There’s a common phrase that sauce makes everything better, and in the case of the Philly cheesesteak, it’s undoubtedly true. This world-renowned sandwich, with its thinly sliced steak, gooey cheese, and fresh bread, is a match made in heaven with an array of delectable sauces. But with such a wide variety to choose from, which ones truly complement this iconic delicacy?
We’ve rounded up 12 of the best sauces that pair perfectly with a Philly cheesesteak, whether you’re a traditionalist, an adventurer, or a spicy food lover. Let’s explore them.
So, What are some popular sauces for a Philly cheesesteak? Popular sauces for a Philly cheesesteak range from traditional ones like Cheese Whiz and Provolone sauce, to more adventurous options such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and even hot sauce. These sauces enhance the rich flavors of the cheesesteak and add a layer of complexity to its taste.
1. Classic Cheese Whiz
No discourse on the time-honored accompaniments to a Philly cheesesteak would be entirely complete without bestowing an honorable mention to the good old Cheese Whiz. Flaunting an unmistakable, vibrant orange hue, this viscous joy might not win any awards in the gourmet food world, but it has firmly etched its name as an irreplaceable associate of the steak, onions, and peppers. The Cheese Whiz, with its uniquely satiating tang, adeptly brings to the fore the meat’s abundant, savory flavors, augmenting the pleasure of every bite.
2. Provolone Sauce
For the palate that leans more towards sophistication, the Provolone sauce emerges as a commendable pick. This ivory-toned, buttery smooth delicacy introduces a layer of refinement to the Philly cheesesteak. It amplifies the hearty notes of the steak, seamlessly blending in with the rich flavors while contributing an undertone of sharpness and a dreamy creaminess that graces the entire dish.
3. Garlic Aioli
The Garlic Aioli is a delightful addition that brings a touch of European flair to the traditional Philly cheesesteak. With its bold, garlicky flavor profile, this sauce manages to strike a compelling contrast with the seared steak and the crunch of fresh vegetables. Its foundation, a creamy mayo base, ties together the various flavors and presents a lusciously smooth finish to each mouthful. It’s a non-negotiable inclusion for any discerning garlic aficionado.
4. Spicy Sriracha Mayo
Catering to the spice seekers, the Sriracha mayo is a thrilling revelation. This sauce represents an enticing marriage of the spicy Sriracha and the silky-smooth mayonnaise, serving up an agreeable kick that fires up the senses. The beauty of this fiery blend lies in its balance—it bringsa toothsome spiciness that doesn’t overpower the other integral flavors of the sandwich. Instead, it introduces a delightful zing that teases the taste buds, leaving them yearning for another bite.
5. Barbecue Sauce
For a genuine slice of Americana melded with the essence of a Philly cheesesteak, why not lavishly drizzle some smoky barbecue sauce over your delectable sandwich? The inherent sweetness and tanginess of this sauce orchestrate a beautiful symphony of flavors against the backdrop of the salty steak and onions. It creates a jubilant carousel of diverse taste notes, culminating in a gratifying, flavor-laden culinary experience.
6. Horseradish Cream Sauce
The Horseradish cream sauce stands as the ideal accompaniment for the adventurous eaters who have an affinity for robust flavors. The vigorous, peppery zing of this sauce elevates the cheesesteak experience to uncharted territories. Its fervor is tempered by the sauce’s creamy base, which masterfully orchestrates a harmonious balance of strong and smooth flavors. This interplay of taste sensations promises to captivate your palate and leave it longing for more.
7. Chipotle Mayo
The Chipotle mayo emerges as another fantastic selection for the spicy food aficionados. This blend of smoky, fiery, and slightly sweet flavors artfully complements the Philly cheesesteak’s rich taste tapestry. It infuses a dash of Mexican charisma into the heart of this American classic, creating an intriguing gastronomic journey that transcends borders.
8. Mustard Sauce
If your preference leans towards a sandwich that boasts a tangy punch, a generous spread of mustard sauce could be the missing ingredient. With its distinctive pungency and sharpness, the sauce slices through the luxurious richness of the steak and cheese. It offers a vibrant contrast that refreshes the palate while providing a thoroughly satisfying and invigorating eating experience.
9. Ranch Dressing
Though the Ranch dressing may primarily bring to mind images of fresh, crisp salads, it also serves as a phenomenal pairing to a hearty Philly cheesesteak. It comes with a creamy and herbaceous profile, effortlessly contributing an invigorating freshness to the sandwich. This garden-fresh element beautifully harmonizes with the rich, savory components of the cheesesteak, effectively counterbalancing the heavy indulgence.
10. Marinara Sauce
In an exciting culinary fusion, the Marinara sauce infuses a distinct Italian touch to your beloved Philly cheesesteak. It introduces a robust, tangy dynamic to the sandwich that teems with Mediterranean vibrancy. The sauce, rich in tomatoes, brings a combination of acidity and sweetness to the fore. This harmonizes wonderfully with the luxuriant steak and cheese, transforming each mouthful into a rich, melodious symphony of well-rounded flavors.
11. Blue Cheese Sauce
For those with a penchant for commanding, pungent flavors, a Philly cheesesteak generously slathered in blue cheese sauce will be an absolute delight. This creamy sauce is daring and bold, adding a distinctive, slightly funky twist to the sandwich. The blue cheese sauce takes the humble cheesesteak and propels it into unexplored culinary territories, presenting a gastronomic experience that’s truly out of the ordinary.
12. Honey Mustard
Last on the list but by no means less impressive, honey mustard stands as the epitome of a flavor balance — combining the best of sweet and tangy profiles. This much-loved condiment adorns the cheesesteak with an enchanting sweet-sour profile, turning every bite into a diverse, flavor-filled escapade. It leaves a lingering impression on your taste buds, etching a culinary memory that’s not easily forgotten.
1. Does a Philly cheesesteak traditionally have a sauce?
Indeed, a sauce often accompanies a traditional Philly cheesesteak, adding that extra layer of mouthwatering flavor. The quintessential choice remains Cheese Whiz, a popular processed cheese product, celebrated for its distinct tang and delightfully gooey consistency.
Other crowd-pleasers like Provolone sauce and American cheese sauce are also frequently employed to enhance this classic sandwich. It’s not uncommon to find numerous eateries and home cooking enthusiasts who have curated their unique, preferred sauce variations to complement the rich taste of the cheesesteak.
2. What does an authentic Philly cheesesteak consist of?
An authentic Philly cheesesteak is a meticulously crafted delicacy consisting of steak, sliced razor-thin—most often ribeye or top round. The steak is cooked to perfection on a griddle and nestled in a long, crusty roll that’s just the right balance of chewy and tender. The thinly sliced steak is adorned with toppings such as onions and peppers.
There’s also a choice of cheese that crowns the steak—it could be the tangy Cheese Whiz, the smooth Provolone, or the creamy American cheese. The selection of sauce is a matter of personal preference and often dictated by regional variations, offering a tailor-made cheesesteak experience.
3. What’s the difference between a cheesesteak and a Philly cheesesteak?
The distinguishing factor between a cheesesteak and a Philly cheesesteak primarily revolves around their origin and traditional preparation method. A Philly cheesesteak, a proud culinary gift from Philadelphia, typically features thinly sliced steak, a generous helping of grilled onions, and a chosen cheese, all snugly tucked into a long roll.
On the other hand, the term ‘cheesesteak’ is more encompassing and can denote a broader array of sandwiches. These sandwiches share the key ingredients of sliced steak and cheese, but they may not necessarily adhere to the strict preparation style that characterizes the Philadelphia classic.
4. How to make a sauce for Philly cheesesteak?
The preparation method for a Philly cheesesteak sauce heavily depends on the sauce type. For example, crafting a Provolone sauce begins with melting unsalted butter. Next, all-purpose flour is added to the butter to form a roux—a thickening base.
The next step involves pouring in milk and Provolone cheese, diligently stirring until you achieve a luxuriously smooth and creamy sauce. For an even simpler sauce such as Cheese Whiz, the process is uncomplicated—all you need to do is heat the cheese product until it transforms into a pourable consistency that easily drapes over your sandwich.
Each sauce on this list brings a unique flavor profile to the Philly cheesesteak, taking an already-delicious sandwich and transforming it into something extraordinary. Whether you’re a traditionalist or a culinary explorer, there’s a sauce here for you. So why not take your next Philly cheesesteak to the next level with one of these fantastic sauces?
Best Sauces That Go With Philly Cheesesteak
- Classic Cheese Whiz
- Provolone Sauce
- Garlic Aioli
- Spicy Sriracha Mayo
- Barbecue Sauce
- Horseradish Cream Sauce
- Chipotle Mayo
- Mustard Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Marinara Sauce
- Blue Cheese Sauce
- Honey Mustard
- Cook thinly sliced steak and onions in a skillet over high heat until beef is browned and onions are tender.
- Add steak and onions to a hoagie roll. Top with cheese like provolone, whiz, or American cheese.
- Make your sauce while cheese melts. Good options are sautéed peppers, mushrooms, marinara sauce, or chimichurri.
- For chimichurri: Mix parsley, garlic, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings.
- For sautéed peppers: Cook sliced bell peppers in olive oil with seasonings.
- Add your desired sauce on top of the melted cheesesteak.