When it comes to satisfying and comforting meals, few things rival the appeal of a hearty sandwich. When I’m in L.A., I have to have Cole’s French Dip Sandwich, but when I’m at home, this spot-on copycat version is just as delicious. This hearty sandwich features a flavorful combination of tender beef, melted cheese, and a rich dipping sauce that will have you coming back for more. It’s the perfect solution for when you want a delicious, fulfilling meal without the need for complicated cooking.

Copycat Cole's French Dip Sandwich on a white plate.

What’s a French Dip Sandwich?

The beef dip sandwich, often known as the French dip, is a classic American creation with a somewhat disputed history. It is widely believed to have originated in Los Angeles in the early 20th century. Philippe Mathieu, the founder of Philippe the Original, claims to have accidentally invented the sandwich in 1918 when he dropped a French roll into a roasting pan filled with beef drippings. Another claim comes from Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet, which asserts that a chef there made the first French dip by dipping the bread in the beef drippings to soften it for a customer with sore gums.

Super easy to make at home, sometimes I’ll smoke eye of round and thinly slice it for the most mouthwatering sandwich, or sometimes I’ll slow-cook a roast just for slicing. Leftover rib roast also works well, but if you’re in a pinch, deli-sliced roast beef is just as good.

Copycat Cole's French Dip Sandwich served on a white rectangular plate.

What I Love About the Copycat Cole’s Beef Dip Sandwich

  • It’s a quick and easy meal that’s as good for lunch as it is for dinner. With a side of fries, salad, or chips, it’s a full meal.
  • Who can resist dunking the bread into the rich jus? I can’t! 
  • It’s easy to make and uses simple ingredients you likely already have.

Ingredients

  • Thinly sliced roast beef – Deli sliced is just fine.
  • Hoagie rolls Or French baguettes.
  • Shredded Swiss – or provolone cheese.
  • Beef au jus sauce – Prepared according to the package directions.

How To Make The Copycat Cole’s Beef Dip Sandwich

  1. Prepare the beef au jus packet according to the package directions, then when bubbling, turn off the heat.
  2. Add the sliced beef to the jus to let it warm through.
  3. Slice the hoagie rolls or baguettes in half. Layer the warm roast beef evenly over the bottom half of each roll. Let the jus drip off back into the saucepan so the sandwich isn’t too soggy.
  4. Top with the shredded cheese. Place the open-faced sandwiches on a baking sheet.
  5. Broil under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly crispy.
  6. Remove the sandwiches from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with the warm dipping sauce on the side.

Heather’s Tried-And-True Tips

  • Use leftover roast beef or slow-cooked beef for a richer flavor and more tender texture.
  • If you like a bit of spice, add a few slices of jalapeño or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Toast the bread lightly before assembling the sandwich to prevent it from becoming too soggy.
  • Serve with a small cup of beef broth or au jus on the side for dipping.
  • For a more indulgent sandwich, add an extra layer of cheese.

Recommended

Make It A Meal

To make your Copycat Cole’s Beef Dip Sandwich a complete meal, consider serving it with a side of crispy French fries or a fresh green salad. A bowl of warm soup, such as tomato or vegetable, also pairs wonderfully with this hearty sandwich. For a lighter option, try serving it with steamed vegetables or a simple coleslaw.

Sliced of Copycat Cole's French Dip Sandwich with fries and dip on a white plate.

Storage

If you have leftovers, store the meat in the jus in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the meat like this. Assembled sandwiches won’t keep well – they’ll get super soggy. This dish is best eaten fresh.

Copycat Cole's French Dip Sandwich on a white plate.

Copycat Cole’s French Dip Sandwich

Heather S.
From L.A. to your kitchen, get a bite of the sandwich that started the dipping revolution: Cole's French Dip Sandwich is beefy, delicious, and so easy to make at hom!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 425 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound thinly sliced roast beef Deli sliced is just fine.
  • 4 hoagie rolls or French baguettes
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss or provolone cheese
  • 1 packet beef au jus sauce prepared according to the package directions

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the beef au jus packet according to the package directions, then when bubbling, turn off the heat.
  • Add the sliced beef to the jus to let it warm through.
  • Slice the hoagie rolls or baguettes in half. Layer the warm roast beef evenly over the bottom half of each roll. Let the jus drip off back into the saucepan so the sandwich isn’t too soggy.
  • Top with the shredded cheese. Place the open-faced sandwiches on a baking sheet.
  • Broil under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly crispy.
  • Remove the sandwiches from the oven and let them cool for a couple of minutes before serving. Serve with the warm dipping sauce on the side.

Notes

Heather’s Tried-And-True Tips

  • Use leftover roast beef or slow-cooked beef for a richer flavor and more tender texture.
  • If you like a bit of spice, add a few slices of jalapeño or a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Toast the bread lightly before assembling the sandwich to prevent it from becoming too soggy.
  • Serve with a small cup of beef broth or au jus on the side for dipping.
  • For a more indulgent sandwich, add an extra layer of cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwichCalories: 425kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 39gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 2509mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 224IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 564mgIron: 13mg
Keyword french dip, sandwich
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