If you prepare mushrooms the right way, they can easily replace meat in almost any recipe. This Philly Mushroom Cheesesteak Sandwich has all the flavour you’ve come to expect without any beef at all. Vegetarians, rejoice!
PHILLY MUSHROOM CHEESESTEAK SANDWICH
I’m probably going to receive a lot of hate mail for posting this! Most Philly Cheesesteak lovers are die-hard fans of the real deal and are not willing to change it up or accept an alternative option. To be honest, until I developed this recipe, I would have agreed with them!
Have you ever eaten a real Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich? I have and they’re delicious! But, when you just cannot cook steak at home and serve it to your vegetarian significant other, you have to find other means of enjoying the foods you love to eat. Hence, the vegetarian version of the classically delicious cheesesteak sandwich!
Everything else in this sandwich remains the same. It’s got a great crusty bun. That bun soaks up all of those juices and help to make the sandwich more moist and delicious. We’ve got onions and peppers too, which are a vital part of an authentic cheesesteak sandwich.
And, of course, we can’t forget the cheese. Some people like theirs without the cheese. Rather, the like to spread mayonnaise on the bun. I’m sure that’s delicious, but it’s called a cheesesteak sandwich for a reason!
WELL SEASONED AND COOKED MUSHROOMS ARE SO IMPORTANT!
Dear Reader, I am not a vegetarian. And, although red meat is not my favourite thing to eat, I do enjoy a steak about twice a year. And, until a few years ago, I wouldn’t eat mushrooms at all. So, as a meat-eater, and a new convert to mushrooms, you must trust my saying that this sandwich is absolutely magnificent!
If the mushrooms are sautéed properly and seasoned just right, they can most definitely be a wonderful substitute for steak. You have to fry the mushrooms in a combination of oil and butter, because butter makes everything taste better.
Next, add in sliced green peppers, sliced onions, and minced garlic. You can’t forget the addition of the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. And, of course, season it well with salt and pepper. Yummy!
CHEESE OR NO CHEESE?
Historically, the sandwich was served without cheese, but eventually, provolone was added. For my version, I’m using a white old cheddar, because I love the stronger taste of the aged cheddar in contrast with the meatiness and pepperiness of the mushrooms.
Pile the cheese on liberally. It will melt down and into the pile of mushrooms, peppers, and onions. I like to think that the cheese acts like a glue to keep everything in place. But, I’d be lying if I told you this sandwich was neat and tidy! It’s big and it’s meant to be overstuffed.
Good just as it is, I’m never one to shy away from a side dish. But, when it comes to sandwiches, the best sides in my opinion, are the classic sides you can find on almost any diner menu – coleslaw, a pickle, French fries, or chips. You decide what works best for you and the guests at your dinner table.
For us, it has to be Miss Vickie’s Original Recipe chips. That crunch goes with everything!
Philly Mushroom Cheesesteak Sandwich
- 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups old cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 large crusty buns
- In a large sauté pan, on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper.
- When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms. Stirring often, fry until the mushrooms are lightly browned and beginning to caramelize – about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and the Worcestershire sauce and stir well.
- Next, add the onions. Stir into the mushroom mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and green pepper. Stir to combine. Cook until the peppers have softened slightly – about 3-5 minutes.
- Once the peppers are cooked through, add the fresh thyme leaves and stir through.
- In the meantime, slice the buns in half and place them on a baking sheet cut side up. Place under the broiler and toast until they are a light golden colour.
- Remove the buns from the oven. Split the mushroom mixture equally between the buns. Pile the mixture high on the bottom half only.
- Top the mushroom mixture with the cheese and return the sandwiches to the broiler.
- Keep a close eye on the cheese – since everything is already cooked, you will just want the cheese to be melted.
- Plate and serve immediately with chips.