Easy Slow Cooker French Dip

Easy Slow Cooker French Dip is an easy slow cooker meal! Thin sliced roast beef in a savory beefy au jus sauce makes the best French Dip you will ever eat! Load the delicious meat on a soft hoagie bun with some swiss or provolone cheese and you have the best French Dip sandwich with minimal effort!

French Dip sandwich with onions sitting next to a dish of au jus sauce for dipping

Start to Finish – How long will this take?

This easy French Dip is so fast to make! You can have it ready to cook in minutes. Once you have all of the ingredients in the slow cooker, you can choose to let it cook longer on low or a bit faster on high. The roast beef is already cooked and ready to eat so all you need to do is heat it.

If you cook it on low you will need to let it cook for about 4 hours. In the recipe I put 4-6 hours because slow cookers can cook differently. But mine has always been heated in 4 hours or under on low!

If you decide to heat it faster on high, then it should be ready in about 2 hours.

thin sliced roast beef and onions in a slow cooker for easy French Dip

The Roast Beef for Slow Cooker French Dip

This easy French Dip in the slow cooker recipe is crazy-simple but does not lack in flavor! The meat is easy to find, (no fancy cuts of meat required) just tasty roast beef.

To make this recipe simple, I use sandwich meat! I prefer thin sliced roast beef. You can do thicker sliced roast beef if you prefer, it will not really make any difference.

Depending on what I can find in my store, I usually have to buy several smaller containers of the roast beef to get close to the 2 pounds needed. For some reason the roast beef never comes in larger containers like the turkey and ham. So I buy several smaller containers to get as close to the 2 pounds as I can. I really like Hillshire Farms Ultra-Thin Roast Beef (not getting paid to say that), and that brand seems to be easy to find!

package of roast beef used for Easy French Dip sandwiches

If you prefer fresh sliced roast beef from your deli counter, you can use that in place of pre-packaged containers.

TIP: Separate each slice of roast beef as you add it to your slow cooker so each piece of meat is heated through and can soak up the savory flavors of the sauce. If you have a smaller slow cooker, when you add your roast beef to the au jus gravy it will seem like there is too much meat. Just gently press the meat down in the sauce. The meat will settle in and soak up the yummy flavors and even shrink a little as it cooks! (Make sure you hands are clean or use a large spoon).

The Au Jus Sauce for French Dip

For that tasty sauce/gravy the meat cooks in, you will need 2 packets of Brown Gravy mix and 2 packets of Au Jus Gravy mix. I prefer McCormick brand (not getting paid to say that), but you can use any brand you like.

DO NOT MIX THE GRAVY PACKETS ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PACKET. IGNORE THE INSTRUCTIONS, WE WILL MIX IT UP DIFFERENT! NOTE: There will be excess au jus after cooking- this can be used for dipping!

Cheese for the French Dip Sandwich

Swiss and Provolone cheese are my favorite cheeses to use for my Easy Slow Cooker French Dip sandwiches. Pepper Jack cheese is yummy, and so is Monterey Jack or even Mozzarella cheese. You can use whatever you like best!

a hoagie bun with sliced provolone cheese on it

Hoagie Rolls/Sub Rolls

Every French Dip Sandwich needs a delicious Hoagie or Submarine Roll to stack that yummy savory beef on. Check out your local bakery or your favorite grocery store bakery and get some soft but chewy rolls.

I prefer a chewier roll that can hold up under the au jus sauce. The meat is a bit wet from the sauce when you add it to the roll, so a soft roll will get mushy faster and not hold up as well.

Optional Add-Ins/Toppings

I always slice up a yellow onion and add it to the roast beef and sauce and let it cook in the slow cooker. The soft onions soak up the yummy savory sauce and are delicious added to my sandwich.

You can also add some thin sliced peppers to the slow cooker along with the onions. Also sliced mushrooms can be tasty. If adding mushrooms make sure they are added the last 5 minutes of heating time. If they are in the hot slow cooker too long they will go mushy and yucky!

thin sliced yellow onions added to the roast beef for French Dip

Making your French Dip Sandwich

After the meat has heated through, you are ready to assemble your sandwich. You can easily just put the meat and cheese on your sandwich, but I like to do a little extra work to make it the BEST French Dip ever!

I slice my bun and spread some butter on each half. I add my cheese on top of the butter. Into my oven it goes to broil for a few minutes to melt the butter and cheese. Watch the buns closely! They will burn easily.

After the cheese is melted, then you can add your thin sliced roast beef and onions (if you added onions).

roast beef and onions added to a hoagie bun with melted cheese

Your sandwich is ready to eat! I love to have a little side of au jus to dip my sandwich in.

a plate with a French Dip sandwich on it and a small dish of au jus sauce for dipping

The perfect Easy French Dip is tasty on its own, but a side salad, some potato chips, French fries or tater tots are always fabulous along side this yummy sandwich!

For some other fast and easy meals try my Slow Cooker Penne Pasta, My Slow Cooker Two-Sauce Pasta, my Soda Pop Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, or my Slow Cooker Farmer Style Ribs.


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Easy Slow Cooker French Dip

French Dip cooked in your slow cooker for the perfect savory roast beef!
**This recipe will give you about 6-8 sandwiches, depending on how much meat you put in each sandwich.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword French Dip, Roast Beef, sandwich, slow cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6 servings
Author Beth, The Butcher’s Wife

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. thin sliced Roast Beef see notes
  • 2 (1 ounce each) packets Brown Gravy Mix *I prefer McCormick Brand – IGNORE THE PACKET INSTRUCTIONS
  • 2 (1 ounce each) packets Au Jus Sauce Mix *I prefer McCormick Brand – IGNORE THE PACKET INSTRUCTIONS
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in half, and sliced thin (OPTIONAL) see notes
  • 6 to 8 Hoagie or Submarine Rolls/Buns
  • Provolone or Swiss Cheese, sliced *or any cheese of your choice
  • butter, for spreading on the buns for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, or in your slow cooker, add your cold water and gravy packets and whisk it together so there are no lumps. Pour the sauce into your slow cooker if you did not mix in your slow cooker.
    **Ignore the packet instructions for adding water!!! Follow this recipe! There will be extra sauce/liquid after cooking, you can use this extra au jus for dipping!
  • Add your roast beef to the slow cooker. Separate each slice of roast beef as you add it to the slow cooker so it will cook and heat evenly.
    **If you have a smaller slow cooker, it will look super full of meat. After adding all of the roast beef, press the meat in to the gravy mixture so it is mostly covered. The meat shrinks a bit and settles in the sauce as it cooks!
  • Add your sliced onion to the meat and gravy/sauce if you are adding onions. If adding peppers add them as well.
    **If you are adding mushrooms, wait and add them to the slow cooker the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • The meat just needs heated through and given time to soak up the savory flavor of the gravy and au jus. Cook the roast beef on low for 4-6 hours. (Mine never needs 6 hours and is always done after 4 hours or less). Or on high for 2-3 hours.
    Using tongs, gently stir the meat half way through cooking if you can. (Not super important but if you can, do it!)
  • When you are ready to eat, set your oven to BROIL at 450°. Slice your rolls in half. Spread some butter on each half of the roll and top with your cheese ( I always use at least 2 slices). Let the rolls broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted to your liking. Watch them closely so they don't burn!
    **This is optional. You do not have to broil your buns in the oven to melt the cheese!  You can just slice your buns, add the cheese and top it with the roast beef!
  • Once the cheese is melted, add the meat and onions (optional) to each sandwich. Get a small dish of the au jus sauce for dipping if desired!
  • This French Dip can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for about 3 days and can be reheated in your microwave!

Notes

I buy pre-packaged roast beef sandwich meat from the refrigerated section at my grocery store.  I can’t always find it in a 2 lb. container. I usually have to buy 4 smaller containers (they are 7 ounces each) to get close to 2 pounds.  I prefer Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin Roast Beef, but any brand will work.  It doesn’t have to be thin sliced- get what you prefer!
You can also get fresh sliced roast beef from your deli counter.
I love to add a yellow onion to my slow cooker and let it cook with the meat.  This is optional.  You can also add in peppers and mushrooms. If adding mushrooms add them in the last 5 minutes of cooking so they don’t end up mushy!
I prefer Swiss or Provolone cheese, but any cheese is great!
You do not have to broil your buns in the oven to melt the cheese!  You can just slice your buns, add the cheese and top it with the roast beef!

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