Portobello Philly Cheesesteak




Introduction: Portobello Philly Cheesesteak

About: Let's skip the pretentious titles. At present, I am a paper pusher. In the remainder of my life, I am a mother of two handsome grown men, a wife to a very patient man, a nana of two precious grandchildren, c…

With the arrival of a New Year, many of us make promises to ourselves. Lose weight, exercise more, lay off the ice cream before bedtime. The transition from bacon cheeseburger to a pile of brown rice is not easy, which sends many people right back into the same habits of last year. Baby steps, folks. A little at a time, and you won’t even notice the changes. A switch here, a swap there, and you’ll soon develop habits that will help you reach your goal.

If you've been avoiding Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches due to their outrageous fat, sodium, and calorie count, fear no more! This recipe has been made over, compliments of Cooking Light magazine. Take a look at the before and after comparison below. Sure, it may not be the Philly you know and love, but it is a fabulous sandwich with far less shame.


1,151 calories vs. 397 calories

27.3 grams of sat.fat vs. 4.9 grams of saturated fat

1,480 mg.sodium vs. 637 milligrams of sodium

Step 1: The Recipe

Another fine recipe from Cooking Light, in the 'Enlightened Cook' section.

Serves 4

  • 1 - 12 ounce flank steak, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground is best
  • 2 - 5" portobello mushroom cap, remove stems
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 ounce provolone cheese (consider using thin, pre-sliced cheese, and tear into pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 4 - 3 ounce hoagie / sandwich rolls, freshly toasted just before serving

Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients

Many of the ingredients for this recipe are readily available in most grocery stores, though you may have a bit of difficulty locating portabello mushrooms or a specific cheese in areas with fewer food resources. It is perfectly fine to substitute, however, the nutritional value stated in step 12 will vary. For example, using flank steak instead of 1 - 12 ounce ribeye will save 346 calories and 13.6 grams of saturated fat!

Do not, I repeat, do not, consider using gooey, processed cheese product in a can or jar.

Step 3: Mise En Place!

'Mise en Place' is a French term for putting everything into place.

It is a practice I enjoy using, which means having all of the ingredients for a recipe

measured out, ready to go, without all of the mess, packaging and such in your way.

Get all of the slicing, dicing, mincing and measuring out of the way, and then your

kitchen experience will be much more rewarding, not to mention organized.

It also helps to reduce mistakes or accidental omissions.

Step 4: Prep the Peppers, Garlic and Onions.

Peel the onion, slice in thin rings or strips. Using a mandoline, not to be confused with the musical instrument ‘mandolin’, will make this job a lot easier, but please be careful, as they are very sharp! A mandoline is a kitchen utensil that works a bit like a cheese slicer, but can be used for meats, fruits and vegetables. They can be purchased in just about any box store, kitchen store, or home goods store. You may not use the mandoline every day, but when you need it, having one is extremely handy. Kitchen gadget addiction is my specialty.

Now that I’ve talked you into buying a mandoline, you can use it to slice the bell peppers, too! But, if you didn’t heed my advice, you’ll have to slice them by hand. Cut the pepper in half, right through the stem. Leaving the stem provides a ‘handle’ of sorts that you can simply bend inward to remove a big chunk of the seed core. Pull out any remaining core and seeds, cut the rounded ends off, and lay the pepper flat. You can now simply slide the flat part of a knife under any ribs of core, leaving a straight square to slice evenly. Chop any remaining ends, and toss them into the bowl as well. Set peppers aside with the sliced mushrooms and onions.

Peel and dice 2 teaspoons of fresh garlic. Set aside, or toss in with the bell peppers.

Step 5: Prepare the Beef and the Mushrooms

As the beef should be sliced very thin, it does help to place the beef in a freezer for at least fifteen minutes. This will help hold the meat together as you slice across the grain in thin cuts. Allow the meat to return to room temperature before cooking. This will give you time to prep the vegetables if you have not done so already. After slicing the beef, sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Using a standard spoon, scrape the gills from each mushroom cap. Remove any stems, if present. Discard both the stems and the gills. Slice the mushrooms very thin. Set aside.

Step 6: Saute the Beef, Set Aside

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet, using medium-high heat. Add the sliced beef, and saute, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Remove beef from the pan, and set it aside.

Step 7: Saute the Vegetables, Add the Meat Back In

Using the same pan, add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Add sliced onion, and saute for just a few minutes.

Add the bell peppers, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Saute this mixture for approximately 6 minutes.

Add the beef back to the pan, stir well, and then remove the pan from heat.

Add the Worcestershire and soy sauce.

Keep this mixture warm while you prepare the cheese sauce.

Step 8: Create the Cheese Sauce

In a small saucepan, gradually combine milk and flour, using a whisk.

Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken.

Remove from heat, and add the provolone and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, and also the dry mustard.

Continue to whisk until the mixture is well blended. If the sauce seems a bit thick, you may add a small amount of additional milk, whisk well to combine.

Keep the mixture warm.

Step 9: Toast Your Buns

The time to eat is getting closer! Sure, you can plop the meat and vegetable mixture on a bun and have at it, but the deliciousness factor of this sandwich is definitely increased with a toasted bun. You may toast the bun in an oven, or a toaster oven, or on top of a standard toaster. Toast the buns gently, you don’t want them burned or rock hard. Be gentle.

Step 10: Top the Buns With Philly Mix, Add Cheese, And...

When the buns are toasted, place a bottom bun on a plate, add meat and veggie mixture, then top with the cheese sauce. Replace top bun, serve,and wait for the compliments!

Step 11: Serve It With a Smile!

Though not meaner, it is leaner, and your guests don't have to know. Forget the drippy, oozy, fake cheese products on your Philly.

When I made this for my husband, who is slightly irritated, but tolerant of my 'healthy' makeover recipes, he was very impressed. "Excellent!" was how he described this sandwich!

Step 12: Nutrional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: (Courtesy of Cooking Light)

Assumed number of servings for entire recipe: 4

Serving size: 1 - 3 ounce hoagie roll with beef mixture and cheese topping


FAT: 12.4 grams (4.9 g. saturated, 4.7 g. mono, 1.6 g. poly)

PROTEIN: 30.8 grams


FIBER: 3.7 grams

CHOLESTEROL: 37 milligrams

IRON: 4.6 milligrams

SODIUM: 637 milligrams

CALCIUM: 213 milligrams

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    7 years ago

    That sounds like the perfect Saturday dinner! Delicious


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello JMyers,

    It really is good. We try not to eat too much meat, but when we do, this is our go-to source for sandwiches. It also helps to increase our iron intake for blood donations. :-)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, Carlos. It tastes good, too!