I have never been to Philadelphia and I know nothing about what constitutes a true Philly cheesesteak. I do know that I absolutely love my creation of a vegetarian cheesesteak, whether or not it approximates the authentic Philly style version.
This sandwich is So. Savory. So cheesy. So rich and flavorful! The portobellos are sauteed in butter with a little bit of soy sauce to give them that meaty, savory element. The cheese sauce is a combination of sharp cheddar and cream cheese, so it has a nice tang to it. Sauteed peppers and onions give you that sweet veggie flavor to balance out all that richness. Oh, and the whole thing is nestled within an herbed garlic butter baguette. Oh yes, you read that right. This sandwich is a vegetarian dream.
You’re going to want to know that this is not exactly a light sandwich. My favorite way to cook mushrooms is in an ample amount of butter. And then there is garlic butter on the bread. And then there is a creamy cheese sauce drenched over everything. But hey, a cheesesteak isn’t exactly health food. It’s an indulgent sandwich that makes you feel like you’re eating fast food. But it’s so much better when it’s homemade!
I’m going to shamefully admit that I did not get a lot of good pictures for this post. The reason being that I hadn’t had breakfast and was dreaming up how I was going to make these sandwiches all morning. When lunch finally rolled around, I was so hungry and my mouth was watering by the time they were done and well… I just didn’t last very long through the photo shoot. This just means you are going to have to try these out yourself to really get a good idea of what they taste like.
1 baguette loaf (for this sandwich a slightly softer loaf is preferred)
4 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Tablespoon olive oil
10 Tablespoons butter, divided (4 Tablespoons need to be room temperature)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz cream cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper, and cook until they start to get some color and are completely soft, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
- Divide the baguette into 4 segments. Cut open each segment like a book (not cutting all the way through).
- Combine the softened 4 Tablespoons butter with the minced garlic, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Spread the butter mixture inside each baguette segment. Place the segments on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- In a medium skillet over high heat, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Add the sliced portobellos in an even layer and do NOT stir. Allow them to get some nice color on one side before stirring them around. When they have sat in the hot butter for 3-4 minutes, stir and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. If the skillet starts to look dry, drizzle in olive oil as needed. When the mushrooms are almost done, add in the 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce and freshly cracked pepper. Stir, turn off the heat, and set aside.
- To make the cheese sauce: in a small pot, melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the 2 Tablespoons of flour and cook for 2 minutes, or until the flour and butter are nicely incorporated. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the mixture is nice and thick, about 5 minutes. When the mixture has thickened, turn off the heat, add in the cheddar and cream cheese, and stir until cheese is completely melted.
- To assemble the sandwiches, divide the pepper and onion mixture as well as the sauteed mushrooms evenly between each baguette segment. Smother each sandwich with desired amount of cheese sauce.