Having a slow cooker at hand is like having helping hands in the kitchen. While you are at work, or attending to social obligations, you can worry less about having dinner on the table that evening.
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Cookbooks, including the popular Fix It and Forget It series, have been created with slow cookers in mind. These cookbooks allow you to make not only dinner but have some great recipes for breakfast and dessert.
I frequently use a slow cooker. These are perfect for soups and spaghetti sauce that when left over an open flame on a stove requires frequent stirring. This allows me to focus on the tasks at hand, even if it means being outside in the garden for most of the day.
When I create a meal plan, I usually look at my calendar. For those busier than normal days, I add a meal that can be prepared in the slow cooker. Not only am I able to accomplish more, but my kitchen smells amazing when I finally come in for the day.
One of our favorite meals to prepare in the slow cooker is French Dip Sandwiches. Served with a simple side of pickles and chips, we can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. Now that’s what I call a good time management system!
The Recipe for Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Note: This recipe calls for a slow cooker, but you can just as easily bake the roast in the oven or in a cast iron Dutch oven on the stove. Just remember you will have to check it on occasion and add water from time to time to keep it from drying out!
- 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 4-5 pounds)
- Seasonings for Roast (we use garlic powder, onion powder, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning)
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French onion soup, undiluted
- 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef consommé, undiluted
- 1 T. Beef Base (we use Better than Bouillon) mixed into 1-1/2 cups Warm Water
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 6 to 12 slices Provolone cheese
- 6 (8 inch) Pistolettes (or French rolls)
Season generously both sides of the meat with the seasonings of your choice.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the roast and sear for 3-4 minutes then flip and sear the other side.
Place roast into slow cooker, add soup, consommé, beef base, and onion.
Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. Remove and slice, and reserve juices and onions.
To Prepare the Rolls:
If using Pistolettes, place rolls on a cooking tray and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven and slice in half. Leave the bottom half of each sandwich on the cooking tray.
If using French rolls: Preheat the broiler. Split rolls in half. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Leave the bottom half of the sandwiches on the cooking tray.
To Make the Sandwiches
Top each bottom half with beef, onions that have been drained of most of the juice, and 1 or 2 slices of cheese, according to preference. Return to the oven and broil until cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and put the top half in place.
Serve with a little bowl of the cooking juices for dipping.