This best Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Recipe features layers of marinated tofu steaks topped with grilled veggies and melted vegan cheese all on a hoagie roll. Vegetarian Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches are loaded with flavor and melted veggie cheese!
My friend Julie of the Little Kitchen shared a recipe that inspired me create a vegan version of the Philly Cheesesteak. I don’t know if I would have thought to make a Vegan Philly Cheesesteak on my own, but that’s what friends are for. Right?
How to Make Vegan Cheesesteak
This recipe for vegetarian cheesesteak begins with tofu. but not just any tofu: Slow-Baked Tofu with all the right spices. That combined with an Avocado Aioli, sautéed veggies, and vegan cheese on a crusty hoagie loaf.
Step One: Marinate the Tofu
To make this vegetarian Philly cheesesteak recipe, first, press the extra firm tofu to remove excess liquid. Then cut the tofu into thin strips. Set aside.
Prepare the marinade by combining these ingredients in a food processor: green onion, tamari (or soy sauce), agave nectar, oil, garlic powder, and vinegar. Pulse until combined and the green onion is broken down into bits.
Pour a little bit of the marinade into the bottom of a long, flat baking dish. Add strips of tofu. Then top with more marinade and more tofu. Continue adding tofu and marinade until it’s all in the dish. Tilt the dish back and forth so the tofu is covered in marinade.
Be sure to use a spatula to get all the marinade out of the food processor bowl!
Place the baking dish in the oven heated at 200F and bake for 1 1/2 hours. I know, that’s a long time, but the slow baked process creates the best tofu steaks!
Step Two: Make Sautéed Veggies
The next step is to sauté the veggies. Place chopped veggies in a skillet with some oil over medium heat. Cook until the veggies are tender and caramelized on the edges. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towels. Set aside.
Step Three: Brown the Marinated Tofu
In the same skillet used for the veggies, add some more oil and begin cooking the marinated baked tofu strips. Cook the strips over medium heat until the edges become caramelized and browned. Continue cooking in batches and transfer finished tofu steaks to a plate lined with paper towels.
Step Four: Bake the Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Turn the heat up in the oven to 300F. Tear off four sheets of foil, large enough to hold your veggie cheesesteak sandwiches.
Get out the hoagie buns and spread some vegan mayo on each cut side of the buns. Fill each bun with slices of the Philadelphia vegan cheesesteak, sautéed veggies, and vegan cheese. Close the buns and wrap in foil. Bake the sandwiches for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Finally, use tongs or oven mitts to remove the cheesesteak sandwiches from the oven. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes to cool before serving.
Granted, this vegan Philly cheese steak recipe is not your run-of-the-mill, every day kind of meal. Although you could if you wanted to. It takes a little time in preparing them, but they are well worth the effort.
You know, I’m a big believer in the notion that the best things in life require a little work. That’s why I wouldn’t make this sandwich every day, but it makes a great Friday night date night meal.
Expert Tips for Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
Use these tips and tricks to make these Vegan Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches perfect every time:
- You can find vegan hoagie buns pretty easy these days, just look on the ingredients to make sure they’re made without eggs or dairy
- Make the tofu steak strips ahead of time — just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days
- Obviously, this is a tofu cheese steak recipe. However, for my Vegan French Dip Sandwich I used Gardein Beefless Tips and they could work for this recipe if you want to skip making the tofu steak strips. Simply marinade the beefless tips and cook them in a skillet in the marinade, and use a spatula to break it up into smaller pieces.
- You can use gluten-free hoagie buns to make this a vegan gluten-free cheesesteak sandwich recipe
- Change up the vegetables to suit your personal preferences.
Knowing this was all about to come down and that we would all soon be heading in different directions, I decided to make these Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches. A sort of coming together of the family before the craziness.
Love Vegan Sandwiches?
If you love vegan sandwiches, be sure to check these out:
- This Vegan Chopped Cheese Sandwich is so easy, it’s a favorite go-to recipe
- Can you believe this Vegan Egg Salad Sandwich is low carb and doesn’t have eggs in it?
- These Vegan Lentil Burgers are the best!
- Make a double batch of Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers for meal prepping recipes!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
- 1 block extra firm tofu drained
- 2 medium green onions roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup tamari (or soy sauce)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup red and/or orange sweet bell peppers sliced
- 1 cup onions cut into long strips
- 1 cup mushrooms washed and dried
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1 cup vegan cheese (8 slices)
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- Drain excess liquid from the tofu carton and press it to remove excess liquid. Either use a tofu press or wrap it in a towel and stand over the sink and squeeze the tofu gently to remove excess liquid. Once pressed, slice the block in half and then cut thin slices, to resemble steak strips.
- To prepare the marinade, add the chopped green onion, garlic powder, tamari (or soy sauce), 1 tablespoon olive oil, agave nectar, and vinegar to a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until ingredients are combined, but chunky. Pour a bit of marinade in the bottom of a baking dish followed by a layer of tofu strips. Drizzle more marinade and add another layer of tofu strips. Repeat until you're out of tofu and marinade.
- Tilt the dish to allow the marinade to saturate all the tofu.
- Place the dish in the heated oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare the veggies by placing a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the red peppers, onions, and mushrooms until tender and caramelized along the edges. Remove from the skillet to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
- Once the tofu is done, Return the skillet to the stove and place over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil to the skillet and add several slices of tofu at a time and cook until browned on one side, then turn them and brown them on the other side. Feel free to pour any extra marinade over the top of the tofu as it's cooking. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat this step until all the tofu has been browned.
- Turn up the oven heat to 300F and tear off four slices of aluminum foil and have them ready to place your sandwiches on.
- Place one bun on each strip of aluminum foil. Spread both sides of each bun with the some vegan mayo. Add several pieces of the Tofu Cheesesteak slices to each hoagie bun and top with sautéed veggies, and 2 slices of the vegan cheese.
- Wrap the sandwiches in the foil, place them in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.
- If you don't eat them all, then store them in the fridge in the foil. That way when you're ready to eat, you simply put it in the oven and bake at 250 for 10 – 15 minutes until the sandwich is warmed through.