This cheese steak sandwich is no ordinary philly! Our steak is topped with caramelized onions, pickles and cheese and the toasty bread is slathered with BBQ sauce, wholegrain mustard, and a homemade aioli giving it an unbelievable punch of flavor.
You’re going to love this indulgent steak sandwich recipe. I am a firm believer that all steak sandwiches are good, but this cheese steak is over the top!
With ingredients like pickles, caramelized onions, and homemade garlic aioli, the flavor is delicious. Then, you add BBQ sauce, wholegrain mustard, and melted cheese and it goes from delicious to out of this world!
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Cheese Steak Sandwich
This sandwich is loaded with lots of great textures, very flavorful and rich in umami, moreish, satiating as it's high in protein, great for a hearty lunch or dinner (say served with some salad or chips).
- It’s high in protein with ¼ lb of juicy steak on each sandwich.
- It is perfect for a hearty lunch or dinner.
- Melted cheese adds lots of umami and that lovely ooey-gooey mouthfeel
- Aioli adds a sophisticated flavor that you just can’t achieve with plain mayo.
- Pickles add tang and sweetness, as does the BBQ sauce.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this Cheese Steak Sandwich.
- Steak - We recommend sirloin or ribeye; you can also use 1-minute quick cooking steak.
- Onions: Thinly sliced, white or red could be used.
- Cheese: We recommend sharp cheddar or provolone here for more flavor.
- Pickles: Sliced pickled cucumbers to be precise; you can experiment with using other types of pickles
- Mayonnaise: This will form the base for the aioli, use the less sweet brands.
- Garlic: To flavor the mayonnaise and make the aioli, fresh is best but if not available, the ground powder can be used.
- BBQ sauce: Any brand you prefer will do
- Wholegrain mustard: This will enhance the flavor and texture of the whole sandwich
- Bread: We used ciabatta, but you could also use baguette or sourdough.
- Plus olive oil for cooking, salt and pepper
🧀 What Is The Best Cheese For Steak Sandwich?
Any cheese that melts well will work perfectly, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Sharp Cheddar
- Swiss or Havarti
- Smoked or Mild Provolone
🥖 What Is The Best Bread For Steak Sandwich?
When choosing your bread, the most important thing is that it is a firm bread that will hold up against the weight of the steak and the wet ingredients in the sandwich. For this reason, we prefer ciabatta, baguette, or sourdough bread.
📷 How To Make This Cheese Steak Sandwich
The full recipe card with nutrition info is below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos.
- Step 1. Let the steak come to room temperature.
- Step 2. Add onions, olive oil and salt to a small pan and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until golden brown and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
- Step 3. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the steak and pan-fry. Once done, remove from the pan and rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing.
- Step 4. Prepare the bread, cheese, pickles, and sauces so you are ready to assemble the sandwich.
- Step 5. Whisk mayonnaise with garlic to make aioli and set aside.
- Step 6. Cut the bread rolls in half. Place both halves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cut side up. Spread one slice with BBQ sauce and mustard. Layer the sliced steak and a few slices of cheese over the top of the BBQ sauce and mustard.
- Step 7. Pop the sandwich halves under broil for a couple of minutes, until the cheese has melted and the empty bread half is slightly toasted.
- Step 8. Spread aioli over the empty half. Top the cheese with half of the grilled onions and pour about a tablespoon of the steak cooking juices over the top.
- Step 9. Finish with a few sliced pickles and close the sandwich. Serve as is or cut in halves. Repeat with 2nd sandwich.
📝 Recipe Tips
- Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Be sure to use a bread that will stand up to the weight of the steak and the wetness of the condiments
- The steak jus added to the sandwich is a little secret hack to getting the most delicious steak sandwich.
- This recipe is designed for 2 sandwiches but this depends on the size of the baguette/roll or the type of bread used.
🥗 Serving Suggestions
This cheese steak sandwich will go perfectly with chips, fries, or a side salad if you want to make your meal just a touch healthy!
- Try making this same sandwich with chicken instead of steak.
- Play around with the type of BBQ sauce you use to adjust the flavor of your sandwich- sweet, spicy, and vinegar-based sauces will all give it a different flair
- Try a cheese infused with peppers or herbs to give your sandwich more flair.
- Try adding our sun-dried tomato aioli or Big Mac sauce for a twist.
While we don’t recommend making the entire sandwich ahead, there are lots of ways you can save time when you’re ready to serve. Try prepping the aioli, grilled onions, and sliced cheese ahead of time to make assembly a breeze.
Cheese Steak Sandwich
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
For cooking the steak
- 0.5 lb sirloin or rib eye steak, 200 g
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil for frying
- 1 cup onions sliced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For 2 Sandwiches
- 2 oz cheese sliced
- 2 pickles sliced
- 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic minced or grated
- 2 tablespoon BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 2 Ciabatta rolls but you can use baguettes
- Remove the steak from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 5-10 minutes).
- Cook the onions. Add sliced onions, olive oil and salt to a small pan and cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until golden brown and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
- Cook the steak. In the meantime, season the steak with salt and pepper. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat (7 on induction). Once hot, add the steak and pan-fry for 3.5-4 minutes on each side. Once done, remove from the pan and let it rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing. Make sure tor researve all the cooking juices in the pan as we will be adding those to the sandwich.
- Prepare the bread, cheese, pickles, and sauces so you are ready to assemble the sandwich.
- Whisk mayonnaise with the minced garlic to make aioli and set aside.
- Assemble the sandwich (please note, the photos show one sandwich but you get the idea). Cut the bread roll or baguettes in halves. Place both halves on a flat baking tray over some parchment paper, facing the cut side up. Spread it on side with BBQ sauce and mustard. Layer the sliced steak and a few slices of cheese over the top of that slice.
- Pop the sandwich halves under broil for a couple of minutes, until the cheese has melted and the empty bread half is slightly toasted.
- Now, spread 1.5 tablespoons of the aioli over the empty half. Top the cheese with half of the grilled onions and pour about a tablespoon of the steak cooking juices over the top.
- Finish with a few sliced pickles and close the sandwich. Serve as is or cut in halves.