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13 Best Kinds of Meat for French Dip Sandwiches (Best Meats)

Have you ever asked yourself the question: “what is the best meat for french dip sandwiches?”

Well, wonder no longer!

I’ve compiled a list of the 13 best meats for making this classic sandwich.

From traditional roast beef to more unique options like pork loin and lamb, there’s something on this list for everyone.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try out a few different meats and find your new favorite?

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what is the best meat for french dip sandwiches

13 Best Types of Meat for French Dip Sandwiches

When you choose the right kind of meat, a French dip sandwich can be an amazing experience.

It’s like the difference between watching a movie in black and white and watching it in color.

The right meat can enhance the flavor of the sandwich and make the experience that much better.

Here are 13 of the best meats for French dip sandwiches:

1. Rump Roast

Rump Roast

A great option when preparing French dip sandwiches is to choose a roast that you are familiar with.

Many people opt for a rump roast because it is relatively cheap and will deliver great taste and appeal to your customers.

Rump roasts are very versatile, so they can be easily used to prepare a variety of dishes or styles of sandwiches.

You can find rump roasts in the center cut section of most supermarkets.

Assemble your sandwich by taking one slice of roast and placing it on bread, then adding provolone cheese, pickles, and your favorite sauce (like Thousand Island).

2. Deli Roast Beef

Deli Roast Beef

Deli roast beef is another popular choice when it comes to making French dips.

It’s meat that has been taken from the hip or bottom end section of the cow, and has been preserved in some way (usually by smoking).

As with any type of roast beef, you should be sure to ask your butcher which part of the cow is best suited for making deli-style sandwiches.

You can also find deli roast beef at most supermarkets or specialty stores.

When assembling your sandwich, take two slices of roast beef and place them on bread, then add American or Swiss cheese, onions, and your favorite condiments (mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise).

3. Top Round

Top Round

Top round is a cut from the top sirloin region of a cow.

It’s seared quickly over high heat so that the crusty exterior boosts flavor while the juicy interior remains intact.

This type of steak makes for a great option when preparing French dips since it contains both lean and fatty portions which results in an excellent balance between taste and texture when eating.

To assemble your sandwich, take one slice of top round steak and place it on bread, then add American or Swiss cheese, onions, pickles (raw or put into a jar), mayonnaise, and your favorite condiments (mustard, ketchup).

4. Eye of Round

Eye of Round

Eye of round roast has a mild beefy taste (due to its lack of fat) and a firm, dry texture.

When thinly sliced, it becomes more tender.

The roast is best when cooked using a moist cooking method such as braising.

This cut is ideal for French dip sandwiches because:

  • The taste is not too strong, allowing the flavors of the other ingredients to shine through.
  • It has a nice firm texture that holds up well when thinly sliced and soaked in broth.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive compared to other cuts of beef.

5. Chuck Roast

Chuck Roast

Chuck roast might be THE most popular type of roast beef in the world, and for good reason.

This cut of beef is known for its distinct flavor and texture – it’s both tender and fatty.

Done right, chuck roast can be boiled, braised or barbecued to perfection.

And since it doesn’t have a lot of fat on it, it gives a perfect French dip sandwich that won’t be weighed down with excess grease.

The meat itself is also very versatile and can be used in all sorts of recipes including sandwiches, tacos, chili, sliders, etc.

Due to its mild flavor, chuck roast is also great for those who are new to cooking meat; it’s easy to modify and add your own personal touch to dishes without sacrificing the end result.

If you love French dip sandwiches as much as we do, be sure to give Chuck roast a try!

6. Tri Tip

Tri Tip

Tri-tip is a very flavorful steak, boasting a nice beefy taste with a subtle smokiness.

It’s a versatile steak and can be used for a wide variety of things including French dip sandwiches.

Tri-tip is also very tender, making it easy to cook even rare or well-done just the way you like it.

A good French dip sandwich takes your favorite bread and slathers it in juicy, gooey cheese.

Then, add some thinly sliced tri-tip meat and crispy onions for some crunch and flavor.

The perfect way to enjoy this sandwich is on a soft and fresh bun with loads of extra crispy condiments on the side – including dipping sauces!

Tri-tip is an essential part of any outdoor grillmaster’s repertoire – make sure to add it to your next sandwich party!

7. Corned Beef

Corned Beef

Corned beef has a balanced taste that’s salty, spiced, sour, and meaty.

It has a very tender texture that can be easily shredded and used in French dip sandwiches, as well as other dishes.

Corned beef is normally injected with a brine solution (aka: pickling) which adds a great amount of flavor, moisture, and stability to the meat.

8. Pastrami


Pastrami is often considered the standard by which all other smoked meats are judged.

This tender and moist meat comes from cutting the fatty chest muscle of a cow and then using a mixture of spices (especially coriander) to cure it.

These days, you can find pastrami made from different types of meat including chicken, turkey or lamb.

Pair it with hard cheeses like cheddar or blue cheese for the ultimate sandwich experience.

9. Spam


Although not as popular as some other meats on today’s French dip menu, spam is still a great option to consider!

Similar to corned beef in terms of flavor and moisture, spam also benefits from being grilled or smoked before being used in a sandwich.

With its mild flavor, spam is perfect for those who want something that won’t overpower their other ingredients.

Add savory Portuguese rolls to your grocery list and you’re good to go!

10. Ham

Smoked Ham

Probably one of the most iconic of meats when it comes to French dip sandwiches, ham is a salty, fatty cut of meat that is perfect for the sandwich filling.

It can be smeared in a variety of different areas on your bread such as on the top, inside (especially interesting with Swiss cheese), and even on the side.

Another great option is to use thinly sliced smoked ham as this will add dimension to your sandwich and also lend itself well to different variations like a bacon wrapped Ham & Cheese or Mustard Grilled Ham & Cheese.

11. Turkey


Turkey is another popular protein for French dip sandwiches as it has a somewhat milder flavor than ham which pairs well with various condiments.

You can either use ground turkey or delicately diced turkey which will help make your sandwich even more flavorful and moist.

And last but not least, don’t forget the avocado!

This creamy fruit provides loads of healthy fats and adds creaminess to the overall sandwich experience.

12. Chicken


Also, chicken makes an excellent choice for French dip sandwiches as it has a flavor that’s slightly reminiscent of beef but without the heavy aftertaste.

The moist texture of chicken combined with spices like paprika and garlic results in a fantastic and highly-reciprocated sandwich experience.

To prevent the bread from getting soggy, spread some peanut butter or hummus on one side before adding your chicken.

13. Pork

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

Ah, pork, the undisputed king of meats!

Used in so many sandwiches, pork offers a great taste, texture and ease of preparation.

As the soul of many French dips, pork is usually roasted until very tender and then shredded.

This can often be done in a slow cooker or BBQ, yielding a shredded meat that is very moist and flavorful.

Pork has a strong and deep flavor which pairs well with onions, celery and bell peppers.

It’s also a versatile meat that can be used in main courses such as chicken Marsala or carved into generous chunks to be used in salads or pasta dishes.

So why not dive into some French dips this week and enjoy the amazing flavors that pork can bring?

How To Choose The Right Meat For French Dip Sandwiches

French Dip Sandwich

When it comes to French dip sandwiches, the sky is the limit as far as what kind of meat you can use.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right kind of meat for your sandwich.

Some of the most popular meats for French dip sandwiches include roast beef, pork loin, and even lamb.

When choosing your meat, consider how it will be cooked.

For example, if you are planning on grilling your sandwich, you will want to choose a leaner cut of meat so that it doesn’t dry out.

For a slow-cooked sandwich, a fattier cut of meat will be more flavorful and tender.

Another thing to consider is what kind of flavor you want your sandwich to have.

If you want a bolder flavor, opt for a smoked or grilled meat. If you prefer a milder flavor, choose a slow-cooked or braised meat.

Finally, think about what type of bread you will be using for your sandwich.

A hearty sourdough or rye bread will be able to stand up to a bolder flavored meat, while a softer roll or baguette will be better suited for a more delicate meat.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll be sure to choose the perfect meat for your French dip sandwich!

Best Kinds of Meat for French Dip Sandwiches

13 Best Kinds of Meat for French Dip Sandwiches (Best Meats)

If you're a sandwich lover like me, then you know that a good French dip sandwich is all about the meat.
The right meat can make all the difference between a so-so sandwich and a great one.
So, what are the best kinds of meat for a French dip sandwich?
Here are my top 13 picks!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Meat, Sandwich
Cuisine American, French
Servings 4 people
Calories 387 kcal


  • Rump Roast
  • Deli Roast Beef
  • Top Round
  • Eye of Round
  • Chuck Roast
  • Tri Tip
  • Corned Beef
  • Pastrami
  • Spam
  • Ham
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Pork


  • Pick your favorite kind of meat from this list to use with your sandwich.
  • Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
  • Enjoy in no time!
Keyword what is the best meat for french dip sandwiches