Made with tender Instant Pot Shredded Beef piled on a garlic-toasted bun with cheese, and served with a rich au jus, Instant Pot French Dips are the ultimate sandwich and come together with only minutes of prep!
When it comes to making tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth beef, nothing is faster than the Instant Pot. From Instant Pot Pot Roast to Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup to Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage to Instant Pot Short Ribs to Instant Pot French Dips, these recipes prove that pressure-cooking beef produces amazing results.
Reasons to Love Instant Pot French Dips
- Insanely Delicious. Made with super tender beef piled on a garlic-toasted bun, smothered in gooey cheese, and served with a side of rich au jus for dipping, French Dips are a beef sandwich that is rich, savory, and nuanced in flavor.
- Family Favorite Dinner. When Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches are on the menu everyone gets excited for dinner, even the picky eaters!
- Easy Flavorful Instant Pot Recipe. With only minutes of prep work for the cook, and rave reviews from the family, these Instant Pot French Dips will quickly become a favorite.
Ingredients for Instant Pot French Dips
- Beef Roast: I strongly recommend chuck roast for this recipe. A bottom-round roast, sirloin roast, or top-round roast will work but will not become as tender as a chuck roast.
- Beef Stock: Use low-sodium beef stock or broth to help control the added sodium in this recipe. There is a lot of liquid in this recipe. Do not be tempted to cut back on the amount used. Not only does it create a delicious dipping sauce for the French Dips, but it also keeps the beef super moist and the cooking time was calculated using the full 4 cups of beef.
- Onion & Garlic: Garlic and onion add to the flavor of the au jus and beef.
- Soy Sauce: Don't be tempted to omit the soy sauce from these French Dip Sandwiches, that extra flavor adds just the right umami flavor.
- Buns: Use hoagie or sub rolls for an authentic French Dip, but in a bind use hot dog or hamburger buns. Parenting Tip: Use hot dog buns for smaller appetites!
- Butter: Spreading the buns with butter
- Provolone Cheese: Use thick sliced provolone cheese for a thick, gooey layer of cheese. Swiss cheese is a good substitute.
- Gluten-Free French Dip Sandwiches: Use tamari in place of soy sauce and your favorite gluten-free bun. It is best practice to check to ensure your beef stock or beef broth is gluten-free as well, as this can vary from brand to brand.
- Swap Mayo for Butter: For richer results, try swapping out the butter for mayonnaise when toasting the sandwiches.
- Dairy-Free Modification: Use mayonnaise in place of butter for toasting the buns and omit the sliced cheese from the sandwiches.
How to Make Instant Pot French Dips
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post or follow along as I make this dish in the video below.
Step One: Sear Chuck Roast. Searing the meat adds texture to shredded beef, in turn adding texture to the French Dip.
Step Two: Deglaze Pan. In order to prevent a burn notice, it is crucial to scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot. This is easiest if you remove the roast first.
Step Three: Layer Ingredients. Add the remaining beef stock, sliced onion, garlic, and soy sauce to the inner pot. Nestle the seared beef into the stock.
Step Four: Pressure Cook. The amount of time this recipe needs to pressure cook is based on the size of your chuck roast. The beef needs to cook for 20 minutes per pound with a full natural pressure release to stay tender.
Step Five: Shred Meat. Once pressure has been released, remove the cooked roast from the inner pot, place it in a large mixing bowl, and shred it with two forks. It should fall apart.
Step Six: Reduce Au Jus. While assembling the French Dips, allow the rich cooking liquid to reduce and intensify in flavor, by turning the Instant Pot to Saute and letting the liquid simmer.
Step Seven: Toast the buns. To prevent the buns from getting soggy, it is best to toast them before layering the beef and cheese on the bun. For added flavor, spread the buns with softened butter. Once toasted, rub the buns with a garlic glove.
Step 8: Assemble French Dips. Layer the toasted buns with the shredded beef and sliced cheese and briefly return to the oven to melt the cheese.
Storing & Reheating Instructions
- Refrigerate: To keep the beef from drying out, it is best to store any leftover shredded meat together with the leftover au jus. Allow both to cool slightly, transfer them to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freeze: Allow the beef and au jus to cool fully, then transfer both to a freezer-safe container, leaving 2 inches for expansion, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: To prepare a French Dip Sandwich using the leftover beef and au jus, allow the meat to defrost overnight in the refrigerator if needed. Then warm the beef with the au jus in a saucepan over low heat on the stove or in a heat-safe dish in 1-minute intervals in the microwave until warmed through. Strain off the liquid from the beef, reserving for dipping, and assemble the sandwiches as directed.
A chuck roast is the best type of beef roast to use when making French Dips. The marbling in the beef will render out as the roast pressure cooks, flavoring the au jus and resulting in incredibly tender beef. A bottom-round roast, sirloin roast, or top-round roast will work but will not become as tender as a chuck roast.
No! While searing the beef adds flavor and texture to the French Dip, it is not necessary. If you are on a time crunch or your beef is frozen, skip this step.
One of the many reasons I love using my Instant Pot to prepare these French Dips is that it can be made using a frozen chuck roast. To do so, skip searing the meat and cook for 30 minutes per pound, instead of 20 minutes per pound.
Yes! Sear the meat in a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat on the stove in 1 tablespoon oil. Once seared on all sides, place the roast into the slow cooker with the broth, garlic, onion, and soy sauce. Cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 9-10 hours. Shred the meat and assemble the sandwiches as the recipe directs.
Yes! To speed up the cooking time, cut your chuck roast into large 2-inch chunks. Skip searing the beef and cook for 30 minutes on high pressure with a full natural pressure release.
More Instant Pot Recipes Using Chuck Roast
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Italian Beef
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon
- Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa
Please be sure to leave a comment and review below if you gave these Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches a try.
Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches
- 3 pound chuck roast
- kosher salt and pepper
- ½ tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 3 cloves garlic divided
- 1 small onion thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 8 hoagie buns
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened optional
- 16 slices provolone cheese
- Hit Saute on the Instant Pot, add oil, and let heat. While the oil is heating, season the chuck roast liberally on each side with salt and pepper. Once the oil is heated, add the seasoned roast to the inner pot and sear on each side until golden, about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Once the roast is evenly seared, turn the instant pot off by hitting cancel, and remove the roast to a plate. Pour 1 cup of the beef stock into the inner pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the inner pot.
- Pour in the remaining 3 cups of stock. Add in 2 garlic cloves, sliced onions, and the soy sauce to the pressure cooker. Return the seared beef to the inner pot.
- Place the lid on the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is pointed towards sealed. Set to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes per pound. For a 3-pound roast, this is 60 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release for AT LEAST 10 minutes, but 15-20 minutes is best, before manually releasing pressure.
- Remove the roast from the inner pot, place it into a large mixing bowl, and turn the pressure cooker back to saute. (Hit Cancel/Off THEN Saute). Let the cooking liquid reduce with the instant pot open. so that it intensifies in flavor and reduces slightly. While the au jus simmers, shred the beef with two forks.
- Place the rolls, opened, on a sheet pan. Spread a light layer of butter or drizzle with olive oil. Toast for 5 minutes in a 400-degree F oven or carefully and quickly using a broiler until just browned. Remove the rolls from the oven and rub the garlic clove over the inside of the roll.
- Layer meat and 2 slices of cheese on each roll and return to the oven until cheese melts, cooking for about 3 minutes.
- Turn off the saute function on the inner pot. Lade up the au jus into bowls, straining first if desired. Serve with the french dips.
This post was originally published in 2017 but was updated in 2020 with a new video and tips.