Crock Pot French Dip sandwiches have tender beef and caramelized onions topped with melted cheese. Serve on a toasted roll with au jus for dipping.
Everybody will love these delicious French dip sandwiches with tender beef cooked in a flavorful fluid that makes au jus using your slow cooker.
Make these economical sandwiches for the family or a party with these easy step-by-step photo instructions using a chuck roast and simple ingredients.
Easy to make ahead and store. Serve on a hoagie bun after topping with cheese and browning under the broiler with Au Jus on the side for dipping.
- Beef roast—chuck roast that is well marbleized and trimmed of excess fat
- Aromatics—onions, garlic
- Beef Broth—low sodium
- Pantry ingredients—low sodium soy sauce, low sodium Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and salt only after taste testing
- Serving—sub buns, cheese (Provolone, Swiss, Havarti, or Monterey Jack)
👨🍳How to Make Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- Trim a beef chuck roast of trimmable fat, then sear over medium-high heat.
- Prep onions, then brown over medium-high heat.
- Add all ingredients to the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 7 hours, but 5 hours into cooking, remove the beef roast, cut across the grain, and then return to the crock pot to finish cooking.
- At the end of cooking, shred the beef more to make serving easier.
- Serve on toasted hoagie rolls with melted cheese and au jus for dipping.
🐄Options and variations
- A nice chuck roast is a good choice. My favorite is an English cut chuck roast. The beef roast needs to have good marbling to be tender. Top sirloin, bottom round, and rump roasts are commonly recommended but may be a bit lean.
- The onions can be standard yellow or white onions. But, instead of chopping the onions, cut them into rings and then cut them in half.
- It uses a short browning of the meat to enhance the flavor with a Maillard reaction and caramelizes the onions to enhance the flavor.
- The cooking fluid combines beef broth, caramelized onions, and garlic. The soy sauce and Worchishire sauce are added to enhance the beef taste. After cooking, it has the meat juices and is the au jus for dipping.
Use a mild creamy cheese for French Dip Sandwiches like provolone, Swiss, Havarti,, or Monterey Jack.
Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese would also be good choices but avoid intensely flavored cheeses like sharp cheddar, which will mask the flavor of your sandwich.
The beef must be cut across the grain to make it tenderer and easier to shred after it is cooked a few hours more. You don't want long strands of beef.
Some cuts of beef are very lean and are harder to shred. But cutting across the grain and cooking in the liquid will usually help the issue.
French Dip is made with thinly sliced or shredded beef braised in a cooking sauce and served with au jus.
Italian Beef is also braised but has Italian herbs and spices for a distinctive Italian taste.
🍴How to serve French dip
After cooking, shred the beef and remove the cooking juices for serving and reheating. Serve on toasted French bread, hoagie, or sub buns topped with provolone or other cheese, then melt under a broiler.
The au jus for dipping is the cooking fluid. Au jus is French for “with juice” and refers to the cooking fluid and juice from the beef.
❄️What to do with leftover French dip
Store shredded meat and au Jjus separately in airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
Reheat after thawing,, if frozen, in a saucepan with the Au Jus cooking liquid or beef broth.
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Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Start with a nicely trimmed, well-marbleized beef roast—salt and pepper to taste.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add two teaspoons of oil, and when hot, brown the roast for about 3 minutes per side. Then move the roast to the crock pot.
Add 2 large sliced onions with the rings cut in half to the pan and cook for a few minutes until browning some. Then add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and cook one more minute. Move to the crock pot.
Add 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce—mix well.
Cook on low for 7 hours but at the 5-hour mark, remove meat and slice across the grain into ½ inch slices.
Return to the crock pot to cook for the final 2 hours.
Break up the slices at the end of cooking to make serving easier.
To serve, cut hoagie rolls into half and briefly toast. Top the bottom half with meat and provolone cheese—cook under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is nicely brown.
Serve with the cooking solution as au jus for dipping.
Crock Pot French Dip
- 2-3 pounds chuck roast
- 2 onions - large sliced
- 4 teaspoons oil - for bowning
- 2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 2 cups beef broth - low sodium
- ¼ cup soy sauce - low sodium
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Hoagie buns
- Provolone cheese
- Start with a nicely trimmed, well-marbleized chuck roast—salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add two teaspoons of oil, and when hot, brown the roast for about 3 minutes per side. Then move the roast to the crock pot.
- Add 2 large sliced onions with the rings cut in half to the pan and cook for a few minutes until browning some. Then add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and cook one more minute. Move to the crock pot.
- Add 2 cups low-sodium beef broth, ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce—mix well.
- Cook on low for 7 hours but at the 5-hour mark, remove meat and slice across the grain into ½ inch slices.
- Return to the crock pot to cook for the final 2 hours.
- Break up the slices at the end of cooking to make serving easier.
- To serve, cut hoagie rolls into half and briefly toast. Top the bottom half with meat and provolone cheese—cook under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is nicely brown.
- Serve with the cooking solution as au jus for dipping.
Your Own Private Notes
- An easy recipe to adjust both in size and taste.
- Avoid a roast that has too much connective tissue that you will need to sort out later. The beef choice is up to you. Sirloin and eye of round are commonly recommended, but a nice chuck roast is a good choice. My favorite is an English cut chuck roast.
- The crock pot needs to be big enough for the beef to have some space around it.
- Browning the beef before adding it to the crock pot will add good flavor to the beef.
- Cook and brown the onion a bit before adding it to the crock pot.
- Cut the beef across the grain.
- Use the cheese of your choice, but provolone cheese is my first choice, followed by Swiss, Havarti, or Monterey Jack. But avoid strong cheeses like sharp cheddar.
- Store leftovers refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Store the au jus separate from the meat.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally published March 12, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.