Vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich packed with thinly sliced tofu steak, caramelised veggies & a homemade vegan cheese sauce!
Welcome to Philly baby, it's my vegan Philly cheesesteak recipe! I guarantee, you've never tasted a vegan sandwich as meaty and cheesy as this one! I've worked tirelessly to make sure that you get a flavour punch with every single bite!
Created by Pat and Harry Olivieri, a Philly cheesesteak traditionally involves thinly sliced beefsteak, mixed with fried onions, green peppers and mushrooms then topped with super melty cheese. For this recipe we've replaced the steak with grilled, marinated tofu (surprisingly tasty!) and we're even making our own vegan cheese sauce!
I genuinely can't explain how great this vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich is! We're talking umami, meaty flavours combined with sweet caramelised veggies topped with tangy cheesy sauce. It's more than just a sandwich, it's an ENTIRE LIFESTYLE!
🥫 Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients!
Here's a little intro to some of the ingredients we're going to be using in this vegan Philly cheesesteak recipe. It's kind of an ingredient-heavy recipe, so I'll just share with you the ones required for the vegan "steak".
Extra firm tofu - I like to use Tofoo brand as it's super meaty textured.
Vegan stock cube - I use Oxo vegan beef flavour because it's delicious! But any vegan stock will do!
Dark soy sauce - super umami!
Dark brown sugar - for that malty sweetness and crispy edges.
Marmite - aka yeast extract.
Nutritional yeast - for a super meaty umami taste!
Mustard powder - or English mustard.
Vegetable oil - sunflower or olive oil works too!
Vegan Worcestershire sauce - I use Henderson's Relish.
Ground black pepper - essential for that piquant steak vibe!
Flaky sea salt
Let's take a look at the processes involved in making the best vegan Philly cheesesteak of your life! I've broken everything down into 4 steps for you!
1. Make the sliced tofu steak! Easier than it sounds! Just slice your tofu thinly then drench in the marinade. No need to let it soak in, just stick it under the grill/broiler and cook until nice and crispy on the edges!
2. Cook the veggies! I've seen recipes with different variations on the veggies involved in this recipe, but one thing is constant: onions, mushrooms and green bell peppers! Fry until caramelised.
3. Make the vegan cheese sauce! This is similar to my vegan mozzarella recipe in technique, but it's flavoured more like an American cheese - think tangy and punchy! You can melt in your favourite store-bought vegan cheese too, if you like!
4. Assemble the vegan Philly cheesesteak! This recipe makes two sandwiches, so simply divide the filling mixture between the two buns and top with the vegan cheese sauce! So simple and delicious!
Hint: The tofu steak slices are so delicious and surprisingly easy to make, but if you feel like making your own seitan steak, feel free! It's similar in flavour but different in texture!
Got some dietary requirements but still wanna make these vegan Philly cheesesteaks? Don't worry about it!
- Gluten free - Other than the bread and the soy sauce, this recipe is entirely gluten free. Use tamari instead of soy sauce and use your favourite gluten-free bread rolls for the perfect vegan and gluten-free Philly Cheesesteak!
- Mustard - If you have a mustard allergy this recipe can easily be made by substituting the mustard powder for extra paprika instead!
- Soy - If you have a soy allergy, this recipe is easily adaptable. Just swap the soy sauce for tamari and double check your vegan stock cubes and worcestershire sauce for soy.
If you've made this recipe with some swaps, let me know how it worked out in the comments!
🍽 Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Variations
I've tried to keep things as classic as possible, but why don't you try some little twists!
- Spicy! - Make your vegan tofu steak a little more punchy with a few tablespoons of hot sauce in the marinade! You can also add pickled jalapenos to the veggie mix and a pinch of cayenne to the cheese sauce!
- Haystack fries! - if you're looking for a little extra crisp to your vegan Philly cheesesteak, why not add some fries to your sandwich. I like to use this recipe!
- Sliders! - Hosting a superbowl party?? Why not swap out the Hoagie roll for slider buns and make yourself some delicious vegan Philly cheesesteak sliders!
To make these insanely delicious vegan Philly cheesesteaks, you'll need the following:
- 1 x baking tray
- 1 x measuring jug
- 2 x large frying pans
❄️ Make Ahead!
Don't assemble your vegan Philly cheesesteak until you're ready to eat! However if you want to make some elements ahead of time, the tofu steak, fried veggies and the vegan cheese sauce can be made up to a day in advance. Store in sealed containers in the fridge. You can reheat the tofu steak and veggies under the grill/broiler until hot and the vegan cheese sauce over a low heat on the stove.
🙋♀️ Vegan Philly Cheesesteak FAQs
A: This vegan Philly cheesesteak sandwich is made from shaved or thinly sliced tofu, marinated in a bunch of vegan meaty flavour bombs like marmite, soy sauce and nutritional yeast!
A: Philly cheesesteaks go great with french fries, coleslaw and onion rings. You can also serve with hot sauce, ketchup and mustard!
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
- 1 x baking tray
- 1 x measuring jug
- 2 x large frying pans
For the Tofu Steak
- 280 g extra firm tofu (drained)
- 100 ml boiling water
- 1 x vegan stock cube (I use Oxo vegan beef flavour)
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon marmite (aka yeast extract)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder (or English mustard)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Henderson's Relish)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
For the Veggies
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and finely minced)
- 200 g chestnut mushrooms (roughly chopped)
- 1 green pepper (aka bell pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded and roughly chopped)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- pinch flaky sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Vegan Cheese Sauce
- 120 ml soy milk (or any plant milk, unflavoured and unsweetened)
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- pinch ground turmeric
- pinch paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion salt
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (chopped into cubes)
- 2 tablespoon water
- 50 g vegan cheese (optional - shredded, make sure it's a melting variety with a strong flavour)
For the Sandwiches
- 2 hoagie rolls (or small soft baguettes)
- 2 tablespoon vegan butter (at room temperature)
To Make the Tofu Steak
- Pre-heat the grill/broiler to its highest temperature.
- Wrap the extra firm tofu in a few sheets of kitchen roll and carefully squeeze out any excess moisture. Use a mandolin to slice the tofu thinly, ideally around 3mm thick. Arrange the sliced tofu in an even layer on a baking or roasting tray.280 g extra firm tofu
- In a measuring jug, mix together the remaining tofu steak ingredients. Pour over the sliced tofu and gently stir to make sure all the tofu is coated in the sauce.100 ml boiling water, 1 x vegan stock cube, 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoon marmite, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Place the tray of tofu under the grill/broiler for 20 minutes, stirring half-way through. When cooked, the tofu should have darkened considerably and should be crispy in places. Set aside.
To Make the Veggies
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onion and fry for 2 minutes or until turning soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 large onion, 2 cloves garlic
- Add the mushrooms and green pepper to the pan and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until all the veggies are softened and the onions are starting to brown. Season with the salt and pepper then reduce the heat to low.200 g chestnut mushrooms, 1 green pepper, ½ teaspoon sugar, pinch flaky sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the tofu steak to the veggies, stir together then cover with a lid to keep warm while you make the vegan cheese sauce.
To Make the Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Put all the vegan cheese sauce ingredients except for the vegan butter and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a low simmer - it will thicken dramatically so make sure you don't leave unattended.120 ml soy milk, 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, 1 tablespoon white miso paste, 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, pinch ground turmeric, pinch paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion salt
- Once hot, thick and simmering, add the vegan butter and water (and vegan cheese if using) then whisk until smooth and the butter has melted. Reduce heat to very low while you prepare the sandwiches.1 tablespoon vegan butter, 2 tablespoon water, 50 g vegan cheese
To Make the Sandwiches
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Slice the hoagie rolls/baguettes down the middle and spread both sides with the vegan butter. Place the rolls butter-side-down in the hot pan and fry until lightly golden.2 hoagie rolls, 2 tablespoon vegan butter
- Add a tablespoon of water to the pan then quickly cover with a lid to allow the buns to steam and soften for around 20-30 seconds. Remove the rolls from the pan.
- Divide the tofu steak and veggies mixture between the two rolls then top each sandwich with a good drizzle of the vegan cheese sauce. Serve with french fries, ketchup and pickles.