Iâ€™ve always wanted to try making vegan Philly cheesesteak, but something always stopped me. The problem has been that most of the recipes Iâ€™ve looked at use seitan in place of you-know-what. And while otherwise I have no quibble with seitan, it just seems like pure gluten served on bread is redundant.
Occasionally, a recipe will swap in portobello mushrooms, which do have that meaty umami thing going on. But for me, this would make it a portobello mushroom sandwich. While undeniably tasty, not exactly what Iâ€™d call the ideal vegan cheesesteak.
Lately, in our Vegan Food Hacks kitchen, store-bought vegan burgers have been demonstrating just how useful and versatile they can be. And they proved just the thing for these easy and tasty vegan cheesesteaks â€” meaty but not too meat-imitation-y; hearty but not gluten-filled like seitan.
What we love about veggie burgers is that they come in such a great variety, and you can choose according to your preference â€” do you like your burgers to be based on beans, grains, eggplant veggies, pea protein? Even your ordinary supermarket often has some good choices, hereâ€™s a handy list of brands.
To complete a meal of this hearty sandwich, just add salad. We went with an effortless mix of baby greens and cherry tomatoes, but if you want to make a slightly more elaborate salad, we donâ€™t object! And for a slightly larger meal, you can add sweet potato fries â€” homemade or from the frozen foods section.
Serves: 3 to 4
Time to table: 20 minutes
- Mixed baby greens
- Cherry or grape tomatoesÂ
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium bell pepper (see note)
- 4-pack vegan burgers, your favorite brand
- 8 ounces brown mushrooms
- 1 package Daiya Mozzarella
- Hero rolls (preferably whole grain) 3 or 4
(packages sometimes have more; freeze what’s unused)
You probably already have on hand
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce or liquid aminos (optional)
- Hot seasoning â€” sriracha, hot sauce, red pepper flakes (optional)
Note: If you really want to go full-on lazy, you can also use about half of a 16-ounce bag of frozen cut onions and bell peppers. Produce sections also have pre-cut onion and bell peppers, cellophane wrapped.
What to do
1Â Make a simple salad with the greens and tomatoes (and whatever else youâ€™d like to use) and set aside.
2Â Quarter and slice the onion. Over medium heat, sautÃ© in a medium skillet with a little olive oil until golden.
3Â Slice the bell pepper into strips. Stem about 8 mushrooms, clean them, and slice them. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms to the skillet andÂ continue to sautÃ© until the vegetables are golden and softened. Move to a plate.
4Â Cut each veggie burger in half and then into 1/2-inch wide (or so) strips. Add a little more olive oil to the skillet. SautÃ© the burger strips over medium heat until golden on most sides, stirring occasionally.
5Â Stir the onion mixture in with the burger strips. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella, depending on how cheesy youâ€™d like this to be, and cook just until the cheese is melted. Taste and see if youâ€™d like to add a splash of soy sauce or liquid aminos, or your favorite hot seasoning.
6Â Divide the filling among the hero rolls (you can hollow them out a bit if youâ€™d like, so that more of the filling can go in). This will fill 3 or 4 hero rolls, depending on their size.
7Â Cut each sandwich in half and serve at once with the salad.
Photos: Hannah Kaminsky
- Enjoy more of our vegan dinner hacks.