast iron skillet is a must in your cooking arsenal!   It is perfect for searing and creating a deeply golden exterior on everything from roast, to pork to chicken and seamlessly transitions from the stove to the I love my super high quality Staub and Le Creuset.   You can also go with a more economical, trusty skillet like this one which  also works very but it will need to be seasoned and always rubbed with vegetable oil after using.
  • Quality Knives: a chef’s knife will be your most used kitchen tool by far!Quality knives make prep time much quicker and are important for safety as well.  If you’re concerned about moola, please remember that your best chef knives, depending on how hard you use them and how well you take care of them, can easily last 25 years or more. I love my Wusthof but there are hundreds of less expensive knives with great reviews such as this one.
  • Cutting Board: I use my big solid cutting board daily so it’s worth the investment.  This extra-large cutting board allows you to prep all your veggies on one surface and the bamboo is easier on knives than plastic.
Side view of Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches showing cheese and meat.

What to Serve with French Dip Sandwiches

Serve your French Dip Sandwiches with: 

Looking for More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes?

Crazy tender Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches seeping with spices are unbelievably delicious and make the easiest dinner or party food. You haven't had French Dip Sandwiches until you try these! absolutely the best!

Best Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Crazy tender Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches seeping with spices are unbelievably delicious and make the easiest dinner or party food! The meat is cooked low and slow, sliced then put back in the slow cooker so it drinks up all the juices and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender.  Pile that juicy beef on to a golden toasted bun smothered with gooey cheese then dunk in flavor bursting au jus and you quite possibly the most delectably delicious bite of. your. life.  
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 lb beef chuck roast trimmed of excess fat*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 French rolls or hoagie buns
  • 12 slices provolone cheese

Slow Cooker

  • 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup Coke NOT diet
  • 2 10.5 oz. cans beef consommé **
  • 1/4 cup dry minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Using two forks or tongs to hold roast, sear on all sides until lightly browned. Add to slow cooker and top with all remaining Slow Cooker ingredients.
  • Cook on LOW for 4 hours then remove roast to a cutting board. Thinly slice roast across the grain. Place sliced meat back in slow cooker and continue to cook on LOW for 1-2 additional hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove roast and strain fat from broth for dipping.
  • Split rolls and line the bottoms on a baking tray. Top each half with beef followed by 2 slices cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F or until cheese is melted. Serve with reserved au jus.

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!
*
The beef can be more or less than 3 pounds, but 3 pounds is roughly the amount for 6 sandwiches. **Beef consommé can usually be found in the canned section next to the beef broth OR the soups.  If you can't find it make sure to ask someone.  If your store doesn't carry it, you may substitute beef broth.

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354 Comments

  1. Stepahnie says

    My 12 yr old son has been asking me to make french dip sandwiches for the past 2 weeks and I gave this recipe a go, WOW, this recipe was so easy, fix it and forget it in the slow cooker and the aus jus was incredibly delicious. I actually used a tri-tip roast I had defrosted from the freezer. After 4 hours it was cooked perfectly tender so sliced and let sit in the aus jus for an hour turned off, rather than cooking for another hour. I did not add the extra 1/2 t. salt. Just loved he flavor. Thank you creating another amazing recipe the family loved. This will be a perfect recipe to have made when the days/evening get busy with kids sports practices again. You’re the best!

    • Jen says

      Your 12 year old has a sophisticated palate, that’s awesome he requested this French Dip Sandwich recipe! I’m so pleased this recipe was another winner, thanks Stephanie!

  2. Shannon says

    Hello from Canada! I made this recipe yesterday and it was a huge success (even without consommé…we looked in a couple of stores and either it was sold out or not available). Will be making this recipe for years to come. Thank you so much!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Shannon! I’m so pleased these French Dip Sandwiches are a new repeat favorite!

  3. Angela says

    My guys loves it and asked me to make it again.
    Why all the powder stuff, can’t you use real garlic and onions? I want to try it with not dehydrated or powdered things but afaid it won’t be the same taste they liked.

    • Jen says

      I’m so happy it was a hit! I use powders because they deliver concentrated flavor without the bulkiness of fresh which I prefer in this case because the liquid becomes the dipping sauce. If you use fresh, you will need 3x the amount of powders.

  4. Yvonne Holtz says

    I’m getting ready to make the French Dip. I could not find consommé at my store. I have beef stock and one can (15 oz) of beef broth. Which would you use? I also have the Better than Bouillon. Is that measurement the same as the beef bouillon? So 1 Tablespoon? Thanks.

    I can’t wait. Yum!

    • Jen says

      Hi Yvonne, I would use the beef stock. Yes, the measurement of bouillon is the same for Better than Bouillon. Enjoy!

  5. Jcp says

    I made this 2 days ago and holy cow I don’t think I will ever get this at a restaurant again. It was unbelievably easy to make and better than most restaurant versions. My friend who has never had this sandwich before ate 2 of them. Tonight I’m using the last of the leftovers on top of a baked potato with roasted veggies. The only difference I did from the recipe, unless I missed it in the instructions, was to use cheesecloth to stain the au jus like you would with homemade stock

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome review! I’m honored these were such a hit!

  6. Nicole says

    Excited to try! I want to make a bigger roast for more sandwiches. Any tips?

    • Jen says

      Hi Nicole, this recipe can accommodate a 3-5 pound roast without changing the recipe ingredients, if it’s larger, then you’ll want to scale up. Enjoy!

  7. Jill Esqueda says

    This is one of our favorite recipes! It’s the best. My question involves meal prep. If I wanted to put all the ingredients in a freezer bag (including the meat) for a quick “dump and go” dinner (after defrosting of course), would you suggest I sear the meat, let it cool, and then freeze? Or put the meat in without searing? I’m planning to host a meal prep party and this will be on the menu! Thanks!

    • Jen says

      I love hearing these French Dips are a favorite, thanks Jill! What a great idea for meal prep! I would sear the meat, cool and add.

  8. Brooke Gustafson says

    If you find yourself on this page wanting something delicious to make for supper that is fool proof. You’re at the right spot. Coming from a new mom that can’t cook, this recipe inspired me that I can actually make something that comes out tasting amazing that everyone is asking for seconds on. I’ve made these sandwiches 3 times now and every time everyone is raving about how wonderful of a cook I am! I owe it all to this site and this recipe. I follow it exactly except I don’t cook the meat before I put it in the crockpot. #lazycooker
    Thank you for this recipe and all your recipes not one has let me down!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome review Brooke! I love hearing these French Dips are a winner every time and that you’re enjoying my recipes!

  9. Gail says

    I only have fresh thyme & oregano. Do
    I just use double the amount of dried?

    • Jen says

      Hi Gail, I would triple the amount. Enjoy!

  10. Michelle Hofmann says

    Jen you are literally making me a a phenomenal cook 1 recipe at a time. So grateful for you and your blog. This was a 10 easily. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Aw, thank you so much Michelle, I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes! I’m so happy this was another winner!

  11. Alisha Purdy says

    I’m confused on the make ahead directions. So I cook it for 4 hours, let it cool and then refrigerate it. Then put it in the crockpot for 1-2 hours to warm back up, slice it, let it sit for 30 minutes (on low heat?) And then pick up on the recipe? Where do I pick up, on the bread part or then heating it for an additional hour on low after sliced? I’m hoping to prepare this for a lunch, but not sure on the timing! Thanks for the help

    • Jen says

      On the bread part, good luck!

  12. Michelle says

    Wanted to make this tonight, but just realized I forgot to buy Coke. Can you substitute Dr Pepper? Anything else?

    • Jen says

      Yes, I think Dr. Pepper will still work great.

  13. Michael says

    I was wondering if perhaps you had the nutritional fact for this recipe.

  14. Sharon says

    Made this using thinly sliced beef steaks (what our Sainsbury’s supermarket calls Beef Sizzlers), reducing the cooking time to compensate and they came out tender and the jus was delicious – although they are very messy to eat! When I said I was making it again today there were actual cheers – many thanks for the recipe!

    • Jen says

      I love the thought of cheers for a repeat of this recipe! Thanks so much Sharon, I’m so pleased it was a huge hit!

  15. Melissa Calderaz Amos says

    This was delicious! I made this last night and didn’t change anything. Great recipe!

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