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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

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Enjoy a plant-based version of the iconic Philly cheesesteak. These easy vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are made with homemade beef seitan, topped with melted vegan cheese, and piled high with sauteed onions and green peppers. The perfect dish for feeding a crowd!

easy, authentic, healthy, vegetarian and vegan philly cheesesteak recipe on a white plate

The whole family is going to love this vegan cheesesteak sandwich recipe. They’re kid-friendly, easily adaptable for picky eaters, and so, so delicious. They’re also great for feeding a crowd on game day or any time of the year. You can’t go wrong with a classic sandwich and some homemade fries, after all.

While you can use tempeh, tofu, or portobello or oyster mushrooms to make a vegan cheesesteak, seitan offers the most authentic texture. Plus, if you prepare the seitan ahead of time, you can make a good sandwich for a quick lunch or dinner in less than 20 minutes. How easy is that?

Latest Recipe Video!

Vegan food can be as delicious, hearty, and satisfying as the comfort foods you used to enjoy. I’ll show you how to make the best seitan cheesesteak to rival any meat-based version. Get ready to sink your teeth into these tasty sandwiches!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Delicious comfort food for plant-based eaters
  • Kid-friendly meal idea
  • Terrific source of protein
  • Healthier than traditional cheesesteak
  • An excellent vegan option for game days or feeding a crowd
  • Best vegan cheesesteak recipe ever!

🥘 Ingredients

Sure, you can buy seitan in the store, but making your own is healthier and more flavorful. With basic pantry ingredients and some fresh veggies and rolls, you will have a big, “meaty” vegan Philly cheesesteak recipe in no time.

ingredients for easy, authentic, healthy, vegetarian and vegan philly cheesesteak recipe

For The Beef Seitan

Black Beans: Adding beans makes for a more tender plant-based meat substitute. I use canned beans (organic, low-sodium is preferable), but if you have leftovers that you’ve cooked from scratch, even better! Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans thoroughly before blending them with the other ingredients for the seitan.

“Beef” Vegetable Broth: This vegan beef broth adds to the meaty flavor that you expect from a cheesesteak. 

Soy Sauce: I like using low-sodium soy sauce for umami flavor. Use liquid aminos or tamari for a gluten-free option and a milder flavor.

Nutritional Yeast: You can find it in the health food or seasonings aisles in most grocery stores. It’s chock full of vitamins and minerals and adds a nutty, cheesy flavor to plant-based foods. 

Spices And Seasonings: Pack loads of flavor into every bite with a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, vegan smoked BBQ seasoning, salt and black pepper to taste.

Vital Wheat Gluten: Using this ingredient speeds up the process for making seitan. The alternative is the washed flour method, which is more time consuming. Speedier recipes are always a win in my book!

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Toppings

Onions: A real cheesesteak must have sautéed onions. It’s part of the cheesesteak sandwich canon.

Olive Oil: Use a couple tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil to sauté your peppers and onions until tender.

Green Bell Peppers: While not a traditional ingredient on cheesesteak sandwiches, the green bell peppers elevate the flavor and help fill out the sandwich. You can never have too many veggies. Red, yellow, or orange peppers work, too.

Maple Syrup: Just a tablespoon of pure maple syrup helps balance out the savory flavors of the other ingredients. 

Sliced Vegan Cheese: You can’t have an authentic philly cheesesteak recipe without the cheese! Melt any of your favorite vegan cheese slices over the seitan for a few minutes in the skillet. Vegan provolone cheese gives the sandwich that classic feel, while pepper jack adds a kick of heat. 

Whole Wheat Rolls: You need a hearty whole wheat roll to hold all that seitan cheesesteak goodness. I recommend whole wheat for the added nutritional benefits, but white rolls or hoagie buns work just as well.

📖 Variations

Add Mushrooms! Mushrooms are an excellent choice for a plant based Philly cheesesteak. They’re meaty and flavorful, so it’s an easy and affordable way to scale up your recipe if you have guests over unexpectedly. Button mushrooms, thinly sliced portobello mushrooms, or even shiitake mushrooms all work.

Top With Vegan Cheese Sauce: If you’re new to plant-based versions of your favorite foods and are used to adding Cheese Whiz to your cheesesteak, opt for a vegan cheese sauce instead. It’ll be very similar.

Reduce Carbs: Watching your carb intake? No problem. Stuff the seitan, vegan cheese, peppers, and onions inside some leafy lettuce, in a bell pepper, or roll it up inside a low carb tortilla.

Gluten-Free Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich: Substitute tempeh for the seitan, liquid aminos for the soy sauce, and gluten-free rolls for the whole wheat rolls to adapt this dish for a gluten-free diet.

🔪 Instructions

See the complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions below for how to make the best philly cheesesteak.

Preheat Oven: First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Blend Seitan Ingredients: Meanwhile, add the black beans, “beef” broth, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, spices, salt, and BBQ seasoning to your blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.

ingredients for homemade seitan in a blender

Form A Dough: Add vital wheat gluten to the blended mixture and pulse until a dough forms. Do not overwork it. Turn the dough out into a large bowl and shape it into a log.

homemade seitan in a mixing bowl

Bake The Seitan: Place the dough log in a baking dish, pour the remaining broth over it, and cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour. 

homemade seitan soaking in broth

Cool And Slice The Seitan: Once cooked, take it out of the oven, remove the foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Then, remove the seitan from the broth and transfer it to another dish. Put it in the fridge for at least two hours to cool completely. Once cooled, cut into thin slices. This will become your vegan cheesesteak meat!

Saute The Veggies: Heat the olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Saute the onions and green pepper until soft.

veggies sauteeing in a pan

Pan-Fry The Seitan: Add the sliced seitan beef, maple syrup, and soy sauce to the pan with the sautéed veggies. Stir through, and reduce to low heat. 

seitan and veggies sauteeing in a pan

Melt The Cheese: Top your vegan meat with slices of vegan cheese. Cover the skillet with a lid for about four minutes to melt the cheese over the cheesesteak filling.

cheese added to seitan and veggies sauteed in a pan

Serve It Up: It’s chow time! Serve the cheesesteak, caramelized onions, and peppers inside a fresh, whole wheat or hoagie roll. 

easy, authentic, healthy, vegetarian and vegan philly cheesesteak recipe on a white plate

❓ Recipe FAQs

How Do You Store Vegan Cheesesteak?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, please in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway through.

How To Serve Vegan Cheesesteak Sandwiches?

Seitan cheesesteak is best served immediately while still warm. Scoop it on to rolls, buns, lettuce wraps, or tortillas. 

Need some side dish ideas? Fries are a popular choice. Try my air fried sweet potato fries, air fryer jicama fries, or parmesan truffle fries to serve up with your sandwiches. If you’re looking for an easier option, you’ll love these air fryer frozen French fries instead.

Does Seitan Really Taste Like Meat?

Called “wheat meat,” seitan is a popular meat substitute that has a similar look and texture to meat when it’s cooked. It has a mild savory taste on its own but can take on many flavors. It can be hot and spicy, salty, umami, or “meaty” and savory, as you’ll find with this vegan version of the classic Philly sandwich. 

While it won’t taste exactly like meat, especially if you’re just transitioning to vegan foods, it will have a similar flavor and mouthfeel. 

Why Is My Seitan Rubbery or Spongy?

The most common cause of rubbery seitan is overworking the dough. Gluten forms as the dough is kneaded, and adding gluten to a gluten-laden food is a recipe for a spongy, rubbery texture. Avoid kneading the dough too much to maintain a meaty texture. 

The transition from one temperature extreme to another can also result in a rubbery texture. Don’t take the seitan out of the pan it’s cooked in right away. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes first. This recipe recommends 20 minutes of resting time before transferring it to the fridge to cool. 

💭 Expert Tips

  • Refrain from kneading the seitan dough too much. It’s tricky to give an exact time, but 2-3 minutes of working the dough are all you need. 
  • Seitan often tastes better and is denser the next day. This is a great dish for making ahead of time. Prepare your seitan the first day, and enjoy your vegetarian Philly cheesesteak the next day.
  • Slice the seitan very thinly to replicate that classic cheesesteak feel.
  • Toast your rolls or hoagie buns and slather each side of the bun with vegan mayo or vegan butter to take the flavor up a notch.
easy, authentic, healthy, vegetarian and vegan philly cheesesteak sandwich recipe on a white plate

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📋 Recipe Card

easy, authentic, healthy, vegetarian and vegan philly cheesesteak recipe on a white plate
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5 from 9 votes

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

Enjoy a plant-based version of the iconic Philly cheesesteak. These vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are made with homemade beef seitan, topped with melted vegan cheese, and piled high with sauteed onions and green peppers. The perfect game day food!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Chill Time2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time3 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course, mains
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 431kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

For The Vegan "Beef" Seitan

  • ½ cup Black Beans
  • 2 + ⅓ cup Vegan Beef Broth
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Vegan Smoked Bbq Seasoning
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • black pepper optional, to taste

To Serve

  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Green pepper sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • Sliced vegan cheese
  • Whole wheat rolls

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 176 C.
  • Prepare the seitan by placing the black beans, ⅓ cup beef broth, soy sauce, garlic and onion powders, nutritional yeast, paprika, bbq seasoning, salt (and pepper if using) into a high speed food processor or blender. Blitz until smooth.
  • Add the vital wheat gluten and pulse to form a dough. Do not overwork the dough.
  • Turn the dough out into a bowl and shape into a log.
  • Place the dough log into a baking dish and cover with remaining 2 cups of beef broth. Cover with a lid or foil.
  • Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, turning the seitan after 30 minutes and recovering to continue to cook.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven taking off the lid/foil and allow to cool in the broth for 20 minutes.
  • After cooling, remove from the broth and cool completely in the fridge.
  • Once cooled completely, slice thinly and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over a high heat and sauté the onions and sliced green peppers until soft.
  • Add the sliced seitan maple syrup and soy sauce. Gently stir through and reduce the heat to low.
  • Top with the seitan sliced vegan cheese and cover the skillet with a lid.
  • Continue to cook for a further 4 minutes on a low heat to allow the heat to melt the cheese.
  • Once the cheese has melted, remove the lid and serve the cheesesteak in a fresh wholewheat roll.

Video

https://youtu.be/RYfWTA-NLCs

Notes

  • Cheesesteak is best served immediately.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Simply reheat in a microwave for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Refrain from kneading the seitan dough too much. It’s tricky to give an exact time, but 2-3 minutes of working the dough are all you need. 
  • Seitan often tastes better and is denser the next day. This is a great dish for making ahead of time. Prepare your seitan the first day, and enjoy your plant-based Philly cheesesteak the next day.
  • Slice the seitan very thinly to replicate that classic cheesesteak feel.
  • Toast your rolls or hoagie buns and slather each side of the bun with vegan mayo or vegan butter to take the flavor up a notch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cheesesteak sandwich | Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1948mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g

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10 responses to “Vegan Philly Cheesesteak”

  1. Appreciate all the instructions on making seitan. Never thought to make my own. Makes a fabulous philly sandwich.5 stars

  2. I have a friend who is vegan and I need to bring her a meal, I think she will LOVE this, delicious and comforting!5 stars

  3. Love this vegan style recipe. I Love philly cheese steaks and this vegan recipe is just what I was looking for.5 stars

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