The Tastiest, Easiest Way to Make Philly Cheesesteaks at Home

Is there a more iconic American sandwich than the Philly cheesesteak? Between the crispy shaved beef, the sautéed peppers and onions, the blanket of melted cheese, and the soft hoagie roll that holds it all together, it’s no surprise that the cheesesteak’s reputation extends far beyond Philadelphia.

How to make the most authentic cheesesteak is a hotly debated topic in Philly (especially when it comes to the type of cheese), and we won’t claim to know the answer. Instead, we’re simply sharing the best, easiest version you can make at home — no ticket to Philly required.

What Cut of Beef Is Best for Philly Cheesesteaks?

Ribeye is the best choice for cheesesteaks, and sirloin is the more affordable alternative. No matter which cut you buy, look for well-marbled steaks. The shaved beef slices sizzle in the rendered fat, giving the meat its meltingly tender texture and crispy, caramelized edges.

Delis in Philly use meat slicers to create thin slices of beef, but since the same slicing equipment isn’t exactly standard kitchen fare, you have two options: You can ask the butcher at your grocery store’s meat counter to thinly slice it for you, or, if you bring the steaks home whole, you can freeze them for a few hours before you plan to cook. After two hours, the meat will be firm but not frozen, making it easier to thinly slice.

What Type of Cheese Is Best for Philly Cheesesteaks?

Philadelphians have strong opinions about whether cheesesteaks should be made with Cheez Whiz, American, or provolone cheese. We found that the combination of thinly sliced American and provolone cheeses makes for the best flavor and meltability.

No matter what variety you choose, you’ll want to simply embrace the mess it creates, and here’s why: After the cheese is melted and the steak is sizzling and caramelized in the skillet, you’ll use a spatula to transfer the filling into the sliced rolls. It’s nearly impossible (and frankly unnecessary) to maintain the neat layers of cheese, peppers, onions, and steak and move the mound in one clean scoop. Instead, allow the filling to mix with the melted cheese as you stuff it into the bread, which, honestly, makes it all the more delicious.

How Can I Make a Keto-Friendly Cheesesteak?

At first glance, Philly cheesesteaks don’t look like the most keto-friendly recipe, but you actually only need to make one change to enjoy it on a keto diet: Simply skip the roll and serve the cheesesteak filling on its own or alongside a salad. With two types of cheese, a trio of keto-friendly veggies, and a generous serving of steak, this Philly classic is so full of flavor you won’t even miss the bun.

How to Make Philly Cheesesteaks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    ribeye or sirloin steak

  • 2

    (12-inch) soft sub or hoagie rolls

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    vegetable oil, divided

  • 1

    large yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 1

    medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 1

    medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 4 slices

    American cheese, preferably white

  • 4 slices

    provolone cheese

Equipment

Large frying pan

Knife and cutting board

Measuring spoons

Flat spatula

Aluminum foil

Plate

Serrated knife

Instructions

  1. Freeze the steak until firm. Place the steak in the freezer until very firm but not frozen, 2 to 3 hours.

  2. Slice the rolls. Slice the rolls lengthwise, leaving one side attached. Set aside.

  3. Slice the steak into 1/8-inch thick strips and season with salt and pepper. Remove the steak from the freezer and slice crosswise into very thin (1/8-inch thick) strips. Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper; set aside.

  4. Sauté the onion and bell peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell peppers, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook until the onions are soft and browned and the bell peppers are tender, 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate, cover with aluminium foil, and set aside.

  5. Cook the steak until browned. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the steak and cook for 1 minute without stirring. Stir and repeat until the all of the steak is browned, 7 to 9 minutes total cook time. After browning the meat, some moisture will remain in the pan.

  6. Top the steak with vegetables and cheeses. Divide the steak into two piles and top each pile with the onion and pepper mixture. Arrange the cheese slices over top, alternating the American and provolone cheeses.

  7. Cook until the cheese melts and the steak is crispy. Cook until the cheese melts and the bottom layer of steak is browned and crispy, about 6 minutes.

  8. Scoop the filling into rolls, then slice the sandwiches in half. Use a thin, flat spatula to scoop one pile of cheesesteak filling into each roll. It is ok if it takes a few scoops to transfer the filling because as you scoop the steak, vegetables, and cheese mix together. There is no need to maintain the layers or transfer in a single scoop at this point. Use a serrated knife to slice each roll in half.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Onion and bell peppers can be cooked and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Steak can be sliced and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.

Storage: Refrigerate cheesesteak filling leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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