Philly Cheesesteak Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Philly cheesesteaks are one of the best things to come out of Philadelphia, right next to Rocky and the Eagles. The formula is simple: thin slices of shaved beef and crunchy bell peppers, coated in melted cheese and wrapped in a soft hoagie bun. It's hard not to love the warm, deliciously cheesy sandwich, even (or especially) in the early morning hours at your local Wawa. It's not, however, a beacon of health, so it can be hard to fit into a nutritious weekly meal routine. Do we believe a hearty sandwich every once in a while can't hurt? Sure, but we have an even better option that's perfect for any time, anywhere.

This gluten-free, keto-friendly recipe by Michelle McGlinn makes it easy to enjoy a Philly cheesesteak without worrying about the bread. That same cheesesteak formula — thin steak, fresh peppers, and melty cheese — is wrapped in crunchy lettuce leaves for an easy, 20-minute low-carb meal. Light enough for lunch but filling enough for dinner, this is a recipe you'll turn to week after week.

Gather the ingredients for Philly cheesesteak lettuce wraps

You'll need a few pantry staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper for this recipe. For the meat, you'll need very thinly shaved steak, which you can find premade at many grocery stores or ask the butcher to prepare for you. If you can't get your hands on any, simply slice some steak as thinly as possible at home, or use lean ground beef instead. As for the cut, look for sirloin or ribeye, which are marbled and very tender when quickly cooked. 

Next, head to the produce aisle for green and red bell peppers, onion, and lettuce. Any lettuce works here; we like long romaine leaves that replicate the slender hoagie roll typically used in cheesesteaks. Lastly, grab a few slices of provolone cheese and some garlic powder.

Step 1: Heat oil in a skillet

Add olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Step 2: Season and brown the steak

Add shaved steak and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook, tossing frequently, until nearly browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the vegetables

Add bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Step 4: Melt the cheese

Top steak mixture evenly with provolone slices and cover the skillet. Continue cooking until melted, about 3 minutes.

Step 5: Assemble and serve your lettuce wraps

Scoop Philly cheesesteak filling into the lettuce leaves, arrange on a plate, and serve.

What can I serve with Philly cheesesteak lettuce wraps?

While lettuce wraps in Asia might be served as appetizers to a more carb-dense meal, this Philly cheesesteak version is better suited to being a main, treated the same as the sandwich. In Philly, you might order your cheesesteak with a side of fries, onion rings, or mozzarella sticks, which are easy to buy frozen and then reheat in the air fryer — no hot pot of oil needed. 

Craving a lighter twist on these classic sides? Instead of french fries, try sweet potato wedges or homemade baked fries. Instead of onion rings, try Tennessee onions, which are typically gluten-free and very cheesy, or opt for simple roasted onions. And if you'd like to incorporate more veggies into your meal, you can't go wrong with roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or green beans to contrast with the cold and crunchy romaine lettuce.

How do I store Philly cheesesteak lettuce wraps?

The best part about cheesesteak lettuce wraps is that they can easily be prepped and taken to go for lunches you'll look forward to eating. To do this, cook the filling as normal, melting the cheese on top of the cooked steak, peppers, and onions. Divide the cheesesteak filling into portions and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To prepare the wraps at your destination, bring along a few lettuce leaves and reheat the beef mixture by microwaving until warm. When you're ready to eat, simply fill the lettuce with filling, and enjoy. 

To save leftovers, we recommend storing the meat filling separately and tossing any used lettuce leaves. The warmth of the beef wilts the leaves, and the exposure to air discolors them fairly quickly, so it's best to use fresh lettuce each time. Luckily, heads of lettuce are large, so you should have plenty of fresh leaves. If you do run out of lettuce and aren't craving a roll, pile the beef over sticky white rice or wrap it into a low-carb tortilla, instead.

Philly Cheesesteak Lettuce Wraps Recipe
5 from 27 ratings
Fresh, crunchy lettuce leaves are the perfect low-carb complement to classic cheesesteak-style beef, sauteed peppers and onions, and melty cheese.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
13
minutes
Servings
4
servings
grabbing lettuce wrap on plate
Total time: 23 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shaved sirloin steak
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated and washed
Directions
  1. Add olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add shaved steak and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook, tossing frequently, until nearly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Top steak mixture evenly with provolone slices and cover the skillet. Continue cooking until melted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and scoop Philly cheesesteak filling into the lettuce leaves.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 455
Total Fat 31.1 g
Saturated Fat 12.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 107.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.3 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 568.7 mg
Protein 32.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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