Entrees/ Make It Meatless/ Recipes/ vegetarian recipes

Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Portabella Cheesesteak sandwich closeup on a white plate

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.Β 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! Print

Portabella Mushroom Cheesesteaks

Portabella Cheesesteak sandwich closeup on a white plate

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

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 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!)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich

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137 Comments

  • Reply
    Sherlock
    February 4, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for the comment–I’m glad they turned out well!

    • Reply
      Sas
      June 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

      If you want it to taste more like cheese steak than add some A-1 and a little kitchen while frying up the vegetables.

      • Reply
        Sas
        June 3, 2013 at 10:12 am

        That WAS Ketchup not kitchen….darn auto correct!

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          June 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

          Ha! Well, I figured that’s what you meant. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Katrina
    February 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Just made this tonight and everyone loved it!!!! Thank you for the great recipe…

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 7, 2013 at 9:42 am

      I’m glad to hear it was a hit! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      March 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Sure, if you wanted to add balsamic vinegar, that would work. πŸ™‚ 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.

      • Reply
        Amanda
        March 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Julianne Louise
    May 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    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

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 7, 2013 at 10:21 am

      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! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    shasta
    May 9, 2013 at 7:51 am

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

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      May 9, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I’m so glad it was a hit–thanks for letting me know! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    cathy
    June 3, 2013 at 7:37 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      June 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    July 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Just made this and it is so good. Thanks

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Amber
    September 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      September 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    October 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Help! Fahrenheit or centigrade? πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Julia
    October 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Would Balsamic vinegar be a nice substitute for the red wine

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      I haven’t made this with balsamic vinegar, so I can’t say how it tastes, although I think someone else mentioned using it in the comments.

  • Reply
    Gina
    November 21, 2013 at 10:39 am

    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!)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      November 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you for the comment–I’m so glad both recipes were hits! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Leia
    December 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    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. ; )

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ 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!

  • Reply
    Sissy
    January 22, 2014 at 7:42 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Justin
    February 28, 2014 at 2:25 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe–thanks for your comment!

  • Reply
    Leilani
    April 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you for your comment–I’m glad you enjoyed the sandwiches!

  • Reply
    Monica
    May 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    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 sautΓͺ 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!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      May 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I love the idea of adding smoked gouda – I have such a weakness for smoked cheese! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Martyna
    May 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Digesting these sandwiches at the moment and feeling the good after delicious dinner pleasure πŸ™‚
    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 πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      May 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      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. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Vanetta
    August 2, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Terry
    September 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      September 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      They’re one of our favorites too – I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  • Reply
    Taylor @ What Vegetarians Eat
    November 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    These look SO good! I’m going to try making them with vegan cheese. I haven’t had sandwiches like these since before I went vegan and I’m long overdue!

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    February 10, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      February 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed them – they’re one of my favorites too!

  • Reply
    Regan
    February 16, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    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! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    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?

  • Reply
    Meagan
    August 25, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Well we found out that hubby hates Portobello mushrooms lol, but I thought it was delicious!

  • Reply
    Fatma Alici
    February 19, 2016 at 11:03 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      March 1, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I just hold the mushrooms over the garbage can and use a spoon to scrape the gills right into the trash.

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