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Italian Beef Sandwiches – Instant Pot

4.41 from 10 votes

Loaded onto soft, bakery-fresh bread or just eaten like it is, Italian Beef in the Instant Pot is a dinner (or lunch) winner. So easy to make and with a gravy (sauce) that’s packed with flavor, everyone is sure to love this easy Italian Beef Sandwiches recipe that’s practically set-it-and-forget-it cooking!

Italian beef sandwich on a crusty roll

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Chicago Beef sandwiches are famous in Chicago. While authentic Italian beef sandwiches involve cooking huge chunks of beef low-and-slow for hours and hours, we’re taking a few shortcuts with this Italian Beef Instant Pot recipe.

Infused with flavor but cooked in a fraction of the time, I’m going to show you how to get maximum tenderness and juiciness and one of the best gravies around, all from your Instant Pot. Hungry? Let’s get cooking!

What you’ll love about this Instant Pot Italian Beef Recipe


  • It’s so easy – practically set-it-and-forget-it.
  • It is perfect for meal prepping – use the meat in so many ways!
  • Turn an affordable chunk of beef into something amazing!

What Is An Italian Beef Sandwich?

Popular history tells us this sandwich was created back in the 1930s, and it is a hearty sandwich filled with paper-thin slices of beef topped with giardiniera or sauteed sweet peppers. The sandwich is often dipped, whole, into the gravy, and some Italian beef joints even offer a double-dip.

We’re dishing up this Instant Pot Italian beef in much the same way. The meat is cooked in a flavorful broth that’s then reduced to make it even more flavorful. Thinly slice the meat, pile it high on fresh buns, dip them in the gravy, and serve!

Tools You’ll Need to Make Italian Beef Sandwiches in the Instant Pot

Italian Beef Sandwich Ingredients

  • Roast beef – See my comments below for good cuts to use in this recipe.
  • Onion – Yellow or white onions.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best!
  • Beef broth – Start with low/no-sodium added beef broth or use homemade.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • A packet of Italian dressing powder

If you’re making sandwiches, you’ll also need:

  • Bakery-fresh crusty rolls
  • Giardiniera – Store-bought is fine.
  • Bell peppers – Sauteed bell peppers are often used instead of giardiniera.

What Kind of Beef To Make Italian Beef Sandwiches

You’ve got some choices when it comes to the cut of beef you can use to make Italian beef sandwiches. You want a roast that’ll be tender without having to cook for a million hours. Also, you can’t have a cut with too much connective tissue or fat because it won’t slice properly – so pot roast cuts are out. Here are my favorite cuts of beef to make Italian beef sandwiches:

  • Sirloin – Top or bottom roasts. Look for one that’s around 3 pounds.
  • Eye of round – This is an inexpensive cut of beef that slices nicely, but you’ll need to reduce the cooking time as it is generally smaller than a sirloin roast.
Sliced beef for Italian beef sandwiches.
Thinly sliced beef for Italian beef sandwiches.

How to Make Italian Beef Recipe in the Instant Pot

For a complete list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of this page.

  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and add the oil. Sear the roast until caramelized, then flip it over to do the other side.
  3. Remove the roast and add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  4. Deglaze with some of the beef broth, then put the roast, and any accumulated juices, back into the Instant Pot.
  5. Add the Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.
  6. Set the instant pot to Pressure Cook or High for 25 minutes. Lock the lid in place.
  7. When the time is up, natural release for 15 minutes, then remove the beef and set it aside to cool.
  8. Meanwhile, put the IP back on saute and simmer the broth for 10 minutes to let the flavors concentrate. Season the broth with salt and pepper.
  9. When the roast is cool enough to handle, slice it thinly – as thinly as you can – with a meat slicer.

How To Make ASsemble

  1. If the gravy (sauce) is cool, warm it back up either in the Instant Pot or in a pot on the stovetop. Use a pot that’s big enough to dunk the entire bun/roll.
  2. Dip the thinly sliced Italian beef into the gravy, then put it onto a sliced crusty roll.
  3. Top the roll with giardiniera or sauteed peppers.
  4. Here’s the fun part – grab the sandwich tightly with tongs and dunk the whole thing into the gravy. Be quick, just a quick in-and-out dunk into the flavorful gravy.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Italian beef sandwich on a plate

To Dunk or Not To Dunk

Just about any restaurant or fast-food joint that serves Italian beef sandwiches will give you the option to dunk it. This is up to you! If you dunk it, the bread will absorb some of the gravy, making it even sloppier – but tastier – than a non-dunked version.

You can also serve the sandwich with dipping jus on the side, similar to a French dip sandwich.

Get with the lingo: Italian Beef wet – this is a dunked version. Italian beef dry – undunked.

How To Top an Italian Beef Sandwich

Toppings – or no toppings – are personal choices and vary from restaurant to restaurant. There are, however, two pretty standard ways to top an Italian beef sandwich:

Giardiniera – Giardiniera is pickled vegetables. Cauliflower, carrot, celery, peppers, and sometimes olives are pickled in brine. You can get it mild or hot with jalapenos or other chilies in it.

Sauteed peppers – Sweet bell peppers are sauteed in butter and then served hot on top of the sandwich.

What To Serve With an Italian Beef Sandwich

Recommended

Anything goes! From fries or a salad to a delicious soup, you can nosh on this hearty sandwich like it is or make it just a part of your meal. This recipe for colcannon is a winner and delish with these sammies. Save room for dessert and enjoy one of these chocolate chip mint cookies!

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • A meat slicer really is essential for this easy Chicago Italian beef sandwich recipe. You can get a good quality meat slicer online. If you don’t have a meat slicer, chill the roast thoroughly, then slice it as thinly as you can with a sharp slicing knife. Reheat the sliced beef in the gravy.
  • Reducing the gravy is important! Simmer the sauce in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop but let it simmer for at least 10 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavors.
  • You can eat the thinly sliced beef on a sandwich, or thicken the sauce with a slurry of flour (or cornstarch) and water and thicken the sauce to make gravy and serve it alongside mashed potatoes for dinner.

How To Store Italian Beef

Pack the thinly sliced beef in the gravy in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll keep for up to about a week. You can also freeze Italian beef the same way for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to put on an Italian beef sandwich.

Italian beef sandwiches are typically served topped with mild or spicy giardiniera or sauteed peppers. You can also top the sandwiches with provolone cheese, but don’t tell anyone I said that.

Is this Italian beef sandwich with au jus recipe easy?

Yes! The Instant Pot does most of the hard work for you! Sear it, set it, slice it and you’re done!

How long does it take to make this Italian beef au jus recipe?

With the time it takes to prep and for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, give yourself about 90 minutes to make this recipe from start to finish.

Step By Step Process

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4.41 from 10 votes

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Meaty, tender, and with a flavorful gravy, Italian Beef sandwiches are so good, you'll go back for seconds!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, instant pot, instant pot recipe, Italian beef, italian beef sandwich, roast beef, sandwich
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 548kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Meat slicer

Ingredients

  • 3 pound top sirloin roast or bottom sirloin
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 packet Italian dressing powder
  • salt and pepper

For the sandwiches:

  • 8 crusty rolls
  • 2 cups giardiniera optional
  • 1.5 cups sauteed bell peppers optional

Instructions

  • Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute and add the oil. Sear the roast until caramelized, then flip it over to do the other side.
  • Remove the roast and add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
  • Deglaze with some of the beef broth, then put the roast, and any accumulated juices, back into the Instant Pot.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.
  • Set the instant pot to Pressure Cook or High for 25 minutes. Lock the lid in place.
  • When the time is up, natural release for 15 minutes, then remove the beef and set it aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, put the IP back on saute and simmer the broth for 10 minutes to let the flavors concentrate. Season the broth with salt and pepper.
  • When the roast is cool enough to handle, slice it thinly – as thinly as you can – with a meat slicer.

To assemble Italian beef sandwiches:

  • If the gravy (sauce) is cool, warm it back up either in the Instant Pot or in a pot on the stovetop. Use a pot that's big enough to dunk the entire bun/roll.
  • Dip the thinly sliced Italian beef into the gravy, then put it onto a sliced crusty roll.
  • Top the roll with giardiniera or sauteed peppers.
  • Here's the fun part – grab the sandwich tightly with tongs and dunk the whole thing into the gravy. Be quick, just a quick in-and-out dunk into the flavorful gravy.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Chef Jenn’s Tips

  • A meat slicer really is essential for this recipe. You can get a good quality meat slicer online. If you don’t have a meat slicer, chill the roast throughly, then slice it as thinly as you can with a sharp slicking knife. Reheat the sliced beef in the gravy.
  • Reducing the gravy is important! Simmer the sauce in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop but let it simmer for at least 10 minutes to reduce and concentrate the flavors.
  • You can eat the thinly sliced beef on a sandwich, or thicken the sauce with a slurry of flour (or cornstarch) and water and thicken the sauce to make gravy and serve it alongside mashed potatoes for dinner.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 548kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 2036mg | Potassium: 769mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 889IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

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By Chef Jenn