When you’re making something as delicious as a French dip sandwich, you’d better serve some tasty side dishes to go with it. Complete your meal with savory and fresh sides when you can’t decide what to serve with French dip sandwiches.
What is a French Dip Sandwich?
French dip sandwiches are piping hot sandwiches consisting of thinly sliced beef served on a toasted hoagie, French roll, or baguette with gooey melted cheese. Pair the sandwich with au jus, a flavorful dip made from the juices accumulated by cooking the beef. And that’s where the sandwich gets its name – toasty sandwich meets juicy dipping sauce.
Despite its name, the French dip sandwich did not originate in France. It was invented in L.A, albeit by a French man, and the creator originally made the sandwich by happy accident with roasted pork (yep, that was the original meat of choice).
What is the Best Meat for a French Dip Sandwich?
Thinly sliced roast beef is the star ingredient in a French dip sandwich. Top-round or bottom-round roasts are a popular choice because they are lean and flavorful cuts of meat. And many recipes call for chuck roast to make French dip sandwiches, perfect for slow cooking or braising the beef in au jus; I also love using skirt or flank steak for another variation.
What to Serve with French Dip Sandwiches?
For French dip sandwiches with crunchy bread, I typically enjoy crispy sides, like French fries, chips, or a bright, fresh salad. But since the sandwich is rich and savory, it also pairs well with light and tangy dishes and fresh fruit.
- Au Jus
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Roasted Potatoes
- French Fries
- Dill Pickles
- Onion Rings
- Mashed Cauliflower
- Homemade Potato Chips
- French Onion Soup
- Avocado Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Homemade Coleslaw
- Healthy Potato Salad
- Céleri Rémoulade
- Cucumber Salad
- Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash
- Macaroni Salad
- Potato Croquettes
- Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
- Mango Cucumber Fruit Salad
- Lemon Dill Aioli
- Sumac Onions
- Horseradish Cream Sauce
- Chimichurri with Cilantro
- Southern Comeback Sauce
- Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
The Best Side Dishes for French Dip Sandwiches
Serve French dip sandwiches traditionally with a side of the flavorful dip known as au jus (“with juice,” referring to the drippings left over from roasting the meat). Use the liquid the beef cooks in or make your own on the side. It’s perfect for dipping the sandwich and adding flavor and moisture to the crunchy bread with each bite.
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon sherry wine
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
For a tasty variation, dip the sandwich into homemade beef gravy.
Sweet Potato Fries
Easy air fryer frozen sweet potato fries are a simple side dish ready to go in 15 minutes! And the sweetness of the sweet potato fries complements savory French dip sandwiches. However, if you prefer homemade sweet potato fries, check out our tips for how long to cook sweet potatoes in the air fryer.
Make perfectly seasoned and irresistibly crispy roasted potatoes in the oven, and since they’re so versatile, you can pair them with anything, including sandwiches!
Serve crispy homemade french fries with your French dip sandwich and complete the meal. But don’t forget the dipping sauce – this is the best ranch dressing ever!
Homemade dill pickles serve as a tangy accompaniment to cut through the richness of beefy sandwiches – serve them as a topping or a zesty side dish.
If you’re making a list of French dip sides, onion rings have to be on the list. And they are a delightfully crispy alternative to french fries for a salty addition to the meal.
More Side Dishes for French Dip
Avocado Tomato Cucumber Salad
Our salad is brimming with fresh herbs, juicy tomato, crisp cucumber, and creamy avocado. Olive oil and lime finish the avocado cucumber tomato salad for a perfect side dish when you don’t know what to serve with French dip sandwiches.
Homemade coleslaw incorporates cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro, scallions, and an umami-rich dressing for coleslaw you’ll want to serve with everything! For another variation, try vinegar coleslaw if you prefer something more tangy to pair with your French dip sandwich.
Healthy Potato Salad
Healthy Potato Salad combines fork-tender potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, celery, pickles, and onions in a protein-packed Greek yogurt-based sauce. Creamy potato salad is a popular choice to serve alongside sandwiches.
Céleri rémoulade is a simple French salad made with celeriac, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and seasonings. This crisp and tangy salad is perfect as a side, or you can pile it high on your French dip sandwich for a bright and crunchy topping.
Pressgurka is a quick pickled salad that is a perfect combination of sweet and sour; pair it with savory dishes like meatballs and French dip sandwiches.
Air Fryer Zucchini and Squash
Make tender and lightly golden air fryer zucchini and squash! The versatile side dish cooks to perfection, and they’re ready in 15 minutes!
MORE AIR FRYER VEGETABLE SIDES:
Creamy, tangy macaroni salad complements the savoriness of a French dip, and the crunch of the celery and onion provides a nice texture contrast.
Potato croquettes, or crispy deep-fried mashed potatoes, are one of the best ways to use leftover mashed potatoes, and they are a perfect crispy side dish.
Air Fryer Hasselback Potatoes
Make crispy air fryer Hasselback potatoes in 20 minutes by slicing them accordion-style and slathering them in rich and flavorful garlic butter.
Mango Cucumber Fruit Salad
Mango cucumber fruit salad is a light and refreshing side dish full of tropical flavor that goes with French dip sandwiches seamlessly – especially if you prefer a tangier side with more acidity.
Toppings and Condoments for French Dip Sandwiches
Lemon Dill Aioli
Discover the perfect pairing of zesty lemon and aromatic dill in our homemade lemon dill aioli recipe. You’ll want to put this sauce on everything.
Chimichurri with Cilantro
Elevate your French dip sandwich with herbaceous chimichurri with cilantro. It’s an excellent topping for sandwiches, fish, vegetables, and steak. Don’t believe me? We love it with our air fryer skirt steak.
Southern Comeback Sauce
This classic Southern comeback sauce is creamy, tangy, savory, and delicious! With ingredients like mayonnaise, ketchup, honey, hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning (use our Slap Ya Mama’s Seasoning recipe), this sauce will add the perfect kick to your sandwich. Oh, and don’t forget a few pickled jalapeños.
Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
If you love honey mustard dipping sauce, you’ll love this creamy homemade version! It’s packed with flavor – sweet, savory, and tangy all at once, and it would taste delicious as a spread for a French dip sandwich.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best condiments for french dip sandwiches?
• Horseradish Cream Sauce: A creamy horseradish sauce adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to complement the rich flavors of the beef. At a diner I worked at growing up, many patrons dipped the sandwich in au jus and then ranch dressing – it was actually good!
• Mustard: Dijon mustard or a coarse-grain mustard provides a savory component to the sandwich.
• Mayonnaise: Some people like to spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the bread for creaminess.
• Butter: Like mayo, spread butter onto the bread before preparing the French dip.
• Au Jus: While it’s not a condiment per se, the au jus is an essential part of the French dip experience. It’s often served on the side for dipping the sandwich or poured over the top for added flavor and moisture.