A spicy twist on the Philly Cheesesteak.
This spicy Philly Cheesesteak is seriously one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. The FIRST post on A Flavor Journal was actually this Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich recipe. (I honestly recommend clicking it just because the difference in photos between it and this post are pretty comical!)
How spicy are they, really?
This can get pretty spicy if you want it to. Jalapeños give it a really nice kick, so you can add as few or as many as you like! The poblanos really aren’t that spicy; they’re a great flavor contributor though. They have a smoky, peppery flavor that brings this whole recipe to another level.
What ingredients do I need for these cheesesteaks?
- Strip steak (or ribeye)
- Hoagies (or other large deli subs)
- Pepperjack Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese (or Provolone, Swiss, Havarti, Monterey Jack, American!)
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Poblano pepper
- Bell pepper (green, yellow, or red will work!)
- Onion (white or yellow)
- Brown Sugar
- Soy Sauce
- French Fried Onions
This recipe is really simple, but delivers big on flavor. With smoky poblano peppers, spicy jalapeños, and the usual suspects of green peppers and onion, it’s awesome. Like deliciously awesome. And you’re going to love it.
Tips for making the Best Spicy Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich:
- Paper-thin slices of steak. This can be done one of two ways: 1) If you have a great relationship with your local butcher (or the butcher at your favorite store), you can ask them to slice your steak paper-thin for you. 2) Freeze the steak for about an hour, then cut it with a very sharp knife. Use a clean dish towel as a barrier between the frozen steak and your hand as you cut: it gets so cold that it can hurt!
- Slice the veggies to your liking. For the peppers and onions, slice them as thin or thick as you like. Do you love big bites of vegetables in your sandwich? Make them thicker! Do you want to try to pack a little of every ingredient into one bite? Slice them thin, that way they mix into the meat and cheese easier! But do whatever you prefer, and your sandwich will turn out amazing. (ALSO, See following section for more information on the veggies in this recipe!)
- Season the veggies from the start. We want to build flavor from the get-go, so adding a good pinch of salt to the peppers and onions BEFORE they soften is key. The salt draws out the juicy goodness inside the veggies, and coaxes out their flavors.
- Use your favorite cheese! I recommend Pepperjack because it’s melty and spicy, but this recipe totally works with Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Havarti, Swiss, or Provolone! You could even combine a couple of cheeses!
- Use soft, squishy buns. This is the final piece to the puzzle. If you used awesome ingredients for every other part of this recipe, don’t skimp on the buns. Use soft, squishy buns that are as fresh as possible. Nothing ruins a sandwich like semi-stale, crunchy (in a bad way) bread!
Like I mentioned above, the key here is building flavor from the beginning. The peppers and onions may cook a little longer in my recipe than some others, but that’s because we want to let them hang in the hot pan for a while so they can start to caramelize. The difference in softened veggies and caramelized veggies is like night and day, and it’s worth it. Luckily, it doesn’t require much effort – just some time and patience. 🙂
So let the veggies cook in the butter for about 15 minutes, then you’ll start to see some charred bits on them. That’s your cue to add the chopped roast beef! Stir the beef into the veggies, and let it cook for a couple of minutes until it’s browned. Then stir in half of the shredded cheese, and you’re pretty much set!
Stuffing the filling into the bread can be your final step, but it’s super delicious when you wrap the sandwiches in foil and bake them for about ten minutes. This lets the juices from the filling soak into the bread, and it softens the bread to create this cohesive, delicious bundle of flavor. 🙂
What should I serve with these Philly Cheesesteaks?
Honestly? We usually grab a bag of potato chips for these! But here are some other ideas from AFJ:
- Small Batch Roasted Brussels Sprouts – these are perfect to roast while you’re making the cheesesteaks. Then you can pop the sandwiches into the oven to melt the cheese, and have both dishes finish at the same time!
- Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes for Two – such an easy recipe. These are packed with flavor, and a great side option for any protein.
- Bacon, Gouda & Jalapeño Twice Baked Potatoes – pretty (deliciously) self explanatory. Swap the gouda for cheddar or pepperjack if it’s easier!
- Spicy Smashed Black Beans – an interesting pairing, but honestly so good.
- Unique Caesar Salad – interesting ingredients, incredible outcome.
Feeling feisty? Try this cajun philly cheesesteak wrap — it’s made with high-quality deli roast beef, so it’s even EASIER!
If you make these cheesesteak sandwiches, please tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome creation! And as always, feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions. If you comment and rate this recipe below, I would also very much appreciate it!
Philly Cheesesteaks with Jalapeños
- 8 oz. strip steak or ribeye
- 2 hoagies or other large deli subs
- 1/3 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 poblano pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium onion** thinly sliced
- 1 small shallot thinly sliced
- 1/2 jalapeño*** thinly sliced
- kosher salt & freshly cracked pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 cup french fried onions
- Place the ribeye in the freezer one hour before making the sandwiches.
- Cut into the hoagies lengthwise, being sure not to cut entirely through them. Remove some of the bread from the middles, creating a hollow area for the cheesesteak filling. Cut two pieces of foil to be wrapped around the hoagies, and set aside.
- Combine the cheeses in a bowl, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add sliced red pepper, poblano, onion, shallot, jalapeno, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook veggies, stirring occasionally, for 13-15 minutes until starting to brown.
- While veggies are cooking, sliced the steak as thinly as possible. Set aside.
- Stir the garlic into the veggies and cook for one minute. Stir in brown sugar and soy sauce, and cook for two minutes.
- Mix the steak and a smaller pinch of salt and pepper into the veggies, and cook until the steak is just browned (about 3-4 minutes).
- Stir half of the cheese into the steak and vegetables, and turn off the heat.
- Divide the cheesesteak mixture between the hoagies, stuffing them entirely full. Divide the french fried onions between over the tops of the sandwiches, and then divide the remaining cheese over the tops of the sandwiches, too.
- Stuff entire cheesesteak contents into the hoagies, then tightly wrap them each in foil. Bake at 375 for 6-7 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cheesesteaks from the foil, and serve immediately.