We’ll all agree that Philly Cheesesteak is amazing on its own, but the right side dish can make it even better. I love how a good side can add something extra to the meal, whether it’s a bit of crunch, some creaminess, or just a fresh taste to balance out the rich flavors of the cheesesteak.
In this article, we’re going to look at 10 great side dishes that go perfectly with this sandwich. Get ready to make your next cheesesteak meal even more awesome!
1. Crispy French Fries
French fries are a classic side that pairs wonderfully with a Philly Cheesesteak. The crispy texture of the fries contrasts the tender, juicy steak, and soft hoagie roll. Opt for thin, crispy fries to add a delightful crunch.
You can season them with simple salt, or get creative with garlic powder, paprika, or even parmesan cheese for an extra flavor kick. The best thing is that you can either fry or bake them.
How to Prepare This?
|Peel and cut potatoes into thin strips.
|Soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes to remove excess starch.
|Pat dry thoroughly with a towel.
|Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F (190°C).
|Fry the potatoes in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
|Drain on paper towels and season with salt or your choice of seasonings.
2. Onion Rings
For those who love a bit of crunch, onion rings are an excellent choice. The sweetness of the onion balances the savory steak and cheese, while the crispy batter adds texture. Serve them fresh and hot for a satisfying crunch.
|Slice onions into 1/4-inch thick rings and separate.
|Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and paprika in a bowl.
|Dip onion rings in milk, then coat with the flour mixture.
|Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375°F (190°C).
|Fry the onion rings until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
|Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
Coleslaw offers a refreshing contrast to the hearty cheesesteak. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor cut through the richness of the meat and cheese, providing a palate-cleansing effect.
Whether you prefer a vinegar-based or creamy coleslaw, it’s a light and flavorful addition that adds a fresh dimension to your meal.
|Combine shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
|In a separate bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
|Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat.
|Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
4. Sweet Potato Fries
For a sweeter twist, sweet potato fries are an excellent alternative to regular fries. Their natural sweetness and soft texture offer a delightful contrast to the savory cheesesteak. They’re also a healthier option, rich in vitamins and fiber.
Season them with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cayenne pepper for an extra flavor boost.
|Peel and cut sweet potatoes into fries.
|Toss with olive oil, salt, and your choice of spices (like cinnamon or cayenne).
|Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer.
|Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until crispy.
5. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread is a great site for those who can’t get enough carbs. The buttery, garlicky flavor complements the cheesesteak’s meaty, cheesy goodness. It’s also perfect for mopping up any leftover cheese or steak juices, ensuring you enjoy every last bit of flavor.
|Mix softened butter with minced garlic, parsley, and a pinch of salt.
|Cut a baguette or Italian loaf in half lengthwise.
|Spread the garlic butter mixture on each half.
|Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy.
6. Baked Beans
Baked beans are a hearty, comforting side that pairs well with the rich flavors of a Philly Cheesesteak. Their sweet and savory sauce complements the sandwich’s meaty elements, while the beans themselves add a soft, satisfying texture.
They’re also a great source of protein and fiber, making your meal more filling and nutritious.
- In a saucepan, sauté chopped onions in olive oil until translucent.
- Add canned beans, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
7. Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a creamy, cheesy delight that goes hand in hand with a Philly Cheesesteak. The creamy texture of the mac and cheese pairs beautifully with the sandwich, creating a comfort food extravaganza.
Opt for a homemade version with a blend of cheeses for the best flavor experience.
|Cook macaroni according to package instructions; drain.
|In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux.
|Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened.
|Add grated cheese and stir until melted.
|Mix in the cooked macaroni and season with salt and pepper.
|Transfer to a baking dish.
|Top with breadcrumbs.
|Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
8. Garden Salad
For a lighter, healthier option, a garden salad is a perfect choice. The crisp, fresh vegetables offer a refreshing contrast to the rich, heavy cheesesteak. You can keep it simple with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a light vinaigrette, or add more ingredients like cheese, nuts, or fruits for a more substantial salad.
- Combine mixed greens, sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and red onion in a bowl.
- For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
9. Pickle Spears
Pickle spears are a simple yet effective side for a Philly Cheesesteak. Their tart, vinegary flavor cuts through the richness of the meat and cheese, refreshing your palate with each bite. They also add a nice crunch, providing a textural contrast to the soft sandwich.
- Cut cucumbers into spears.
- In a jar, combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar, dill, and garlic.
- Pack cucumber spears tightly in the jar and pour the brine over them.
- Seal and refrigerate for at least 48 hours before serving.
10. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a delicious and nutritious side that complements the cheesesteak’s flavors. Choose a mix of vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions, and roast them until they’re tender and slightly caramelized.
Their natural sweetness and savory notes pair beautifully with the meaty, cheesy sandwich.
- Cut vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and onions into bite-sized pieces.
- Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs like rosemary or thyme.
- Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 425°F (220°C) for 20-25 minutes, until tender and caramelized.
Can I make these side dishes ahead of time for a party?
Absolutely! Many of these sides, like coleslaw, baked beans, and garden salad, can be prepared ahead of time. Coleslaw and salad can be refrigerated, while baked beans can be reheated before serving. For crispy sides like fries and onion rings, it’s best to make them close to serving time to maintain their texture.
Are there gluten-free options for these side dishes?
Yes, there are gluten-free alternatives. For instance, you can use almond flour or a gluten-free flour blend for onion rings. Sweet potato fries and roasted vegetables are naturally gluten-free. Always check the labels of any packaged ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free.
What are some vegan alternatives for these side dishes?
For vegan options, you can make coleslaw with a vegan mayo, use a cheese substitute in the macaroni and cheese, and prepare baked beans without any animal products. Garlic bread can be made with plant-based butter, and salads can be dressed with a variety of vegan dressings.
How can I spice up these side dishes for those who love heat?
To add some heat, sprinkle cayenne pepper on your sweet potato fries or add chopped jalapeños to your coleslaw. You can also incorporate chili flakes into your garlic bread butter mixture or add a spicy dressing to your garden salad. You can also spice up your cheesesteak game with different sauces.
Are there any low-carb alternatives to these side dishes?
Yes, for a low-carb diet, you can opt for roasted vegetables or a garden salad without croutons. You can also try making fries or onion rings with low-carb vegetables like zucchini or turnips.
What are some kid-friendly versions of these side dishes?
Kids often enjoy simpler flavors. Macaroni and cheese is usually a hit, as are plain baked fries or sweet potato fries. You can also make a simple garden salad with just lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, or serve plain baked beans without added spices.
The best sides are the ones that complement the rich and savory flavors of the cheesesteak while adding their own unique twist. From the satisfying crunch of fries to the refreshing zing of a tangy coleslaw, each dish brings something special to the table.
So next time you indulge in this tasty sandwich, try one of these fantastic sides, enjoy mixing and matching these sides to discover your favorite combination!