A good Philly cheesesteak is simply delicious, but what sauce can make it even better? Well, you’ll be glad you stopped by. I’m here to help.
Now, some Philly cheesesteak sandwiches come with grated cheese and then need another sauce.
Others incorporate a cheese sauce already.
Either way, I’ve got you covered. Here are the best sauces to try.
So what sauces go with Philly cheesesteak? Provolone sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, Italian cheese sauce, or American cheese sauce work great for Philly Cheesesteaks without grated cheddar (even if they have a cheese sauce already). However, if you have a Philly cheesesteak with grated cheese, then a horseradish sauce is a brilliant alternative.
Quick cheats: instead of making a sauce, mix some of your favorite hot sauce (such as a chipotle sauce or sriracha) with mayo.
You can also opt just for the mayo or just for the hot sauce. Some also like to put ketchup on top.
Can you serve Philly cheesesteak without a sauce? Absolutely!
A good Philly cheesesteak is juicy without any sauce, and most recipes call for fried onions and sometimes fried mushrooms, which adds a lot of flavor.
Now, let’s have a look in more detail at the various sauce options for Philly cheesesteak!
- 1 Best Sauces For Philly Cheesesteak (Philly Cheesesteak Sauce Options)
- 2 Philly Cheesesteak With Provolone Sauce
- 3 Philly Cheesesteak With American Cheese Sauce
- 4 Philly Cheesesteak With Horseradish Sauce
- 5 Philly Cheesesteak With Italian Cheese Sauce
- 6 Philly Cheesesteak With Cheddar Cheese Sauce
- 7 The Side Salad
- 8 Lastly
Best Sauces For Philly Cheesesteak (Philly Cheesesteak Sauce Options)
- Provolone sauce–this Italian cheese makes for a great cheese sauce.
- American cheese sauce–much better than the one you buy in a bottle!
- Horseradish sauce–spicy and easy to make!
- Italian cheese sauce–if you just can’t get enough of Italian cheese, this is the sauce for you.
- Cheddar cheese sauce–the British alternative–sharp and tangy.
Philly Cheesesteak With Provolone Sauce
Provolone cheese is smooth and mild, yet it has a very distinctive nutty flavor profile.
It’s a cheese with character! And a good cheesesteak sandwich can only get better with provolone sauce.
- 2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 Cups milk
- ½ Cup 4oz grated Provolone cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step One: Melt your choice of fat in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Butter should cook for about 30 seconds–so that it bubbles up without browning.
Step Two: To make the roux, stir in the wheat flour and continue cooking while stirring until the flour turns golden in color. This should take no more than two minutes.
Step Three: Slowly add the milk while whisking continuously. Keep whisking from time to time while the sauce heats up to a boil (two to three minutes).
Step Four: Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese. The cheese should melt fully. Season with salt and pepper to taste (freshly ground pepper is always a nice touch if you happen to have a pepper mill at home!).
Philly Cheesesteak With American Cheese Sauce
Philly cheesesteak is an American classic, so what better sauce to serve it with than an American cheese sauce?
While you can buy the bottled version, it doesn’t taste all that great.
More like flavorings and chemicals than real cheese, so making your own American cheese sauce is the better alternative–at least if you want a bit more of a gourmet Philly cheesesteak.
This recipe also calls for a bit of cheddar, which adds some sharp and tangy notes to the flavor profile–simply delicious!
- 1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 Cup shredded American cheese
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tsp garlic granules
- 1 Tsp ground dry mustard
- 12 Ounces of evaporated milk
- Sea salt to taste
Step One: Add all the ingredients to a thick-bottomed saucepan. Heat over low heat while stirring continuously. Let the sauce thicken. Serve while warm (if you’re still frying the meat, keep it warm by putting it on very low heat and stirring occasionally).
Philly Cheesesteak With Horseradish Sauce
Horseradish sauce adds a certain sting, doesn’t it? It’s a very refreshing flavor, so perfect if you need a pick-me-up!
If you use a cheese sauce for your Philly cheesesteak, you can still top it with a little bit of horseradish sauce, but it will become sauce upon sauce.
So you might want to use horseradish sauce if making your Philly cheesesteak with grated cheese alone unless you like it to be really juicy.
On another note, this sauce is super simple to make and can be made ahead of time!
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 2 tsp prepared horseradish
- 3/4 tsp garlic, grated or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt, or more, to your tastes
- 1/8 tsp black pepper, or more, to your tastes
Step One: Grate or press the garlic. If you didn’t buy the horseradish grated, grate it.
Step Two: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
Step Three: Place the sauce in the refrigerator and let sit for a little while for the flavors to come out and blend properly.
Note: Horseradish can be strong. If you’re very sensitive, start with a little bit less horseradish, then add more if desired.
Philly Cheesesteak With Italian Cheese Sauce
We’ve had American cheese sauce and Provolone cheese sauce already on our list, but how about combining two Italian cheeses?
In this instance, Provolone and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
These two kinds of cheeses combined certainly give the cheese sauce a distinctive and delicious flavor!
- 2 Tsp all-purpose flour
- ½ Cup 1% low-fat milk
- 1 Ounce provolone cheese, torn into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ Tsp dry mustard
Step One: Add the flour to a small saucepan.
Step Two: Gradually pour in the milk while stirring until completely combined.
Step Three: Turn on the heat to medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Let simmer for about one minute–the sauce should have slightly thickened.
Step Four: Remove from heat.
Step Five: Stir in the mustard and cheese–keep stirring until completely combined. You should end up with a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Step Six: Serve warm (the sauce will thicken as it cools).
Philly Cheesesteak With Cheddar Cheese Sauce
Who doesn’t love a good cheddar? Sharp and tangy, it has a distinct flavor profile.
You can find milder and stronger versions depending on what you like.
Personally, I like something with a bit of bite in it, but not too much for this kind of sauce.
You want that perfect medium!
Of course, what you like might not be what I like!
- 1 Cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 Cup skimmed milk
- 1 Wedge Laughing Cow light cream cheese
- A pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step One: Using a small to medium size pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it starts to bubble.
Step Two: Add in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring.
Step Three: Take off the heat and slowly pour in the milk while stirring. The mixture should become smooth.
Step Four: Return to heat and bring to a gentle boil. Then lower the heat and let simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes till it reaches desired thickness.
Step Five: Stir in the grated cheese and cream cheese. Stir till fully melted and incorporated.
Step Six: Remove from heat and season to taste.
Note: If you don’t have Laughing Cow, you can sub with some regular (Philadelphia) cream cheese (I just had to put the Philadelphia in there, didn’t I?).
The Side Salad
A Philly cheesesteak sandwich isn’t the healthiest food on the planet, but it is tasty!
And it does come with fried onions and, in some cases, fried mushrooms. There’s that.
If you want to freshen your meal up a bit (and make it healthier), you can always add a side salad.
Any simple green salad will do.
Use your favorite combo of salad leaves (lambs lettuce, ruccola, spinach, iceberg, anything goes), and combine with some peppers, cucumber, and tomato.
Or, if it’s fall, sub the peppers and tomatoes with apples and/or pear, toss in some grated beetroot and carrots, and add toasted pecans or walnuts and some cranberries or raisins. Delish!
A simple vinaigrette made of balsamico and olive oil mixed with some salt and pepper will work well with either salad.
Of course, you can also use whatever salad dressing you like!
So there you have it.
5 ideal options for your Philly Cheesesteak.
Give them a try and see what you think.
Oh and be mindful of whether you have grated cheese or not. That can interrupt the balance, somewhat in terms of what sauce works best!
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Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.