Kids Cook Monday: Mini French Dip Sandwiches

Looking for an Easy Family Dinner Recipe the Kids will Love?

I'm a busy mom of four. After running errands and carpooling, I'm tired! But I want to make an easy family dinner that will be healthy, inexpensive and quick.

Not only that, I want my children to enjoy the meal without fussing or complaining.

I have found that kids especially like dinners with some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Funny or entertaining (think fun shaped pasta)
  • Kid-sized (mini muffins, mini sandwiches, you get the idea)
  • Cheesy (this is one ingredient that can make just about any food taste better - cheese sauce for broccoli anyone?)

Mini french dip sandwiches are built on crescent rolls, which are easier to manage for young kids than the traditional hard rolls typically used. With the addition of Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheeses, you don't even need to serve the sandwiches with Au Jus sauce - in fact, it will be less messy to just omit the dipping sauce if you're dining with kids under the age of 5!

Mini french dip sandwiches with Au Jus sauce
Mini french dip sandwiches with Au Jus sauce | Source

Ingredients for Mini French Dip Sandwiches

  • 1 package of refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 16 ounces (1 pound) of thinly sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to taste
  • 2 cups of Au Jus sauce (if desired)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Preparing the crescent rolls for the mini sandwichesDough triangles ready for sandwich fillingLayers of roast beef, caramelized onion and Mozzarella CheeseMini french dip sandwich rolled up and ready for baking!Finished mini french dip sandwich
Preparing the crescent rolls for the mini sandwiches
Preparing the crescent rolls for the mini sandwiches | Source
Dough triangles ready for sandwich filling
Dough triangles ready for sandwich filling | Source
Layers of roast beef, caramelized onion and Mozzarella Cheese
Layers of roast beef, caramelized onion and Mozzarella Cheese | Source
Mini french dip sandwich rolled up and ready for baking!
Mini french dip sandwich rolled up and ready for baking! | Source
Finished mini french dip sandwich
Finished mini french dip sandwich | Source

How to Make Mini French Dip Sandwiches

Mini french dip sandwiches can be assembled, baked and on the dinner table in less than 15 minutes.

At a cost of less than $10 total, you can feed 4 people this healthy, easy family dinner. And did I mention how much kids love bite-sized sandwiches?

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking oil, or line with foil
  3. Sauté sliced onion in a skillet with the olive oil until golden brown
  4. Add roast beef to cooked onions and stir until warm, another 2-3 minutes
  5. Open the crescent roll package and separate individual rolls
  6. Arrange dough triangles unrolled onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with garlic salt
  7. Add approximately 2 ounces of roast beef/onion mixture to the bottom (large part) of each triangle and top with 1-2 tablespoons of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  8. Carefully roll up the dough triangle over the sandwich filling, pressing the tip lightly to secure
  9. Lightly sprinkle Parmesan cheese and garlic salt on the top of each roll
  10. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned
  11. While sandwiches are baking, prepare Au Jus sauce, if desired (see below)
  12. Remove mini french dip sandwiches from the oven and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving

Cook Time for Mini French Dip Sandwiches

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 8 sandwiches (approx 4 servings)
My 9-year old daughter helps roll up the mini sandwiches
My 9-year old daughter helps roll up the mini sandwiches | Source

Making the Au Jus Sauce for French Dip Sandwiches

Au Jus sauce is the traditional dip for french dip sandwiches. You can prepare Au Jus from a prepared package or from liquid Au Jus concentrate. Or, create it from scratch (recipe below)

A single packet of Au Jus will make 5 servings (1/2 cup each). Whisk into 2 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If using liquid concentrate, use 1 part Au Jus to 2 parts water. Thus, for 2 cups of water, whisk in 1 cup of concentrated Au Jus.

Au Jus from Scratch:

Generally speaking, au jus is made from the natural juices that run out of a beef roast. If you are cooking your own roast for the sandwiches, you can deglaze the pan after removing the roast with a bit of red wine and/or beef broth. Add 2 tablespoons chopped onion, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon sage.

Even if you are not cooking your own roast, you can still make a pretty good tasting Au Jus sauce by stirring the following together over medium heat on the stovetop:

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat. Stir constantly for 10 minutes and serve with french dip sandwiches.


Preparing the Au Jus sauce for mini french dip sandwiches
Preparing the Au Jus sauce for mini french dip sandwiches | Source

Serving Mini French Dip Sandwiches

If you are making this recipe for a meal, place 2-4 mini sandwiches on a plate and serve with about 1/2 cup au jus sauce in a sturdy bowl or mug (I like to use french onion soup bowls).

As the name implies, french dip sandwiches are dunked into the au jus sauce, one corner or bite at a time. Since each person has their own container of au jus, it is perfectly acceptable manners to "double dip" your sandwich.

These sandwiches are delicious accompanied by potato chips and green or fruit salad. Don't forget to set extra napkins on the table.

You might want to make a few extra sandwiches because they taste so delicious, my kids always ask for seconds!

My kids love mini french dip sandwiches!
My kids love mini french dip sandwiches! | Source

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Comments 16 comments

the girls profile image

the girls 4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

Beautiful kids! Those frozen crescent rolls have endless ways to use. Your sandwiches looks enticing, I thought it came from a French bakeshop :-)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you! Yes, you can definitely make your own dough/rolls, but the pre-packaged rolls make this recipe very family-friendly, as well as easy for kids to help with the preparation. I really appreciate the kind comment! All the best, Steph


stessily 4 years ago

Steph, I love your motivation: "easy family dinner that will be healthy, inexpensive and quick", that your children will enjoy "without fussing or complaining."

Cheese is a great ingredient, which, I agree, "is one ingredient that can make just about any food taste better."

This is a wonderfully easy, delicious-sounding recipe, and I love your family's participation. Throughout life, as they grow and become adults, children tend never to forget the togetherness of family meals and the joys of culinary skills.

Well done.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Steph - Kids? What about us frog types. I love them critters.

The Frog


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Stessily! Cheese is definitely one ingredient you will always find in my refrigerator. :)

It is a pleasure to teach my children basic culinary skills to give them confidence when they go out on their own one day. We truly do enjoy the together time spent over meals. Best, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

I think that even frogs would love these mini french dip sandwiches! Maybe you can teach your tadpoles how to make them? LOL!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Great recipe! These would make a fun party appetizer.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Steph - Sad but true - My tadpole producing days are long past.

TFP


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

;-) LOL!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks RC - they do! We've also used a small bit of pastrami and swiss rolled into the rolls - another great appetizer. YUM! Steph


alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

These look delicious! I have got to make these for my boys. And I agree there is something appealing to kids when the food is mini. My son has always hated hamburgers but all of a sudden one day he came home to tell me that he did like the mini burgers at school. Made me laugh :) Great recipe - voted up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Alissa! I do think the mini factor is appealing to kids. Plus, it can be easier to hold and manage than a full size sandwich. Hope your boys love the recipe. Best, Steph


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

very cool hub and I love the idea for the mini crescent rolls to replace just french bread or subs. Rated up! and shared.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Denise! My kids love these mini sandwiches on the crescent rolls! Cheers, Steph


Derdriu 4 years ago

Steph, Part of the appeal here is the ease in making and the fun in serving. What's not to like about a plate with one's own dipping bowl for double (and triple and quadruple...) dipping?

The photographs give such a clear idea of the comfort in making, serving and tasting that I feel like I can smell it all. They're all convincing, particularly the photo of the slice brimming with healthy beef, cheese and onions and begging to be rolled, baked and eaten!

Respectfully, and with many thanks and all the votes, Derdriu


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Exactly! My kids love their own "double dipping!" Thanks much for the vote and comment Derdriu! Best, Steph

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