Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
Juicy Portobello mushroom strips, sweet caramelized onions, topped off with creamy cashew mozzarella… I promise you won’t miss the meat after you try this Vegan Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!
I know that’s not the case for everyone, but I definitely crave familiar favorites from before I went plant-based. Some flavors and textures are easier to replicate than others. Not gonna lie – trying to create a vegan Philly cheesesteak was a real challenge!
That said, the effort was worth it. You won’t believe the amazing juicy meaty texture you can get by using Portobello mushrooms! Combined with cashew cheese sauce, caramelized onions, and kaiser buns, it’s second to none.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich really hits the spot when you’re craving meaty flavors.
- Despite the fact it appears as fast food, this meal is prepared exclusively with whole-food ingredients.
- You won’t need any special equipment or unusual ingredients to make this recipe. Forget chasing after faux meats and cheeses, you probably have some ingredients in your pantry already!
- It doesn’t take that long to make, and I promise you that every second you spend making this sandwich is worth it.
- This meal is perfect for when you have guests coming over, as it’s very easy to upscale the recipe to accommodate more people. And your guests will be talking about your vegan Philly cheesesteak for days afterwards!
How to Make This Recipe
Add your olive oil or vegan butter to a pan over medium heat. Allow it to melt, then tilt the pan until it’s coated with oil. Next, add your onions, and reduce the heat to low. Add the minced garlic and sea salt, and sauté for up to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are caramelized. Take your time.
In the meantime, combine your “au jus” ingredients in a measuring cup or jar. Whisk vegetable broth, soy sauce, garlic powder, cornstarch, and dried thyme together.
While your onions are cooking, you can also make the cheese sauce by combining cashews, coconut yogurt, cornstarch, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and sea salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and acidity content as needed.
In a separate pan, sauté your mushroom strips until most of the moisture has evaporated, approximately 5 minutes. Add 1/2 a cup of the au jus mixture and keep cooking until the mushrooms are fully softened and combined with the sauce. This should take approximately 5 more minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the pan and heat up the remaining au jus sauce. Transfer it to a container for dipping.
Assemble your sandwich. Start with the Portobello mushrooms, then add caramelized onions, followed by a drizzle of the “cheese” sauce. Fry your sandwich in your empty onion pan as desired. Dip in the remaining sauce and enjoy!
- Using cashews to make vegan “cheese” is a popular choice because it comes out thick and creamy. You may want to soak you cashews overnight to help your blender out, unless you have a very powerful machine.
- For a nut-free version of the cheese, sub sunflower seeds for cashews, or use firm tofu instead.
- To make a gluten-free vegan Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, you’ll need to make sure to use tamari soy sauce. Then there’s the bread, of course. Use your favorite gluten-free buns if you have access to them. Alternatively, the portobello “beef” and cashew “cheese” can be served with roasted potatoes or rice. Yum!
- You can prep the mushrooms, au jus dip, caramelized onions, and cheese sauce in advance. You just need a way to reheat the sandwich toppings before you assemble the sandwich. That way, this recipe works as meal prep, too!
Other Recipe You’ll Love
- General Tso’s Tofu
- Vegan Roast Beef Recipe
- Vegan Salmon Rice Bowl
- Dill Pickle Tofu Sandwich
- Oyster Mushroom Tacos
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The Recipe: Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
- 2 kaiser buns, or hot dog buns
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil, optional
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp vegetable broth
- 4 portobello mushrooms, sliced into strips
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Vegan Cheese Sauce
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- chopping board
- Measuring cup or jar
- Add your olive oil or vegan butter to a pan over medium heat. Allow it to coat the pan before adding your onions, and reducing the heat to low-medium. Add the minced garlic and sea salt, and sauté for up to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are caramelized.
- In the meantime, combine your “au jus” ingredients in a measuring cup or jar. At this time, you can also make your cheese sauce by combining the listed ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt content as needed.
- In a separate pan from your onions, begin sautéing your mushroom strips until a lot of the water has evaporated out of them, for approximately 5 minutes. Add 1/2 a cup of the Au Jus mixture and sauté until the mushrooms are softened and combined with the sauce, approximately 5 additional minutes. Remove the mushrooms and heat the remaining au jus sauce, and transfer to a container for dipping.
- Assemble your sandwich the Portobello mushrooms first, then caramelized onions, followed by a drizzle of the “cheese” sauce. Fry your sandwich in your empty onion pan as desired. Dip in the remaining sauce and enjoy!