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Philly Cheesesteak

Toasty bun, caramelized onions and thinly sliced beef already sounds like the perfect sandwich, but please don’t forget the melted provolone when you make these Philly cheesesteaks.


Two homemade Philly cheesesteak sandwiches on hoagie rolls wrapped in parchment paper on a baking sheet
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Philadelphia Cheesesteak, So Much To Love

A dramatic sandwich story is our kind of food soap opera. That’s why the legendary Philly cheesesteak and its debated origins are so fascinating, and why so many have tried to lay claim to this succulent sandwich. Looking through the annals of sandwich history, we discovered that Pat and Harry Olivieri of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are recognized as the creators of the original philly cheesesteak in the 1930s. Pat Olivieri lends his name to Philly’s well-known cheesesteak emporium, Pat’s King of Steaks. Thanks to the sandwich-making genius of these brothers (who were originally slinging hot dogs!), we’re lucky to be eating the delicious beef, onion, and cheese on a hoagie today. We’re happy to share our recipe to make homemade philly cheesesteak next time you get the craving!

hoagie rolls, sliced ribeye, onions, butter, salt, garlic, pepper, mayo and provolone in bowls to make philly cheesesteaks

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What Is On An Authentic Philly Cheesesteak?

Tradition calls for thinly sliced beef and cheese on a hoagie for an authentic Philly cheesesteak recipe. After that, it’s up to the sandwich consumer to decide if they’d like to add toppings like cooked onions or grilled mushrooms and condiments like ketchup, hot sauce, or salt and pepper. Important question: What cut of meat for Philly cheesesteak? Most common are the rib-eye or top round, or other fatty cuts of beef like a chuck roast. The secret to getting a really thin slice of beef at home is to put the beef in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing with a sharp knife. Another topic that is up for debate is what is the best cheese for Philly cheesesteak, and is Philly cheesesteak sauce a thing? Mild flavor cheese with good meltability are preferred, with provolone considered the cheesesteak cheese. And yes! Cheez Whiz, that beloved cheese sauce in a jar, is a very popular topping for cheesesteak.

mayonnaise and garlic in a small glass bowl to be combined for garlic mayo
beef seasoned with salt being cooked in oil in a cast iron skillet to be used for philly cheesesteaks
cooked beef being spooned out of a cast iron skillet into a bowl
chopped onions being cooked in a cast iron skillet to be added with beef for philly cheesesteaks

How To Make Philly Cheesesteak

  1. We’re going to be toasting buns! Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Frizzle that beef! In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over high heat. Once glistening, cook beef in batches so that everything browns evenly, about 4 minutes total per batch. Once cooked, transfer the meat to a plate.

  3. Once you’ve cooked through the beef, reduce the heat to medium and add in the onions and cook until they are golden and tender, about 5-8 minutes.

  4. Make the garlic mayo and spread! 1 tablespoon of butter on the inside of each hoagie roll. Arrange on a large baking sheet and bake on the center rack until toasted and golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread 1 tablespoon of garlic mayo on the toasted side of each roll.

  5. Add beef back into the skillet along with collected juices and season with black pepper. Stir over medium heat until beef is combined with the onions.

  6. Remove from heat and top the sliced steak with provolone slices in a single layer. Let the cheese melt before serving to your hungry guests or family!

cooked beef and onions in a cast iron skillet to be used for philly cheesesteaks
open hoagie rolls with butter spread on one half and garlic mayo spread on the other half

Recipes From Philadelphia, To Around The Globe

Since Philly cheesesteaks are part of a long history of food named after locations, we thought it might be fun to cook your way through other recipes inspired by places around the world. Start with southwestern flavors in a Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwich or Southwest Style Cobb Salad with Smoky Chipotle Dressing, or try a staple recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts, or Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs for grilled pineapple brightness; there’s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs for that famous Buffalo sauce, and Belgian Waffles for a breakfast treat. Great fun to travel without leaving the kitchen!

cooked beef in a cast iron skillet with sliced provolone on top of it ready to be melted in the oven for Philly cheesesteaks
cooked beef topped with melted provolone cheese in a cast iron skillet next to a baking sheet with open hoagie rolls
cooked beef topped with melted provolone cheese in a cast iron skillet being scooped onto a hoagie roll on top of parchment
Two homemade Philly cheesesteak sandwiches on hoagie rolls wrapped in parchment paper on a baking sheet

Tools You’ll Need

We Love A Specialty Sandwich Recipe For Any Meal

Most things taste great between two slices of bread. After you make our Philly cheesesteak sandwich, take a look at these recipes to see what we mean:

cooked beef in a cast iron skillet to be used for philly cheesesteak sandwiches
a close up of a homemade philly cheese steak sandwich on a hoagie roll toppped with melted provolone cheese

Proud Of That Perfectly Toasted Hoagie?

We want to see it! Did you make our easy philly cheesesteak recipe? Show us those sandwiches! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Philly Cheesesteak

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 837


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ribeye, fat trimmed, thinly sliced (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 hoagie rolls, halved lengthwise (don’t cut all the way through)
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 slices sharp or mild provolone cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches, add the beef in a single layer and season with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, undisturbed, until meat begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions to the same skillet and season with remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, until browned and softened, 5-8 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and garlic. Spread 1 tablespoon of butter on the cut sides of each hoagie roll. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a sheet pan and bake until toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the sheet pan from the oven and spread 1 tablespoon of garlic mayo on the cut sides of each roll. Return beef to the skillet with the onions and season with black pepper. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until warmed. Remove the skillet from heat and top the beef mixture with provolone in a single layer.

  5. Once the cheese begins to melt, divide the cheese and meat between toasted hoagie rolls. Serve immediately.

Note: You’ll want to slice the beef as thin as possible. The best way to do this is by freezing it for 30 minutes to an hour, then slicing with a sharp knife.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories837
  • Protein53 g
  • Carbohydrates36 g
  • Total Fat36 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol184 mg
  • sodium1768 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Philly Cheesesteak

Questions & Reviews

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  • Jenn

    My entire family loved these! These are definitely a recipe to keep around!

    Thanks Jenn!