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.  

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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

What to Serve with French Dip Sandwiches?

Serve your French Dip Sandwiches with: 

LOOKING FOR MORE SLOW COOKER BEEF RECIPES?

Side view of Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches showing cheese and meat.
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
Total Time: 6 hrs 5 mins
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs

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Ingredients

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

Slow Cooker

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a cast iron 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.

Video

Notes

*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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390 Comments

  1. Kimber Wann says

    Hi Jen, I am making your French dip recipe for Christmas night. I was wondering if you’ve ever used fresh onions instead of the dried onions. Thank you for your wonderful recipes! Merry Christmas!
    Kim

    • Jen says

      Hi Kimber, you are welcome to use fresh, I just prefer the dried for the texture of the au jus, but you can strain them. Merry Christmas, enjoy!

  2. Sheila says

    Hi I have us3d this many many times. My family loves it! With insta pots being so popular, just wondering if you have tested how long it would be in an IP? Love you site!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for the glowing review Sheila! I haven’t tested it in an IP but I see recipes stating: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 45 minutes + 25 minutes Natural Release. Hope that helps!

  3. Barbara says

    We absolutely love this recipe as a sandwich or pot roast! So delicious!

    • Jen says

      What a great idea to use the recipe as a roast – I have never tried that!

  4. Laura says

    This was AMAZING! I didn’t have consommé or bouillon so I just used 2 cans of condensed beef broth. I also shredded instead of sliced. It was the best dinner in ages.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Laura, I’m so pleased it was a huge hit! Sounds delicious shredded too!

  5. Paula says

    Hi!! What would you say crockpot size would be best for most of your recipes? 4.5 qt for the 3lb Chuck roast? 7qt? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      I always use a 7 quart, it fits everything nicely. Enjoy!

  6. Paula says

    Followed this recipe exactly- absolutely amazing!!! Best roast beef I’ve ever had! I just wish the cut of meat wasn’t so fatty! I can never seem to get all of it cut out before I sear it! Either way, everyone that has had it has devoured it! Make this ASAP

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Paula, I’m so pleased it was a hit! The only way to really get rid of the fat is to shred it and remove the fat instead of slice it at the end 😉

  7. Sabrina says

    Have you tried this in the oven after searing? I love searing meat in a Dutch oven and then finishing it off in the oven. Cannot wait to try these!

    • Jen says

      I personally haven’t, but it would definitely work. I would cover and bake at 425 for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 300 and continue to bake for 4-5 hours. Hope this helps!

  8. Ana Barnett says

    Dear Jen,
    I made the French dip sandwiches for my family along with your fingerling parmesan potatoes and it was a hit! Thank you for your detailed instructions as well as your tips. I appreciate the work you put into your recipes. If you ever publish your recipes, I would most definitely purchase your book. I also feel a kinship with you as I am on the transplant list (7 years now) waiting for a kidney. An autoimmune disorder took my kidneys. It’s always a pleasure reading your recipes and I thank you for them.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Ana, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying my recipes! More importantly, I’m sending you prayers for your future kidney. 7 years is a long time to wait, I hope you get the relief you deserve soon! xoxox

  9. Misty says

    I just read this in my head like one of those “sexy food advertisements” on TV. Cause I can’t help it. This sounds sooooo amazing. Friend dip is the best and this sounds like the best of them. I can’t wait to make it! By the way, I’m loving your site and all the recipes. I have so many saved to my bookmarks, I don’t know where to start. Probably this recipe.

    • Jen says

      LOL! You made my day Misty, I’m sure all my recipes sound 10X better that way! BTW – welcome to my site! I hope you love my recipes – and yes, this is a great place to start ;).

  10. Chloe van de Leur says

    Just made this for my husbands first Father’s Day dinner. He claims it’s the best thing I’ve ever made! Heads up for people that forget to buy or are out of Coke. I used about a cup of water and added about a tablespoon of brown sugar! Turned out perfectly! Thank you for the delicious recipe 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the glowing review Chloe, I’m thrilled your husband loved this so much! Thanks also for the Coke substitute!

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