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 MarlyInspiritual Reply

    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.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

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

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for Marly[email protected] Food-Fitness-FreshAir Reply

    5 stars
    These sound to die for! I’m from Philly, and if they would open a vegan cheesesteak place, I could finally take part in all the hype. Especially if they came topped with avocado aioli. Yes please!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBobbie {the vegan crew} Reply

    Funny, I was in Philly two weeks ago today enjoying my first Philly Cheesesteak! This looks fantastic! 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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!!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlymarla Reply

    Love that you took this traditionally heavy sandwich and made it vegan!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

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

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for Marly[email protected] Reply

    Marly, that looks fabulous! I didn’t know this was possible. 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJavelin Warrior Reply

    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…

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPaula- bell'alimento Reply

    Marly you always make me hungry!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      That’s my goal…keep Paula hungry!!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKevin J Bowman Reply

    2000F? Should that be 200? – I just want to make sure, because I have VERY bad luck w/ cooking Tofu and I really want to try this.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      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.

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAggie Reply

    Love how you transformed these!! They look amazing!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

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

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulieD Reply

    These look so amazing, Marly!!! Love them! I love baked tofu…I’m going to have to try your recipe! xoxo

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks Julie! Especially for providing the inspiration in the first place.

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