Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

The Philly Cheesesteak is a sandwich made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, sautéed onions and peppers, melted cheese, and Provolone on an Italian hoagie bun. The dish was first created by Pat Olivieri in 1930 as Sandwich #3 at his restaurant in Philadelphia’s South Street.

The “best philly cheesesteak recipe” is a delicious and easy to make sandwich. The sandwich includes thinly sliced ribeye steak, sautéed onions, green peppers, and melted provolone cheese.

Beef, onion and green pepper displayed.

Although the Philadelphia Eagles have lately garnered a large number of new followers, the city’s signature sandwich, the cheesesteak, has always been destined for greatness.

I like to imagine that such prestigious and well-known dishes are out of need and a desire for simplicity. 

According to legend, Philadelphia frankfurters Pat and Harry Olivieri invented the cheesesteak around 1930. Pat “frizzled” or crisped some thinly sliced steak with some spices and sandwiched it on soft, white bread, tired of the tried and true hot dog. A cabbie, in the right position at the right moment, smelled the new invention and bought it for a cent, launching the first of hundreds of millions of cheesesteak transactions. Pat’s simple hot dog stand eventually abandoned the dog completely, giving birth to Pat’s King of Steaks.

But there’s always a twist in a good narrative. Some attribute Pat’s employee “Cocky” Joe Lorenzo, who added a strong amount of provolone to the mix, with the inclusion of cheese. Others, on the other hand, are ready to credit Geno’s Steaks owner Joey Vento for all the cheesy deliciousness, rather than Lorenzo. 

Regardless of who gets credit, I’ve had the good fortune to spend a summer day or two in South Philly, splitting my time and hunger between Pat’s and Geno’s, which are located across the street from each other at 9th and Passyunk.  

Locals and elitists alike will tell you that both places are tourist traps, which is partially true – but the trappings of tourism can also serve as a launching pad for seeking out more “authentic” creations from places like John’s, Jim’s, Tommy DiNic’s (technically not a cheesesteak purveyor, but worth mentioning), and Tony Luke’s — in other words, there are a lot of great cheesesteaks, and arguments

If deciding where to dine wasn’t hard enough, there’s an ordering method that’s almost as complex as getting soup from the iconic Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. Allow me to assist you:

  • With onions and cheese, it’s called “one wit wiz.”
  • “One wit-out” means “no onions.”
  • “One wiz wit-out” — but with cheese instead of onions.

You get my drift. If you can’t make it to Philly, I’m certain you can still cook a fantastic cheesesteak at home. I enlisted the help of Michael Solomonov, a friend and James Beard Best Chef in America, to give me the dirt on this meal. Let’s start with a few notes on the ingredients before diving into how to create it. 

The Meat

Thick and uncooked beefs steaks displayed.

The basis of the sandwich is traditionally thinly sliced rib-eye. Rib-eye boasts a tasty combination of soft meat and fat, which gives the sandwich exceptional texture and wetness. Due to the high cost of rib-eye, alternative cuts such as beef short rib, sirloin, or even top round might be substituted. Remember that your dinner will only be as wonderful as the quality of your components, so don’t scrimp on the steak quality whenever feasible.


The Cheddar 

When it comes to cheese, there are two camps. Whether you choose American, provolone, or Cheez Whiz, don’t make the same mistake as John Kerry, who famously ordered Swiss on his cheesesteak. (It’s no surprise he didn’t win the election to lead the nation.)

When it comes to the meal, provolone is regarded the gold standard order, with a somewhat sharp and acidic taste that pairs nicely with the flavorful meat. 

Because it melts readily and offers a rich, creamy texture with the steak, American cheese, especially white American cheese, works well in the sandbox.

What about the very polarizing Cheez Whiz? “You should never prepare a cheesesteak using Cheez Whiz,” Solomonov advises. Always use sharp provolone or American cheese; this way, you’ll be less likely to want it.” 

You’ve heard the chef’s decision: there will be no Cheez Whiz. To be honest, I have to agree with Michael, since the bright orange combination is a little weird. And I always avoid the goo when I make this dish at home. 

But guilty pleasures have a way of growing on you, and I’m sure there’s a loyalist camp out there right now that is enraged by such a posture. As a result, I’ll play both sides. Cheez Whiz has a place in the world, and it can be luxurious and wonderful in its own right. 

Is everyone satisfied now?


This is a simple task. Amoroso’s brand buns should be used to accompany your steak. If such are unavailable, a soft white bun with a little salty taste might be used. Because the bread-to-meat ratio is so important, I recommend removing part of the bread from the middle of the roll to achieve the proper balance.


Griddled onions, peppers, and mushrooms are the most typical toppings, which are either mixed into the steak or served on top. Mayonnaise and ketchup are common condiments, but mustard is not. When marinara and mozzarella are added to a pizza steak, it becomes a pizza steak. Cheesesteak hoagies are generally served cold and include lettuce and tomatoes. 

Putting Everything Together  

Components (makes 4 sandwiches) 

  • 2 ribeye steaks, 8 oz.
  • 4 rolls (soft white)
  • 8 slices provolone or white American cheese, or 1 jar Cheez Whiz if time is of the essence (warmed)
  • spices and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder)
  • Oil made from vegetables 
  • Green pepper (the typical hue, however red or yellow may be used for extra sweetness), onion, and mushrooms are all optional sautéed/griddled toppings.
  • Ketchup and mayonnaise are optional condiments. 


1. Freeze

Frozen beef steaks are being displayed.

Freeze the steaks for 45-60 minutes before serving. This will enable the meat to firm up without having to be frozen, enabling you to thinly slice it with ease.

2. Slice

Shredded meat placed in a bowl.

I’ll find any reason to utilize the one and only wedding present I asked for: a meat slicer. Every guy, in my opinion, needs a meat slicer, and it’s ideal for this recipe. A sharp knife will do for those without (the vast majority of you). The meat should be sliced against the grain and as thinly as possible. 


3. Cook

Cooking meat in a frying pan.

A stainless steel flat top burner is traditionally used, but I use a cast iron pan because it helps me to achieve a crispy edge on the meat. Pans made of stainless steel may also be utilized. Non-stick pans store too much moisture and reduce your chances of getting the crispy texture you’re after. Cook the thinly sliced steak in short batches in a skillet with vegetable oil over medium-high heat; do not overcrowd or the meat will simmer rather than “frizzle.” Season with salt and pepper, as well as a pinch of garlic powder.

4. Chop & Pull

Chopping meat while frying in pan.

Use two spatulas or tongs (or a combination) to tug and cut at the meat after a minute or so of cooking, gently splitting it apart while cooking. This is an important strategy for ensuring that the steak has the appropriate texture.

5. Cheese

Cheese put in frying pan along with meat.

Top the meat with two pieces of cheese or a dollop of Cheez Whiz. You may add more toppings now or wait after the dish is ready. Allow the cheese to melt on top of the steak as the bottom layer of flesh crisps up in the pan for another minute or two. It’s critical not to overcook the meat; the whole procedure should take less than 5 minutes from start to finish, keeping the flesh very soft. If you overcook the meat, you’ll end up with a chewy cheesesteak, which isn’t ideal.

6. Assemble & Consume

Meat with green pepper and cheese served.

Transfer on a hot bun using a spatula or two to get beneath the meat. Serve right away, or wrap in parchment paper and foil until ready to eat.

Transfer on a hot bun using a spatula or two to get beneath the meat. Serve right away, or wrap in parchment paper and foil until ready to eat.

Matt Moore is the author of The South’s Best Butts and a frequent contributor to the Art of Manliness.



Philly cheesesteak marinade is a mixture of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Reference: philly cheesesteak marinade.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is on a real Philly cheesesteak?

A: A Philly cheesesteak is made with beef, pork roll, and sometimes veal. These are then covered in Cheez Whiz or provolone cheese. The bread typically consists of a French loaf that has been thinly sliced before being toasted on both sides.

What kind of cheese is on the original Philly Cheesesteak?

A: American Provolone.

What is the best cheese to use for Philly Cheesesteak?

A: The best cheese for a Philly Cheesesteak is provolone.

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