Gluten Free Cheese Steak Recipe
What makes for a good sandwich? For some it’s slices of thick, crusty bread layered with fresh deli meat and sharp cheese. For others, it’s a toasted roll oozing with hot filling. If you consider yourself a sandwich lover, you’ve got to try a gluten free cheese steak.
Unfortunately, if you follow the gluten free diet you may never get to experience an authentic Philly cheesesteak, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a gluten free version. With the right ingredients, a gluten free cheese steak can be just as delicious (or even more so) than the classic.
Here’s what you need to know about cheese steaks and how to make your own gluten free version at home. You’ll even receive a tasty recipe to try yourself!
What is a Cheese Steak?
A cheese steak or cheesesteak is also known as a Philly cheesesteak because it was famously crated in Philadelphia, PA in the 1930s. This sandwich is traditionally created by combining chopped beef, onions, and cheese on a bread roll but can also be made with additions like fried bell peppers or mushrooms as well as alternatives to steak.
Here are some of the most popular variations of the traditional Philly cheesesteak:
- Chicken Cheese Steak – A cheese steak made with chicken instead of beef.
- Pizza Steak – A cheese steak topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, often toasted under a broiler to brown the cheese.
- Vegan Cheese Steak – A sandwich made with vegan ingredients like plant-based meat, mushrooms, or seitan in place of the beef with soy-based cheese.
- Steak Milano – A cheese steak made with fried or grilled tomatoes and seasoned with oregano.
- Mushroom Cheese Steak – A cheese steak topped with sautéed mushrooms.
- Pepper Cheese Steak – A cheese steak topped with sautéed bell peppers, sweet peppers, hot cherry peppers, or long hot peppers.
- Buffalo Chicken Cheese Steak – A cheese steak made with chicken, topped with cheese and hot sauce. Sautéed peppers and onions optional.
Over the years, the cheese steak has become widely known. While Philadelphians are quite picky about what kind of sandwich is worthy of the “cheesesteak” title, the term is typically understood to mean a sandwich featuring some kind of meat and cheese.
Do Gluten Free Cheese Steaks Exist?
If you suffer from celiac disease or follow the gluten free diet by choice, you wouldn’t even dream of walking up to the world famous Pat’s Steaks (inventor of the cheesesteak) in Philly to order a cheesesteak. Traditionally served on Italian bread rolls, cheesesteaks are not exactly gluten free-friendly. That being said, the roll is the main issue and can easily be replaced with a gluten free alternative.
Many gluten free food brands, like Schär, have begun to offer a variety of alternatives to traditional wheat bread including Gluten Free Ciabatta Rolls and Gluten Free Hot Dog Rolls, either of which would make for a tasty gluten free cheese steak.
Once you have your gluten free bread, all you need is your meat, cheese, and other toppings. Speaking of cheese, it’s just as common to see cheesesteaks made with slices of cheese as with a drizzle of melted cheese sauce. Unfortunately, do keep in mind that it isn’t safe to assume all cheese sauce is gluten free.
Making Gluten Free Cheese Sauce
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to making a cheese steak. Some love to load up a roll with layers of hot steak and sliced cheese while others prefer to drown the meat in gooey cheese sauce. If you’re a fan of the second option, you may have gone into a period of mourning when you made the transition to a gluten free diet. Sadly, many restaurants use flour to thicken their cheese sauce which puts it on the long list of foods you need to avoid.
The good news is you can whip up a batch of gluten free cheese sauce at home so you can dip, drizzle, and drown your favorite foods in cheesy goodness.
Here’s how to make gluten free cheese sauce:
- 1 cup milk (or non-dairy alternative)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- Whisk together the milk and rice flour in a small saucepan until well combined.
- Over medium-high heat, whisk in the butter and salt until the sauce starts to bubble.
- Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese a little at a time, making sure it all melts.
- Remove from heat and stir until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce smooth.
Pretty easy, right? Now that you have the basic recipe, you can experiment with different types of cheese to make your own flavor combinations. If you like a little bit of spice, throw in some pepper jack cheese. If you want to go mild, try Monterey jack or mozzarella.
What Type of Meat is Best?
Though the name Philly cheesesteak immediately brings to mind a sandwich loaded with beef, that certainly isn’t the only option. The classic Philly cheesesteak is made with thinly sliced ribeye steak, but the options are endless. It really comes down to what you like and what you’re feeling in the moment.
Here are some options to try out yourself:
- Sirloin steak (a little more affordable)
- Thinly sliced chicken or turkey breast
- Frozen shaved steak (like Steak-Umms)
- Fried seitan or tofu slices (vegan/vegetarian)
- Deli sliced roast beef or turkey
Though it’s hard to say no to any sandwich made with a delicious Schär Gluten Free roll and a heaping helping of melty cheese, there’s something to be said for the classic cheese steak recipe. To give a gluten free version of the classic a go, try the recipe below:
Recipe: Gluten Free Cheesesteak
If you’re looking for a satisfying meal that checks all the right boxes, a gluten free cheese steak has tender steak and gooey cheese on a fluffy gluten free roll. What more could you ask for?
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 medium bell peppers, sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 pound thinly sliced ribeye
- ½ pound sliced cheese (American or provolone)
- 4 Schär Gluten Free Hot Dog Rolls
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the peppers and onions, stirring to coat, and sauté for 12 to 15 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes then season with salt and pepper.
- Add the remaining oil and butter then stir in the sliced ribeye.
- Sauté the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.
- When the meat is browned, place the sliced cheese over it and let it melt.
- Stir the cheese into the meat and veggie mixture as it starts to melt.
- Once the cheese is melted, scoop the mixture onto Schär Gluten Free Hot Dog Rolls to serve.
Notes: A classic cheesesteak is simple: bread, meat, and cheese. This recipe adds a bit of intrigue with sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms but you can feel free to dress up your sandwich with additional toppings, if you like. Try lettuce for a hint of freshness or sliced jalapenos for a kick of heat.