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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!

If you like easy weeknight dinners, you should try Honey Bourbon Chicken, Easy Beef and Broccoli, and Penne alla Vodka and these delicious Homemade Sloppy Joes.

cheesesteak sandwich oozing tender, thinly sliced beef, stringy cheese, juices and caramelized onions with a toasted sub roll

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 & Cheese Sandwich.
slices of tender, juicy steak pilled high atop a toasted hoagie roll with dripping, melted provolone cheese.

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 the past year, 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!

whole wheat sub sandwich roll with cheesesteak piled between, on parchment paper with juices spilling onto the parchment.

What Goes on a Traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich?

  • Shaved ribeye steak
  • Cheez Whiz is most traditional, but often American or provolone are substituted
  • Salt and pepper, pan juices
  • With and without sauteed onions

WHAT GOES IN A CHEESESTEAK SANDWICH?

  • shaved beef, steak or thinly sliced cube or round steak
  • butter (don’t knock it, it adds a ton of flavor)
  • caramelized onions (drool worthy)
  • seasoning salt
  • Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is Gluten free)
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Cheese (our family is split; 1 no cheese, 2 Pepper Jack and me, Provolone)
  • Toasted sub 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

  1. Slice onion in half, then slice thinly
  2. Heat large pan over medium heat (this is my favorite pan!)
  3. Pop in butter, melt until bubbly
  4. Toss in onions and saute until soft and caramel colored
  5. Meanwhile, season shaved beef with seasoning salt
  6. Remove onions once caramelized to plate
  7. Increase heat to medium-high, adding another pat or two of butter
  8. 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.
  9. Once meat is browned, return onions to pan, and stir in Worcestershire sauce, and if desired, hot sauce.
  10. Layer cheese over meat, cover with lid to melt.
  11. 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!)
  12. 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!
Skillet filled with melty cheesesteak with griddle in background toasting sub sandwich rolls

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!
close up image of half cheesesteak sandwich on white plate, with toasted sub roll and stuffed with steak, melted cheese and sauteed onions.

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!

Sub sandwich toasted and filled with juicy philly cheesesteak on a white plate

I hope these homemade Philly Cheesesteaks become a family favorite for you as well! Here are a few other comforting family favorites.

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Yield: 6 Sandwiches

Best Cheesesteak Sandwiches

cheesesteak sandwich oozing tender, thinly sliced beef, stringy cheese, juices and caramelized onions with a toasted sub roll

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!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Sauteed Onions

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium-large onion, cut into thin slices

Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Place desired cheese slices on top of the beef, cover for a minute until super melty, gooey and irresistible.
  6. 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.
  7. Serve cheesesteak on top of rolls and enjoy immediately.

Notes

BEST CUT OF BEEF | I buy shaved fresh beef steak from Trader Joe's, it's sliced paper thin and is perfect for this recipe. If you cannot find shaved beef, purchase cube, round or regular steak, roll and wrap in plastic wrap freezing for 20-30 minutes, then using a sharp knife slice the steak super thin or in chips.

MAKE AHEAD OPTION | 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.

This recipe was adapted from Norine's Nest Pepper Jack Steak Sandwiches.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 Sandwiches

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 765Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 776mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 50g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate, at times it pulls information for suggestions and options which may increase calories, etc. Nutritional information will change based on used ingredients, quantities used, etc.

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Paige

Sunday 9th of August 2020

These really ARE the best cheesesteak sandwiches! We loved them and I'll make these again!

Kathleen

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Love hearing that Paige, thank you so much!!

Debi

Sunday 9th of August 2020

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!

Kathleen

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

I love it when food has a story behind it Debi! Hope you enjoy them!

Jennifer Stewart

Sunday 9th of August 2020

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!

Kathleen

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

There is no way I could do cheez whiz! LOL! I am with you!!

Bob

Saturday 8th of August 2020

Yummers...no teenagers here, but don’t discount us senior citizens! You had me at “honey bourbon!!!”

Kathleen

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

Thanks so much Bob!

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