If you’ve never heard of a cheesesteak, it’s an American dish (specifically from Philadelphia) that usually involves meat and veggies smothered in melted cheese and served in a roll. I suppose my TexMex vegetarian cheesesteak sandwiches are two steps removed from the standard recipe – not only did I make them veggie, I also used spicy Mexican cheese to give them a TexMex vibe.
If you’re from Philadelphia, please don’t hate me for changing your beloved sandwich so much. Take it as a compliment – I’m now convinced that all sandwiches are improved by a layer of gooey melted cheese (not that it required much convincing).
It’s not often I take the time to make myself a hot lunch – usually a quick cold cheese sandwich has to suffice. But these vegetarian cheesesteak sandwiches only take about 20 minutes to make, and they’re well worth the (minimal!) effort. Just cook off some onions, mushrooms and peppers in a pan, and melt that beautiful cheese over the top. The whole lot can then be scooped right up into your favourite kind of roll (I used a crusty baguette).
The Mexican cheese I was using (which is almost certainly not actually Mexican, but it’s called Mexicana, so I guess that’s what they’re going for) is pretty spicy, so I mellowed it a little with some gouda as well. It’s the best of both worlds – creamy gooeyness from the gouda, and sharp spiciness from the Mexicana. Feel free to use whatever combination of cheeses (and spices on the vegetables) you like to get to your preferred level of heat. And don’t forget some fresh avocado and a dollop of sour cream to help cool everything off again!
Gooey cheese, spicy vegetables, crusty bread – these TexMex vegetarian cheesesteak sandwiches are the ultimate easy lunch!
- 2 individual baguettes or submarine rolls
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced (I used red)
- ~ 6 medium mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 slices spicy cheese
- 2 slices gouda cheese (or other mild cheese)
- To serve: fresh avocado, sour cream (optional)
First, prepare the rolls if necessary. I used part-baked baguettes so I cooked them in the oven until crusty. You can also use soft submarine rolls, if you prefer. Slice them lengthwise.
Heat a dash of oil in a frying pan, and add the sliced onion, pepper and mushrooms. Cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, until very soft. Add the cumin and paprika, and mix well.
Divide the vegetables into two halves in the pan, making the piles vaguely the same shape as your rolls (i.e. two long, thin piles of veggies). Top each pile of vegetables with a slice of spicy cheese and a slice of mild cheese. Turn the heat down to low, and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for another couple of minutes until the cheese has melted.
Scoop each pile of vegetables into one of the rolls, and serve with fresh avocado and sour cream if desired.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1 generously sized sandwich.