Instant Pot French Dip Sandwiches

updated Mar 2, 2020
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French Dip Sandwiches
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Credit: Photo: Christine Han; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

The French Dip, also known as a beef dip, is a hot sandwich made with thinly sliced roasted beef on a French roll or baguette. The hot beef is often topped with Swiss cheese and caramelized or griddled onions, and the beef drippings are used to make a jus, which becomes a dipping sauce for the sandwich, softening the crusty bun.

Making a classic French Dip is quite a process, since you have to slowly roast the beef in the oven and make a homemade jus. That’s why we created this Instant Pot version. It’s not traditional, but it’s certainly easier and dirties fewer dishes, because every component comes together in the pressure cooker.

What is a French Dip Sandwich?

Despite its name, the French dip was actually born in Los Angeles — though it’s up for debate which restaurant, Cole’s or Philippe’s, developed the sandwich first. Cole’s claims they created the sandwich in 1908 for a customer who had bad gums. In order for the customer to be able to eat the crusty sandwich bread, the head chef softened the bread with the jus from the roast beef before serving. Philippe’s says the sandwich was created by their own Philippe Mathieu in 1918, who accidentally dropped the French bread into the jus when making a sandwich for a policeman. The policeman loved the sandwich, and the rest is history.

Regardless of which story is true, the French dip remains one of the most popular comfort food sandwiches, especially in cold winter months.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Check out our recipe for Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches.

French Dip Sandwiches

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 1 hour 25 minutes

Makes 4 to 6 sandwiches

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2

    medium yellow onions

  • 3 cloves


  • 1 teaspoon

    fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1

    (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    beef broth, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    all-purpose flour

  • 2 to 3


  • 12 to 18 slices

    Swiss cheese (optional)


  1. Place 2 tablespoons unsalted butter on the counter to soften at room temperature. Thinly slice 2 medium yellow onions and mince 3 garlic cloves. Pick the leaves from fresh thyme sprigs until you have 1 teaspoon.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil with the Sauté setting in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker until shimmering. Season 1 (3-pound) tied boneless beef chuck roast with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add the beef to the pot and cook until deep golden brown on all sides, 7 to 9 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, adding the thyme and garlic during the last minute of cooking. Add 2 cups of the beef broth, scraping any browned bits up from the bottom of the pot. Return the chuck roast to the pot.

  4. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 60 minutes. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.

  5. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 cups beef broth to the pot and simmer on the Sauté function to let the sauce reduce for 10 minutes. While the sauce is reducing, mash the butter with 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour until a paste forms. Heat the broiler.

  6. When the sauce is reduced, whisk in the butter paste and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 2 to 3 baguettes into 6 (6-inch) pieces, then split each piece lengthwise to form sandwich rolls.

  7. Place the split rolls on a baking sheet. Place a few slices of Swiss cheese, if using, on the top half of each roll. Broil until lightly toasted and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Thinly slice the roast across the grain. Divide the beef between the baguettes and drizzle with some of the onion broth. Serve the onion broth on the side for dipping.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The leftover beef and broth can be refrigerated separately for up to 4 days.