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Vegan Cheesesteak

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The ICONIC Sandwich from Philadelphia, but VEGAN! A Vegan Cheesesteak packed with all the meaty and cheesy goodness of the original!

I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I’ve never had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak, but this Vegan Cheesesteak is so freaking good I don’t give a care! Truly one of the greatest sandwiches ever invented, and fittingly, it’s also one of the simplest.

And even though I’ve never had a true Cheesesteak, I’ve had many here in Los Angeles that were phenomenal. For me, I dig this one just as much, if not more because I don’t feel like I just ate a bag of bricks. Like most vegan versions, I feel way better than when I ate the animal version.

Why you’ll dig a vegan cheesesteak

In a nutshell it’s…

  • MEATY
  • CHEESY
  • ONIONY
  • FRIGGIN DELICIOUS
  • EASY TO MAKE
  • EASIER ON THE GUT (IMO!)

ingredients for a vegan cheesesteak

recipe update!

I’ve decided to update this recipe for the Soy Curl Beef & Cheese Whiz. I wanted to simplify the ingredients for the Beef, and the new Whiz recipe is way better than the older in my opinion. But if you’ve made the older recipe and prefer to stick with that, you can find it in the video below!

For the Steak part, we’re using my pal Soy Curls, and the Whiz will be a combination of vegan cheese and cashew cream. I also provide an option to just use whatever plant-based meat you can find if you want to take the quick and easy route. Though the soy curls are a little more work, they are in my opinion, far superior! So if you have the means and the interest, I highly suggest going that route.

The soy curl steak

Soy Curls are super easy to work with and are relatively inexpensive. You can get them directly from Butler Foods, Besties Vegan Paradise or Amazon, though it’s much cheaper to buy them from Butler or Besties.

This isn’t a sponsored post, I just love Soy Curls!

SEASONINGS / MARINADE

For the seasoning and marinade, we are packing a lot of UMAMI with a variety of sources.

The marinade employs some of my favorites to make things beefy, such as Beefless BrothMushroom SeasoningVegan Worcestershire Sauce, and Gravy Master.

You can sub out most of these however! You can use veggie broth instead of the beefless broth. Use 1 tsp of Miso Paste per 1 Tbsp of Mushroom Seasoning (so 2 tsp for the recipe below). Steak Sauce instead of Worcestershire, and the Gravy Master is mostly for color, so you can skip it if you like.

to whiz or not to whiz

A source of contention amongst many folks seems to be whether Cheese Whiz belongs on a Cheesesteak. Many believe that the only true option is some provolone, while other say Whiz is great.

I think both work out amazingly, the Whiz will make for a MOISTER sandwich in my opinion, so keep that in mind. But use whatever you like!

the bread

Traditionally these are served on Amoroso Rolls but any soft but sturdy sandwich roll should do. Don’t use something like a baguette as that’ll be too tough.

onions, toppings etc

In my opinion, onions are mandatory. Whether diced or thinly sliced, they just add so much flavor and accents the soy curl beef perfectly.

Another source of contention is the inclusion of bell peppers, but I think they work great too!

Some people like to put hot cherry peppers on their cheesesteaks too, so do whatever you like. I also used some of this Hoagie Spread and I love it! I’ve even started adding some Giardiniera, so top it however you like!

how to make a vegan cheesesteak

This couldn’t be easier! First rehydrate the soy curls in some water for about 10 minutes.

While the soy curls rehydrate, make the marinade by combining all the ingredients.

Drain and squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the rehydrated soy curls.

Add the soy curls to a pan over medium heat. Pour the marinade over and then reduce the marinade until most of it is absorbed.

Remove and set aside, then add some onions to the pan and grill them. Add the soy curls back into the pan, season to taste and you’re done with the soy curl steak!

To make the whiz, soak some cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Drain and blend them with some plant milk. Add that mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the seasonings, bring to a light boil, then add the vegan cheese. Whisk to melt the cheese.

I’ve found that different brands of cheese will result in thicker or thinner sauces, so if yours is too thick, simply add more plant milk until it’s at your desired consistency.

Load up your roll with the vegan steak, and drizzle on some whiz and enjoy!

The easier way

If you don’t wanna use Soy Curls or Cashew Cream, you can make this even easier!

Just use whatever plant based meat that you like, such as Beyond or Impossible Meat. The pros of this is they are easier and faster to put together, but the taste and texture of the soy curls is much closer to what a traditional Cheesesteak would be, so in my opinion the extra effort is worth it.

When I used Impossible meat, it was more similar to a Chopped Cheese, definitely tasted more like a burger and less like a steak, but you do what you want! To do this, just cook 12 – 16 oz plant based meat and season how you like! It’s that easy!

For the Cheez Whiz use 8 oz. of vegan cheddar shreds, 1/2 tsp of Sodium Citrate (as an emulsifier) and 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water. Seriously, if you can get the Sodium Citrate it’s a game changer for vegan cheese sauce!

You can also make the Cheese Sauce by just melting your cheese shreds and adding a little unsweetened plant based milk until it’s at your desired consistency. In the end, whatever works and they’ll all be delicious!

older recipe video here!

OTHER VEGAN RECIPES YOU MIGHT DIG!

STORAGE

Store any leftovers in the fridge and eat within 3 – 5 days. You can reheat the soy curls either in a pan or the microwave.

The Cheese Whiz is better the fresher it is. If you are reheating leftover whiz, I recommend a gentle heat in a saucepan over the microwave. You may need to add some splashes of plant milk to thin it out as well.

Recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, Photos and Videos, can be found on my AMAZON Storefront!

Vegan Cheesesteak

Thee Burger Dude
4.50 from 28 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 4 – 6 sandwich rolls
  • 2 cups diced or sliced onion

Soy Curl Steak

  • 1 8 oz. bag dried Soy Curls
  • 2 cups vegan beef or veggie broth
  • 1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce or vegan steak sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mushroom seasoning or 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp browning sauce like Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cheez Whiz

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp hot cherry pepper brine or pickled jalapeño brine
  • 8 oz vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/2 tsp Sodium Citrate optional
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

Soy Curl Steak

  • Cover the soy curls in water and rehydrate them for 10 – 15 minutes. Then drain them and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  • While they rehydrate, make the marinade by combining the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, add the soy curls and cook them for about 3 – 5 minutes to dry them out a bit more. Then pour over the marinade and stir to combine.
  • Cook the soy curls until most of the liquid has reduced down and they are a nice dark brown color. This should take about 10 minutes. You can add more browning sauce if you like.
  • Season to taste, adding in anything else that you like. Remove from pan and reserve.
  • In a bit of oil, grill the onions until translucent and slightly browned, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  • Add the soy curl steak back in, final season to taste. Cover and keep warm on low.

Cheese Whiz*

  • Soak the raw cashews in boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes (you can actually do this before making the soy curls steak so cashews are ready when you're done with the steak).
  • Blend the drained cashews with the unsweetened plant milk in a high speed blender until smooth.
  • Add everything but the cheese shreds to a saucepan over medium heat, whisk to combine and bring to a light boil. Add cheese shreds and whisk until melted. Taste and adjust for seasoning, and add more plant milk if the sauce is too thick.
  • Load up your sandwich roll with as much steak and whiz as you like and enjoy!

Notes

*I've found that different brands of vegan cheese will result in thicker or thinner sauces, so if yours is too thick, simply add more plant milk until it's at your desired consistency.
Keyword vegan philly cheesesteak
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5 Comments

  1. Insane… this is the best PCS I’ve ever had, vegan, much better than all the ones I’ve had with beef. I made it with homemade hoagie rolls from a recipe I found which definitely took a great recipe and put it at its peak. Best meal I’ve made in 2024, to many more.

  2. Holy moly… I think I’m done buying these from restaurants. I just posted what I made on IG and can’t say enough about this recipe. Used a tiny bit more onion, but only because I had a very small and soon to go bad extra onion. Reserved my Better Than Bullion No Beef Base I used to rehydrate to deglaze the pan. Don’t know if it made it better or worse because this was my first try at this recipe. I just ate and can’t wait for lunch tomorrow. 🤤

    1. I highly recommend getting the soy curls directly from Butler Foods. I bought four 8oz bags from Amazon at about $15/lb. From Butler, even with $15 for shipping, a 12lb box it works out to about $6.00/lb

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