Best Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

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!

A sandwich sits in foil with veggies and melted 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.

A sandwich rolled in foil sits on a plate.

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.

A vegan philly cheesesteak sandwich sits in foil.

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.

A blue box has the following text: "Sometimes it's the things that don't seem easy, that are the most worth the effort." Namely Marly

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.
A vegan philly cheesesteak sandwich sits in the foil it was baked in.

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:

Also, this Vegan Potato Salad or this Vegan Broccoli Salad is perfect to serve on the side with your favorite sandwiches!

A sandwich on a plate showcases red and orange bell pepper, tofu steaks, and melted vegan cheese.

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!

Namely Marly presents a vegan Philly Cheesesteak Recipe with slow-baked tofu and an avocado aioli.

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

This Vegan Philly Cheesesteak is made with marinated, braised tofu, caramelized onions, and dairy-free cheese. It's so good, you'll want to make it again and again!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 353kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu drained
  • 2 medium green onions roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

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Notes

If you’re worried about sodium, reduce the Bragg (or soy sauce) by half and reduce the amount of vegan cheese used as well.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
Amount Per Serving
Calories 353 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Sodium 1612mg67%
Potassium 482mg14%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1255IU25%
Vitamin C 54mg65%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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31 Responses to Best Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Recipe

    • Thanks, Aggie! It’s definitely one of our new favorite vegan sandwiches. Sigh. I get all sentimental just thinking about it!

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks for your comment! What a crazy mistake! Thanks for pointing that out – the post is now changed to show 200F. Of course, if we cooked it at 2000F, it certainly wouldn’t need to be slow-cooked. But I promise, the slow-cooked version is definitely worth the wait.

  1. You make vegan so appetizing! This looks amazing and my mouth is watering… I’m featuring this in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and it’s always fun to be following along with your creations…

    • Sometimes I think just about anything is possible in a vegan world. I haven’t yet figured out a good vegan angel food cake…but give me time!

    • Thanks, Marla. I love how your recipes do the same. Healthier versions of traditional favorites – that’s what we’re all about!

    • Oh, I bet that was delicious! Somehow I think having a vegan Philly Cheesesteak in Philly automatically gives it bonus points in the taste category. Yumm!!

  2. I just made these and they were ooey gooey and amazing. One suggestion is to make sure your hoagie rolls have a crisp exterior. Ours were too soft, so the next time we will make sure we get crisper bread to fill them with. Maybe it was the size of our rolls, but they made 6 sandwiches instead of 4 and we used 2 onions instead of 1 so there was more of a balance between the two. I had planned on serving some Carribean Black Bean soup with them, but we were full with just the sandwich alone. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Love your changes and suggestions. I agree that these sandwiches are filling, but that soup sounds mighty tasty!

  3. Wow. Marly, this looks incredibly delicious! I’m not a strict vegan but I do eat a lot of vegan food. I love the fact that this sandwich hits all the right boxes – deliciously filling, warming and indulgent whilst also being pretty healthy (as a version of cheesesteak!). Thanks for the recipe. I’m definitely going to make this next time we have a ‘Friday night date’. Great idea 🙂

  4. i just made these and it was worth the wait. I accidentally grabbed cubed tofu and couldn’t find the wedge cheese so I used shredded mozz and chef. But it tasted amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

    • I’m so glad you liked it! I love this recipe too. In fact, it seems like a perfect way to ring in the new year…I may be making more soon myself!

  5. I personally am not a fan of tofu or avocado and this turned out to be quite tasty! I found this to make dinner for my vegetarian girlfriend and it did not disappoint. Thanks!

    • Hi Scott! You know, I feel you on that. I have not been a fan of those things either. I’m a total tofu convert now. And I thought avocados were the most disgusting thing on the planet…next to beets. And now I love it all. Glad both you and your vegetarian girl friend agree! <3

  6. The sodium content makes this not even worth the health benefits of being vegan. The sodium is coming from the Briggs/soy vegan cheese (typically higher sodium than real cheese!) and the bread. I might suggest less Briggs/soya, half the cheese and either bake your own low sodium bread or find the lowest sodium bread you can find at the grocer/market.

    • Hi Brad. Thanks for your comment about sodium. I added a note with ideas (as you mention) on reducing sodium content. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on that. Another idea would be to cut the sandwich in half. It is a rather large sandwich so that would be easy to do as well.

    • I absolutely would substitute tempeh instead of tofu. Just make sure to steam the tempeh loaf first, for about 5 minutes. That will make it less crumbly when you go to slice it. Let me know how it goes!

    • Ok so I made it with tempeh the other night and it was a hit!! Slow cooking it really let the tempeh soak up the marinade nicely. I will definitely make again but maybe less soy sauce? do you think I could add some veggie stock instead of the full amount of soy? Thank you so much for this recipe !!

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