Two restaurants claim responsibility for creating the french dip sandwich. Philippe Mathieu, the founder of Philippe the Original, believes he originated it in 1918 after accidentally dropping a sliced meat sandwich in a dripping-filled pan. The customer insisted on eating the sandwich, and the french dip was born (possibly).
Across town, several years prior, in 1908, Cole’s Restaurant asserts that they created the sandwich after a customer with sore gums requested the cook soften the thick french bread in meat drippings.
The origin of the french dip sandwich may be in dispute, but the deliciousness is not. This simple dinner is full of flavor and perfect for a weeknight. It can be as humble or decadent as you wish, and the same goes for side dishes.
It can be tricky to figure out the best side dishes for a hot roast beef sandwich. But don’t worry, we’ve got more than 20 great answers to the question, “what to serve with french dip sandwiches.”
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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What Is A French Dip Sandwich
An authentic french dip sandwich has three components, meat, bread, and au jus. The meat, typically roast beef but sometimes replaced with turkey, ham, or even lamb, is sliced extremely thin and placed on a thick loaf of french bread.
The bread texture is an essential component of the dish; it must be thick and crusty. French bread is typical.
Au jus is generally made from meat drippings and served alongside to soften the roll.
What Is The Best Meat For A French Dip Sandwich?
While almost any thinly sliced meat can make up a french dip sandwich, roast beef is favored.
As for the cut of meat, most recipes use boneless ribeye or sirloin. Both roast well and have lots of flavor.
Ribeye is more flavorful due to its higher fat content, but it’s also almost double the price of sirloin. Less expensive cuts like chuck or rump roast also work.
A cheaper alternative that’s also a timesaver is steak-umm since they come thinly sliced and cook in just minutes. Don’t worry about not having the drippings for the au jus; making the sauce without is possible.
How To Make A French Dip Sandwich — The Best French Dip Sandwiches Recipe
While I am typically a fan of the Pioneer Woman for comfort dishes like this, Spend With Pennies has the best french dip sandwich recipe.
The Pioneer Woman’s recipe is good but uses an expensive cut of meat (ribeye). It’s also cooked in the oven, meaning you must be home.
Since the dish has only a few ingredients, it’s perfect for a weeknight. The Spend With Pennies recipe uses the slow cooker to do all the work.
Here’s a time-saving tip. Brown the meat the night before, load the crock, and store it in the fridge. The following day, you are ready to go.
Are French Dip Sandwiches Healthy?
Before you learn what to serve with french dip sandwiches, you probably wonder, “are they healthy?” Nutritional facts vary based on ingredients and preparation, but according to Nutritionix, a standard french dip sandwich contains the following:
- 626 Calories
- 23 grams of fat (9.2 saturated fat)
- 173 mg of cholesterol
- 38 grams carbohydrates
- 3.5 grams fiber
- 63 grams protein
What Soup Goes With French Dip Sandwiches
Since the french dip sandwich is comfort food, soup is the perfect accompaniment! Here are some great options.
- Butternut Squash Soup — Use precut butternut squash to cut down the prep time of this Giada recipe. If you want to be fancy, add some fried onions on top instead of the toast, which isn’t necessary since you have the sandwich.
- Spicy Tomato Soup — You control the spiciness of this tomato soup so add the pepper flakes as you cook. No matter how you make it, this soup is great with a french dip.
- French Onion Soup — This pairing is perfect for a snowy night. We love this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It’s time-consuming but worth it.
What Salad Goes With French Dip Sandwiches
Salads should certainly be considered when you think of what to serve with french dip sandwiches. Not only do they provide some nutrients, but they also add great color to your plate. When choosing the perfect salad to go with your french dip sandwich, pick one with a strong flavor that will hold up well with the meat; you don’t want anything too fussy here.
- Arugula Salad — The peppery flavor of this green pairs well with roast beef. This salad from Tyler Florence is simple with just five ingredients (including salt). Note that when pouring the dressing, you don’t need too much here.
- Caesar Salad — Since a french dip sandwich is a classic, why not pair it with a classic? This recipe from Martha Stewart is a favorite. You can use extra french bread to make croutons.
- Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing — Blue Cheese dressing is much more than a chicken wing accompaniment. This salad is a great side dish for a hot roast beef sandwich. Please don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you; it’s just chopping, and if you don’t have an element or two, it’s not a big deal. The salad will still turn out well.
- Kale, Apple, Cheddar Salad — The ingredients in this salad may not seem to pair well, but the result is a flavorful side that just works. There’s no need to cut the kale too fine; you want some bite after the soft sandwich.
- Carrot Salad — This french carrot salad is the perfect french dip sandwich side dish. To cut down on prep time, buy a bag of shredded carrots.
- Cole Slaw — Cole slaw is delicious as a side dish and on the sandwich. No matter where you put it, this KFC copycat recipe is out of this world. The recipes yield a lot, so you may want to half it if you aren’t cooking for a crowd.
- Potato Salad — Here’s a controversial opinion. We shouldn’t solely serve potato salad in the summer! This mayo-based side is excellent any time of year, and we love the version from Cook’s Country via Amateur Gourmet. You will not be overwhelmed by pickle juice, so do not skip it.
- Celeriac Remoulade — If you enjoy the taste of celery but not the texture, it’s time to try celeriac remoulade. It’s a lighter, less water-packed version of the vegetable many have come to know. Remoulade is a mayo-based salad with endless options. We like David Lebovitz’s with hot roast beef sandwiches because of the high amount of dijon included.
- Fennel Slaw — Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Steak Sandwich is out of this world but time-consuming since there are so many components. You can still take your meal to the next level with his fennel slaw. It’s the perfect side dish for french dip sandwiches.
What To Serve With French Dip Sandwiches — Side Dishes To Go With Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches
Are you still wondering what to serve with french dip sandwiches? Check these out.
- Onion Rings — No need to fire up the deep fryer; the oven gets these onion rings just as crunchy. There are lots of onion varieties, each with a different use. For this one, Vidalia is best.
- Potato Chips — Sometimes simple is best. Pop your favorite potato chip on the plate and call it a day.
- Apple Chips — If you have too many apples on your hands, this is a great way to use them. Unlike most recipes that include lots of sugar and cinnamon, Cooking Light’s version has ancho chile powder and cayenne pepper that bring just the right amount of heat.
- French Fries — You can’t go wrong with a good french fry. Any shape will do, waffle, shoestring, steak, you name it! Sprinkle on your favorite seasoning blend before and then a bit after cooking for a new twist on the classic. We love this one from Amazon.
- Corn On The Cob — Fire up the grill and place the corn directly on the grates. There’s no need to shuck or even prep the cob. A few minutes later, you have a perfectly cooked side dish.
- Sauteed Mushrooms — Meaty and flavorful, sauteed mushrooms in garlic butter are perfect on or off your sandwich. Don’t skip the step of a single layer of mushrooms. A crowded pan equals soggy mushrooms.
- Mashed Turnips/Rutabaga — Potatoes get all the attention, but other root vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals are worth trying. Prep mashed turnips and rutabagas the same as potatoes. They can be bitter, but adding sugar can counteract the flavor.
- Sweet Potato Fries — Try this recipe from Cookie + Kate for the best crispy sweet potato fries. Do not overdo it on the cornstarch, or it won’t absorb.
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes — This is another way to serve this orange veggie.
- Roasted Cabbage — Cabbage tastes sweet when roasted. Simply slice into rounds and top with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a preheated 425-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until brown.
What Do You Think?
How do you answer, “what to serve with french dip sandwiches?” Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to read.
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