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How to make the best Philly Cheesesteak ever, using sirloin steak, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. Easy skillet meal and traditional sandwich recipe!
Even though I traveled plenty as a kid (my dad was a truck driver), I didn't taste my first cheesesteak until I was in college.
Then I married a Pennsylvanian who loved his Philly cheesesteak. So, of course, I had to learn how to make a traditional Philly cheese steak sandwich, mainly so we didn't have to buy those awful store kits but also because I actually wanted to learn how to make this beloved by many sandwich.
And I have to say, this delicious Philly cheese steak sandwich is now one of my favorite dinner recipes.
It even has mushrooms, and y'all know I'm not a fan of mushrooms. But I'll eat them in a Philly cheese steak because it's just that good.
Follow me down through this post, and I'll teach you the ins and outs of how to make the best Philly cheese steak recipe ever, with Cheez Whiz or provolone, whichever is your preference. I'm drooling just thinking about it.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE PRINTABLE PHILLY CHEESE STEAK RECIPE?
If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the cheesesteak recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card with a longer how to video.
WHAT IS A PHILLY CHEESE STEAK?
A Philly cheese steak sandwich is basically a sandwich made on a hoagie with smaller, thinner pieces of beefsteak and cheese. What cheese goes on a Philly cheese steak depends; it can be provolone, American, or Cheez Whiz.
Originally a hot dog stall, Pat's was founded in 1930 by two brothers, Pat and Harry Olivieri. They are the ones who actually invented the famous cheesesteak in 1933.
An ordinary steak sandwich eventually became the cheesesteak and led to the brothers opening a restaurant in place of the hot dog stall.
WHAT'S THE BEST MEAT FOR PHILLY CHEESE STEAK?
Most people will recommend ribeye for a traditional Philly cheesesteak, but ribeye can be quite expensive. Others recommend top round steak.
For this recipe, at the recommendation of our butcher, I used a sirloin steak, sliced thinly. It had just enough fat to give the meat a lot of flavor and to make the meat quite tender when cooked.
Two things to look for when buying Philly cheese steak meat…
- You need to be able to slice it thinly.
- It needs to be tender, not tough, and fat is a good thing for both flavor and tenderness.
HOW TO SLICE PHILLY CHEESE STEAK MEAT
Slice against the grain when slicing the sirloin, in order to retain the tenderness of the meat.
Also, be sure to leave the fat on the meat. Fat gives meat flavor, especially during the cooking process.
Slice the meat as thin as possible, slicing it into thin strips for cooking. You'll need a good knife.
WHAT CHEESE GOES ON A PHILLY CHEESE STEAK?
So opinion varies on what cheese to use. It really is a debate if you research it.
The traditional consensus says either Cheez Whiz or provolone. Some even say American cheese pairs well with the provolone.
We tried it with both, and while I love the provolone, the Cheez Whiz won my taste buds over. However, it's up for debate in our house too because a couple of my guys really love the provolone.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE PHILLY CHEESE STEAK
When you've thinly sliced your steak, it's time to prep the veggies, which include garlic, onion, mushrooms, and a bell pepper. I recommend mincing the garlic and mushrooms, then slicing the onion and bell pepper.
While I sauté the veggies in bacon grease, you can use olive oil or butter.
It's important when you cook the meat that you don't cook it so long that you dry it out. You want it to be done, but you also want it to be nice and flavorful, as well as moist and tender.
When the meat is fully cooked, that's when you can add the veggies back in with the meat. And likely at this point, you'll want to toast the buns, so they're ready to go.
Layering the sandwich comes with a choice…
- If you want provolone, put two slices of provolone on before you add the meat.
- If you'd rather have Cheez Whiz, you'll wait and put Cheez Whiz on top of the meat mixture.
- Or if you really wanna go wild, you can have both. No judgment here.
While the hoagie bun completes the ensemble, you can make this recipe more low carb by eating the meat without the bun. Maybe add it to a bed of lettuce or spinach, or pair it with these low carb dinner rolls or keto garlic cheese bread from my friend, Lynsey at Moscato Mom.
MORE SANDWICH RECIPES YOU MAY ENJOY
KITCHEN TOOLS YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE A PHILLY CHEESE STEAK SANDWICH
Tongs – they really help with assembling the sandwiches.
PHILLY CHEESESTEAK RECIPE
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- 2 pounds sirloin steak, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease, *
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, minced
- 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup Cheez Whiz, **
- 6 hoagie rolls, ***
- Thinly slice the steak, slicing against the grain and leaving the fat on the meat for both flavor and tenderness.
- Wash and prep the veggies, mincing both the garlic and mushrooms, and slicing the onion and bell pepper.
- Sauté the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper in the bacon grease for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Add the meat to the skillet, along with the salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until the meat is almost done but not quite cooked through.
- Add the vegetables back in with the meat, stir, and let simmer until the meat is fully cooked. Be careful that the meat doesn't cook so long that you dry it out. You want it to be done, but you also want it to be nice and flavorful, as well as moist and tender.
- Meanwhile, while the meat is simmering, toast the buns in a dab of bacon grease or butter on a griddle or in the oven.
- When the meat and buns are ready, assemble each cheesesteak. Spread a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise in each bun.
- Then add a generous helping of the meat and vegetable mixture.
- Finally, top it all off with Cheez Whiz. Or you can go the provolone route, in which case you add the cheese before adding the meat mixture.
- And that's it, they're ready to serve and enjoy.
*You can use olive oil or butter in place of bacon grease.
**In place of Cheez Whiz, you can use provolone cheese. If you decide to use provolone, you'll need 2 slices for each sandwich. This will change the nutritional info.
***We used smaller hoagie buns, probably 6-inch buns, we found at the store.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 683 Total Fat: 46g Saturated Fat: 17g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 22g Cholesterol: 182mg Sodium: 1126mg Carbohydrates: 17g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 50g