This easy french dip recipe is a go-to for me on so many occasions and I’m confident you’re going to love it too! The salty, savory, herbed flavors is perfect for comfort food Sunday, a meal for guests, or a quick weeknight dinner. My kids love it so much and I love how the beef cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot!
Using the Instant Pot to make the roast beef and homemade au just makes this dish an easy meal solution! Cooking in my electric pressure cooker simply makes my life much easier by cooking quickly and not requiring much hands-on attention.
Other meals in the Instant Pot I think you’ll love are these easy sweet and sour meatballs, carnitas, and this instant pot frozen roast beef.
Why This Recipe Works
- Family favorite! Seriously, this dish works for everyone.
- Easy to prepare and make ahead!
- Creates a hearty and satisfying main course!
What is a French Dip Sandwich?
This hot sandwich also goes by the name beef dip and is traditionally served with hot sliced roast beef on baguette bread with a side of beef au jus that is created when cooking the roast beef. Other ingredients are sometimes added such as cheese, onions, spicy mustard or mayonnaise.
This American creation is served hot and meant to be dipped into the au jus before each bite. Two Los Angeles restaurants claim to have created this dish in the early 1900’s but now it’s served all over!
Now you can make this delicious hot sandwich at home! This recipe shows you how to make the two most important parts of any beef dip sandwich:
- The roast.
- Au Jus dipping gravy.
Serve it on top of some nice toasty rustic bread and devour! Try serving these delicious crispy Baked Potato Chips as a side to this dish!
You're going to love the simple ingredients needed to make this easy recipe!
- Beef Roast: Select a lean beef roast with lots of marbling that weighs about 3-4 pounds.
- Oil: Use any cooking oil to brown the outside of the roast.
- Beef broth: The base of the roast beef au jus. Use your favorite storebought brand.
- Cooking sherry: This type of sherry contains a low amount of alcohol. You can use regular sherry or substitute it with dry white wine or white cooking wine.
- Seasonings: Garlic salt, onion salt, and dried thyme add flavor to the roast beef as it cooks and also make a great-tasting homemade au jus.
- Worcestershire sauce: Deepens the umami flavor of the easy french dip au jus.
What is the Best Meat for French Dip?
A great beef roast for beef dip sandwiches is a chuck roast.
- Marbling. You want one that is lean with great marbling. Marbling is when you see thin white lines throughout the roast. You DO NOT want a huge slab of fat on your roast.
- Choose the right size to feed your people. You will need a roast that provides about 4-6 ounces of meat per sandwich.
- A roast in your budget. Roasts can range in price all over the place. I love to grab a chuck roast, they are pretty reasonable, but sometimes they don't look great (no marbling) or are only simply too large for my needs which makes it way over my budget. In that case, I grab another cut of roast that looks perfect for my needs.
Best Bread For French Dip
Traditionally a beef dip sandwich is served on a French baguette sliced in half lengthwise.
I recommend any type of artisan bread but a baguette shape really works best. They are easy to cut into pieces perfect for several sandwiches and the crunchy crust holds up well when dipped in the homemade au jus.
You can experiment with a flavored baguette, ciabatta bread rolls, sour dough rolls, or other types of slender bread with a chewy, crusty outside.
How to Make French Dip with Au Jus
Let's walk through how to make the two essential components and then how to easily assemble the perfect beef dip sandwich!
I'm going to walk you through making this recipe in the instant pot, for oven instructions, check the recipe card.
How to Make Au Jus for French Dip
Au Jus (ah-joo) Gravy recipe is the salty savory drippings leftover in the pan after cooking the roast. This part of the recipe is my kids' very favorite. They love dipping their sandwiches in this steamy gravy!
- Place the spices into a bowl.
- Add the broth and stir together.
Cook the Roast Beef
Heat the oil in the instant pot, using the sauté setting. When the oil is hot, add the beef and cook on each side until browned. If you are cooking the roast in the oven you can use a frying pan or a roasting pan on your stovetop to brown the roast.
TOP TIP: It may seem like an extra step but whether I'm roasting in the oven or cooking the roast beef in the instant pot, I love to brown each side of my roast in a little oil. It locks in the flavor and gives the outside a nice appearance.
- When the roast is browned, add the au jus seasoning and cover with the instant pot lid. Close the pressure valve and cook on high for 60 minutes and let the pressure in the instant pot naturally release.
- Open the lid and remove the roast beef. Use two forks to shred it or you can slice it with a knife.
How To Assemble
Now that your beef is perfectly cooked and tender, shredded or sliced, and the au jus made, you're ready to assemble the sandwiches. I love to serve my easy french dip with mayo and melty cheese.
- Butter one side of each piece of bread and toast it slightly in the oven.
- Layer the mayo on the toasted bread, add shredded beef, and a slice of cheese.
- Remove the au jus drippings from the roast pan. You can strain if needed and then serve it up with the sandwich for dipping!! It is the LITERAL best. Salty gravy, crusty bread, and cheesy beef. nothing beats a great french dip!
What to Serve with French Dip
This hearty hot sandwich is perfect to serve with simple sides! Here are some ideas for a little inspiration.
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Loaded Cheesy Potato Wedges
- Grilled Vegetable Skewers
- Garlic Dill Pickles
- Instant Pot Potato Salad or Grilled Potato Salad
- Marinated Cucumber Salad
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Tender, juicy roast beef. Choose a beef roast that's lean but has adequate marbling.
- Artisan bread. For the best tasting sandwich choose bread with a chewy outside. It holds up to the homemade au jus.
- Serve it how you like it! While I vote for mayonnaise and cheese, you can top your easy french dip sandwich however you like. It's also good with a spicy mustard or horseradish sauce and you can add some sauteed mushrooms, peppers or onions on top!
- Serve hot. A french dip is meant to be eaten hot, not cold or at room temperature.
Did you know beef dip sandwiches are not classically served with cheese!? The original is just beef, bun, and gravy! But over time many people have come to love their roast beef dip with a slice of cheese and a few other toppings.
I 100% agree! I love to use a nice white cheese like provolone, swiss, or mozzarella. Top your sandwich with a big cheesy slice and broil it for just a few minutes before serving.
More Satisfying Sandwich Recipes
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Easy French Dip Recipe
- 1 3-4lb beef roast See note 1
- 3-4 tablespoons oil optional for browning outside of roast before cooking
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons cooking sherry
- 2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 teaspoon onion salt
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-2 french baguettes cut into 6 sandwich pieces
- cheese sliced
- caramelized onions
- salt for seasoning
Instant Pot Instructions
- Add oil to the Instant pot in saute mode. Sear beef roast on both sides until dark brown.
- Combine the dry seasonings and broth together.
- Pour the au jus seasoning over beef roast. Cover with lid and close the pressure valve. Cook on high for 45 minutes. When finished allow it to naturally release the pressure before opening.
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Heat oil in the roasting pan or a frying pan. When hot add the roast and cook on all the sides until dark brown. This step is optional and you can skip if desired.
- Place the browned or raw roast in a roasting pan uncovered.
- Cook in the oven at 425° F for 1 hour. While cooking prepare gravy by mixing dry spices and broth in bowl together.
- After one hour turn oven down to 200° F and pour broth mixture over roast.
- Continue cooking in oven for 1 ½-2 hours more. The roast is ready when it is pull apart tender.
- Remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Slice thin or shred the cooked roast beef.
- Toast the sandwich bread if desired.
- Spread mayo and layer roast beef on the bread.
- Add cheese or other toppings and place under broiler until melted.
- Serve up with the drippings as an au jus dipping sauce. Strain it if needed.
Amber S. says
My kids request this for b-day dinners!
Do you cover last stage
Are you talking about the oven method? You do not need to cover. You need to seal the lid of pressure cooker method.
Amber Sorrough says
So tender & flavorful! This is not only a win all around but a request/Demand for me to make lol
How large a roast did you use and what cut of beef was this? Chuck?
Chuck roast, or any roast that looks good in your specific grocery store. And because the pressure cooker cooks based on size you can get a roast that is as big or small that will fit your needs.
my whole fmaily devoured the entire roast. delicious,