Are you looking to make a delicious, authentic and easy Philly Cheesesteak in under 30 minutes?! If so, you've come to the right place! Having been born and raised in the Philly area, I know a good cheesesteak. And this recipe fits the bill.
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What is an Authentic Philly Cheesesteak?
A classic, Philly cheesesteak has: meat (ribeye), onions, and cheese (provolone, American cheese or Cheese Whiz). And it's pretty common to add sautéd mushrooms and/or peppers to a cheesesteak, as well. For an authentic Philly cheesesteak, the most well known places to go are Pats King of Steaks, Geno's Steaks, and Jim's Steaks, all in South Philly. I speak from experience here! If you are craving tender steak smothered in melty cheese and caramelized onions in a lightly toasted Hoagie roll, these are the best tourist spots!
Unfortunately, we can't all make the trip to Philly for one of these delicious cheesesteaks. But the good news is, you can make one at home just like the real deal!
How to Make Easy Philly Cheesesteaks
It takes less than 30 minutes to make these cheesesteaks and you'll only have to use ONE pan. It doesn't get any better than that! There is minimal chopping for this recipe. So, the prep work is really just combining ingredients.
- Olive Oil
- Onion- white or yellow is fine
- Shaved beef- buy pre-sliced to save you time
- Salt and Pepper
- Rolls-long, thin rolls work best
- Cheese- I prefer Provolone on my cheesesteaks
- Chips- totally optional- we love Utz Ripples Original Potato Chip.
How to Make Cheesesteaks
STEP 1: Sauté onions
First, sauté onions until caramelized. Then, set aside in a small bowl for later. Note: Most cheesesteak enthusiasts prefer their onions sliced, but for my picky eaters we opted to chop them finely.
STEP 2: Cook beef
Next, cook shaved beef and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula or two wooden spoons to gently pull shaved beef apart as it cooks.
STEP 3: Prepare rolls
Slice hoagie lengthwise without completely slicing apart. Spread butter on the inside of each half.
STEP 4: Assemble cheesesteaks!
Finally, divide meat into two sections in your pan (or more depending on how many rolls you have). Incorporate onion back into the meat. Place cheese on top of each section of meat and lay the open side of the roll face down on the meat. Once cheese has melted, use one or two spatulas to gently flip over the sandwich onto a plate.
Ribeye is typically the most popular choice of meat for Philly Cheesesteaks. This meat comes out quite tender and delicious, but slicing the meat thin enough can be tricky. Sirloin or Flank Steak are also popular options. Whatever you choose, I highly recommend asking your butcher to slice your meat as thin as possible to save you time in the kitchen!
For our cheesesteaks, we opted to buy Shaved Beef Steak. This meat was pre-sliced and packaged which meant way less work for me. Not only did it cook quickly, but it came out quite tender, mixing beautifully with the cheese and onions. We like DiLuigi's Shaved Beef Steak and have heard that Old Neighborhood shaved beef is another great choice.
Tips on Slicing Beef Thin: We realize that packaged, pre-sliced steak meat isn't sold everywhere. So, if you are cutting the meat yourself (especially Ribeye or a thicker cut of meat), Saveur has some great tips on how to cut steak paper thin. Specifically, associate food editor Kellie Evansy recommends freezing steak tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for 20 minutes prior to cutting. Then, once firm, he recommends thinly slicing the meat against the grain.
People have different opinions on this, and it can be very personal. Haha. I prefer provolone cheese, for its mild flavor and how well it melts and blends with the meat in our cheesesteaks. However, if you ask my sister, the best cheesesteak has 'extra whiz,' ladled on thick and creamy at the end. Overall, the most popular choices are provolone, American cheese and Cheese Whiz.
If you are from Philly or South Jersey, you have probably heard a sandwich prepared on a long, thin roll referred to as a hoagie. Depending on where you're from, you may call these sandwiches subs, submarines, grinders, heroes...the list goes on and on. A hoagie roll is classic for a Philly cheesesteak, and Amoroso's is the famous Italian bakery known for the perfect bread. But, if you don't live in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania, New Jersey & Delaware), it's tough to find Amoroso's products.
For our Philly cheesesteaks, we sought out rolls that were long, chewy, soft and thick enough to hold our hot steamy beef and cheese mixture. And the sandwiches were perfect!
We're kind of purists with our cheesesteaks, and stick to the basics: meat, onions, and cheese. And my sister always goes for a chicken cheesesteak (which some see as sacrilege - haha) with mushrooms and extra whiz. Obviously, you can totally make yours however you want! Go with what your family likes best!
It's pretty common to add sautéd mushrooms and/or peppers to a cheesesteak. Common variations of the cheesesteak are the Classic American Steak, Pepper Cheesesteak, Mushroom cheesesteak, and Pizza Steak. Respectively, that's a steak with American cheese, a cheesesteak with sautéed bell pepper slices, a cheesesteak with sautéed mushrooms, and a steak with provolone and marinara (sometimes peppers too).
What Sides Go with Philly Cheesesteaks?
We paired our cheesesteaks with the beloved, Pennsylvania's own Utz Ripples Original Potato Chips, but other popular choices are fries and onion rings. If you are looking for a potato side dish, we highly recommend these Shake & Bake Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries. Our Microwave "Baked Potato" for Kids would also go nicely with your cheesesteak.
Make Cheesesteaks with your Family
Worth considering is how this might be the perfect time to invite kids to help out in the kitchen (above all, assuming everyone is healthy and properly washing their hands!). Cooking with your kids can be a fun family activity with real educational benefits. Here are some ways for your lil' sous chefs to help with these cheesesteaks
- Use a basting brush to spread the olive oil on the pan. My daughter loves doing this cause "it's like painting"! And the basting brush is a mini size, which is perfect for little hands.
- Wear goggles to slice/chop onions! Goggles will protect little eyes from tearing up. Our fave kids knives are: Curious Chef Knife Set, Opinel Knife, & Made for Me Beginner's Knife.
- Butter the rolls. This is an easy task for little ones.
- Lay cheese on top of meat. Kids will love watching the cheese melt into the beef in the pan.
Modify Cheesesteaks for Picky Eaters
Find ways to "kidify" this meal for your picky eaters.
🍅 Kids choose their toppings. Mushrooms, peppers, ketchup, mustard....kids can dress their cheesesteaks however they'd like!
🍅 Change up the cheese! While we like Provolone on our cheesesteaks. But other cheeses like American or Cheese Whiz work great for this recipe.
🍅 Let kids choose the side dish. Fries, chips, or a simple salad all go great with cheesesteaks!
More Sandwiches to Try:
If you love these cheesesteaks, try one of these delicious sandwiches next:
- The Easiest Turkey Burger Sliders
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Kids
- Perfect Picnic Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Crispy Tomato, Pesto and Mozzarella Panini
- Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes
Easy Philly Cheesesteaks
- Heat remaining 1 T of oil (or cooking spray) in pan. Add shaved beef and season with salt and pepper. Use a spatula or two wooden spoons to gently pull shaved beef apart and cook until no longer pink. Mix in onions.
- Slice hoagie rolls lengthwise without completely slicing apart. Spread butter on the inside of each half.
- Divide meat into two sections in your pan (or more depending on how many rolls you have). Place 1-2 slices of cheese on top of each section of meat. Then, lay the open side of the roll face down on the cheese & meat for 1-2 minutes, or until butter and cheese have melted. Use one or two spatulas to gently flip over meat with roll onto a plate. Serve cheesesteaks with your side of choice.
- Buy shaved or pre-sliced meat. This will save you time in the kitchen!
- Assemble your cheesesteak upside down in the pan. Use a spatula to flip assembled cheesesteaks over and onto you plate.
Choose an Activity
Craft For Easy Philly Cheesesteaks:
Adorable DIY Coin Bank. Store your money in this adorable DIY coin bank! Your change will be safe in this sweet and simple cow-themed piggy bank!