French Dip Sandwiches

  • 20MINS
  • 50MINS
  • 503KCAL

These indulgent, slimming friendly French Dip Sandwiches are a great meal whether you're counting calories or following Weight Watchers!

Easy Peasy French Dip Sandwiches pinchofnom.com
4

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories503
  • Carbs41g
  • Protein42g
  • Fat17g
  • Saturates5.8g
  • Sugars15g

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card below. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb!

These indulgent, slimming friendly French Dip Sandwiches are a great meal if you’re counting calories or following a plan like Weight Watchers.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of a French Dip Sandwich before, it’s a warm, glorious mess of pulled beef, usually with melted cheese, in a sub roll.  It’s served with a pot of the meat juices which you dip the sandwich into.

This has been a popular American dish for decades but, like most American dishes, it’s quite heavy on the fat and calories.  We love French Dip Sandwiches so much, however, that we knew we had to create a slimming friendly version!

We’ve used lean brisket with any visible fat trimmed off, but as you cook this recipe in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker, most cuts of beef will work well!

What diets are these French Dip Sandwiches suitable for?

This French Dip Sandwiches recipe can be made dairy free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for dairy free versions; 

  • Reduced fat cheddar

It can also be made gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free alternatives;

  • Beef stock cube
  • Worcestershire sauce

(The Schar Ciabatta Rolls are gluten free already, so you won’t need to replace these.)

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this French Dip Sandwiches recipe?

  • You need to count 13 Points per portion of this French Dip Sandwiches recipe if you’re on WW Green. 
  • You need to count 13 Points per portion of this French Dip Sandwiches recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 13 Points per portion of this French Dip Sandwiches recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

Do you need any special ingredients to make French Dip Sandwiches?

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The most important tool to make these French Dip Sandwiches is either a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. The meat needs to be tender and falling apart once cooked, and both of these kitchen tools can achieve that.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker or are looking to upgrade, why not invest on a multi cooker?

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The beauty of a multi cooker like the Instant Pot is that you can use it for slow cooking as well as pressure cooking!  In our opinion it is far superior to the other electric pressure cookers around and you can read our review and find out more about the Instant Pot here.

You can purchase an Instant Pot on Amazon here.

To make the gravy for these French Dip Sandwiches you will also need a Hand Blender. The one we used for this recipe is available on Amazon. This is a great choice because the hand blender attachment is metal which doesn’t stain and can be used in hot liquids. 

How many calories are in these French Dip Sandwiches?

There are 503 calories per portion in this French Dip Sandwiches, which means it falls into our Special Occasion category. 

To cut down the amount of calories even more, you can simply halve the portion size and serve with a healthy accompaniment.

These French Dip Sandwiches are perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fit well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers. 

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Instant pot/pressure cooker instructions

Step 1

Take your beef and trim all the visible fat. The easiest way to do this is with scissors. It is a little time consuming but important to keep this dish slimline. Cut the now lean beef into a few smaller pieces.

Step 2

Roughly slice the onions. They don’t need to be finely chopped.

Step 3

Add the beef, onions, garlic, onion granules, Worcestershire sauce, stock cube, diet coke, balsamic vinegar and mustard powder to the Instant Pot.

Step 4

Lock the lid onto the pot, make sure the release valve is turned to the ‘sealed’ position and press ‘Pressure Cook’. The pressure should be set to normal and you will need to set the time to 50 minutes.

Step 5

When the Instant Pot beeps that is is finished, move the release valve to quick release (watch your face and hands, there will be hot steam!). In this time cut your rolls in half and grate the cheese ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Step 6

When the pressure is fully released take the lid off the pot and carefully remove the pieces of beef. Place them into a separate bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Place some foil over it to keep it warm.

Step 7

Take your hand blender and whizz up the onions and liquid left in the Instant Pot. If you like your gravy thicker you can switch your Instant Pot to ‘Saute’ and reduce it down further.

Step 8

Assemble the sandwiches by cutting the rolls in half and splitting the beef and cheese between the four rolls. You can put the rolls under a hot grill for a minute to melt the cheese if you want – just make sure not to burn the bread!

Step 9

Pour the gravy into ramekins and serve with the warm sandwiches.

Slow cooker instructions

Step 1

Take your beef and trim all the visible fat. The easiest way to do this is with scissors. It is a little time consuming but important to keep this dish slimline. Cut the now lean beef into a small pieces. Chunks are about the size of a match box work well in the slow cooker.

Step 2

Roughly slice the onions. They don’t need to be finely chopped.

Step 3

Add the beef to a frying pan sprayed with low calorie cooking spray. Fry the beef for a few minutes to brown the surface.

Step 4

Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside. Now add the sliced onions with a little water and soften them over a low heat for a few minutes.

Step 5

Add the onions, beef, garlic, onion granules, Worcestershire sauce, stock cube, diet coke, balsamic vinegar and mustard powder to the slow cooker.

Step 6

Set the slow cooker to high and place the lid on. Cook for around 6 hours.

Step 7

When the slow cooking is completed carefully remove the pieces of beef. Place them into a separate bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Place some foil over it to keep it warm.

Step 8

Take your hand blender and whizz up the onions and liquid left in the slow cooker. If you like your gravy thicker you can reduce the liquid further in a saucepan on the hob.

Step 9

Assemble the sandwiches by cutting the rolls in half and splitting the beef and cheese between the four rolls. You can put the rolls under a hot grill for a minute to melt the cheese if you want – just make sure not to burn the bread!

Step 10

Pour the gravy into ramekins and serve with the warm sandwiches.

What could I serve with this French Dip Sandwiches?

These French Dip Sandwiches are a great lunch dish on their own and also work perfectly with any of the following accompaniments:

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How do you know when these French Dip Sandwiches are cooked?

You should cook these French Dip Sandwiches for 50 minutes in the pressure cooker or 6 hours on high in the slow cooker.  The meat should be soft enough to shred with forks.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe. 

Can you cook these French Dip Sandwiches any other way?

Yes you can!

We’ve used the pressure cooker function on the Instant Pot for this recipe which takes around 50 minutes to cook.

You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker which will take around 6 hours on a high setting.

How long can you keep French Dip Sandwiches in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of French Dip Sandwiches in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so. 

Can I freeze these French Dip Sandwiches?

Yes you can! The beef and gravy for this recipe can be frozen separately ready to use in sandwiches at a later date, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
  • Defrost thoroughly before reheating.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer! 

How do I reheat these French Dip Sandwiches?

From chilled: Place the beef and gravy in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.

From frozen: Allow to defrost, and then heat the beef and gravy covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes, then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.

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French Dip Sandwiches

These indulgent, slimming friendly French Dip Sandwiches are a great meal whether you're counting calories or following Weight Watchers!
  • Prep Time
    20 MINS
  • Cook Time
    50 MINS
  • KCals 503
  • Carbs 41G
WW Points
  • 13 Green
  • 13 Blue
  • 13 Purple

Ingredients

  • 500 g beef
  • 500 g onion sliced roughly
  • 4 Schar Ciabatta Rolls
  • 80 g reduced fat cheddar
  • 400 ml diet coke
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp garlic granules
  • 2 tbsp onion granules
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • low calorie cooking spray

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Click here for our oven temperature conversion guide.

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Instructions

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
  1. Take your beef and trim all the visible fat. The easiest way to do this is with scissors. It is a little time consuming but important to keep this dish slimline. Cut the now lean beef into a few smaller pieces.
  2. Roughly slice the onions. They don't need to be finely chopped.
  3. Add the beef, onions, garlic, onion granules, Worcestershire sauce, stock cube, diet coke, balsamic vinegar and mustard powder to the Instant Pot.
  4. Lock the lid onto the pot, make sure the release valve is turned to the 'sealed' position and press 'Pressure Cook'. The pressure should be set to normal and you will need to set the time to 50 minutes.
  5. When the Instant Pot beeps that is is finished, move the release valve to quick release (watch your face and hands, there will be hot steam!). In this time cut your rolls in half and grate the cheese ready to assemble the sandwiches.
  6. When the pressure is fully released take the lid off the pot and carefully remove the pieces of beef. Place them into a separate bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Place some foil over it to keep it warm.
  7. Take your hand blender and whizz up the onions and liquid left in the Instant Pot. If you like your gravy thicker you can switch your Instant Pot to 'Saute' and reduce it down further.
  8. Assemble the sandwiches by cutting the rolls in half and splitting the beef and cheese between the four rolls. You can put the rolls under a hot grill for a minute to melt the cheese if you want - just make sure not to burn the bread!
  9. Pour the gravy into ramekins and serve with the warm sandwiches.
Slow Cooker
  1. Take your beef and trim all the visible fat. The easiest way to do this is with scissors. It is a little time consuming but important to keep this dish slimline. Cut the now lean beef into a small pieces. Chunks are about the size of a match box work well in the slow cooker.
  2. Roughly slice the onions. They don't need to be finely chopped.
  3. Add the beef to a frying pan sprayed with low calorie cooking spray. Fry the beef for a few minutes to brown the surface.
  4. Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside. Now add the sliced onions with a little water and soften them over a low heat for a few minutes.
  5. Add the onions, beef, garlic, onion granules, Worcestershire sauce, stock cube, diet coke, balsamic vinegar and mustard powder to the slow cooker.
  6. Set the slow cooker to high and place the lid on. Cook for around 6 hours.
  7. When the slow cooking is completed carefully remove the pieces of beef. Place them into a separate bowl and shred the meat with two forks. Place some foil over it to keep it warm.
  8. Take your hand blender and whizz up the onions and liquid left in the slow cooker. If you like your gravy thicker you can reduce the liquid further in a saucepan on the hob.
  9. Assemble the sandwiches by cutting the rolls in half and splitting the beef and cheese between the four rolls. You can put the rolls under a hot grill for a minute to melt the cheese if you want - just make sure not to burn the bread!
  10. Pour the gravy into ramekins and serve with the warm sandwiches.

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15 comments

See what others have to say

anne parrWednesday 31st July 2019

Hi Where to I get Schar ciabatta rolls from? I don’t know if you can get from supermarkets….thank you.

Reply

    Emma TWednesday 25th September 2019

    Hi Anne,

    Most large supermarket stock them – you can find them in the “free from” aisle ????

    Reply

JeanetteSaturday 15th June 2019

Hi, just wondering if i freeze the extra and defrosted them later in the week would the gravy and beef be ok heated in the microwave?
Just wondered if i could take this for lunch for work i’ve got access to a microwave but no oven ????

Reply

    Emma TThursday 20th June 2019

    Hi Jeanette,

    Yes, the meat and gravy is good to freeze, and then reheat in the microwave once defrosted. Perhaps bake and take the roll separately so it doesn’t get soggy!

    Reply

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