You’d be surprised how easy it is to recreate a classic Philly Cheesesteak with all-vegan ingredients. In this recipe, the homemade seitan and cheesy sauce harmonize so well you’d want to see them get married. So go and make this vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich now!
I have very fond memories of the first Philly Cheesesteak I’ve ever had. It was 2012. 6 years ago! It was one of the first [intentionally] vegan things I ate, in a Loving Hut in San Francisco. And it was super yummy! So this is my turn on a vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.
The main components of the vegan Philly Cheesesteak:
- Homemade Seitan (it’s super easy to make with a food processor! You don’t have to knead it at all!)
- Cheesy Sauce (I’m using my go-to vegan cheese sauce)
- Sandwich Bun (I used a store-bought one for this one, but you can even make your own by using this basic white bread recipe)
How to make Seitan that isn’t spongy/rubbery/tough?
Recently, I experimented a lot with homemade seitan. My #1 super secret ingredient for seitan that has just the right balance of soft and firm is sparkling water! It’s just a simple substitution with a huge effect. Trick #2 is to use canned chickpeas instead of chickpea flour. This makes the seitan soft (even the next day or the day after!).
Bell peppers and onions are a classic add-in for Philly Cheesesteaks. I’ve added a mix of green and red bell peppers to add more colors.
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Ingredients for the seitan
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 large white onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sparkling water
- 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
Ingredients for the cheesy sauce
- 1 white onion peeled, halved and sliced
- 1/4 green bell pepper cut into strips
- 1/4 red bell pepper cut into strips
- 2 sandwich buns
- In a large pan with canola oil, sautée the chopped onion and garlic cloves until soft. Add the cumin and fennel seeds. Let it cook further until the spices are toasted.
- In a food processor, add the chickpeas, onion-garlic-spices mixture, tomato paste, salt, thyme, smoked paprika, soy sauce, and sparkling water. Pulse until it’s saucy. Then add the vital wheat gluten and pulse again until it comes together in a ball.
- Prepare a large pot (filled with a couple of inches of water) with a steaming basket and bring to high heat.
- Divide the seitan into 8 equal chunks. Add the seitan chunks into the steaming basket and let them steam for about 40 minutes, flipping them after 20 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, you can prepare the homemade cheesy sauce: Heat the coconut oil or butter in a small pot over low heat. Add the salt, turmeric powder, curry powder, and paprika powder. Add in the flour and whisk. Add nutritional yeast, whisk again until clumpy. Add the water and whisk on low heat for 1-2 minutes until it gets gooey. Set aside. If it gets too thick later on you can add a little bit more water and whisk again.
- Let the seitan cool off a bit before slicing it into thin strips.
- Bring a large pan with olive oil to high heat, toss in the white onion and let it cook until translucent. Then add the bell pepper and seitan strips and let it pan-fry for 3-4 minutes until the seitan is crispy on the edges and the bell pepper is softened. Add more salt to taste.
- Fill the sandwiches with crispy seitan and add the cheese sauce on top. Enjoy!
Estimated Nutrition Info
Did you make this vegan Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich? Tag @elephantasticvegan on instagram and use the hashtag #elephantasticvegan. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Elephantastic Vegan Newsletter to see Reader Remake Features!
This post was first published on November 12, 2014. Updated on September 14, 2018.