Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks
It’s been a few months since I was laid off and decided to start blogging full-time. I still have moments when I doubt myself or when I think, “You know what? Things would be so much easier if I just had a normal 9 to 5 job.” I’m kind of a doubter by nature–I think no matter what I do in life, I’m always going to second-guess myself. But overall, I’m happy with the decision I made and I’m grateful to be doing something I love. And I don’t know if I’d be in this position today without the support of other bloggers.

(Is this getting sappy? Because I totally did not mean for this post to be sappy.)

When I lost my job, I emailed Julie from The Little Kitchen because I was feeling freaked out and I knew she had just gone through a similar situation herself, ultimately deciding to pursue blogging full-time. Julie immediately gave me her phone number and told me to call her. I think we must have talked for 2 hours that day (while she ran errands!) and I hung up the phone thinking, “Okay. I can do this. Getting laid off was for the best.” She totally talked me down when I was in a state of panic and a spiral of self-doubt.

Portabella Mushrooms for Cheesesteaks
So now I’m going to steal Julie’s cheesesteak recipe! Well, okay, I’m not really stealing it–hers is made with meat and obviously mine is not. My Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks are a mashup of Julie’s cheesesteaks and a sandwich my mom used to make for me and my brother (also a vegetarian) when we were younger. She would sautรฉ some onions, green peppers, and mushrooms, cover them with provolone cheese, and then serve the veggies on crusty rolls. I used Julie’s idea of baking the sandwiches in the oven before serving.

Mushrooms (especially portabellas!) are often used as a substitute for meat, not just for their texture, but for their umami flavor. Umami is one of the five basic tastes–it’s a savory flavor, one that can be found in cured meats, cheeses, and soy sauce. I’ve found that the best way to really bring out the umami in mushrooms is to cook them in a little red wine. It adds a depth of flavor that you just can’t get with butter or oil alone. So if you make this recipe, don’t skip the wine!

Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Meaty portabella mushrooms replace the beef in these oven-baked vegetarian cheesesteaks. Inspired by The Little Kitchen's cheesesteaks.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 extra-large portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine
  • 1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
  • 4 sub rolls, sliced lengthwise (don't completely cut the top from the bottom, though!)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add wine and increase heat to high. Cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Carefully wipe skillet clean. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add green pepper and onions; cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Return mushrooms to skillet and stir to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Top vegetable mixture with cheese slices. Once cheese has melted, remove from heat.
  5. Divide veggie mixture into sub rolls. Wrap each cheesesteak tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap carefully.


If you are bothered by such things, you can remove the gills from the mushrooms before cooking them. They have a tendency to discolor the bread and onions a little.



About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. Sherlock says

    Hi! I made these a while ago and wanted to give you feedback. I thought they were a decent alternative to the real deal. Granted it didn’t taste much like a cheese steak but I ate it all anyway. I had a whole bunch of mushrooms I needed to use up and this looked to be a good fit. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Amanda says

    I made these tonight- pretty yummy! Thanks for the recipe! I’m not much of a cook, only good at following recipes- I was wondering if maybe a few dashes of balsamic vinegar would give it an extra boost? Also, do you have any advice to offer on how to begin blogging full time?

    • Kiersten says

      Sure, if you wanted to add balsamic vinegar, that would work. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for your question about blogging full-time, it’s hard to distill that into one short response. If you’re looking to start a food blog, I recommend Kelly Senyei’s Food Blogging for Dummies. And for blogging in general, ProBlogger is a good resource. There are several different ways to monetize a blog and it’s just a matter of finding one that you’re comfortable with and that’s a fit for your audience & subject matter.

  3. Julianne Louise says

    I made these weeks ago without the red wine, as there was just no way I was going to manage to get my hands on any, and these sammiches were really good; myself and my family really enjoyed them. I made them tonight with some leftover Malbec and HOT DAMN, GIRL These are insane. That wine makes all the difference. I ate like half of it straight out of the pan.

    Also I just wanted to note for anyone else that I feel like the method could be a little more streamlined. I got my peppers and onions in the pan then sliced up and cooked the mushrooms. They end up cooking simultaneously (esp if you’re like me and want your onions caramelized). Saves a lot of time. JUST ME. Not trying to be critical <3

    • Kiersten says

      THE WINE DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I tell people that all the time about cooking mushrooms–add red wine! It’s like magic.

      The first time I made these, I tried making all the veggies together and they ended up steaming because the skillet was just too crowded. Using two pans instead of one is definitely a good solution too–thanks for the suggestion! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. shasta says

    Yum! I made this tonight and it was a big hit! My husband was super impressed. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

  5. cathy says

    Thanks for the great recipe (my family LOVES mushrooms!) and being an inspiration. Today is my first day being laid-off from work. This is an annual “event” for those of us who teach, but this summer may be an extended lay-off due to our company losing their contract with National Head Start. I’ve been talking about making lunches and selling them to businesses in the area (Paula Deen style). Thanks for the pep talk–or letter. I think I’ll go for it!

    • Kiersten says

      I’m so sorry to hear about your job, but if being laid off allows you the time you need to pursue your passion, then it’s definitely for the best. (And incidentally, I just got back from Savannah and we stayed a few blocks away from Paula Deen’s restaurant–I always think about how she started out too!) Good luck with your business!

  6. says

    Hi! My partner and I run a small cafe in Malaysia, and we’ve got a client requesting we carry only vegetarian dishes if possible. We’re not too veggie-savvy, but this looks great, and we would love to add this to our menu if you’re alright with it! Would we be able to cook the mushrooms and veggies in advance (we’re not cooking on the premises), chill it to keep, and then do the last step of baking to reheat just before we serve?

    • Kiersten says

      I’ve never made this with reheated veggies, so I can’t answer for certain. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work out, although like anything, it would probably be better eaten right away.

  7. says

    This was phenomenal!! The only modification I made was adding a bit of soy sauce to the mushrooms. And, of course, I added a little salt, pepper and Italian seasoning for taste. But, it tasted incredible, and was so easy to make. I’ll be making this again soon. Thanks so much for sharing such a winner! (I found your french toast recipe on here a couple months ago, and it was the best breakfast thing I ever tasted. You have the best food blog!)

  8. says

    If we never doubted ourselves, we wouldn’t be successful. Self-doubt helps you dream bigger. Clearly you are not bogging yourself down in self-doubt! Your blog is amazing! Trying the cheesesteaks this week. ; )

    • Kiersten says

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I do think a little bit of self-doubt can be healthy–when people think they’re invincible, that’s not exactly a good thing. I hope you like the cheesesteaks!

  9. Sissy says

    My husband and I made these last night while it was beginning to snow in Greensboro and they are sensational! Thank you for sharing the recipe. They brought back memories of a long ago summer in Philadelphia. We are looking forward to the leftovers tonight.

    • Kiersten says

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! We had soup while watching the snow fall here in Raleigh, which seemed very appropriate. I was a wee bit sad to watch it all melt away this afternoon.

  10. says

    We tried these last night and they were much better than we had hoped. In fact, we loved them so much, we’re actually going to make them again here in few days. I love simple/delicious. And that is definitely what you have here. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Leilani says

    This sandwich was amazing. I am a lover of portabella mushrooms and cheesesteak sanwiches. What I’m thinking now about using steak in the original version is not even necessary. The meatiness of the mushrooms is all you need. Also, cooking in the wine is a great idea and adds so much flavor. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Monica says

    I made these last night and they were insane! So easy and so good. I made substitutions based on what I had on band….jarred roasted red peppers, smoked gouda…I also added crushed garlic and sliced pepperoncini to the onion sautรช and balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms. While I don’t think the vinegar made much of a difference, the pepperoncini added a nice texture and brightness.

    Thank you for such an easy and impressive sandwich. Delicious!

  13. Martyna says

    Digesting these sandwiches at the moment and feeling the good after delicious dinner pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚
    I didn’t use red wine or vinegar, and red pepper instead of green, but they still were very good – too bad there was no one today to share this food with.
    Only one thing went wrong – I burned myself when I touched the corner of the oven when takung the sandwiches out, but IT WAS WORTH IT ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Kiersten says

      I am the QUEEN of burning myself on the oven, the stove, hot pans – pretty much anything! But I’m glad to hear the sandwiches were worth the pain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Vanetta says

    This is one of my favorite meatless meals to make! I pre-toast the bread with olive oil and garlic and add marinara sauce. Soooo delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  15. says

    I made these last night for dinner and the were wonderful!!! Thank you for the recipe………love your website. We’re trying to start eating less meat and I know I’ll be back to your website often.

  16. Sabrina says

    These were so good my cats were trying to steal them off of our plates…that hasn’t happened since I stopped cooking meat almost a year ago. Thank you for such a great site, I’ve yet to try a recipe I don’t like. You make being an aspiring vegetarian very easy and delicious!

  17. Regan says

    I love these sandwiches! I love wrapping them in foil and baking them, it comes out so perfect! Thank you for sharing. Oh and I tried without wine, just don’t do that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Jennifer says

    These look really good and I’d like to try them. I’m not much of a wine drinker though, could you suggest what type of red wine to get for these?

  19. says

    I realize this is an old post, but do you know of a fast, not messy way to remove gills?

    Also, I prefer balsamic to red wine. But, I’m obsessed with it, so I’m sure I’m not objective.

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