Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks are crazy tender, seeping with flavor and so easy to make in the slow cooker!

These Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks are meaty, cheesy, flavor-packed comfort food at its finest – and the slow cooker does most of the work!  This recipe makes fabulous game day food, party food, company food, or just a fun dinner any night of the week. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe is made with juicy beef braised low and slow, sliced, then combined with the bell peppers and mushrooms to drink up all the aromatic juices while becoming melt-in-your-mouth tender. Pile it all on toasted, spiced mayo brushed rolls, blanket with ooey, gooey melty cheese and dig into heaven.  Serve your Philly Cheesesteaks with Loaded Potato Salad and Apple Salad for an any time dinner win!

Philly Cheesesteaks are a beloved favorite at our house! Their flavor profile has inspired classic Philly Cheesesteaks, Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes, Philly Cheesesteak DipPhilly Cheesesteak Egg RollsPhilly Cheesesteak SoupPhilly Cheesesteak Pizza (one of my first posts, terrible pics but SO GOOD) and now these Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks!  What’s next?!

HOW TO MAKE Philly Cheesesteak Recipe VIDEo

up close of Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak recipe showing how juicy the beef is

Philly Cheesesteak FAQS

What is a Philly Cheesesteak?

A traditional Philly cheesesteak is made of thinly sliced ribeye steak browned on a griddle or skillet, then chopped into finer pieces before being topped with American, Provolone, or Cheese Whiz. Once the cheese melts, it is scooped up with a spatula and loaded into a hoagie roll. Sometimes sautéed onions are included in the mix or added on top. Contrary to popular belief, bell peppers are not part of a traditional Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich! 

What Goes on a Philly Cheesesteak? 

Philly Cheesesteaks — also known as Philadelphia cheese steak, Philly cheese steak, cheese steak sandwich, cheese steak, or steak and cheese — boast a tantalizing filling of thinly sliced steak and melted cheese served on a hoagie roll.   
 
Many Philly Cheesesteaks also include sautéed onions and bell peppers. Some versions also contain mushrooms, sweet peppers, hot peppers, banana peppers, pimientos, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and/or pepperoncini.
 
So, while I’ve kept this Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak recipe simple with meat, onions, bell peppers and cheese, feel free to add whatever toppings your heart – or belly – desires!

What’s the best meat for Philly Cheesesteak?

Ribeye is the traditional cut of beef used to make Philly cheesesteaks. However, since this is a crockpot recipe, you’ll want to choose a cut of beef that cooks well low and slow. I recommend boneless chuck roast which also can be labeled as a shoulder roast, chuck eye roast, or arm chuck roast.  I use chuck roast in ALL of my shredded beef recipes such as Beef Barbacoa, Mississippi Pot, Traditional Pot Roast and Italian Beef with nothing but tender results.

Boneless chuck roast has a melt-in-your mouth texture and a succulent, beefy flavor due to its rich marbling. The marbling creates a self-basting effect as it breaks down and drips over the meat, resulting in tender beef every time!
 
A few notes about the beef in this Philly Cheesesteak recipe:

1. This recipe calls for a 3–5-pound chuck roast but the seasonings and liquid are very forgiving – so don’t worry if your roast is slightly larger.
2. Use boneless beef chuck roast that is thick cut and not rolled and tied with a string.
3. I purchase my chuck roast at Costco, use one roast for this shredded beef recipe and freeze the other for later. You’ll love having it on hand to pull out when you need it.

showing how to make crockpot Philly cheesesteaks by cooking steak, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms in the crockpot

Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients

Tender chuck roast is robustly seasoned with a few of my secret weapon flavoring agents — Coca-Cola among others! It may sound strange to you, but I promise the mix of ingredients results in the juiciest, most flavorful slow cooker cheesesteaks EVER. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe: 

  • Hoagie rolls: This is the traditional choice for making cheesesteaks. They’re sturdy enough to hold all the juicy filling, but not so hard and crusty on the outside like a baguette.   I like to find my rolls in the bakery section of the grocery store.  Tip:  If you find them on sale, they freeze great!
  • Cheese: Provolone is a favorite for its mild flavor and consistency, but you may also use American cheese or even Cheese Whiz.  You will need two slices of Provolone per sandwich to make them satisfyingly cheesy. Alternatively, you can slice each piece in half and use one slice per sandwich if you’re looking to save some calories.
  • Chuck roast:  Select boneless chuck roast that’s deep red, smells sweet and boasts bright, white marbling of fat throughout the meat. Chuck roast is considered the Mercedes of roasts thanks to its rich marbling which delivers succulent, beefy flavor and melt-in-your mouth texture.  The marbling melts as it slow cooks, creating a self-basting effect that drips over the meat, keeping it extra juicy and infusing it with a coveted depth of flavor.
  • Beef broth: Please use reduced sodium beef broth so you have the luxury of adding concentrated beef bouillon. Please do not use chicken broth or vegetable broth because they do not have the same richness and depth of flavor.
  • Beef bouillon:  This adds a depth of concentrated beefy flavor.  You may choose from granulated beef bouillon, beef base (like Better Than Bouillon or !Zoup) or cubes, all in equal amounts. For all of these options, don’t dissolve in liquid first. If using cubes, crush them, then add directly to the crockpot.
  • Coke: You’ll need just 1 cup of Coke in this recipe. Use regular Coke, NOT diet!  Coke has a caramelized sugar in it as well as flavorings similar to cinnamon, clove, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, citrus zest, etc. – all in one – as well as acid to balance out these flavors. The acid also helps to tenderize the meat. 
  • Worcestershire sauce: This is a flavor bomb all packed into one bottle. It boasts an intense, complex umami flavor from its ingredients of soy mingled with sour from tamarind and vinegar, sweetness from molasses and sugar, and dimension from the cloves, celery seed, and chili pepper extract.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced sodium or the slow cooker cheesesteaks will be too salty.
  • Spices: You’ll need a blend of dried oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme as well as garlic powder, salt, and pepper. 
  • Yellow onion: Use one yellow onion, sliced about ¼-inch thick. 
  • Mushrooms: I recommend using cremini mushrooms for the best texture and flavor. 
  • Bell peppers: Peppers are actually not traditional in Philly Cheesesteaks, but I love the subtle texture and earthiness they bring, so take them or leave them.
top view of authentic Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak recipe on hoagie rolls with provolone cheese

How to Make Philly Cheesesteaks in a Crockpot 

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches are incredibly easy to make. The ingredients list is very basic and I love that the slow cooker does most of the work for you! Here’s an overview of how to make this Philly Cheesesteak recipe (full measurements found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Sear the beef. Heat the oil over high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Using tongs or two forks, sear the meat on all sides until browned and transfer to a 6 qt. (or larger) slow cooker.
top view showing how to make crockpot Philly cheesesteak by searing the roast until deeply golden
  • Step 2: Add remaining roast ingredients to the slow cooker. Add all of the braising liquid and seasonings and give them a stir. Lastly, add the onions on top.
showing how to make Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak by adding chuck roast, braising liquid, seasonings and onions to a slow cooker
  • Step 3: Cook. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours for a 3-pound roast, and 6 hours for a larger roast.
  • Step 4:  Slice the roast.  Remove the roast to a cutting board. Thinly slice the roast using a very sharp knife then add back to the slow cooker. 
showing how to make Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak by thinly slicing the steak across the grain
  • Step 5: Add the bell pepper and mushrooms.  Give the meat and veggies a stir and continue to cook for an additional 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast the hoagie rolls.
a collage showing how to make Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak by adding sliced steak back to the crockpot followed by the mushrooms and bell peppers
showing how to make Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak by cooking the steak, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions together
  • Step 6: Toast the hoagie rolls. Split the rolls and lay them cut side up on a large baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes to toast the rolls. After they’re toasted, spread each top and bottom half with optional spiced mayonnaise (ingredients in the recipe card below).
showing how to make Crockpot Philly cheesesteak recipe by toasting the hoagie rolls on a baking sheet
  • Step 7: Assemble the cheesesteaks. Top the toasted rolls by using tongs to get a good mixture of sliced beef, onions, and peppers.   
showing how to make Crockpot Philly cheesesteak recipe by adding sliced steak, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms to a toasted hoagie bun before adding cheese
  • To use the cheese, fold each slice in half and use two slices per hoagie.
showing how to make Crockpot Philly cheesesteak recipe by adding steak, mushrooms, bell peppers and provolone cheese
  • Step 8: Melt the cheese in the oven. Return the baking tray to the oven and bake until the cheese is completely melted. You may serve the remaining liquid as a dip for the sandwiches, if desired.
Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich on a hoagie roll with steak, bell peppers and cheese
  • Onions:  For more tender onions, add them along with the beef. If you prefer your onions to be slightly firmer, add them during the last 45 minutes of cook time.
  • Set yourself up for success with the right cut of beef. Choose a chuck roast that is fresh, bright in color and contains lots of marbling because marbling = flavor and tenderness. If you use a different cut of beef, I cannot guarantee it will be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  
  • Sear for flavor and moisture.  Searing the roast creates the Maillard reaction resulting in rich, deep, complex flavor and prevents the surface of the beef from becoming dehydrated. Sear ALL sides until deeply golden – no sorry grey beef please! 
  • Use a cast iron skillet to sear the beef. Cast iron gets piping hot without ruining the finish of your pan and retains heat exceptionally well for more even results.
  • Use regular Coke: Diet Coke won’t result in the same flavor.  The artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke can break down the meat in an unappealing way.
  • Don’t crank up the crockpot temperature: You want the Philly Cheesesteak filling to be ultra juicy and tender, which means you must cook it on low. Do not be tempted to crank up the crockpot to high heat, it won’t deliver the same results. 
  • Use a 6 quart crockpot, or bigger. You have 3 to 5 pounds of chuck roast to cook, after all! 
  • Toast the hoagie rolls: If you skip the toasting process, the rolls will quickly become soggy once the juicy filling is piled on top of them. 
  • Use a different cheese: swap the Provolone for American cheese or Cheese Whiz.
  • Add toppings: choose from sweet peppers, hot peppers, banana peppers, pimientos, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and/or pepperoncini, etc. You can even add more non traditional toppings like bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, etc.
  • Shred the beef: if you would like to shred the beef instead of slice it, then cook it until fall apart tender – closer to 6-8 hours on LOW.
  • Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese:  Pile the filling on thick bread, butter the outside and toast in butter or use a panini press.
  • Philly Cheesesteak Nachos: Skip the hoagie rolls and load the filling and cheese on thick tortilla chips and bake until melted. Alternatively, use my queso blanco for the cheese instead.
  • Pizza:  Top your favorite pizza dough with the filling followed by cheese and bake according to directions.  You can also use the pizza dough to make Stromboli or calzones.
  • Stuffed peppers:  Combine the filling with some rice and follow this recipe for baking instructions.
  • Quesadillas:  Layer a burrito size tortilla with cheese and filling and grill until golden, cheesy perfection.  
  • Rice:  Serve the filling over or stirred directly into cheesy rice.
  • Potatoes:  Serve the filling over mashed potatoes, French fries or baked potatoes (detailed below).
  • Baked Potatoes. Poke holes in washed, dried potatoes. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and the skin is crispy.  Slice open the potatoes, top with filling and provolone then place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Top with sour cream, green onions, etc.
up closer of Philly Cheesesteak open faced on a plate cooked in the slow cooker
Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich on a hoagie roll with steak, bell peppers and cheese
up close of a bite taken out of a Philly Cheesesteak recipe showing how tender the beef is and how cheesy it is

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up close of Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak recipe showing how juicy the beef is

Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks

These Crockpot Philly Cheesesteaks are meaty, cheesy, flavor-packed comfort food at its finest – and the slow cooker does most of the work!  This recipe makes fabulous game day food, party food, company food, or just a fun dinner any night of the week. This set-it-and-forget-it recipe is made with juicy beef braised low and slow, sliced, then combined with the bell peppers and mushrooms to drink up all the aromatic juices while becoming melt-in-your-mouth tender. Pile it all on toasted, spiced mayo brushed rolls, blanket with ooey, gooey melty cheese and dig into heaven.  Serve your Philly Cheesesteaks with Loaded Potato Salad and Apple Salad for an any time dinner win!
Servings: 10 sandwiches
Total Time: 6 hrs 50 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs 30 mins

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Ingredients

SANDWICHES

  • 8-10 hoagie rolls
  • 16-20 slices provolone cheese (less if larger slices, see notes)

SLOW COOKER BEEF

  • 3-5 lbs. beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup Coke (NOT diet)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon (granulated, beef base or crushed cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil, dried parsley, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, pepper, dried thyme
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into 1/4" slices

ADD LATER

  • 2 medium green bell peppers, sliced into 1/4" slices
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

SPICED MAYONNAISE (OPTIONAL)

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce or more to taste

Instructions

  • Sear beef: Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Once smoking, add beef and sear on all sides until deeply browned, using tongs or two forks to rotate. Transfer beef to a lightly greased 6 qt. (or larger) slow cooker.
  • Cook beef: Add all remaining "Slow Cooker Beef" ingredients to the slow cooker up to the onions (broth through thyme). Give them a stir, then add the onions on top. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours for a 3-pound roast and closer to 6 hours for a larger roast.
  • Slice beef and add veggies: Remove the roast to a cutting board and thinly slice across the grain. Place sliced meat back in the slow cooker. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and give everything a stir, then press the meat/veggies down into the braising liquid. Cover and cook on LOW for 45 minutes. Meanwhile…
  • Toast rolls: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Split rolls and lay them cut side up on two large baking sheets. Working in batches as needed, bake for 5 minutes to toast the buns.
  • Assemble: Spread each top and bottom half of toasted hoagie rolls with Spiced Mayonnaise. Layer the bottom rolls with beef/veggies and top with 2 slices of folded provolone cheese. If using larger slices (like from Costco), use one slice per hoagie, cut in half to fit the bun.
  • Melt cheese: Return baking sheets to the oven (keep sandwiches open faced) and bake at 400 degrees F for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately. You may serve the remaining liquid as a dip for the sandwiches, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Cheese: Provolone is a favorite for its mild flavor and consistency, but you may also use American cheese or even Cheese Whiz.  You will need two slices of Provolone per sandwich to make them satisfyingly cheesy OR you can slice each piece in half and use one slice per sandwich if you’re looking to save some calories. (Note, if you are using larger, Costco-size cheese, you may need just one slice per sandwich).
  • Beef bouillon: This adds a depth of concentrated beefy flavor.  You may choose from granulated beef bouillon, beef base (like Better Than Bouillon or !Zoup) or cubes, all in equal amounts. For all of these options, don’t dissolve in liquid first. If using cubes, crush them, then add directly to the crockpot.
  • Coke: Coke not only adds flavor (see post) but the acid works wonders at tenderizing the meat. Please don’t use Diet Coke.  The artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke can break down the meat in an unappealing way.
  • Storage: Store your cooked Philly Cheesesteak filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like to refrigerate mine with any liquid left in the Crockpot for extra moisture and flavor.

MAKE AHEAD

1. Prepare recipe up to slicing the beef and adding it back the slow cooker, but don’t add the mushrooms and bell peppers yet. 
2. Remove ceramic insert from slow cooker and let cool to room temperature (for food safety and because it can crack if placed directly in the refrigerator).
3. Refrigerate the beef in the juices up to 24 hours.
4. When ready to heat, skim off all the hardened fat if desired.
5. Cook on LOW in the slow cooker for 30 minutes, then add the bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
6. Continue per recipe instructions.

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8 Comments

  1. Paddy says

    There are no words to express how AWESOME THESE ARE!!!!! I will admit we did pepper Jack cheese cause my bride loves pepper Jack but Jen!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!! Someone needs to put a cape on you! For years I have followed cooked and trusted your recipes and all of them have been home runs, you are the best!!!!

    • Jen says

      Paddy, YOU are the best, thank you for making my day and being the very first person to review this recipe! That’s awesome that you made it already and I’m so pleased it was a hit! Thank you for trusting my recipes and always bringing a smile to my face!

  2. S Carpenter says

    This was a big hit! We loved the spicy mayonnaise and flavors in the beef. Delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much, I’m so pleased you loved it!

  3. Jamie Duncan says

    Help! Will a roast be done on low in just 4-5 hours? I normally cook Chuck roast for 10 hours on low?

    • Jen says

      Hi Jamie, yes, we are not cooking to the point of shreddable tender because we are slicing it.

  4. Beth R says

    This recipe is AMAZING! Easy, flavorful, and will be on repeat! We have made several of your recipes, and knew this wouldn’t disappoint and it did not. I made it the night before and reheated the beef in the slow cooker the next evening. I thought 4 hours wasn’t quite enough time if we were going to eat that night. But after an hour or so reheating it was perfect! I sauteed the veggies separately in my cast iron because my family likes them more crunchy. That was the only change the recipe was followed to the “T”! A perfect weeknight meal that everyone loved!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Beth for the rave review, I’m thrilled you loved these sandwiches so much!

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