Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

This is the best vegan Philly Cheesesteak recipe because it features layers of marinated vegan meat topped with grilled veggies and melted vegan cheese all on a hoagie roll. These sandwiches are loaded with flavor, texture, and melted veggie cheese!

A vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich sits on a plate next to fries. There's another plate in the background.

Vegan sandwiches are my favorite comfort food. It’s as if they sing a song of remembrance back to my childhood days. In fact, a lot of my good memories start in my kitchen, the heart of any home.

These vegan cheesesteak sandwiches are a favorite because they’re like a grilled cheese sandwich with lots of amazing toppings. You can’t go wrong with a grilled cheese sandwich!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Seitan — You can buy pre-made seitan at many health food stores, like Sprouts, Natural Grocers, etc. You can make your own seitan quite easily. This vegan chicken recipe is a great example.
  • Marinade — To make the marindade, you’ll need green onions, garlic cloves, soy sauce, olive, oil, vegan Worcestershire sauce, agave nectar and apple cider vinegar.
  • Veggies — You’ll need sliced bell peppers, onions, and optional mushrooms.
  • Mayo — I like to coat the bun with vegan mayo before baking. You can substitute vegan butter.
  • Vegan cheese — You can use vegan provolone or mozzarella for this sandwich.

How to Make Vegan Cheesesteak

  1. Prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a shallow pan.
  2. Add the seitan to the marinade, stir, cover, and set aside.
    Seitan sits in a marinade in a glass baking dish.
  3. Cook veggies in a heated, oiled skillet until tender and caramelized.
    Sliced onions and bell peppers are being cooked in a skillet.
  4. Cook the seitan and marinade in the skillet until browned and the sauce thickens.
    Seitan is in a skillet being cooked with a sauce.
  5. Spread both sides of buns with vegan mayo.
  6. Add equal portions of braised seitan slices, sautéed veggies, and vegan cheese.
  7. Wrap the sandwiches in the foil, place them in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
    A vegan cheesesteak sandwich sits in foil waiting to be baked.
  8. Remove sandwiches from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Ingredient Spotlight

Looking down on a skillet with vegan fillets with gravy and lemon slices.

What is Seitan?

Seitan, also referred to as “wheat meat”, is made from vital wheat gluten, a natural product that comes from wheat flour. The texture of seitan is meaty and it has a relatively neutral flavor, meaning it can take on the tastes of the ingredients it’s cooked in.

Storage Tips

Store leftover sandwiches in the fridge in the foil. To reheat, put them directly in the oven and bake at 300°F/150° for 10 to 15 minutes until the sandwiches are heated through.

Vegan Meat Options

Here are some options when it comes to vegan meat for this sandwich:

  • Seitan — You can use plain or seasoned seitan (wheat meat). I oftentimes use Sweet Earth Chipotle Seitan which is found near the tofu in many health food stores. Gardein Beefless Tips are basically seitan and are another great option. Precook the beefless tips and then use a spatula to break them down into smaller pieces.
  • Tofu — You can substitute a tub of extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu and then cut it into thin slices.
  • Tempeh — Cut the tempeh into thin strips.
  • Jackfruit — Use canned new jackfruit (not the kind packed in syrup). Add a cup of water to the marinade and cook it down until the jackfruit is tender and you can break it down with a spatula.
  • Veggie Crumbles — Many of these are precooked (such as Gardein Crumbles). Add them to marinade and follow the recipe as described.
  • Plant-based Grounds — Most plant-based grounds (such as Impossible Grounds) require precooking. Follow the package instructions to cook it first and drain excess fat. Then add the marinade and cook it until the sauce thickens.

Make it Gluten-Free

Here are tips if you’d like a gluten-free vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich:

  • Use gluten-free bread or buns
  • Use tofu, tempeh, gluten-free veggie crumbles, or gluten-free plant-based grounds.
  • Substitute tamari for soy sauce
  • Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your tasty sandwiches with any of these sides:

Looking down on two vegan cheesesteak sandwiches sitting next to a plate of fries.

Marly’s Tips

Use these tips and tricks to make these Vegan Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches perfect every time:

  • You can find vegan hoagie buns these days, just look on the ingredients to make sure they’re made without eggs or dairy.
  • Make-ahead tip — Marinade the veggie meat ahead of time — store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Change up the vegetables based on what you have available or your preferences.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Can you freeze cheesesteak?

You can freeze cheesesteak sandwiches! To do that, keep them wrapped in foil and then add them to a freezer-safe bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Then place the foil-wrapped sandwich in a 300°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

What is a vegan Philly cheesesteak made of?

You can use a variety of vegan meats for your plant-based cheesesteak sandwich. For example, seitan is a popular choice. You can also use tofu, jackfruit, veggie crumbles, and even plant-based grounds in your sandwich. Don’t forget the grilled veggies and vegan cheese on top!

More Vegan Sandwiches

If you love this vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich recipe, here are even more vegan sandwiches to try:

A closeup of a vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich sitting next to French fries on a plate.

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

This vegan Philly Cheesesteak is made with marinated, braised seitan, caramelized onions, and dairy-free cheese. It's so good, you'll want to make it again and again!
5 from 4 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 353kcal

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (see notes for gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Sandwich Fillings

  • 8 oz package seitan (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red and/or orange sweet bell peppers sliced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, halved and cut into long strips
  • 1 cup mushrooms washed and dried

Sandwich Assembly

  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 1 cup vegan cheese (8 slices)

Instructions

  • Prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients in a shallow pan.
  • Add the seitan to the marinade and stir to make sure all the seitan is coated. Cover and set aside for the seitan to marinade while you prepare the rest of the fillings.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the oil is shimmering. Add sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until tender and caramelized along the edges. Remove from the skillet to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Pour the seitan and marinade into the skillet. Cook until browned on one side, then turn them and brown them on the other side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Turn up the oven heat to 350°F/175°C and tear off four slices of aluminum foil large enough to fit the sandwiches in.
  • Place one bun on each strip of foil. Spread both sides of each bun with vegan mayo. Add several pieces of the braised seitan slices to each hoagie bun and top with sautéed veggies, and vegan cheese.
  • Wrap the sandwiches in the foil, place them in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. For a toasted bun, remove them from the foil, place them on a pan, and return them to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.
  • Once the sandwiches are done. remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.
  • Store leftover sandwiches in the fridge in the foil. To reheat, put them directly in the oven and bake at 300°F/150° for 10 to 15 minutes until the sandwiches are heated through.

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Notes

Vegan Meat Options

Here are some options when it comes to vegan meat for this sandwich:
  • Seitan — You can use plain or seasoned seitan (wheat meat). I oftentimes use Sweet Earth Chipotle Seitan which is found near the tofu in many health food stores.
  • Tofu — You can substitute a tub of extra-firm tofu. Press the tofu and then cut it into thin slices.
  • Tempeh — Cut the tempeh into thin strips.
  • Veggie Crumbles — Many of these are precooked (such as Gardein Crumbles). Add them to marinade and follow the recipe as described.
  • Plant-based Grounds — Most plant-based grounds (such as Impossible Grounds) require precooking. Follow the package instructions to cook it first and drain excess fat. Then add the marinade and cook it until the sauce thickens.

Gluten-free Options

Here are tips if you’d like your sandwiches to be gluten-free:
  • Use gluten-free bread or buns
  • Use Tofu, Tempeh, gluten-free Veggie Crumbles, or gluten-free Plant-based Grounds.
  • Substitute tamari for soy sauce
  • Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1612mg | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1255IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

31 Responses to Vegan Philly Cheesesteak

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCali Reply

    Hi! this looks amazing but I am not a fan of tofu yet haha… do you think I could sub tempeh instead of the tofu??

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCali

      5 stars
      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 !!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I think you could definitely make it with veggie stock instead of soy sauce. I also like to use tamari which is a gluten-free soy sauce. Another product I use is “Better than Beef” Bouillon. It’s add great flavor!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCali

      Ooo I will have to look into both of those!! Thanks so much for the quick reply 🙂

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBrad Reply

    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.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyScott Reply

    5 stars
    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!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyShannon Walsh Reply

    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.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlylaurasmess Reply

    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 🙂

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBecca @ Amuse Your Bouche Reply

    Yummm! I’m British so I’ve never had a cheesesteak but I think I must try this vegan version! It looks amazing!

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