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Combine two timeless and iconic favorites into one easy and super satisfying sandwich. These Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes are sure to elicit smiles from the family when you spoon the savory combination of saucy beef with peppers and onions and plenty of gooey melted cheese onto buns. They make a great gluten-free lunch or dinner!
Easy Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
My take on Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes is inspired by the traditional Philly cheesesteak, but adapted to be both gluten-free and more affordable! A traditional Philly cheesesteak sandwich calls for ribeye steak to be cooked on a griddle and chopped into small pieces, then folded together with melty cheese. It’s served on a hoagie roll with or without onions.
This version is a mash-up between a sloppy joe, which has ground beef cooked in tomato sauce as its base, and a Philly cheesesteak. I’ve added bell peppers and onions to my recipe and rely on beef broth, ketchup, steak sauce, and Worcestershire sauce for ultra-savory flavor. Provolone cheese is a must in a nod to this sandwich’s cheesesteak roots. And it’s served on a gluten-free roll.
Because this is an “inspired by” recipe you have some wiggle room to make adaptions – try a different cheese, make this a vegetarian sandwich, or add more vegetables. The best part is that it’s hot, hearty, and topped with as much melted cheese as you can manage, perfect for a cold night’s dinner.
Why You’ll Love These Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Sloppy Joes are a fun, classic sandwich. Here’s what I love about them:
- Filling. There’s a lot of ground beef in the filling for this sandwich, making it a satisfying and hearty lunch or dinner option.
- Easily adapted to be gluten-free. This cheesesteak sloppy joes recipe is beyond easy to make gluten-free. In fact, every ingredient needed is gluten-free except for the rolls you’ll serve the filling on, and you can simply swap in gluten-free rolls. I even have a few gluten-free homemade rolls recipe for you to try, like my Gluten-Free Hawaiian Rolls or Gluten-Free Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls.
- Uncomplicated. If you’ve made sloppy joes before, you’ll know that they are not at all fussy. This recipe keeps to that same uncomplicated preparation method, so you can get dinner on the table quickly.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need for this recipe. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter.
- Onion: White or yellow onion works well.
- Bell Pepper: I like to use a green bell pepper but you could substitute another color if you wish.
- Ground Beef: I use lean ground beef.
- Garlic: You can add more garlic if you like a lot of garlic flavor.
- Salt and Pepper
- Beef Broth
- Cornstarch: To thicken the sauce.
- Steak Sauce: Use a gluten-free steak sauce such as A-1.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Make sure to use a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce if necessary.
- Provolone Cheese: Or another melty cheese.
- Rolls: Use gluten-free rolls if needed.
How to Make Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
Follow along with my method below to make Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes:
- Cook the vegetables. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Cook the beef. Push the vegetables out towards the sides of the pan and add the beef in the middle. Cook the ground beef until it is browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease.
- Cook the garlic. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute for a minute or two.
- Add the broth. Whisk the cornstarch into the beef broth, then add to the skillet as well as the steak sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until heated through and thickened to your desired consistency.
- Add the cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and lay the cheese slices over the top of the meat mixture. Cover with a tight-fitting lid for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Enjoy. Spoon it into toasted buns and enjoy right away.
While the traditional way to serve sloppy joes is to pile it on hamburger buns, this is actually one of my favorite flexible family meals because I can think outside the bun. That means we can have a meal we love more often, but always enjoy it a different way. Or customize it if the family wants to use regular buns, but one person, like me, needs a gluten free option. Here are some ideas:
- Make sliders. For game day fare, try making mini sandwiches on gluten free Hawaiian rolls or dinner rolls.
- Stuff spuds. Go with meat and potatoes when you try Philly Cheesesteak Baked Potatoes or use baked sweet potatoes for a sweet and savory combo.
- Try tacos. Change up Taco Tuesday by spooning the Philly filling into taco shells or gluten free tortillas.
- Get cozy. Turn your cheesesteak into a comfort food casserole by using this filling in my Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole.
- Cut the carbs. Yes, you can even scoop it up with lettuce wraps for a lower carb option.
- Use ribeye. A traditional Philly cheesesteak is made with thin slices of ribeye, unlike the ground beef used in this cheesesteak sloppy joes recipe. If you want to make these sloppy joes with ribeye, you’ll cut the ribeye into thin slices across the grain and then slice it in the other direction so it’s finely chopped.
- Try different cheeses. Provolone is a fantastic, melty cheese, which is what you’re going for in this sandwich. If you want to add more cheese, go ahead! Or you can use another type of cheese like American, Colby, Gouda, Jack, Swiss, or even mozzarella if you like. You can also try a combo of cheeses.
- Add more vegetables. Throw in some more peppers, mushrooms, or halved cherry tomatoes if you want to add in more veggies.
- Make it vegetarian. Use vegetarian meat, like Beyond Meat, instead of ground beef to make vegetarian Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes!
- Go vegan. Use vegetarian meat, substitute the butter for non-dairy butter, and leave off the cheese to make this a vegan recipe.
- Or dairy-free. Swap the butter for olive oil or non-dairy butter and omit the cheese to make these sandwiches dairy-free. You could also substitute your favorite non-dairy cheese for the provolone.
Tips for Success
Read on for a few tips on how to make the best-ever sloppy joes!
- Check the ingredient labels on the condiments. If you are keeping gluten-free, be sure to check the ingredients on the steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce you include in the filling to make sure they are gluten-free.
- Cook the onions thoroughly. It’s so important to make the onions are cooked enough – you definitely don’t want hard onions in your filling! Instead, you’ll want them to melt into the sauce, bringing flavor but never any crunch.
- Make sure the cornstarch is fully incorporated. To avoid any lumps from undissolved cornstarch, make sure to thoroughly whisk it into the broth. If you’re concerned about not being able to mix it in completely, you can sift the cornstarch over the liquid before whisking it in, which should help.
- Toast the buns. Toasting the buns will keep them nice and crisp, especially when they’re topped with a saucy filling. Plus, toasted bread always tastes so good.
Make It A Meal
- Fries. Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes are practically begging to be paired with fresh french fries. Try my Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Truffle Fries, or Italian Herb Oven Fries recipes.
- Sweet potato fries. Herbs du Provence Sweet Potato Fries or Chili-Lime Baked Sweet Potato Home Fries would be very nice with these sandwiches.
- Salad. Serve cheesesteak sloppy joes with a fresh green salad, like my Easy Greek Salad or Strawberry Mango Avocado Salad, for a healthy side.
- Soup. Soup and sandwiches go perfectly together, especially on cool nights. Some suggestions of soups to serve with these sloppy joes include my Healthy Cream of Mushroom Soup, Instant Pot Creamy Tomato Soup, and Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme recipes.
- Coleslaw. I love a scoop of coleslaw next to a sandwich! My Hawaiian Pineapple Coleslaw or Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw would be great here.
- Fruit. Lighten things up with a refreshing fruit salad to pair with a hearty hot sandwich. My Watermelon Berry Fruit Salad and Mango Berry Crunch Fruit Salad are good options.
To store leftover Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes, wrap the sandwiches tightly in foil and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. Rewarm the sandwiches in the oven or toaster oven until hot. You can also store the filling separately: place it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat the filling in the microwave before making the sandwiches.
Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small-medium white or yellow onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup steak sauce, such as A-1
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 ounces provolone cheese slices
- 6 rolls gluten-free if needed
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
- Push the vegetables out towards the sides of the pan and add the beef in the middle. Cook the ground beef until it is browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease.
- Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute for a minute or two.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the beef broth, then add to the skillet as well as the steak sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until heated through and thickened to your desired consistency.
- Remove the pan from the heat and lay the cheese slices over the top of the meat mixture. Cover with a tight-fitting lid for about 2-3 minutes,or until the cheese is melted.
- Spoon onto rolls to serve.