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!

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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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138 Comments

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    December 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I had a similar experience a year ago… but I was already in the process of transitioning to this anyway. The fact is that it’s not an easy situation to be in (not having a full time job), but, gosh, I am so much happier now than I ever was.

    This mushroom cheesesteak look freakin’ amazing! I don’t know if I’ve actually had one before (despite growing up in NJ)… but I’m so excited to try this!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Yeah, prior to this, I never had a job that really felt like a fit for me. Work would end on Friday afternoon and I’d already be dreading Monday. I’m definitely still finding my way with how to make this a full-time thing, but being happy is so worth it.

  • Reply
    Crista
    December 7, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    OMG these look amazing.

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    December 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I absolutely love your take on Julie’s cheesesteaks. I adore her (and you!)

  • Reply
    Shirley
    December 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I have to say, I’m no mushroom lover but that looks really good!! Melty cheese and onions will get me every time.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Well, you could always make them with actual steak like the original. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Jennifer H
    December 8, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Yum, yum, yum!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    December 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Okay, those look awesome. I am not even remotely vegetarian but I do love me some cheesy mushrooms!

  • Reply
    titch wardall
    December 8, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This looks delicious! I love portobello mushrooms, they’re so ‘meaty’ I think they work brilliant as the main part of a meal, as you’ve done here.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      They definitely do make a good substitute for meat! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Justin
    December 8, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Do you put any sort of sauce on the sandwich? Butter the bread? I am looking forward to trying this but it seems like it would be dry without something else.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      If you want to add butter or sauce, you certainly can. The mushrooms release some of their liquid while baking, so we didn’t find the sandwich to be dry at all.

      • Reply
        Justin
        December 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        I made this the other night and it didn’t need any sauce. It was delicious. Now I’m making the butternut squash and caramelized onion pasta. Thanks!

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          December 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

          I’m glad it turned out well! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Laura (GotChocolate)
    December 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    WOW! Had i seen this picture elsewhere, I would have guessed these to have meat in them. I love the cheese hanging from the middle. CHOMP! Yum, yum, yum!

    So glad to hear you talked to Julie and bonded over similar situations. Julie is such a great mentor and friend, as she has been to me as well. πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      I guess it really does look like steak, huh? πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Shell Fruscione
    December 9, 2012 at 5:51 am

    THANK YOU for this recipe! Cheese steaks are my fiancee AND my favorite food but I don’t eat beef & chicken {which I do eat} just doesn’t work as well. I never thought to try mushrooms & I am sure it will be brilliant. Making this tomorrow!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Yay! I hope it turned out well! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Katie
    December 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Julie is such an awesome person with such a kind heart! I’m so glad that she was able to help you out πŸ™‚ And there is nothing made with portabella mushrooms that I don’t LOVE. We’re headed to the grocery store in a few minutes, so I’m jotting down this recipe.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Yes she is! πŸ™‚ And I hope you like the sandwiches if you make them!

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    December 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I always think that cheesesteaks look amazing but then I remember that I don’t like steak .. This is such a great alternative!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    December 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I love mushrooms of all sorts. My husband and son won’t go near them. πŸ™ Maybe I can send them out and make these one night?

    And I am glad you got laid off. I like seeing all the yummy things you make every week.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Well, you can make Julie’s recipe and add mushrooms to your sandwich. πŸ˜€ So many people hate mushrooms–why?!

      • Reply
        Rachel
        December 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        Communists.

        That is the only reason I can come up with for hating mushrooms.

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          December 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

          Commies ruin everything!

  • Reply
    Notorious Spinks
    December 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    This looks so good! love it!

  • Reply
    Kathy - Panini Happy
    December 10, 2012 at 1:14 am

    These look fantastic! I love how well portobello mushrooms soak up flavor. I’ve got a sandwich like this in my book – you don’t miss the meat!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      I can’t wait for your book! πŸ˜€ The mushroom melt you posted on your blog a few weeks ago was so good!

  • Reply
    Mushrooms Canada
    December 10, 2012 at 10:31 am

    We are so happy that you’re blogging full time! You have provided us with so many delicious mushroom recipe and this one is no different- fabulous! I’ve made these in the past, but never with wine (for shame!) Thanks for sharing!

    -Shannon

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you! Mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with, so I will definitely keep the recipes coming. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    December 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I would have thought that was steak if I only saw the picture too! This totally looks like something people would pay for at a restaurant, and yet your method for making them sounds simple enough for anyone to make at home. I’m not really a huge fan of mushrooms, but I’d definitely be willing to try this!

  • Reply
    Diane (createdbydiane)
    December 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Oh I can only imagine who DELICIOUS this is! Do you have any leftovers? I’ll help clean up πŸ™‚
    Julie is so great, glad you were able to have someone help you through the tough transition.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      I always have leftovers–now whether they’ll hold up in the mail, that’s another question. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    December 11, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Holy amazing! These look incredible. I just love mushrooms for their ability to replace meat like that!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      I always laugh at how restaurants try to put portabellas in every vegetarian menu option, but it’s true, they really are a good meat replacement. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    December 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Kiersten,
    You are so talented and your love for what you do was evident to me from the first time I visited. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    I love both cheesesteaks sandwiches and portabella mushrooms. I love your veggie version of Julie’s recipe. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    MJ
    December 13, 2012 at 6:58 am

    These are just fabulous. We made them last night. I forgot to purchase the green pepper so we used some spinach instead. We just lightly melted it in before the cheese.

    I think it is the few minutes in the oven that makes this just great.

    Please keep up with the great recipes–baked fried rice is now a house staple and I think mushroom cheesesteaks are going to also make the short list too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you for the comment–I’m so glad they turned out well for you! I agree, that time baking in the oven really makes them delicious. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Holly W
    December 19, 2012 at 12:30 am

    These look SO good that my wife (carnivore) and myself (herbivore) will both love them. I can’t wait to try it out.
    Also, i’m thinking.. maybe I need to get laid off from my job to actually force myself to take the leap to full time blogging. Unfortunately I feel VERY far away from anything along that realm. One day, I hope.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Yup, I think these sandwiches are so packed with deliciousness that even a carnivore would not complain. πŸ™‚

      I really don’t think I ever would have made the transition to blogging full-time had I not lost my job. I am a person who likes stability and predictability and the thought of quitting my job to blog? Terrifying! So I really needed that push and somehow it all worked out. I hope that it happens for you too–I wish I had known that it’s not as scary as I though it would be…

  • Reply
    ryan
    January 8, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Are the “gils” the fine fin-like parts on the underside of the cap ? And…when slicing, do I just lie the cap round side up and slice crosswise ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Yes, the gills are the dark brown things on the underside of the cap. You can just slice them like a regular mushroom–place the cap on your cutting board (round side up is probably easiest, but it doesn’t really matter) and cut it into strips. You can kind of see what I mean in the photo above with the cooked mushrooms in the bowl. They also sell pre-sliced portabella mushrooms at some supermarkets.

  • Reply
    Mary @ Fit and Fed
    January 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Somehow I missed this one until you referred to it today, I hadn’t realized you lost your job and are now blogging full-time. I wish you all the best with the transition! You are such a steady worker with your posts and your photography and blog design are top-notch, that’s gotta help!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 24, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thank you! Yeah, it was one of those things that I should have expected (jobs were being outsourced right and left for the past year or so), but it still came as a shock when it happened. Now that it’s been a few months, I can see that it was definitely for the best. I’m not the type of person to take leaps of faith and I never would have quit on my own to pursue blogging as a career–I needed the push. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kim H.
    January 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I can’t wait to make these this weekend! It’s my husband’s birthday and he loves mushrooms, so this will be birthday lunch. Thanks! I love your site, by the way…found you on Pinterest and added you to my BlogLovin’. Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      January 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Happy Birthday to your husband! I hope he likes the sandwiches! πŸ˜€

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