Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

All those folks from Los Angeles know about this one. The legendary French Dip Sandwich! Invented straight out of LA care of the legendary Philippes restaurant! This is our version of the unbelievably amazing (and equally not French) Sandwich. Our very own legendary Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich!

For this recipe we used our trusty Instant Pot, however any slow cooker will work fine. Even without a slow cooker you can simply use a large pot that has a lid. So, there’s no excuse to make a phenomenal Slow Cooker French Dip for dinner tonight!

What is a French Dip Sandwich?

For those who are unaware of what a French Dip Sandwich is. It’s slow roasted, super tender beef that is stuffed into a large bread roll. It’s covered with Onions and Cheese, then broiled to melty perfection. The final, and often controversial step, is to essentially ‘Dip’ the sandwich into a Beef Broth, known as Au Jus

Legend has it the origins of the French Dip came by accident. Philippe Mathieu made himself a Roast Beef Sandwich was made and accidentally ‘dropped’ into a pot of Beef Broth. Instead of wanting to waste the sandwich, he took a bite out of it instead. It tasted amazing! Hence, the famous Philippes French Dip Sandwich was created

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich close up
The French Dip Sandwich is a legendary sandwich from California. A beautiful Beef Sandwich that is dunked in Beef Gravy for a delicious and messy result!

A fun One Pot Dinner that cooks the Beef in a beautiful Broth, which is then used as the Au Jus dipping sauce!

We just love recipes that don’t have any wastage, in terms of ingredients as well as dishes! The Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich is another beautiful one pot dish for this reason. You slow cook the piece of Beef in flavored Beef Stock until it is succulent and tender. The Stock is then used as the dipping sauce for the French Dip!

So, nothing goes to waste, and it can all be done in your Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, or even just a regular Pot. It couldn’t be easier, or tastier!

Slow cook the Roasting Beef for the best quality result

There are so many great things about cooking with Roasting Beef (or stewing beef as it is sometimes called). What we mean by Roasting Beef is cuts of Beef that typically are best cooked with Roasted low and slow. Cuts such as Chuck, Tri-Tip, Top Round, Rump, and even Brisket are great choices

When slow cooked for a few hours the fibers in these cuts of Beef slowly begin to break down, and then eventually the meat will be fall-apart tender. If you cook these cuts quickly, it’ll be like chewing on an old shoe – not fun at all! Cooking low and slow gets the most succulent result

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich beef
The Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich is so easy to make. Set your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker for 6 hours and let it do its thing. The result: Succulent, juicy, super tender Beef

The other benefit of using Roasting Beef / Stewing Beef is it is much more affordable than other cuts. You get a lot more quantity for much less price buying Chuck Roast for instance compared to Beef Tenderloin or Ribeye. The taste is amazing when cooked properly too. So, it’s an economical purchase where you aren’t skimping on flavor. That’s a win-win in our book!

Making the Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich has another added benefit – your house will smell amazing!

Other than eating it of course, the best part about this recipe is the slow cooking process will gradually begin to fill your house with the best smells. That delicious smell of Roasting Beef slowly melting into a delicious Au Jus sauce. It is simply an amazing aroma!

One challenge with this of course, is you’ll want to eat it immediately. Unfortunately, you must wait 2 hours before you can pull that delicious meat out of the Slow Cooker. So, for many, especially those who are super hungry, the wait while smelling this delicious aroma can be brutal!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich top down
Adding some herbs to the broth while you’re slow cooking it will add some amazing depth of flavor to the French Dip Sandwich Au Jus Sauce

Thyme and Rosemary add a beautiful flavor to the Au Jus Broth, just use them sparingly!

We love flavoring the broth with beautiful Herbs. They add a lovely freshness and interesting flavor that is so pronounced. Thyme and Rosemary are naturally best friends with Beef, and are great additions to the Au Jus Broth

Just use them sparingly is our only recommendation. Slow Cooking for 6 hours provides a lot of time for flavors to infuse, so the longer the herbs stay in the broth, the stronger their flavor will become

We recommend adding 2 sprigs each of Thyme and Rosemary. It’s enough for the flavor to clearly come through, but not too much that it completely overpowers the flavor of the Au Jus broth

Finish the Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich with some beautiful, melty cheese

The final touch to your perfect Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich is the beautiful, oozy, melting Cheese. Placed under the broiler, these cheese will melt beautifully and ooze all over the Meat and Onions in the sandwich making it irresistible to dive right in

The Cheese also serves a functional purpose. It helps to bind all the ingredients together in the Sandwich. So, when you dip the Sandwich into the Au Jus, it will remain intact and not pour out everywhere. There you go: Cheese, what can’t it do?

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich with cheese
Don’t skimp on the cheese in this Sandwich. It holds the filling together which makes dipping a lot easier, and less messy!

The two best types of Cheese for a French Dip Sandwich are Provolone or Havarti Cheese. Both are prepared in thin slices which are perfect for placing on a sandwich. They both melt exceptionally well, and they taste great

Don’t skimp on the Cheese either when it comes to a French Dip. There will be a lot of meat in the Sandwich so you can add a lot of cheese to ensure the flavor comes through. We like putting 4 slices on each Sandwich we make. More than enough for adding delicious flavor and texture

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • 3 – 4 lbs. of Roasting Beef (Chuck, Rump, Top Roast, or Tri Tip)

  • 3 Yellow Onions, cut into thick slices

  • 4 Garlic Cloves, finely diced

  • 3 cups of Beef Stock (recipe here)

  • 4 large Bread Rolls (eg: Hoagie Rolls)

  • 2 sprigs of Rosemary

  • 2 sprigs of Thyme

  • 16 slices of Provolone or Havarti Cheese (4 per sandwich)

  • 1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

  • Salt and Pepper


  • Season the Beef liberally on all sides with Salt and Pepper then place your Instant Pot or Crock Pot on Sauté Mode. For regular pans, set the heat to medium. Brown the Beef on all sides, about 2 minutes each
  • Remove Beef from the Pan then add the Onion Slices. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. Add the Garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the Beef Stock, Thyme, and Rosemary
  • Cover then set the Instant Pot / Slow Cooker to ‘slow cook’ for 6 hours. For a regular Pot, cover then drop the heat to low. If the Beef is not fully submerged in broth, flip it over every 2 hours to evenly soak in the broth while it slow cooks
  • Once cooked, carefully remove the Beef, and set aside. Strain the liquid through a sieve into a large bowl. Remove the herb stalks and set aside the Cooked Onions. The strained liquid will serve as your Au Jus dipping sauce
  • The Beef should just melt apart now. Break it apart using two forks until it resembles almost a Pulled Pork consistency
  • Pour about ½ cup of the Au Jus back into the Shredded Beef to give it some flavor and juiciness. Pour the remaining Au Jus into a bowl for dipping
  • Cut your bread rolls down the middle and add a generous amount of Beef on the bottom layer. Add Onions, then top with 4 slices of Cheese. Place under the Broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts. Add some Dijon Mustard to the top bun then place on top of the Sandwich
  • Cut in half, then Dip the Sandwich into the Au Jus before taking a bite


  • It is best to pour individual Au Jus bowls for everyone who is eating. This is the kind of meal that requires multiple double-dipping, so it is best to not share that part!

If you enjoyed this delicious Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich why not check out some of our other amazing Instant Pot recipes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *