Best Cheesesteak Sandwich Recipe
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What makes the best Philly Cheesesteak sandwich recipe? Tender, shaved beef, caramelized onions, lots of flavor thanks to Worcestershire Sauce and oodles of gooey, stringy, drippy cheese — piled on top of a buttery, toasted french roll. Best part, it’s pretty much a one pan meal, done in 30 minutes!
I adore easy dinners, especially meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less, and this is the Best Cheesesteak Recipe ready in 30 minutes! You might also love my Philly Cheesesteak Sliders recipe.
We adore easy weeknight, fresh and tasty meals in this house, you too? Try these Honey Bourbon Chicken, Healthy Mongolian Beef, and Penne alla Vodka and these delicious Homemade Sloppy Joes.
This has been a year for comfort food for me, probably for many of us; and these sandwiches fill my comfort depleted bucket right now! Even in the heat of summer, I enjoy the warm, tasty, rich and savory sandwich, with juices dripping down my chin, stringy cheese bite after bite. My kinda meal!
What’s the difference between a Philly Cheesesteak and a Cheesesteak?
Great question, I’m a Colorado girl via the west coast and while I’ve visited Philly, I have not eaten many of Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches. I had to do a little digging and by digging I mean, surfing the internet.
- Philly Cheesesteak | A long, crusty Italian roll cradles thinly sliced, sautéed ribeye steak, dripping with meat juices and messy, melted cheese. It’s heavy. It’s simple. And ooooh, boy, is it savory. Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz, but American and Provolone are common substitutions. (Source)
- Cheesesteak | So by definition, anything that changes things up, whether it’s cheese, additions, seasonings, makes it a plain (but still savory and delicious) Steak Sandwich Recipe.
- I have been corrected by several Philadelphians that all self-respecting Philly residents order order their Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches with Cheez Whiz. They say, “wiz wit” that’s Philadelphian for wiz and fried onions on the sandwich, and that’s how we order them.
Authentic Philly Cheesesteak?
According to Philadelphians, you simply cannot make an authentic Philadelphia Cheese Steak sandwich without an authentic Philadelphia roll. The rolls must be long and thin, not fluffy or soft, but also not too hard. They also say that if you are more than one hour from South Philly, you cannot make an authentic sandwich.Source
So, no, this recipe is not authentic, which is why I’m calling it simply, the BEST Cheesesteak recipe!
I’ve been making this homemade Philly cheesesteak recipe on repeat for years, the original recipe is from my dear, creative friend, Norine from Norine’s Nest, who by the way you should follow, because not only is she a fabulous cook, but she’s sooo funny!
It’s a huge hit in our house, when my family sees shaved beef thawing they KNOW that goodness is happening for dinner!
Best Cheesesteak Recipe
What Goes on a Traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich?
- Shaved ribeye steak
- White American cheese; tourists ask for Cheez Whiz, but provolone is also a welcome substitution
- Salt and pepper, pan juices
- With and without sautéd onions
Key Ingredients for Best Cheesesteak Recipe
- Beef | Shaved beef, steak or thinly sliced cube, round steak, even flank steak or skirt steak will work.
- Butter | Don’t knock it, it adds a ton of flavor!
- Caramelized onions | Wit or Wit Out? You need these drool worthy onions in your best cheesesteak recipe
- Seasoning salt | Adds complex flavor, easily!
- Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is Gluten free)
- Hot sauce | Add or keep out, totally optional, but at least serve with hot sauce!
- Cheese | (our family is split; 1 no cheese, 2 Pepper Jack and me, Provolone cheese)
- Toasted sub rolls | You definitely want to toast your rolls!
What Cut of Meat is the Best for Cheesesteak
Norine uses cube steak, the first time I made this, I wasn’t able to find cube steak; so I used round steak and sliced it as thin as possible. However; I’ve since discovered shaved beef from Trader Joe’s! It’s paper thin, tender and delicious.
PRO TIP |If using cube or round steak, roll and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 20 to 30 minutes, then using a sharp knife, slice very thin, trying to “chip” away at the steak.
How to Make a Steak and Cheese Sandwich
- Slice onion in half, then slice thinly
- Heat large pan over medium heat (this is my favorite pan!)
- Pop in butter, melt until bubbly
- Toss in onions and saute until soft and caramel colored
- Meanwhile, season shaved beef with seasoning salt
- Remove onions once caramelized to plate
- Increase heat to medium-high, adding another pat or two of butter
- Add beef in single layer, if not possible, do in batches. It’s a quick saute to brown, the beef is thin enough it will cook super quickly. Turn after a minute or two.
- Once meat is browned, return onions to pan, and stir in Worcestershire sauce, and if desired, hot sauce.
- Layer cheese over meat, cover with lid to melt.
- Brown rolls on griddle with a little butter, if desired (and by desired, I mean, you should do this part, come on, this is not diet food!)
- Serve on top of browned sub or hoagie rolls, I’ve also used whole wheat to make myself think it was a bit healthier. Can’t blame a girl for trying!
Can I Make ahead of time
YES! This is a great meal to serve for a game day, tailgating or a party.
Make ahead as directed above; place in slow cooker and keep on the warm setting or covered in an oven set to 150-200 degrees. Serve with toasted sub or hoagie or slider rolls.
Philly Steak Sandwich Add-Ins
- Add sliced red, green, yellow or orange peppers when caramelizing onions, sauteeing until soft and slightly browned
- Saute sliced mushrooms
- Norine’s fave is to serve with Lighthouse Cotija Cilantro dressing
- Ranch dressing
- Garlic Aioli
- We eat our’s “naked” so to speak, so juicy, flavorful, filling and savory!
What’s the Difference between a Hoagie and a Sub Sandwich?
The difference in this instance is a Hoagie uses a harder, firmer roll, not slicing it all the way through, instead stuffing it with meat, cheese, etc. Whereas a sub sandwich is typically a soft roll, cut all the way through.
Then you have grinders, poor boy’s and hero’s! Being born and raised on the west coast, these were all foreign names to me when I was first introduced to them while visiting the East coast and the south for the first time.
What I do know? They are all delicious, all a sandwich of some for or another, so why let semantics get in the way of enjoying a scrumptious meal!
I hope these homemade Philly Cheesesteaks become a family favorite for you as well! Here are a few other comforting family favorites.
- Famous Flank Steak Marinade
- Easy Cheese Enchiladas
- Shawarma Chicken Bowls
- Copycat Chipotle Chicken
- Caprese BLT Sandwich
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Best Cheesesteak Sandwiches
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium-large onion, cut into thin slices
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 2-3 pounds shaved beef steak, see notes for other options
- 1/2 cup [Worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrin’s is gluten free]
- 1 tsp [Seasoning Salt, such as Lawry's], to taste, 1 teaspoon or so
- 1-2 tablespoons Hot Sauce, optional
- 6-8 slices provolone, white cheddar, or pepper jack cheese, or go all Philly and use Cheese Whiz (wiz wit)
- 6 sub sandwich rolls, Use Hoagie rolls, Italian or French rolls
- 2 tablespoons butter
- bell peppers, or mushrooms, optional additions
- Heat large pan to medium heat, melt butter and toss in sliced onions, stirring around until soft and caramel colored, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside.
- If steak is not already sliced, slice as thinly as possible (see notes) and season with seasoning salt, not too much, just a light all over sprinkle.
- Using the same skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, add butter and oil, then add steak in as much of one layer as possible, if too crowded, do in a couple of batches. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side, for 1-2 minutes, won’t take long.
- Once beef is browned (I slightly undercook, as it will keep cooking), pour in Worcestershire sauce and if desired, a few shakes of hot sauce we like Cholula. Stir around for a minute, then return onions to pan and stir into beef, including all of those delicious juices.
- Place desired cheese slices on top of the beef, cover for a minute until super melty, gooey and irresistible.
- Meanwhile, heat a griddle or another large skillet to medium-high heat, spread a thin layer of butter on the cut side of the sub rolls, place butter side down on griddle and toast until brown and delish.
- Serve cheesesteak on top of rolls and enjoy immediately.
✱ Kathleen’s Tips
The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.
About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.
I tried this recipe as written above and we all loved it, marveling at the fact that it was delicious with no sauce or anything else put on top, like a Philly cheesesteak is typically served.
I am wanting to put this in a crockpot, about 4 1/2 lbs. of it.. Must I brown it first or can I put it in as is and keep on warm for a few hours? Do I add the Worcestershire sauce at the time I put it in the crockpot for the necessary liquid? Do I sauté the onions and add to the crockpot or keep them to the side until just before serving? Sorry for all the questions that probably have obvious answers…. and thank you for your time!
I have never tried in a crockpot, but I would do everything in pans first, sautéing meat and onions until soft. Maybe slightly undercooking the steak, as it will easily finish cooking in the crockpot. I would the crockpot on warm versus setting it on low. If preferred, add the Worcestershire sauce to the crockpot or season the steak beforehand. I think adding the onions to the crockpot with the meat, sauce, and cheese will yield the best flavors. Sounds like a feast!! So glad you loved the recipe.
I made this the other night with shaved beef I bought at Aldi’s. I too, marinated the meat for a couple hours in Worcestershire Sauce before cooking. I also used 2 onions that I caramelized to yumminess before adding sliced red and yellow bell peppers to them. My caramelizing takes substantially more time than your recipe calls for, but OMG is it good! If you have the extra time to do it low and slow, do it!
Kathleen, thank you for a fabulous, easy recipe that my husband and I both loved. I’m not a huge meat eater, but will make this again and again. Hubs said to put it in the top 10 🙂
So glad that you loved it so much, it’s a family favorite in our house too! And I agree, too much oil and butter, no such thing! Haha!
I didn’t do the recipe exactly as it was because we only wanted 2 sandwiches and 1 wanted no onions. Would be nice if measurement adjustments weren’t only multiples but also the single version even if measurements were oddly small. Anyways, with the exception of me using a little too much olive oil and butter, the recipe really was marvelous. Thank you. We both loved this.
Sorry about that Eric, it’s how the recipe card plug in works I have no ability to change it personally, tho I can reach out to the developer. Did you try the servings slider on the recipe card? I think you can pull that down to just one or two servings. But glad you enjoyed it and made it yours.
Is there such a thing as too much oil and butter? I think not!
Very good recipe. I made this tonight and my husband and I really enjoyed it. Have some leftover for hubby’s lunch tomorrow.
Love hearing that Patricia! Thank you!
This is sooo good. This is my new go to dinner. The only thing I changed was marinating the meat with a little Worcestershire sauce but still added some while cooking. OMG!!!!! We have even played with different cheese Gouda, White Cheddar, Swiss. This is delicious.
I love your tweaks, Jill! Thank you so much for your kind words!
By far the BEST shaved meat sandwich I’ve made! We added sautéed mushrooms and white American cheese. I cannot wait to have these again. Thank you!
Oh that sounds divine! Thank you so much for your kind words, Helen! So appreciate them, and you!
I added cubello peppers and sliced mushrooms to the onions and cut back slightly on the sauce and they were so good. It’s going in our monthly meal rotation.
That sounds fabulous!!
This is quick easy and delicious
Thank you so much Liza, so appreciate your kind comment!
I’ve been looking through different recipes to find the perfect one, for the shaved steak I purchased for making cheesesteaks, and at least looking for the one that sounds delicious and stands out amongst the crowd. I have come across this “best cheesesteak recipe” , and I am now on my way to the kitchen to get to work. I cannot wait to introduce this one to the family!!!!
I hope you love it as much as we do Paige!
Really fast and delicious!
Thank you so much Earl!
This was excellent loved the recipe
Wow, this is SO good. Seriously take out quality! Will be making this again and again
So very glad to hear that Andrea! Thank you!!
the only thing i do not like about your web site is that i couldn’t give you a 10 star for the PERFECT CHEESE STEAK……thank you so much for PERFECTION!
Awe, you are so so very sweet! Thank you so much!
Amazing!!! My hubs only complaint was not enough cheese:-). So if you make it pile on the cheese!
That would be my hubby’s preference too!
Great amazing simple recipe! I did 1 pound of shaved steak so I altered the amount of Worcestershire sauce kept everything else the same added more onion and use provolone. Wow, it was the best Philly Cheesesteak I’ve ever had and I’ve had them in Philadelphia! So simple, so easy and everyone loved them thank you so much!
Wow Reba, thank you so much for your kind comments and I love how you made it yours and tweaked to your liking! Thank you for your kind comment and happy cooking! Kathleen
Wonderful, easy and delish 🙂
“Tourists ask for cheese whiz”. Ummm authentic philly has cheese whiz. White American is more Lehigh Valley cheesesteaks. I prefer white american, but that is not authentic philly. Wiz wit Wiz wit….
Great to know Grant, I continue to learn about the “right way” to eat a Philly Cheesesteak!
I am a Philadelphia native, born and raised in west Philly..I HAVE to say you spoke to people outside of Philadelphia if they told you no cheese whiz. We say, “wiz wit” for a reason. That’s Philadelphian for wiz and fried onions on the sandwich, and that’s how we order them.
I just wanted to correct that one, and I don’t know of any Philadelphian that doesn’t order it wiz wit. Not knocking you, but you got some bad info.
Thanks Chris for your insights, I have modified over the years from friends and readers who are from Philly, and will certainly take your information into account the next time I modify the post. While I know and admit this is not a Philly Cheesesteak, I hope you might give it a try for one to make at home! One thing is for darn sure, you all are passionate about your cheesesteaks! Which I love!
Thanks again, happy cooking! Kathleen
I made these sandwiches for game night with my in-laws and they were devoured! Delicious recipe and so simple to make — definitely on our repeat list!
Trying this tonight! Your small typo of po’ boys as “poor boys” had my husband and I giggling for a while, but a great article overall!
Haha, glad I made you both giggle, I think it must have been an auto-correct, because my husband has definitely drilled that into me! LOL, I need to get that changed! Hope you enjoyed them!
I enjoyed your article
I’m from philly so I didn’t need to surf the internet.
First of all I agree with all you’ve said about the making of this fine sandwich
Cheese wiz is for tourists
White American cheese is the authentic
Some places do provolone
But absolutely no wiz
Here’s a tip about a sandwich even more revered in phily
It’s called a roast pork Italian sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone
Best place in philly
Hey thank you so much! I had another Philly born gal school me that my research on the Cheez Wiz is not accurate! I just need to update the post!
Thanks for your kind words and that roast pork sandwich sounds wonderful!! Sounds like I really need to get back to Philly!
Thanks again, have a wonderful day!
@Steve, 😏 oh my God, I am leaving for vaca tomorrow and was looking forward to making my first home made cheese steak for a friend and I. My ex used to make them late at night and he would serve with an over easy egg nestled in. ….now! I see you additional comment about
” roast pork Italian sandwich with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone”…I am dying! Must make this also! Thank you for such a Great idea! Please, I am shopping on way up tomorrow. What pork do you use please? It sounds delicious! Thank you!
Hope you find the info Kim!!
@Steve, That’s how Texans feel about chili and brisket. Others can cook it, but don’t claim it’s from Texas if you are adding beans and bell pepper, etc. too the chili, or if it is watery like a soup, and if your brisket is cooked low and slow, in a wood smoker, with no seasoning but salt and pepper, it isn’t Texas style brisket.
Don’t know what you’re talking about cheese whiz is for tourists. I’ve been a Philadelphian for 52 years, if you order one with American they call it a ” medigon”, Italian slang for non-italiana or American in this case.
But by no means is “wiz wit” made up by a tourist. Speaking of tourist, Tony Luke’s is a tourist trap bud, John’s roast pork is hands down the best roast pork in Philly. In south Philly on Columbus Blvd. Give it a try you’ll forget the name Tony Luke.
I’m also a Philly native and I totally agree! Tony Luke’s is the best and the roast pork sandwich is an absolute must.
Kathleen, this sandwich is delish and I will definitely keep making it! I have found what really makes a great sandwich is the bread it’s served on which is why an authentic Philly cheesesteak can only come from Philly since their bread is the best. 🙂
Thank you so much Maria, so appreciate your kind words, means the world to me. I love the nature of regional breads!!
Yum! amazing flavors in the sandwich!
My hubby is from Philly and knows cheesesteaks! This is a keeper for sure!
Yay, thank you, tho I do recognize these are not true Philly Cheesesteaks! My interpretation of them!
Looks so juicy and good! Great tip on the beef from Trader Joe’s!
Thank you so much Inger! Appreciate that!
I am 59, born and raised South Philadelphian. First, I must say your article is lovely and cheesesteaks any which way are certainly delicious!!! However, (white) American cheese is the cheese of choice in Philadelphia. No self-respecting Philadelphian (I’m sure there are a few) would agree that Cheez Whiz is the primary used – and it’s never Provolone (and I do not argue that many folks love provolone on cheesesteaks)
Also, Philadelphia has so many really tasty, famous roast beef niche shops and there is nothing like a nice roast beef sandwich on a kaiser roll covered in Provolone and Brocolli Rabe… but Rib Eye Steak is not the popular cheesesteak choice of meat.
Now, and historically speaking (you’d have to do a little web research for the source on this – I know it’s out there, I had to prove this before to colleagues in DC), the true steak used for a Philly cheesesteak is ‘chuck steak’ otherwise known as ‘chip steak’ (not to be confused with chipped beef) in Philly… you can get this sliced by the pound at any deli in the area. The Philly cheesesteak was invented using chip steak – and is still the preferred ‘flavor’ of Philadelphians today.
But FYI when a true Philadelphian orders a proper cheesesteak – anywhere in Philadelphia (except the tourist traps spots like Pat’s and Geno’s, Mike’s, etc)… they simply say “I’ll have a large Cheesesteak, with fried onions and Xtra cheese” ——- haha… I added extra, I always do —- and they automatically give the chip steak with white American, no questions asked. THAT’s authentic! If you specify a cheese in your order….. they know you are not from around there.
I’ve eaten quite a few of these in my years… and as I am currently living out of town, have become quite the connoisseur of out of state cheese steaks. Ugh. Nothing is comparable. I save my calories for a treat and drive back home – and yes, I bring an empty cooler with me to the deli and load up for at home cooking!! (Yes, the rolls are important and hard to find, but an italian loaf or french loaf can do in a pinch).
Geeez… can you tell I love these!? hahah! Thank you for your article and great recipes!!
One very popular topping growing up was cooking the steak in the fry pan with pizza sauce, onions, mushrooms, and yes… this one gets provolone!
All the best,
The oldest, Philly-wiser big sister of Josh, the former host of Ginormous Food.
Thank you so much for the complete history, I love it! I tried to definitely say what was authentic and that mine is not! Haha! All of my research said that Cheez Whiz was what was used, but good to know that it’s white American! I am so glad you love these, thanks so much for all of the great information, it’s been awhile since I’ve had an authentic one, someday I will get back to Philly! Have a great week!
@Scarlett, I really doubt many can tell a difference in taste between American cheese and Cheez Whiz….both processed cheese products, and I like ALL cheese. 😍
I love how this comes together in one pan and then you make individual sandwiches from there. They are perfect!
Absolutely, that’s what we love about it too! Thank you!
We don’t need a ticket to philly after trying this sandwich. It is literally the best we’ve ever had.
Love how easy this is and all the flavor you get with it! Perfect weeknight meal.
These sandwiches look AMAZING. I can’t wait to make them this weekend!
These really ARE the best cheesesteak sandwiches! We loved them and I’ll make these again!
Love hearing that Paige, thank you so much!!
This was awesome!!
When I was a kid there was a cheesesteak place near my house. I loved going there. Now I can make these again and again for my family. Thanks for the recipe, it’s great!
I love it when food has a story behind it Debi! Hope you enjoy them!
Thirty minute dishes are the best and this sandwich is fantastic! We’re keeping this one bookmarked!
I admit that I am a provolone fan and not a cheez whiz kind of girl. For me it is all about the juicy steak and the toasty bread! A few jalapenos and I am all set! What an amazing comfort food recipe!
There is no way I could do cheez whiz! LOL! I am with you!!
This Cheesesteak Sandwich is better than any we’ve ever boughten or made! It’s comfort food in a sammi!
Yummers…no teenagers here, but don’t discount us senior citizens! You had me at “honey bourbon!!!”
Thanks so much Bob!