Au Jus Substitute: Best Homemade Replacements

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There’s nothing quite like a rich, savory au jus substitute to take your roast beef sandwiches to the next level. This flavorful sauce, a French term meaning “with juice,” traditionally uses the natural juices or beef drippings from cooked meat dishes. However, what if you fancy a French dip sandwich but don’t have any beef drippings on hand? Don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with the best au jus substitutes that can be easily made at home. Let’s delve in.

Understanding Au Jus

Au jus is a light sauce or dipping sauce made primarily from meat drippings, typically beef. It is the perfect accompaniment to roast beef sandwiches, prime rib roast, or even beef tenderloin. The great thing about au jus is that it’s not a thick gravy, but a light gravy that’s packed with flavor. It’s a simple sauce that can be made from simple ingredients.

Beef Broth as the Ultimate Au Jus Substitute

When you don’t have beef drippings, beef broth is the best au jus substitute. It has a meaty flavor that works wonders for your French dip sandwiches. Simply simmer it on medium heat with a few beef bouillon cubes for extra flavor. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, and you’ll have a delicious homemade au jus recipe.

Soy Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce Mix

Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce mixed together can also serve as a great au jus substitute. These two ingredients combined with beef broth create a savory flavor similar to traditional au jus sauce. Remember to cook it on low heat to preserve the flavors.

Red Wine for a Twist

If you’re up for trying something new, consider red wine as an au jus substitute. This gives a distinct, robust flavor to your sauce. You can also try white wine or even grape juice for a unique twist. Just remember to reduce it well on medium heat to evaporate the alcohol.

Chicken Broth for a Lighter Au Jus Substitute

For those who prefer a lighter sauce, chicken broth can be used as an au jus substitute. It’s a great way to enjoy your roast beef sandwiches without the strong beefy flavor, while still adding a touch of savory goodness.

Store-Bought Au Jus Mix

If you don’t have much time, store-bought packets like an au jus packet or a packet of au jus gravy mix are also good options. These are available in most grocery stores and can be easily prepared using the step-by-step instructions on the packet. However, nothing beats the flavor of a homemade mix.

Preserving Leftover Au Jus

Leftover au jus can be frozen and used for later. Just pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezer-safe bag and use within 3-4 days. This easy recipe is a great way to make sure you always have some au jus on hand for your next roast beef sandwich craving.


While traditional au jus sauce made from beef drippings is undeniably delicious, there are many substitutes that you can use when in a pinch. These best au jus substitutes are not only easy to make but also add a unique twist to your meat dishes. So, the next time you’re out of beef drippings or simply want to try something new, give these substitutes a try. You might just discover a new favorite!

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