Looking for an easy meal? Try these Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches. They’re simple, delicious, and make-ahead, so packed with flavor, that you’ll be sure to want seconds. If you want an all-day recipe, you can also prep the filling in the slow cooker.
Served with a cup of jus for dipping, these hot sandwiches are perfect for adding to your Fall List of Meals for Dinner. They’re super freezer-friendly, so don’t hesitate to make a bulk batch to stash for later.
It seems that the fall and winter are always busy months, aren’t they? The kids’ school days are full as are outside activities. After the lazy days of summer, work load tend to run heavier, and, well, as Calvin and Hobbes say, “The days are just packed.”
That’s when it’s so nice to have an easy, meal that you can throw in the instant pot or slow cooker to have ready at dinner time. Get bonus points when you can double (or triple) the recipe and have a few extras to stash in the freezer!
So it goes with this Instant Pot French Dip recipe that doubles as a cheap crockpot meal.
French Dip is one of favorite foods to eat at a restaurant that are just as good, if not better, made at home — as long as the jus is served on the side. (Sorry, no soggy bread lovers here.)
This version, made with boneless beef chuck roast, results in a seasoned beef with a slightly different texture than your traditional French Dip sandwich filling. Chuck roast tends to shred more than slice, but it makes for an ultimately tender filling.
Why Make This
It’s make ahead. One of the perks of this recipe is that you can easily make a bulk batch of the shredded beef with mushrooms and onions to stash in the freezer, making for a great freezer meal whenever you want.
It’s delicious. Crunchy garlic bread, topped with flavorful shredded beef all ready to dip into a seasoned broth? It’s a pretty delicious dinner any night of the week.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Instant Pot French Dip:
oil – Use whatever cooking oil you normally use to brown the beef and sauté the onion and mushrooms.
beef chuck roast – Choose roasts with limited chunks of fat but adequate marbling throughout for best flavor.
herbes de Provence – You can use your favorite seasoning, but I love this homemade spice blend for adding plenty of herby goodness.
onion – Onion adds flavor to the broth as well as to the sandwich filling. You can use leeks or shallots if that’s what you have.
mushrooms – If you love mushrooms, then you’ll appreciate their addition here. If you’re not a mushroom lover, feel free to leave them out.
beef broth – In the slow cooker, you won’t need much liquid, but the instant pot requires at least a cup of broth. I use beef broth, but you can also use chicken stock or water if that’s what you have.
garlic butter – Homemade garlic butter adds an extra layer of flavor on your sandwiches.
1. Sauté the meat.
Heat the oil in the pot of your pressure cooker on sauté. Brown the beef chunks in the hot oil, turning to sear all sides. Don’t crowd the meat cubes in the pan; you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
2. Sauté the mushrooms and onions.
Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the herbes de Provence seasoning and cook for another minute.
3. Add the beef broth.
Stir in the beef broth and cook, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
4. Cook the meat.
Add the meat back in. Stir well to combine. Secure the cover and close the pressure valve. Set the pressure cooker to manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Release the pressure when the cycle ends.
If you’re using the slow cooker, you can set it on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours.
5. Shred the meat.
The meat will be tender and shred easily. Shred the meat. Strain the juices through a fine mesh sieve.
6. Prepare the garlic bread.
Prepare the garlic butter. Split the buns lengthwise and spread with the garlic butter. Toast the rolls lightly, open faced.
7. Assemble the sandwiches.
Assemble the sandwiches, dividing the meat among the rolls and serving the strained jus on the side.
French dip sandwiches are made of seasoned beef in a French baguette or roll, typically served drenched in the cooking juices. If you prefer, you can have yours dry with the jus on the side. There’s some debate over which Los Angeles restaurant gets the credit, Philippe’s or Cole’s.
Both sandwiches are filled with seasoned beef and served with jus on the side. However, a hot Italian beef is often served with peppers or giardiniera.
The filling and jus for French dip sandwiches freeze beautifully as does the garlic bread, making this a great meal to batch cook and stash away for later.
To freeze: package the meat and jus in meal size containers and chill until completely cold prior to transferring to the freezer. Prep and freeze the garlic rolls.
To serve: thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat the meat and jus in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Broil the garlic bread and assemble the sandwiches as directed in the recipe.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- chuck roast – $7.98
- oil – $0.20
- onion – $0.40
- mushrooms – $1.99
- seasonings – $0.25
- garlic butter – $0.99
- sub rolls – $3.00
While your prices may vary depending on where you shop, you can expect to pay somewhere around $14.81 or $2.59 each.
To Save Even More
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chuck roast, onions and rolls, I snatch them up and plan my meals around them.
- Compare prices. Currently, I’m able to find chuck roast for about $3.99/pound.
More Great Hot Sandwiches
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French Dip Sandwiches (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker)
To make the French dip in the electric pressure cooker:
- Heat the oil in the pot of your pressure cooker on sauté. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Brown the beef chunks in the hot oil, turning to sear all sides. Don’t crowd the meat cubes in the pan; you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the meat to a bowl.
- Add the onion and mushrooms to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the herbes de Provence and cook for another minute. Stir in the beef broth and cook, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Add the meat back in. Stir well to combine.
- Secure the cover and close the pressure valve. Set the pressure cooker to manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Release the pressure when the cycle ends. The meat will be tender and shred easily.
To make the French dip in the slow cooker:
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Season the chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear the meat in the hot oil, turning to brown all sides. Remove the meat to the crock of a 5-qt slow cooker.
- In the drippings, cook the onion and mushrooms until tender. Add the vegetables to the slow cooker and add the beef broth.
- Set the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 8 hours or on HIGH for 6 hours.
To assemble the sandwiches:
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, and parsley. Spread this on the insides of all the rolls. Broil the open faced, garlic bread rolls until golden brown and crisp.
- When the meat is cooked, remove the jus from the crock with a ladle or baster. and strain it with a fine mesh sieve. Shred the meat and combine it with the cooked mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings and moisten with jus if needed.
- Fill the rolls with the meat mixture. Serve with the jus on the side.
This post was published on December 12, 2016. It has been updated for content and clarity.