Chicago-Italian Roast Beef Sandwich

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 1 min

In 2004, my husband and I spent a weekend in Chicago to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was a chilly, windy October morning when we ventured from our downtown hotel to see the sites. We arrived at the Navy Pier cold, tired and hungry. Little did I know that the steaming hot roast beef sandwich I ordered from an Italian vendor there would be one of the tastiest lunches I had ever had. Here is my version of the awesome sandwich I had that memorable day. *Chef's Note*: Don't let the addition of giardiniera scare you. You can use more, or less, to taste. But don't leave it out completely, because it adds so much flavor and just wouldn't be the same without it!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can au jus sauce

  • 1 sourdough roll
  • 4 ounces thin-sliced roast beef (not shaved)
  • 14 cup giardiniera (hot pickled cauliflower, jalapenos, carrots, celery, red bell peppers)
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • butter


  1. In saucepan, heat roast beef in au jus.
  2. Coarsely chop jar of giardiniera. (Also called California Hot Mix, which can be found in pickle aisle. I like Mezzetta brand.).
  3. Split roll and butter the inside. (Or you can skip this step in lieu of steaming roll in microwave a few seconds.).
  4. Heat skillet then place roll, buttered side down, on surface to toast.
  5. When inside of bread is slightly toasted, remove from skillet and top with warm roast beef (along with a few extra spoonfuls of au jus).
  6. Top with Provolone and heat in microwave 20-30 seconds until cheese begins to melt. Top with 1/4 cup giardiniera.
  7. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

I totally agree with the review from missgladys56. This doesn't even come close to authentic Chicago Italian Beef. To begin with, any authentic sandwich would include garlic and green pepper during the roasting process of the meat, which gives this regional fare it's unique delicious flavor. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and have eaten this sandwich all my life, folks this is not it!

cara maria September 02, 2011

This recipe is NOT for Chicago Italian Beef!!! Lived in Chicago for 41 years and NEVER is this beef cooked like or called ROAST BEEF. And NO one uses SOURDOUGH ROLLS toasted no less UGH Gonnella bread untoasted is what REAL Italian Beef's are on. And 90% of the "Beef Stands" do not offer cheese. Doesen't rate one star even for this recipe.

missgladys56 August 25, 2011

Let me first say that I wasn't really expecting to like this recipe. It sounded like something my husband would like. The giardiniera did not sound like something I would like. I LOVED this sandwich!! I chopped the giardiniera into smaller pieces because it was a little too chunky for a sandwich. I also took the poster's advice and buttered and toasted the rolls. I couldn't find any sourdough rolls (which I love) so I just used crusty hard rolls. What a delicious and easy sandwich. Thanks so much for posting!

Auvan October 27, 2006