Making Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich at home is more than just the beef and bun. Let me take you through how to replicate this classic in your own kitchen.
"Oh great, the Fox Valley Foodie is going to tell me how to make a sandwich consisting solely of roast beef and a hamburger bun. What ancient cipher did he discover to crack that code?" Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't roll your eyes at me! However, the secret to this Arby's Roast Beef copycat recipe is not the two ingredients needed, but rather how it is prepared.
File this recipe under "because I can." Though I would argue the great thing about learning how to make food at home is that you don't have to eat so much fast food, sometimes it is fun to replicate your favorite fast food flavors just because you can. Plus, it is always a great way to impress your kids. You do want your kids to love you, don't you???
How to Make Fast Food at Home
I'm not going to lie. I get a certain sense of satisfaction from being able to demystify fast food in my own kitchen. The Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich copycat recipe was inspired by my attempt to create Arby's Sauce the other day. However, I have also previously tackled How to Make a Fast Food Burger and Panda Express Chow Mein.
Arby's Roast Beef Copycat Ingredients
It is no secret, the two ingredients needed for this Arby's Roast Beef copycat recipe are roast beef and hamburger buns. However, the type of roast beef you select will make a big difference. Skip the deli counter and head to the refrigerated meat section. You are looking for pre-packaged ultra thinly sliced roast beef. I found Hillshire Farm and Land 'O Frost were two brands that sold ultra thin roast beef with reasonably close flavor to the classic Arby's Roast Beef. Don't bother with the Buddig brand. Along with its curiously pink color, it doesn't taste anything like Arby's... or beef... or meat.
After purchasing a couple sandwiches from Arby's to compare, I weighed the beef prior to eating. Each sandwich has exactly 2.2 ounces of meat (UPDATE: I have been informed by readers who work at Arbys that I should have been given 3 ounces of meat), however, feel free to add more if you desire a bigger sandwich.
The best bun to replicate an Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich is a sesame seed hamburger bun. I found Pepperidge Farm even sold one that has the wavy top, just like Arby's. However, in reality, any sesame seed bun should suffice.
How to Make Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich
Once you have the right ingredients, you can't just throw it together and call it a day. The taste and texture will be completely off. The true Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich is homogeneously warm and tender and to replicate the true experience your sandwich needs to mimic that texture.
The roast beef needs to be heated, just as it is in the fast food joint. To do this in your kitchen, using your microwave or skillet on the stovetop would be the obvious choices. However, the microwave cooks unevenly and will quickly turn portions of your beef rubbery, and you don't want to risk searing or crisping the beef in a hot fry pan. Instead, heat an inch or two of water in a saucepan and dunk the slices of roast beef in the hot liquid for approximately 10 seconds. The meat will be fully cooked through, yet still perfectly tender.
After lightly toasting the buns, the whole sandwich can be assembled and then thrown in the microwave for 11 seconds. This warms the bun and modifies the sandwich's texture to perfectly resemble what you would expect to be served in a fast food joint.
All that is left to do is to act like you hate your life as you serve your family the wrong order.
How to Make Arby's Roast Beef Sandwich
- 1 hamburger bun with sesame seeds
- 3 ounces ultra thinly sliced roast beef (Hillshire Farms or Land O' Frost are good options)
- Add 2 inches of want to a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Heat separate skillet on a different burner over medium-high heat.
- Lightly toast inside of hamburger bun in the skillet until it is just starting to brown, then remove bun from skillet.
- Separating each slice of roast beef, so they are not sticking together, briefly dunk meat in hot water until cooked through and warmed. Approximately 10 seconds.
- Assemble your sandwich by placing the warmed beef on the bun and place in the microwave on high for 11 seconds.
- Serve at your leisure.
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Yes! Arby’s will put you in the poorhouse if you mess around and let it! I could eat a whole bag of the Reg. Roast Beef. That’s why I was excited when I came across this little bit of info. I also got a bottle each of the Arby’s Sauce and Horsey Sauce! Ahhhh, so dericious!
Trying this today & can’t wait! But I’m disappointed they discontinued their potato cakes! Does anyone have a copy cat recipe for those? They were the main reason we went to Arby’s!
We just tried this recipe and it turned out fantastic! We used Hillshire Farms meat and I was stunned how similar it was to Arby's roast beef. We also bought some deli roast beef so we could compare and it was not as good, but okay.
We also used Secret Stadium Sauce for Arby's sauce which is a little spicier but very similar.
Also, for others, the point is not to make a cheaper option to Arby's, it's to see if you can recreate it at home. Plus most Arby's around us are no longer dine in.
Thanks for posting this!
Hilshire Farms roast beef comes in 7oz tubs for $5. You can either make two sandwiches with 3.5oz each or 3 sandwiches with 2.3oz. In our local supermarket a bag of 8 Pepperidge Farms sesame buns is usually $4 or $.50 each. If you make 2 sandwiches they would cost $3.00 each. Arby’s sells them 2 for $6. Where’s the savings?
Have to agree with Bob. I just finished making this using Hillshire Farms Roast Beef. The meat was not good.
However, on the positive side, Pepperidge Farms makes an excellent bun. You can buy an onion roll with sesame seeds. 2 packs for $6 at Food Lion yesterday.
I have to drive 1 hour one way to get to Arbys. Roughly $7 for 2 gallons of gas plus 2 hours of my time would be my savings. I'll gladly make drive 5 minutes to Wal-Mart to get these items.
I don't believe the motivation was about saving money, it's about replicating at home.
I can assure you this going to cost me more to nail this recipe than it would be just drive to Arby's and buy theirs. However, the satisfaction of a perfect duplication is worth more to me than saving a dime. (Specific to this instance; I am quite frugal otherwise.)
Just my two cents 😉
I’m so glad I found this recipe. We love Arby’s, but where we live there are no Arby’s! Thanks a bunch
Team Onion Bun!!
Do you think the sandwiches could be made and frozen? My grandma is not well and love arby’s so I wondered if I could pre-make some for her to pull out of freezer as she needs to eat. Thanks!
Fox Valley Foodie
I haven't tried it, but I do think it may be possible. I would recommend wrapping one in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn and test it out.
You can always vaccum seal the meat once it is cooked. When ready, you simply take it out and let it thaw. Then you simply drop the bag in a pot of boiling water for a short time to heat it up, take it out and cut the bag open and then you are ready to go!
Interesting....the Arbey's in my area use onion buns. That's part of what makes them so great 😊
Butterball roast beef tastes the most like Arby's but I've only ever seen it sold at one Piggly wiggly that's like an hour and a half away from me. Not sure if it's sold in your area but I've tried the ones you mentioned and it's so much better.
Butterball? I never knew they made anything outside of turkey products. I’ll have to check our piggly wiggly.
Your so correct on this method. I'm glad someone knows how it's really done. Thanks