Philly Cheesesteak is a hearty sandwich made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, provolone cheese, and optional caramelized onions, all on a toasted hoagie roll. If you love Philly Cheesesteaks, be sure to try my Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes!
The Philly Cheesesteak was invented in 1930 by hot dog vendor Pat Olivieri. He decided to cook some beef on his grill for a sandwich, and it caught on from there! There are many versions of this iconic sandwich, from ‘wit’ fried onions or not to Cheez Whiz to different toppings. So, it is a fun sandwich to make your own.
Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients
Cheesesteak ingredients generally consist of grilled sliced steak topped with melted cheese on a hoagie roll. Then, other ingredients are added.
Steak: I used ribeye steak for this sandwich. Top round steak is another popular choice for cheesesteaks. Place the steak in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing. This firms up the meat to make it easier to slice.
Bread: Hoagie rolls are most commonly used. Choose a crusty roll with a soft center. I prefer to toast my rolls in the oven, but you could also toast the rolls in a skillet on the stovetop.
Cheese: Cheez whiz or Provolone cheese? I went with provolone cheese in this recipe. However, you could definitely use cheez whiz or American cheese.
Toppings: Onions are a must on this sandwich, in my opinion. However, you do not have to add any toppings, if that is your preference. Although I stuck with caramelized onions, many people also love to add sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, hot peppers, and even ketchup to the sandwich.
Preparing the Steak
Ribeye or Top Round steak is generally the meat of choice for a Philly Cheesesteak. The meat needs to be thinly sliced, so place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing it. When ready, slice the steak and season the slices with salt and pepper. Set the seasoned meat aside as you caramelize the onions (if you are adding onions) and toasting the rolls.
If adding onions to your sandwich, cook them after slicing the steak. To cook the onions, add olive oil and butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook them, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes. If you are adding peppers and/or mushrooms, add them to the caramelized onions to cook.
Toasting Hoagie Rolls
I recommend toasting the crusty rolls. You can toast them in the oven (like I did) or in a skillet. To toast the rolls in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread a little butter in the insides of the rolls and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. After you remove the rolls from the oven cover them with a towel to keep warm.
How to Make a Philly Cheesesteak
To cook the steak, add the strips of meat to a skillet over medium heat. (If you already made the onions to top the sandwich, use the same skillet.) Get out two spatulas to shred the meat. Use one spatula to hold down the meat and the other to pull it apart.
Cook the shredded meat for about 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t get crispy. If you set aside onions, add them back to the skillet with the meat. Stir to combine. Top the meat and onions with the slices of provolone cheese and continue cooking on low until the cheese melts.
Using tongs or a spatula, pick up the meat and cheese mixture and place it on a toasted roll. Serve immediately. Repeat for the remaining sandwiches.
Looking for More Hearty Sandwich Recipes?
Philly Cheesesteak is a hearty sandwich made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, provolone cheese, and optional caramelized onions, all on a toasted hoagie roll.
- 1 pound ribeye steak
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 Hoagie rolls, or Italian long rolls (Choose a crusty roll with a soft center.)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
With Onions (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced
- 8 slices provolone cheese
Other Optional Toppings
- sautéed peppers
- sautéed mushrooms
Place the ribeyes in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. This will firm up the edges and make the meat easier to slice.
Slice the meat into thin strips, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
With Onions (Optional)
In a large skillet, add olive oil and butter, heat over medium until butter is melted and oil is hot. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently until caramelized (about 10-15 minutes). Transfer onions to a plate and cover to keep warm. (Onions are optional, but we love them!)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Slice hoagie rolls open lengthwise, careful to not cut through the bread (they should remain intact).
Place the rolls on the prepared pan and spread butter lightly on the insides of the rolls.
Toast for 5-10 minutes in the oven, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cover with a towel to keep warm.
In a skillet over medium heat, add the ribeye slices. (If you prepared onions, use the same skillet.)
Use two spatulas to created the signature shredded meat on a Philly Cheesesteak. Use one spatula to hold the meat in place and the other to pull it apart. (This step helps tenderize the meat while it cooks.)
Continue cooking until the meat is cooked through, but not crisp (about 2 minutes).
Add the onions back into the skillet and stir to combine.
Top the steak and onions with provolone cheese. Continue cooking on low until the cheese has melted.
Use a spatula or tongs to pick up the meat and cheese mixture and place it onto the toasted hoagie.