Home » Recipes » Slow Cooker Recipes » Beef Recipes » Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

French dip au jus is a fan favorite in restaurants across the country. You might think it’s a complex process to achieve such a fabulous roast beef sandwich, but the slow cooker makes it easy! French dip sandwiches – complete with a hoagie roll and melted cheese – will be a much-requested family meal.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich on a plate with au jus an potato chips

What is a French dip sandwich?

A French dip sandwich includes generous slices of French bread or a hoagie roll, topped with thin slices of slow-roasted beef and melted provolone or Swiss cheese. French dip is famously served with a small bowl of dipping sauce on the side, the jus. The title French dip au jus explains that it is served with juice from the roast.

Some recipes include extras such as spicy mustard or onions. Based on preference, some chefs might even prepare the gravy-like sauce separately with other beef stock ingredients. 

Start this slow cooker version of French dip au jus in the morning and enjoy the savory smells from your kitchen throughout the day. By dinnertime, you’ll enjoy all the traditional flavors with only a few steps!

Ingredients Needed

  • Beef rump roast – Rump roast is a lean meat containing little fat and mostly muscle. When cooked correctly (low and slow), it yields the most tender slices of beef! You can also use chuck roast as a swap – it tends to have a little more flavor than rump roast.
  • Seasonings – French dip sandwich seasonings are pretty straightforward and likely all in your pantry! Grab some paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper for a mild seasoning that perfectly flavors the beef and the jus.
  • Beef broth – Use regular beef broth or beef bone broth. Bone broth is always a good option to increase flavor and nutrition!
  • Hoagie rolls – I prefer soft rolls to crusty bread like baguettes, but either can work. Hoagie rolls are great for individual sandwich sizes and are usually easy to find freshly made at the grocery store.
  • Optional: I highly recommend provolone or Swiss cheese slices for topping! Both have a rich, creamy flavor that complements the seasoned beef.
raw rump roast, cup of broth, and 5 small dishes with seasonings and herbs

How To Make Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches 

  1. Place the roast in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine the seasonings and sprinkle them over the roast.
  3. Pour beef broth into the slow cooker around the roast (be careful to leave seasoning covering the roast).
  1. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
rump roast cooking in slow cooker in sauce
  1. Remove the beef, then shred it or slice thinly.
  2. Strain the juice to serve for dipping on the side.
  3. Layer the beef on a sliced hoagie roll, and add a couple of slices of provolone.
  4. Broil the sandwich in the oven or toaster oven until the roll is lightly browned and the cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker vs. Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches

The slow cooker is a wonderful tool for slow-cooking tender meat, but the Instant Pot is similarly suited for recipes like French dip!

Sometimes, there isn’t time in the day to prep a meal hours in advance. In those cases, the Instant Pot comes in handy to achieve the same results on a faster timeline. The Instant Pot is also worth using for a large roast when you need your slow cooker or oven to simultaneously cook other dishes.

I tested this recipe using both appliances and the differences are barely noticeable! 

I found that both cooking methods resulted in excellent flavor and tenderness. Both produced tasty jus to serve on the side, and both methods were relatively hands-free once assembled in the pot. In my experience, the slow cooker method produced more intact meat for slicing, while the Instant Pot roast was naturally shredded after cooking.

To try the Instant Pot variation of this recipe, follow the steps found in Instant Pot French Dip Sliders and note the slight recipe variation. Here are the condensed steps:

  1. Season the roast, and place it in the Instant Pot with the broth.
  2. Seal the Instant Pot and set it on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  3. Allow at least 15 minutes of natural pressure release. 
  4. Manually release any remaining pressure and open the Instant Pot.
  5. Remove the beef, let it rest for a few moments, and slice or shred.
  6. Serve beef on rolls with desired cheese and condiments, and strain the pan juices into a bowl for dipping.

Recipe Substitutions and Variations

Create the tastiest French dip sandwich at home with this base recipe and make swaps as you choose!

  • Meat – Rump roast is the typical choice for roast beef slices on French dip sandwiches. Chuck roast will also work as a slow cooker option for tender meat. Chuck roast contains a bit more marbling and fat than a rump roast.
  • Cheese – A classic French dip sandwich contains layers of melty cheese. It’s an optional step, but it sure is delicious! Choose mild or smoky cheeses such as provolone or Swiss. Gruyere or gouda are also great choices if you’re feeling fancy!
  • Bread – The most essential addition to the tender sliced beef is the bread or roll. Hoagie rolls are generally available in traditional white or multigrain options and are usually fresh in local grocery store bakeries. Other bread options for this sandwich are French bread or a baguette, buns, and of course, any gluten-free roll options.
  • Buttered rolls – As an extra step, brush some melted butter with a bit of garlic powder over the rolls before toasting them. This just adds a little extra flavor and richness!
  • Condiments – Some French dip connoisseurs insist on including condiments with their sandwiches. Stone ground mustard, Dijon mustard, and aioli sauces all complement the flavors of provolone and beef! 
gluten-free baguette

What To Serve With Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches 

Remember that French dip au jus includes the brothy dipping sauce. It’s a necessity to get that juicy flavor in every bite!

French Dip sandwiches are hearty and filling, but adding something extra to your sandwich plate is always nice! Kettle-cooked or ruffled potato chips add a little crunch, or you could add some veggies and dip.

For hot sides to complete a nice dinner meal, try some Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes and Sautéed Carrots with Honey. A garden salad is also a good fresh option on the side.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches served on plate with chips and sauce

Storing and Reheating

Store leftover beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can include the jus with the beef, or store it separately to keep it strained. 

Freeze both the beef slices and the jus for up to 3 months in sealed freezer-safe containers. I recommend freezing the sauce and beef separately for easy reheating.

When ready to reheat, defrost first in the refrigerator, then use the microwave for the beef. Reheat the sauce in the microwave or the stove, and toast your sandwich when it is all assembled!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich on a plate with au jus an potato chips

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Jennifer Draper
French dip au jus is a fan favorite in restaurants across the country. You might think it’s a complex process to achieve such a fabulous roast beef sandwich, but the slow cooker makes it easy! French dip sandwiches – complete with a hoagie roll and melted cheese – will be a much-requested family meal.
4.02 from 88 votes
Save
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 10 kcal

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 pound beef rump roast
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 8 hoagie rolls I prefer soft
  • Optional: provolone or Swiss cheese slices for topping

Instructions
 

  • Place roast in the slow cooker
  • Combine seasonings and sprinkle them over roast
  • Pour beef broth into slow cooker around the roast (leave seasoning covering the roast)
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours
  • Remove beef, then shred or slice thinly
  • Strain juice to serve for dipping on the side
  • Layer beef on a sliced hoagie roll, and add a couple of slices of provolone
  • Broil the sandwich in oven or toaster oven until roll is lightly browned and cheese is melted

Notes

  • Store leftover roast and sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or use a pan on the stove to reheat the sauce.
  • If the jus is too thin, use a bit of flour and water to create a slurry. Whisk this mixture into the sauce to thicken it.
  • As an optional step, mix melted butter with garlic powder and brush it on the rolls before toasting the sandwich.

Nutrition

Calories: 10kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.05gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 515mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 247IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @slowcookergourmet or tag #slowcookergourmet!
Important nutritional disclaimer

Slow Cooker French Dip FAQs

  • Can a frozen roast be used in this recipe? To minimize food safety concerns, thaw the roast before cooking it in the slow cooker. In general, large pieces of meat should be thawed to cook in the appropriate amount of time and temperature for the slow cooker.
  • Should the meat be seared before being put in the slow cooker? You do not have to sear the meat before adding it to the slow cooker. If you choose to sear the meat as a personal preference, cut the meat into large chunks and use tongs to turn the meat on each side.
  • How do you make the au jus? For this recipe, the jus is made in the slow cooker as a combination of beef broth and drippings from the rump roast. Some recipes include separate sauce preparation, but I like to cook the beef and sauce all in one!
  • What is the difference between a beef dip and a French dip? The two sandwich terms are often used interchangeably. As a technicality, some may say a beef dip includes shredded beef. French dip sandwiches typically include thinly sliced beef and French bread.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

54 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday with the slow cooker method. It was delicious! Grocery store doesn’t sell rump roast so we used chuck roast and meat was done in about 6.5 hours on low. Will make again. Thank you!

  2. I would like to know the difference between power consumption between the two. If the cooking result is similar then I would choose which uses least power if I were to use it often.

  3. I have been using my IP over a year. In order to cut down the time used for building up the pressure, I turn on the sauté feature while adding ingredients.

    Many recipes use a sauté period prior to starting the pressure cooker feature. And, all IP recipes require liquid.

    Leave the sauté feature on up to the time you are ready to start the pressure cooker. Turn sauté off. Start pressure cooker. It cuts over half the time for the pressure cooker to start.

    It’s just all about time.

    @cantstopcooking

  4. 5 stars
    I have two slow cookers that I don’t use much and I just got an Instant Pot. Being retired, I don’t need a meal when I get home from work. I understand, however, that with multiple control features I could pressure cook something and then program it to slow cook or keep warm until I get home from work if I needed to?
    But here’s my thought: We don’t have air conditioning and cooking inside in the summer can be too hot with the slow cooker. But the IP pressure cooker doesn’t heat up the house much. So I’ve been using it in this 30 degree heat we’ve been having in Canada. Going to try this recipe tonight. So to be environmentally friendly you can turn your air conditioning down and use the Instant Pot. What do you think?

  5. 4 stars
    I don’t have an Instant Pot but planning to buy one since I’ve heard so much about it. Can you suggest a good model which would work for our family of 3 members? Anyways, I made these sandwiches last night in my old stovetop pressure cooker and they turned out amazing. Thank you for sharing such a simple and delicious recipe.

  6. I’ve had French DIp from many fine restaurants over the years, and they have never looked like this. It looks like shredded beef. French dip is sliced thin not, shredded falling apart like this. Probably tasty still, but not French DIp.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with French Dips, sounds like you’ve eaten at some wonderful places! I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about the technical name, I think if you try it, you will find it to be delicious. You can tell your family you are serving shredded beef instead if that helps 😉

4.02 from 88 votes (79 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating