Easy Cheese Steak Sandwich with Caramelised Onions

Unless you’re vegetarian/vegan, a steak sandwich is always a welcomed lunch option. And what makes the best steak sandwich? A cheese steak sandwich would hit the spot bang on in my opinion. To make it even better, I’d top it with caramelised onions, i.e my favourite topping – and you’ll have a cheese steak sandwich that everyone’s going to love.

Of course, you could be using nice steak cuts and make it an extra juicy steak sandwich. However, we’re talking about quick, cheap, and easy here. That means no fuss, using just a cheap steak cut and pantry ingredients to create something simple but still outstanding. Cheap and easy does not mean eating poorly or compromising on flavours.

You can pre-make these sandwiches beforehand, store them in the fridge by double-wrapping them in clingfilm, and heat them in the oven/air fryer whenever you fancy.

How to make Easy Cheese Steak Sandwich


  • Beef Steak – any cheap cuts available. I used top-side beef. The likes of flank steak, flat iron, etc. are also ideal
  • Salt & Black Pepper – for seasoning the steak
  • Garlic Powder, Paprika, Dried Rosemary, Olive Oil – to make a spice rub over the steak
  • Cheddar Cheese Slices – or any other cheese of your choice
  • Sandwich Rolls – I used sourdough rolls
  • Onion, Brown Sugar, Olive Oil, Salt – for the caramelised onions
  • Chives – for garnish

Recipe Notes/Workflow:

I usually start with the caramelised onions first as it would be the longest process of this entire recipe. It takes about 20-30 minutes for the onions to soften and caramelise over medium-low heat. What I do is to start and leave the onions to cook while I work on the steak and buns, giving the onions an occasional stir and seasoning throughout. Want to save more time? You can also prep this beforehand, store it in an airtight container, and simply add it to the sandwich whenever you want!

As for the steak, apart from a basic sprinkle of salt and black pepper, I also season it with a spice rub made of garlic powder, paprika, dried rosemary, and a little dash of olive oil. I used topside beef steak from my local butcher. This steak cut is very lean, with strong flavours, and extremely affordable. You can use other inexpensive steak cuts (basically whatever’s most convenient for you to get) such as flank steak, flat iron, etc. After that, simply heat up the griddle pan and sear the steaks on both sides until browned.

To prep the bun, slice them open into halves but without cutting them all the way through. Butter the insides of the buns, and then add in a slice of cheese (I tend to slice them into triangles), the steak, and scoop in some caramelised onions. Place into a preheated oven at 180°C and heat for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Skip this last step if you’re just prepping these sandwiches beforehand instead of eating immediately!

Easy Cheese Steak Sandwich with Caramelised Onions

ET Food Voyage
Easy cheese steak sandwich recipe with caramelised onions – a super easy but amazing lunch idea that can be pre-made as well for convenience!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 527 kcal


  • 400 g Steak (top side beef / flank / flat iron)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 4 slices Cheese
  • 4 Sandwich Rolls

For the Caramelised Onions

  • 1 large Onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt


Making the caramelised onions

  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and sautee for 10 minutes until softened.
  • Season with salt and sautee for a few more minutes. Then stir in brown sugar and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until browned and caramelised. Set aside.

Making the steak sandwich

  • While the caramelised onions are cooking, season steak with salt and black pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, paprika, dried rosemary, and olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the steaks.
  • Heat a grill pan over high heat. Sear the steaks on both sides until browned.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Slice open the sandwich rolls to create a pocket. Spread butter on the insides of each sandwich roll, then add in a slice of cheese, the steak, and stuff with caramelised onions.
  • Heat the stuffed sandwich rolls in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese started to melt.
  • Garnish of chives and serve immediately.


  • Feel free to use nicer cuts of steaks, but for the theme of cheap & easy, I usually go for affordable topside beef or the likes of flank steak/flat iron steak
Ways to save time:
  • You can make the caramelised onions beforehand. Simply store the cooked onions in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or add to the sandwich before heating the whole sandwich in the oven. 
  • Prep the sandwiches beforehand by assembling everything together and skipping the oven part (i.e. the last step). Double-wrap the sandwiches with clingfilm and keep them refrigerated for up to 3 days. You can heat the sandwich in the oven or an air fryer!
Keyword Beef, Sandwich, Steak

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