Pat’s Philly Cheese Steak (Copycat)

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat’s Philly Cheese Steak. The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's Philly Cheese Steak.

The thing about a Pat’s Philly Cheese Steak is that they are the most magical sandwich you’ll ever eat but to enjoy them you have to go to Philadelphia, park in the most ridiculous environment ever where the only parking is the sidewalks around the restaurant, get in a long line that basically goes across the street and then order quick AND correctly so you don’t become everyone’s least favorite person.

My version of Pat’s Philly Cheese Steak is as close as you can get to the real thing while staying home.

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's Philly Cheese Steak.

I am going to just say this and you guys can take it or leave it. Take it: Buy Cheez Whiz (Do it, DO IT!) or you can use Provolone Cheese. You guys know me, I tend to stick with things that are as close to nature as possible unless I have a REALLY good reason. THIS is a really good reason! The flavor is amazing, the drippy quality of the cheese is awesome and makes the sandwich even better. Plus the authentic Pat’s Philly Cheese Steak is made with it, when you order you say “with wiz” so if you change the cheese, just be aware it won’t taste quite as authentically Pat’s.

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's Philly Cheese Steak.

And I mean look at that drippy melty cheese? A note if you are admiring the photos and notice the beef is slightly thicker. I used a sharp chefs knife and sliced as thinly as I could for my sandwich and left my husband’s a little thicker. Then I photograpphed HIS. Totally want to scream even typing that. The only difference was the beef was slightly thinner to begin with.

Want to know how to slice meat/chicken thinly? Half freeze it! I put the beef in the freezer for a couple of hours and the slicing was significantly easier!

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's Philly Cheese Steak. Remember everyone… one more post for tomorrow and then no more posts until 1/25/2016. I will be in San Francisco next week for the Fancy Food Show.

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Pat's Philly Cheese Steak (Copycat)

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steaks.
Yield 4
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil , divided
  • 2 large onion , sliced thinly
  • 24 ounces rib eye , sliced as think as you can*
  • 6 ounces Cheez Whiz
  • 4 crusty Sub Rolls , toasted (Amoroso is best)
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Mayonnaise to taste on bottom of bun


  • To thinly slice the beef, put it in the freezer for 2-3 hours. This will allow you to slice it easily as thinly as you'd like.
  • In a cast iron skillet add three tablespoons of canola oil and add the onions.
  • Cook until they wilt and begin to yellow (we are not looking for them to brown).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from pan.
  • Add in the last tablespoon of oil and get the pan HOT.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sear on both sides quickly, browned but don't let it dry out.
  • Add the onions back in and mix together.
  • In a microwave safe bowl heat the Cheez Whiz up.
  • Add the onions and beef to the rolls and top with Cheez Whiz.
  • Enjoy immediately.


Adapted from Pat's.


Calories: 477kcal | Protein: 34g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 455mg | Vitamin A: 25IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2.9mg

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steak.

The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steaks.
The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steaks.
The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steaks.
The undisputed king of cheese steak subs, the magic is in the technique of Pat's famous Cheese Steaks.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Awesome! I used butter to carmelize the onions instead of canola oil.
    Great way to use leftover standing rib roast. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I need to feed 6 people and beef has gotten so expensive. I received 4 filet mignon as a gift. Not enough to feed 6 of us as steaks. Do you think if I used 2 of these sliced thinly and cooked as if I had thin cut rib eyes would it work? Want to make these but use what I have.

  3. Next time try cooking the meat on low (and slow). Then, when ready, add cheese and flip the meat cheese side down. Allow the meat to simmer in the cheese and steak juices with the roll placed on top for a minute or two. Scrape, flip, and enjoy. This is more of the “Tony Luke’s” style preparation.

  4. never had any luck at a good cheese cake sub but i’m going to try have a large group so i will try to fix 2 batches i am 76 but i will give it a whirl

  5. Why doesn’t the author reply to comments that are not saying her sandwich is wonderful…you can’t be a chef and not be able to take the bad comments and the good about your food

    1. Philly fans take their signature sandwich seriously and I’d never want to discount someone else’s opinion on my fun take of a popular dish – if they had comments about the actual recipe, I respond but otherwise I let people voice their stance on their idea of what is classic Philly 🙂 It’s more fun and allows everyone the chance to speak up! 🙂

  6. If you want your beef paper thin, freeze it for about 3 hours and then use a mandolin to cut it. This basically shaves it so it cooks super fast and gets crispy bits.

    1. Yo, mayo though!?! Uh-uh. Nope. Never. Don’t do that. That’s some steak sandwich wannabe garbage. Cheesesteaks do NOT have mayo. Ever.

      1. Actually, Mel, as someone that was born and raised in Philly, you’re dead wrong. Most neighbor delis that serve cheesesteaks either put it on automatically (you wouldn’t notice because its a hot sandwich) or its a very common request. As a Philadelphian, we all know Pat’s and Geno’s are for tourist or drunk residents so I can’t remember if they offer the condiment. If this was a Philly blog, you would be booed and threatened haha

  7. there is “never” mayo on a Philly cheesesteak, never, ever, never…and cheese whiz is for tourists…..this recipe is like many others, trying to complicate a very simple recipe…..thin sliced rib-eye, sautéed onions, (I suppose canola oil will work, but I believe Pat’s uses peanut oil?) cheese, mostly provolone in Philly, Amoroso roll, mushrooms, (if you want?)…it’s not rocket surgery……if you went in to Pat’s, Geno’s, Jim’s, or Steve’s and ordered their sandwich with mayo, they would toss you and put your picture on the wall, never to be served (again)….also, I’ve never seen any of the sandwich makers in the better sandwich establishments, add salt or pepper to their work……

    1. Ted, uh yeah the “cheeze whiz” is “Wit”. Ya order it with/wit! Thats all you say, Philly cheese Steak wit. And if someone wants mayo, you’d be surprised. To each their own. Ya might might to calm down there lol!

      1. “Wit” means “with onions.” You walk up to the counter, try to cover your lazy Delco accent and say to the gentlemen “whiz wit” meaning you want a cheesesteak with onion. Go back to Jersey.

    2. Who designated you The Sandwich King. I do believe Jeff Mauro owns that title. I think you’re making a lot of hoopla over a sandwich. It makes you sound like a little boh. At the end of the day, it’s still a delicious sandwich. I’ve been cooking every night for the last 37 years. If I can find a recipe, for a slow cooker no less, that tastes delicious, I’m in. Don’t know if you have/had children, and were responsible to put food on said table for them, which I doubt cuz, well frankly you’re just a man, you should just hush up. Didn’t your mother ever teach you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This girl has a lot of great recipes on her site!

  8. Great recipe. But the title “THE UNDISPUTED KING OF CHEESE STEAK SUBS” is inaccurate.

    Better the “Long Challenged and Disputed King of Cheese Steaks”

    This challenge has been going on for as long as Cheese Steaks have been around.
    Geno’s is one of many challengers.

    Bottom line is Cheese Steaks are fantastic, and living in Texas, something I crave and that I order as soon as I am in Philly on every trip.

  9. Really?!?!?! You order wiz with or wiz without. Or any cheese with without. Your saying with or without to onions nothing to do with cheese.
    Wiz wit
    Wiz wit out
    Provolone wit
    Provolone wit out. I hope you’re really not from Philly out here passing bogus info

      1. Seriously? You are so wrong! The “wit” or “witout” is about the ONIONS..NOT the cheese! Where are you FROM???

        1. Exactly, NAME your CHEESE, then WITH or WITHOUT ONIONS.

          2 step order. 2nd window you can get fries and a drink, extras are self serve.

          Why are things always over complicated

  10. Okay… kids and hubby said excellent but no Cheeze Wiz in the future. Better with “real” cheese. Otherwise a keeper. Side note: don’t get really thick bread, leaner a crusty. 

  11. Just made this for lunch and it was exactly like I remember from Pat’s! Thank you for this recipe. Living in NM, getting a good Philly cheese steak is impossible and getting out to Philly regularly is fairly difficult.

  12. Very good sandwich very good flavor cheese bread everything made the sandwich Very good. Good combo. Thanks a million.

  13. Yeah Pats was a lot better than the copycat guy across the street we did both many times when working up there showing locals how to operate and use machinery we made. Of course there was a different samich we liked a lot also was a pork samich with aju or something with it. I’d say that pork samich with broccoli was probably as good if not even better than the cheese steak samich. Where I’m from it’s all brisket samich and they blow that cheese steak away. We even do a brisket samich wit wiz and onions peppers meaning jalapeños here that’s awesome stuff. We also have butchers shops that will cut anything however you want it. I usually just have them close me up some choice ribeye for philly samich it was pretty good. 
    It’s not as good as that pork samich I had up there though I don’t know what it was called to be honest only had it maybe four times. I would bet I can figure it out by looking up the shop we went to by that bridge. Thanks for recipe anyway if you’ll post pork with broccoli samich I would make it tonight if I knew recipe or what it was called 

    1. Tony Luke’s on Oregon Ave (next to I 95 overpass). You had a roasted pork sandwich with broccoli rob and provolone on it.

  14. I used to travel to Philadelphia frequently for business. Pat’s uses soybean oil, not canola. And as picky as that sounds, it DOES make a taste difference. And I’m pretty sure the original doesn’t have mayo on it. Otherwise you are pretty close here. Thanks for posting!

    1. You are correct…putting mayo on a cheesesteak in Philly could get your hurt or banned from whatever cheesesteak establishment you’ve offended.

    1. Hmm. If you do all the other things fresh, I’d use it. Ribeye is of course a higher quality meat, but hey we’re using cheez whiz here, haha. 😉

  15. THANK YOU for keeping the real way-philly cheesesteak automatically with green peppers?! Noooo!!! We in Philly order whiz wit-whiz wit-out (with or without onions) or change your cheese…but any other toppings are an addition NOT the norm. -Thank you! 🙂 

    1. Ah! Thanks Susie! I was ALSO going to correct the “wit” wiz /“wit” out, even though slow to get to this party!
      In Atlanta, for cheesesteaks it’s The Mad Italian, or “Mad I”. A good second to Philly, which we miss like crazy. But hey, if this recipe is as good as it sounds maybe I’ll repost a new option!

    1. Sorry this comment took so long to get to, it ended up in my spam filter somehow! Sorry I just found a huge number of comments over the last three months that was snared in the spam filter and I am trying to follow up with each one now even though in your case I am way too late to help. They’re hot cherry peppers (and I always order them!).

  16. Amoroso rolls are best. Other “submarine” or “hoagie” rolls are usually too soft and can’t hold up to the hot beef, cheese and onions. In California I have found a good substitute: Bolillo rolls from a good Mexican bakery (not Walmart, theirs are soggy and wimpy)!

    1. Totally agree with you, I wish I could find Amoroso rolls here! I will keep an eye out for bolillo rolls! Thanks!

  17. I have to make these, they look delicious and lately steak and cheese has been my “go to” food choice! I had no idea how to make them at home, now I do!

  18. Yu-umm! I’m absolutely drooling in anticipation of making this sandwich. Thanks for passing along your recipe. 🙂

  19. Oh my goodness. That looks super good, my husband is a huge fan of the philly cheese steak I bet he would love these. Especially if I surprised him with them.

  20. Oh how my husband would love this! He’s a bit of a gluten-free vegetarian not by choice. Ha! He tends to eat what I do but I’m here to say … this even looks good to me. And I am the gluten-free vegetarian.

  21. I LOVE Philly cheese steaks! What’s not to love? There is meat, cheese and bread! OF COURSE it is healthy too ;).

    1. I buy the shredded beef at Trader Joe’s, and use provolone cheese. Made it last night and added red peppers along with the onions. It is not a Philly cheesesteak, but delicious. My husband loved it and wants it again tomorrow.

    1. I think he’ll do great! And if any pieces aren’t quite sandwich worthy I think Harpo can help him out 🙂

    1. I’m a Pat’s girl through and through. We did once have the occasion to be at Genos but only because the Pat’s line was so long! 🙂 Just kidding, I have tried both and I still say Pat’s wins… That being said Genos is amazing and better than anything I’ve had outside of PA!

      1. You forgot about the hot sauce that sits on a shelf outside of Pat’s and Geno’s.
        They have a jug with a dipper for the hot sauce plus a jug of hot cherry peppers to eat
        on the side. The hot sauce and cheese wiz blend together. Also the rolls are fresh baked from a local bakery. (Amorosa ) The steak shops in Del and NJ shred and overcook the steak and mince the onions…Terrible!