Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Recipe

Introduction to Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

The Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is a culinary innovation that marries the iconic flavors of Philadelphia’s most famous sandwich with the universal comfort of pasta. This dish is a testament to the versatility and enduring appeal of the classic Philly Cheesesteak, which originated in the early 20th century. The original sandwich, a simple yet delicious combination of thinly sliced beef, melted cheese, and onions on a long roll, quickly became a staple of Philadelphia cuisine. Its popularity spread, making it a beloved choice across the United States.

As culinary boundaries expanded, so did the iterations of the classic cheesesteak. The evolution into pasta form is a relatively recent development, showcasing the adaptability of traditional dishes to modern tastes and preferences. By incorporating the fundamental components of a cheesesteak into a pasta dish, chefs and home cooks alike have created a new comfort food classic that appeals to both fans of the original sandwich and those looking for a hearty, cheesy pasta meal.

Why Philly Cheesesteak Pasta?

The popularity of Philly Cheesesteak Pasta can be attributed to its comforting nature and the universal love for cheesy, meaty dishes. It combines the savory satisfaction of a cheesesteak with the heartwarming familiarity of pasta, making it a hit among a wide range of diners. This dish stands out as a unique twist on a classic, offering a novel way to enjoy the beloved flavors of a traditional Philly Cheesesteak in a different form. Its versatility allows for various interpretations, making it a perfect canvas for culinary creativity while still honoring the essence of the original sandwich.

Key Ingredients

Creating the perfect Philly Cheesesteak Pasta requires a balance of traditional cheesesteak components and pasta, each playing a crucial role in the dish’s overall flavor profile:

  • Lean Ground Beef: The cornerstone of the dish, providing the rich, meaty base that’s reminiscent of the steak used in the classic sandwich.
  • Green Bell Pepper and Onion: These vegetables add a layer of sweetness and depth, mirroring the toppings commonly found on a traditional cheesesteak.
  • Pasta Choices: The type of pasta used can vary, but shapes like penne, fusilli, or rigatoni are preferred for their ability to hold onto the sauce and ingredients.
  • Cheese Whiz and Provolone Cheese: A combination of these cheeses offers the creamy, velvety texture and deep flavor associated with the original sandwich. Cheese Whiz adds authenticity, while Provolone introduces a slightly sharper, more nuanced taste.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and garlic powder are essential for enhancing the meat and vegetables. Worcestershire sauce adds a touch of umami, tying all the components together into a cohesive, flavorful dish.

Together, these ingredients create a Philly Cheesesteak Pasta that’s both comforting and exciting, offering a new way to experience the classic flavors of Philadelphia’s beloved sandwich.

Cooking Techniques for Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

The success of Philly Cheesesteak Pasta hinges on a few key cooking techniques that elevate the dish from good to unforgettable. These methods not only enhance the flavors but also pay homage to the traditional elements of a Philly Cheesesteak, ensuring that each bite is a perfect blend of pasta and cheesesteak goodness.

Importance of Searing Beef

Searing the beef is a critical step in creating a flavor-packed foundation for the pasta. This technique involves cooking the beef over high heat until a browned crust forms. This crust is not just about texture; it’s a source of deep, concentrated flavor thanks to the Maillard reaction, a chemical process that occurs when proteins and sugars in the meat brown, imparting a rich, savory taste. Searing ensures that the beef retains its juiciness, providing a meaty, robust component that mirrors the steak in a traditional Philly Cheesesteak.

Cooking Pasta in Beef Broth for Flavor

To infuse every aspect of the dish with maximum flavor, cooking the pasta in beef broth instead of water is a game-changer. This technique borrows from the principle of using seasoned cooking mediums to enhance the base flavors of ingredients. The pasta absorbs the broth, becoming imbued with a savory depth that water alone could never provide. This step not only seasons the pasta through and through but also aligns with the meaty essence of the cheesesteak theme, ensuring that the pasta contributes to the overall flavor profile rather than just serving as a filler.

Achieving the Perfect Cheese Sauce

The cheese sauce is the heart of the Philly Cheesesteak Pasta, acting as the creamy, velvety binder that unites all the components. Achieving the perfect cheese sauce involves a delicate balance of ingredients and technique. The use of Cheese Whiz adds authenticity and smoothness, while incorporating Provolone cheese introduces a layer of complexity and richness. The key is to gently melt the cheeses into a base of pasta water and beef drippings, stirring continuously to prevent separation or clumping. This method ensures a sauce that’s not only flavorful but also has the ideal consistency to coat the pasta and mix-ins evenly, resulting in a dish that’s creamy, cheesy, and utterly irresistible.

Together, these cooking techniques form the backbone of an exceptional Philly Cheesesteak Pasta dish, ensuring that each element is treated with care to create a harmonious and delicious meal.

Recipe and Cooking Instructions for Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Prep Ingredients: Begin by gathering all your ingredients. You’ll need lean ground beef, a green bell pepper, an onion, your pasta of choice, Cheese Whiz, Provolone cheese, and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce).
  2. Sear the Beef: Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the ground beef, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Allow the beef to sear without moving it for about 2-3 minutes, then stir to cook evenly until browned. This step is crucial for developing a deep flavor.
  3. Add Vegetables: Once the beef is browned, add the chopped green bell pepper and onion, cooking until they are soft and slightly caramelized. This adds sweetness and depth to the dish.
  4. Cook the Pasta: In a separate pot, bring beef broth to a boil and cook your pasta according to package instructions. This infuses the pasta with a rich flavor. Reserve some pasta water for the sauce.
  5. Create the Cheese Sauce: In the skillet with the beef and vegetables, lower the heat and add Cheese Whiz, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of the reserved pasta water. Stir until you have a smooth sauce.
  6. Combine: Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, tossing everything together until the pasta is evenly coated in the cheese sauce. If using, fold in slices of Provolone cheese until melted.
  7. Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Serve hot.

Tips for Best Results:

  • Ensure the skillet is very hot before adding the beef to achieve a proper sear.
  • Use freshly grated Provolone cheese for better melting.
  • Adjust the consistency of the cheese sauce with reserved pasta water to achieve your desired thickness.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Alternative Pasta Types: While penne and fusilli are popular choices, feel free to use any pasta you like. Shorter pasta shapes work best for even distribution of sauce and ingredients.
  • Cheese Variations: Apart from Cheese Whiz and Provolone, consider using sharp cheddar or mozzarella for a different flavor profile.
  • Adding Vegetables: Mushrooms, red bell peppers, or spinach can be added for extra nutrition and flavor. Sauté them along with the onions and green bell peppers.

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

Serve your Philly Cheesesteak Pasta with a side of garlic bread and a crisp green salad for a balanced meal. For wine pairings, a medium-bodied red wine like Merlot or a light Chardonnay complements the creamy, savory flavors of the pasta.


  • Can I use a different type of meat? Yes, thinly sliced steak or even chicken breast can be used as alternatives to ground beef.
  • How can I make it vegetarian? Substitute the beef with portobello mushrooms or a plant-based meat alternative, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
  • Best practices for leftovers? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently, adding a splash of water or broth to loosen the sauce if necessary.

Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Recipe

This Philly Cheesesteak Pasta recipe combines the savory flavors of the classic Philadelphia cheesesteak with the comforting texture of pasta, creating a hearty and delicious meal. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or to impress guests, this dish is sure to become a new favorite.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Fusion
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 650 kcal


  • Large Skillet
  • Large pot for pasta
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Cheese grater (if using fresh cheese)
  • Measuring cups and spoons


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 8 oz pasta penne, fusilli, or your choice
  • 2 cups beef broth for cooking pasta
  • 1 cup Cheese Whiz
  • 4-6 slices Provolone cheese optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh parsley for garnish optional


  • Prepare Ingredients: Dice the bell pepper and onion. Measure out all other ingredients.
  • Sear Beef: In a large skillet over high heat, sear the ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper until browned.
  • Cook Vegetables: Add diced bell pepper and onion to the skillet, cooking until softened.
  • Boil Pasta: In a separate pot, cook pasta in beef broth according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve some pasta water.
  • Make Cheese Sauce: Lower the heat under the skillet and stir in Cheese Whiz, Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of reserved pasta water until smooth.
  • Combine: Drain pasta and add to the skillet, mixing well. Fold in Provolone cheese until melted.
  • Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.


  • For a spicier kick, add red pepper flakes to the beef while cooking.
  • If Cheese Whiz is not available, a homemade cheese sauce made with cheddar or another melting cheese can be substituted.
  • This dish stores well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and can be reheated with a splash of water to keep the pasta moist.
Keyword Cheesesteak Pasta, Comfort Food, Family Meal, Philly Cheesesteak Pasta, Weeknight Dinner