Top 4 Best Sauces for Philly Cheesesteak! (Updated 2023)

Best sauce for Philly cheesesteak

Are you looking for a great sauce for your Philly Cheesesteak? Stick around as we share the most popular sauces people use for their Philly cheesesteak sandwich.

Some nights, you just want a comforting meal. Maybe after a long, hard day, you’re craving something that will not only satisfy your hunger but will spark warm feelings of joy.

One of the most comforting and satisfying sandwiches is none other than the Philly Cheesesteak.

Bringing all of your favorite foods into one umami sandwich–steak, cheese, and a loaf of good bread–a Philly Cheesesteak can truly make you feel as if you’ve been hugged in all the right ways.

We guarantee this sandwich will leave you craving for more.

The name may imply that the Philly cheesesteak only uses cheese. But there are endless sauce combinations that can elevate your sandwich. 

What is a Philly Cheesesteak?

Best sauce for philly cheesesteak

A Philly cheesesteak is a sandwich that hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is comprised of tender slices of beefsteak, and onions, and stuffed into a hoagie roll.

To finish it off, the sandwich is generously ladled with cheese sauce.

The Philly cheesesteak has been around for ages. Pat Olivieri started out as a hot dog vendor.

One day he had the ingenious idea to throw ground beef on the griddle to serve to people passing on the streets and thus the Philly cheesesteak was born.

He went on to establish the world-renowned Pat’s King of Steaks. 

Now let’s talk about people’s favorite sauces that go well with a Philly cheesesteak.

Best Sauces for Philly Cheesesteak

1. Cheese Sauce

Best Sauce for Philly Cheesesteak - Cheese

From its name alone, the Philly cheesesteak certainly would not be complete without the addition of cheese sauce.

While the original sandwich was reportedly made without cheese, Joe “Cocky Joe” Lorenza seems to have changed the game entirely by adding provolone cheese sauce to the sandwich.

The cheese sauce complements the meats by adding a mild, yet creamy flavor. The most beloved and perhaps most preferred cheese is provolone.

It’s milder compared to other aged cheeses and has a slight nuttiness. Another delicious cheese sauce alternative is American cheese.

Today, there are many creative variations that have arisen since the sandwich’s inception.

Apart from provolone and American cheese, cheese whiz is also used to make cheese sauce. It’s easier to spread compared to the two other options.

2. Steak Sauce

Tallarico's "Philly Style" Steak Sandwich Sauce 2 Jars

For those who want to steer clear of the cheese, you might want to consider using a steak sauce. Steak sauce perfectly complements the beef and onions.

It can ramp up the taste of the meat and make it even more flavorful.

The savory steak sauce lends even more beefy flavor to your Philly cheesesteak. It has the right combination of tartness from the tomatoes and vinegar, as well as sweetness from the sugar or molasses.

This is a perfect option for those who love umami flavors.

One of the most popular and well-loved steak sauce options on the market is none other than Peter Luger’s Old Fashioned sauce and for good reason.

It has tons of umami flavor from the anchovies and a level of sweetness from the molasses that adds to the complexity of the flavors.

Couple this with an acid such as vinegar, tamarind, and tomatoes for brightness. This makes for a well-rounded sauce.

3. Tomato Sauce

Best Sauce for Philly Cheesesteak - Tomato Sauce

Philly cheesesteak purists may want to look away. Do you want to add something tangy and acidic to your cheesesteak?

You should definitely try adding tomato sauce to your sandwich.

This tomato-based sauce option is popular in Lehigh Valley, just north of Philadelphia.

This tomato sauce is perfect for this type of sandwich because the acidity and brightness can cut through the flavors of meat and cheese, both of which can be quite heavy.

This particular Philly cheesesteak version in Lehigh Valley even adds hot peppers and or pickles on top.

Think calzone, but beefy! Give this version a try. I guarantee you’re never going back.

4. Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish Sauce

Horseradish sauce is yet another seemingly unusual accompaniment to a cheesesteak sandwich.

It is usually used alongside steaks and pork tenderloin. Although it’s on the creamier side, the horseradish sauce brings with it sinus-clearing effects thanks to its pungent flavor and spiciness.

Horseradish has an intense flavor that can mimic the spiciness of peppers, but the intensity only lasts moments instead of minutes. This can make horseradish addicting.

Combined with cream, vinegar, and other spices to make a sauce, the heat tempers down and complements meat while cutting through its richness.

Final Thoughts

Philly cheesesteak is undoubtedly a landmark of its own. With the right sauces, it definitely boosts the flavor profile and leaves people craving more.

Love that cheesy, salty flavor? Try adding more cheese sauce, or tomato sauce!

We guarantee these Philly cheesesteak sauces will take your tastebuds for a ride. 


4 Best Sauces for Philly Cheesesteak

Check out this list of the best Sauces for Philly Cheesesteak flavors to try!

  • Author: Recipe Marker


  1. Pick your favorite flavor
  2. Click on the link to visit Pinterest
  3. Buy items from your local store or online
  4. Enjoy and share on social media!

Keywords: Best Sauces for Philly Cheesesteak

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