One fateful day in 1930, hot dog vendor Pat Olivieri threw some beef onto his grill to make a sandwich. A passing cab driver asked for one covered with cheese, and the “Philly cheesesteak” was officially born.
What is a Philly cheesesteak, besides one of America’s most beloved sandwiches? It’s a meaty, cheesy, gooey concoction served on a warm, toasted hoagie roll. Some like it with provolone cheese, others prefer Cheez Whiz, while others load their cheesesteaks with peppers and onions.
Variations abound, and we’re going to cover them all in this Philly cheesesteak guide. Keep reading to learn how to make the best Philly cheesesteak — wherever you’re at!
Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients
The best cheesesteak starts with the best cut of meat. You want to choose a cut that doesn’t take a long time to get tender, like a ribeye, top round, or sirloin.
If you’re not a fan of steak (or you don’t eat red meat), that’s okay! As you’ll see when you visit some of the best cheesesteak restaurants, chicken cheesesteaks are also a popular option. You could even do a vegetarian option with loads of sauteed veggies and your choice of cheese.
For the cheese, the two most popular options are provolone cheese or Cheez Whiz (or a combination of the two)a. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Philadelphia area, pick up some legendary Amoroso rolls. Otherwise, head to your favorite bakery and get some freshly baked hoagie rolls.
Finally, if you want veggies with your cheesesteak, pick up some bell peppers, onions, and/or mushrooms.
Philly Cheesesteak Recipe
Assuming you’re going the most traditional route, here’s what you’ll need to make two Philly cheesesteaks:
- 10-12 ounces steak
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 3 slices provolone cheese
- 1/4 cup Cheez Whiz
- 2 toasted hoagie rolls
If possible, ask your butcher to thinly shave the steak. If you’re the DIY type, try placing the steak in your freezer for 10 minutes to stiffen it. Then slice it as thinly as possible with your sharpest knife.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add your sliced peppers and onions. Cook until tender, then set aside. Add half the steak to the hot pan, cook through, and add to the peppers and onions. Repeats with the second batch of steak, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Drain the pan and return all ingredients to it. Place the sliced Provolone cheese over the mixture and cover the pan until the cheese melts. Use tongs to mix everything together and then load the cheesesteak into oven-toasted hoagie rolls.
For extra cheesiness, add a dollop of warm Cheez Whiz across the top. You’ll be in cheesesteak heaven from the very first bite!
How to Make the Best Philly Cheesesteak: Now You Know
The next time you’re dying to eat a Philly cheesesteak, why not make your own at home? Follow the recipe and tips above and you’ll soon be enjoying an authentic taste of Philly right in your own kitchen!
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