It’s finally here! The meatiest, gooiest and tastiest, BEYOND delicious Ultimate Vegan Cheesesteaks you’ve ever encountered. For you, I have created two incredible variations of one of my all-time favorite sandwiches.

For the traditionalist, I’ve created the Classic Beyond Vegan Cheesesteak featuring onions, peppers, mayo, with your choice of shredded or sauced cheese. And for those of you who want a little more spice in your life, I’ve created the sweet and spicy Beyond Bulgogi Cheesesteak. It’s got thinly sliced anaheim chiles, green onion, a homemade gochujang aioli, and an extra special creamy kick from Vegan Yack Attack’s Kimchi Cheese Sauce.

CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO FULL RECIPE

The Backstory:

Without a doubt, one of the first things I missed when going vegan was the Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches from Capriotti’s. It wasn’t unheard of for me to order a food-long for lunch, and then devour the whole thing in one sitting. Of course never felt great after, but during, well, that was pure heaven.

So, why has it taken me nearly 4 years to veganize the cheesesteak if it was such an important part of my culinary history? Well, the main reason was that I wasn’t in love with any of the vegan meat options that were available before. 

It’s true that one of the only vegan items on Capriotti’s menu is a chicken cheesesteak, but it’s not the same. As far as I know they don’t have any vegan cheese (They especially don’t have a vegan cheese sauce), and their vegan chicken isn’t that great from what I remember. And I’m not even going to go into the fact that they cook them on the same grill as the actual steak cheesesteaks.

At this point in my vegan journey, I actually really love seitan. But only when I make it. Seitan is either hit or miss, and normally it’s a miss. I actually went through a period of time where I refused to eat the “wheat meat” because I had had so many bad experiences with it. In fact, the one time I did order a cheesesteak at a vegan restaurant in LA, it was made with seitan, and the raw “gluten” flavor was so distinct, that it overpowered every other part of the sandwich.

But what about…

Mushrooms are good, and most of the time I would say that I would prefer a mushroom something-or-other over a manufactured vegan meat something-or-other. But for this sandwich, I wanted something more accurate to the mouthfeel of the cheesesteaks I used to devour. 

I bet if you really wanted to use mushrooms in this recipe, you could pretty much just sub them in for the meat, and have an amazing sandwich. If you love mushrooms and hate vegan meats, then go for it. 

We’re spoiled here in the greater Las Vegas area because we have a ton of great vegan restaurants to choose from. One such restaurant is VeggiEAT Xpress in Henderson. They specialize in vegan Vietnamese sandwiches, but they also have a ton of other delicious items on their menu from soups to sushi. 

I usually stick to their BBQ pork sandwiches, and I’ve never been disappointed. However, one of the last times I treated myself to a working lunch there, I was surprised to see a cheesesteak on their menu. Admittedly I couldn’t see a place that specialized in bahn mi nailing a cheesesteak, but the server assured me that it was good, and so I gave it a go.

From the first bite, I was sold. And with that very same first bite, I knew exactly what they used to make it taste so good.

Going BEYOND:

Now, I personally love Beyond meat, but I have to admit that the very first time that I tried a Beyond Burger, I wasn’t too keen on the strong flavor. It was off-putting to me at first, and after over two years of being a vegan, I wasn’t sure that I even wanted something that was that close to imitating pink ground meat.

Maybe it’s an acquired taste, or maybe their many reformulations have improved on what I first tasted, but now I’m hooked. I actually love that “Beyond” flavor now, and crave it as much as I ever craved any burger in the past.

But how is it so good!?

So, then how does this Beyond Cheesesteak not just taste like a burger in a different bun? What sets this sandwich apart from any old Beyond Burger out there in the world? 

Well, I don’t exactly know. I’m not sure if it’s because of the way that the patty is broken up into pieces that get perfectly caramelized all around, or if it’s the fact that it’s sauteed with peppers and onions that changes the flavor profile. But whatever it is, it completely takes on the roll that thinly sliced beef normally plays in a cheesesteak, and nothing about it says “burger”. 

I played with seasonings and cooking techniques a bit to get the flavor to where I wanted it, and I’ve definitely created a recipe that reminds me of those halcyon days of devouring those greasy, goodey, savory 12 inch sandwich. 

But I didn’t stop there! No. I decided to play with the flavor profile a bit,  and in doing so, I’ve also created a bulgogi style, Korean inspired cheesesteak that will blow your mind.

So, I present to you, “The Beyond Cheesesteak: Two Ways”. Two delicious variations of the cheesesteak sandwich, one, serving a more traditional vibe with onions and peppers, and the other serving a sticky, sweet, and spicy Korean kick with an insane gochujang aioli. 

Beyond meat vegan cheesesteak korean bulgogi

Let’s talk about the “meat” of these sandwiches:

  • Beyond Burger – The star ingredient in both of these variations is the Beyond Burger. Not only is the flavor and texture amazing, but they’ve already portioned the meat out for you!
  • Onions – What’s a cheesesteak without onions?! It’s not one what I want to eat, that’s for sure. For the classic sandwich, I just used a sweet onion because that’s what I have on hand, but for the bulgogi variation, I used green onion. When I’m browning the meat, I like to use the white part, but when I add the bulgogi sauce, that’s when I throw in the greens. Use whatever onion you have on hand, though. They’ll all work.
  • Peppers -Traditional cheesesteaks are served with green peppers, but due to the current “climate”, I didn’t feel like going out to the grocery store just to get a green one when I already had a red one in the fridge. Same goes with the hot pepper in the bulgogi version. I had anaheim peppers in the fridge, and I knew those would work great in place of jalapeno. So, hot or sweet, you’ll be able to make it work.

Let’s talk about the sauces:

  • Mayo (or because we’re felling fancy, “aioli”) – As a mayo lover, having a creamy vegan mayo on my cheesesteak is just as important as any veggie. There are a lot of great brands out there, or you could make your own.
  • Bulgogi Sauce – With just a few simple pantry staples like brown sugar and soy sauce (I prefer Bragg’s Liquid Aminos), you can take your Beyond Cheesesteaks from traditional to next level. Ginger and garlic also help to punch this sauce up a bit, but the true magic happens when everything starts to caramelize in the pan. 
  • Cheese sauce – To stick with the Korean inspired theme, I looked to my good friend Jackie Sobon’s newest cookbook, Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant Based Meal Prep. You can purchase the book through the affiliate link HERE, or, you can check out the recipe that inspired that recipe on her website right HERE. Either way, you’re going to want this sauce! 

Let’s talk about the Fixins:

  • Green onion, cilantro, sesame seeds… – For the bulgogi style cheesesteak, I really love having the freshness of cilantro and green onion. Not a fan of either, just leave them off. Both of these sandwiches hold their own, so don’t worry too much about topping them off with anything other than more cheese sauce!

Check out the video below to see how easy it is to make each of these Ultimate Vegan Cheesesteaks. Then scroll down to see the full, printable recipes for each sandwich.

Beyond Bulgogi Vegan Cheesesteak

Beyond Bulgogi Vegan Cheesesteak
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
 

Super tasty and spicy Korean inspired vegan cheesesteak sandwich featuing Beyond meat and a spicy creamy gochujang aioli.

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Korean
Servings: 1 sandwich
Author: Michael Monson
Ingredients
For the bulgogi sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
For the gochujang aioli:
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon gochujang paste
For the meat:
  • sesame oil
  • 1 Beyond Burger patty (¼ lb)
  • 1 green onion, sliced, divided into whites and greens
  • ½ Anaheim chili or jalapeno, thinly sliced
For the sandwich:
  • hoagie or sandwich roll
  • Vegan Yack Attack’s Kimchi Cheese Sauce (recipe link in notes)
  • sesame seeds
  • cilantro
  • green onion
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the bulgogi sauce ingredients. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine the gochujang aioli ingredients, and set that aside, too.

  2. Shake a few drops of sesame oil into a cast iron pan on medium-high heat. Break up the Beyond patty into 1 inch pieces, and add them to the pan along with the white part of a green onion, and the thinly sliced pepper.
  3. Cook, flipping the meat occasionally, until caramelized and browned on all sides. Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the bulgogi sauce and the green part of the onion. Continue to stir and toss the meat and veggies in the sauce, and cook until the sauce is almost fully reduced and starting to caramelize.
  4. Split a hoagie roll down the center, and generously apply the gochujang aioli to the inside. Gather the meat and veggies together in the pan to form a mound the size of the interior of the hoagie. Place the hoagie, open side down, onto the mound of meat, and allow to warm through for about a minute. Carefully slide a spatula under the meat and hoagie, and invert.

  5. Pour on the kimchi cheese sauce, and top with more green onion, fresh cilantro, and sesame seeds.
Recipe Notes

Vegan Yack Attack’s Kimchi Cheese Sauce comes from her cookbook Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant Based Meal Prep (affiliate link) However, Jackie Sobon has provided a link HERE to a very similar cheese sauce recipe on her website, veganyackattack.com

Beyond Vegan Cheesesteak

Beyond Vegan Cheesesteak
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
 

A vegan take on the classic cheesesteak sandwich made with Beyond Burger

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 sandwich
Author: Michael Monson
Ingredients
For the meat:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 Beyond Burger patty (¼ lb)
  • ¼ cup sliced onion
  • ¼ cup chopped or sliced red or green bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the sandwich:
  • hoagie, or sandwich roll
  • Vegan mayo
  • Shredded vegan cheese
  • Vegan cheese sauce such as Vegan Yack Attack’s Kimchi Cheese Sauce (recipe link in notes)
Instructions
  1. Cook, flipping the meat occasionally, until caramelized and browned on all sides. Sprinkle the top of the meat and veggies with grated vegan cheese.
  2. Split a hoagie roll down the center, and generously apply vegan mayo to the inside. Gather the meat and veggies together in the pan to form a mound the size of the interior of the hoagie. Place the hoagie, open side down, onto the mound of meat, and allow to warm through for about a minute. Carefully slide a spatula under the meat and hoagie, and invert.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle on more vegan cheese or top with your favorite vegan cheese sauce.
Recipe Notes

Vegan Yack Attack’s Kimchi Cheese Sauce comes from her cookbook Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant Based Meal Prep (affiliate link) However, Jackie Sobon has provided a link HERE to a very similar cheese sauce recipe on her website, veganyackattack.com