Slow Cooker French Dip

Slow cooker French dip is an easy approach to a weeknight dinner made with flank steak and caramelized onions in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. Folks will be declaring it the best.

Three slow cooker French dip sandwiches on a cutting board

These slow cooker french dip sandwiches are easy to make, yes, but they also make it easy for the cook to keep everyone at the dinner table happy. No small feat. Simply toss everything in the slow cooker in the morning and come home later to tender shredded beef and silken caramelized onions that you heap on toasted rolls. It’s a classic roast beef au jus sandwich save for the fact that it’s made in the slow cooker and with flank steak rather than pot roast, taking advantage of a cut of meat with an impressively robust taste and a texture that becomes surprisingly tender when subjected to low and slow heat.–Angie Zoobkoff

Slow Cooker French Dip

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 30 M
  • 8 H
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Special Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker



In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, brown sugar, salt, cumin, paprika, pepper, and garlic until a paste forms. Rub the paste onto both sides of the steak, using all the mixture. Place the onion slices in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and top with the steak. It’ll probably be necessary to cut the steak into chunks to fit the slow cooker. Pour in the beer and soy sauce and add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW until the steak is tender, 7 to 8 hours. The steak steak will be more sliceable around 7 hours and more falling apart around 8 hours.

Transfer the steak and onions to a platter, reserving the cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover the steak and onions with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Strain the reserved cooking liquid into a large liquid measuring cup, discarding the solids. Note how much cooking liquid you have. Transfer it to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. If you have less than 2 cups liquid, immediately remove the pan from the heat. If you have more than 2 cups of liquid, simmer until the liquid reduces to about 2 cups and then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water.

Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan off the heat and whisk until blended. Return the pan to medium-high and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Taste and, if desired, adjust the salt and pepper accordingly.

Using a couple forks, shred the steak.

Divvy the shredded steak and onions among the toasted rolls. If desired, top with pickled red onion. Pour the sauce, or jus, into dipping bowls and serve on the side with the sandwiches.

Print RecipeBuy the Everyday Slow Cooker cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Slow cooker meals certainly can’t be easier and this one has made the top of my list for convenient and super tasty dinners! The onions caramelized and cooked down until they were meltingly jammy and the rich beefy sauce had such a wonderful umami flavor that infused the beef and onions so perfectly. I love the beefy flavor of flank steak but would never have guessed it could transform itself into having such a juicy and tender texture.

I cooked the steak on the low setting for 8 hours and the steak was falling apart into shreds. I only ended up with about 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid so I opted not to reduce the liquids down further, and just got the sauce to boil in a saucepan, added the cornstarch slurry, and let it simmer for a minute to thicken up. Done!

Then I buttered and toasted some deli hoagie rolls in a skillet and served the shredded beef, onions, and sauce on the rolls along with a side arugula salad with a bracing vinaigrette and dinner was fabulous!!!

This dinner will be making repeat performances. I’ll add 2 onions the next time because they cook down so much. You can never have enough silky caramelized onions on a juicy shredded beef sandwich. So good!!!

This was a delicious and easy meal, perfect for a day when there’s not much time for cooking. The slow cooker makes all this possible. It's perfect for a cold winter evening meal or for a summer dinner on the deck.

On some of the sandwiches, I melted some provolone cheese on top—because everything is better with cheese!


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  1. I must have done something wrong. It had a strange Thai chili sauce flavor. Very sweet though. With the chili kick. I followed the directions to the T. Loved the ease and cooking style. The meat was so tender and the onions were luscious!! I guess I just expected a more meaty, savory flavor. Any suggestions? No knocking the recipe!!! I think it was user error.

    1. Peggy, I’m not sure what would have given it that sort of flavor. If you found it very sweet, I’d cut back on the sugar. What type/brand of beer did you use?

  2. This flank steak sandwich was pure comfort food and easy to boot. I followed one of the tester’s suggestions and cut my flank steak in half to make the bites more manageable. Although I’m not usually a big steak sandwich person, the meat in this sandwich was the perfect texture to put between 2 slices of bread and the dipping sauce elevated this to a new level. My son, who likes things a bit more spicy, added a dollop of jalapeno sauce to his dipping sauce. I’m on an Instant Pot roll these days so I used the slow cooker function on the IP and the meat was done in 4 hours. This would be a great game day sandwich.

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